Filing bankruptcy can help a person by discarding debt or making a plan to repay debts. A bankruptcy case normally begins when the debtor files a petition with the bankruptcy court. A petition may be filed by an individual, by spouses together, or by a corporation or other entity.
All bankruptcy cases are handled in federal courts under rules outlined in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
There are different types of bankruptcies, which are usually referred to by their chapter in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
Individuals may file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, depending on the specifics of their situation.
Municipalities— cities, towns, villages, taxing districts, municipal utilities, and school districts may file under Chapter 9 to reorganize.
Businesses may file bankruptcy under Chapter 7 to liquidate or Chapter 11 to reorganize.
Chapter 12 provides debt relief to family farmers and fishermen.
Bankruptcy filings that involve parties from more than one country are filed under chapter 15.
Bankruptcy Basics provides detailed information about filing.
Seeking the advice of a qualified lawyer is strongly recommended because bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal consequences. Individuals can file bankruptcy without a lawyer, which is called filing pro se. Learn more.
Use the forms that are numbered in the 100 series to file bankruptcy for individuals or married couples. Use the forms that are numbered in the 200 series if you are preparing a bankruptcy on behalf of a nonindividual, such as a corporation, partnership, or limited liability company (LLC). Sole proprietors must use the forms that are numbered in the 100 series.
Finding a Lawyer, Including Free Legal Services
If you need help finding a bankruptcy lawyer, the resources below may help. If you are unable to afford an attorney, you may qualify for free legal services.
American Bar Association‘s Legal Help website (link is external).
Legal Services Corporation.
FAQ About Bankruptcy
- Can I apply for a new credit card once I have filed?
You might have the ability to obtain a new charge card after you have actually submitted for insolvency, although the deals readily available to you after your discharge will likely be various than those you received in the past. You might find that you are seeing higher rates of interest as well as fees, and more limited credit lines.
If you are worried that you will be denied for a normal credit card, you might intend to get a safeguarded credit scores card. Protected charge card require you to place up a set amount of cash to the firm, and this amount acts as your credit report limit on the account. If you make repayments on schedule, you will begin to improve your debt record.
- What happens to my assets during a bankruptcy?
It depends on which type of personal bankruptcy you submit. In a chapter 7 bankruptcy, an individual needs to detail all of his/her property and also financial obligations. There are limits on the quantity of building one can maintain while still removing debt, although there are exemptions for sure kinds of properties(for instance, your house or car). Under chapter 13, you might have the ability to maintain many of your residential or commercial property.
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