Filing for bankruptcy after divorce is not uncommon. Divorce can turn your finances upside down. You may have gone from having two incomes to rely on to only having one along with trying to manage a handful of expenses. Or perhaps, financial problems in the marriage lead to divorce. Whatever the case, you may have concluded that filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is your best option at this point.
When it comes to bankruptcy and divorce you want to make sure you aren’t missing any part of the process. Here are 7 steps to follow:
You’ll also want a complete list of all your current debts and a copy of your credit report.
When filing for bankruptcy, you must take two credit counseling courses. The first one has to be done before you file your case. Once you’ve completed it, you’ll get a certificate that you’ll need to file with your bankruptcy paperwork.
This is usually a lengthy step because there may be more than two dozen documents to complete. These forms include your bankruptcy petition, all of the schedules, and the statement of financial affairs.
Personal information as well as income, child support, or alimony payments, will all need to be disclosed as well as any unpaid obligations. You’ll also need to list any legal proceedings that took place in the last year.
Unless you qualify for a waiver, the filing fee for Chapter 7 as of this writing is $338. That does not include any attorney fees. If you are earning less than 150% of the federal poverty line considering your combined household income, you may qualify for a waiver. If you don’t, you can ask to pay the filing fee in installments.
Besides the filing fee, you also want to have all the paperwork you need to file the case. You should have a complete set for your records as well as one for the bankruptcy court. Once you have the fee and all of your paperwork, you are ready to file. While you can choose to file by mail, it’s usually recommended to go in person to make sure you have everything you need and there are no unnecessary delays.
Once your documents are filed with the court, a trustee will be assigned to oversee your case. Your trustee will need to receive specific documents before your scheduled Meeting of Creditors (341 Hearing). Your trustee will tell you what you want to review. If you do not hear from your trustee two weeks after filing your case, you should contact the court.
Before your hearing, it is usually a good idea to complete your second credit counseling course. The course needs to be taken with an approved provider. You will receive a second certificate once your second course is completed. This will need to be filed with the court clerk within 60 days of your scheduled 341 Hearing.
When filing for bankruptcy, you will need to attend a 341 Hearing before your Chapter 7 trustee. The trustee will ask you questions about the information you provided on your paperwork. They want to confirm that the information you provided is accurate. When dealing with bankruptcy and divorce, It is possible for your ex-spouse to appear at this hearing as well as any creditors.
While you’ll want to follow those seven steps when filing for bankruptcy, you’ll also want to keep some other things in mind. If you own a car and still need to make payments, you’ll need to indicate that you will continue with payments. But, if the car was awarded to your ex-spouse in the divorce, you don’t need to reaffirm the debt.
If you are planning on filing for bankruptcy after divorce, let our Florida bankruptcy lawyers help. We have the experience necessary to guide you and answer your questions when it comes to bankruptcy and divorce. Call us today at (954) 922-2283 to learn more about how our firm can help you.
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