Anyone that has experienced problems with debt knows how stressful it can be. Creditor harassment. Threats of lawsuits. Damaged credit. When it comes time to seek debt relief through bankruptcy it is important to do it right. It is important to understand the Chapter 7 bankruptcy preparation process. Take the time to speak to a Houston bankruptcy lawyer about what to expect.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Preparation
First, organize your paperwork. You will be put through a detailed review of your finances. Therefore, you need to have all of the following documents ahead of time. A list of all your creditors and those you owe money to is needed. You will need documentation of any and all sources of income. This includes your paycheck, benefit checks, retirement accounts etc. Also, you will provide a detailed list of your assets. Assets including property, jewelry, items in your home and more.
Don’t worry. This isn’t meant to put your things at risk. There are bankruptcy exemption laws that can protect much of your property. However, there may be a few things that are not exempt that could be used to satisfy your debt. Your Houston bankruptcy lawyer can find you the maximum amount of exemptions possible.
Second, know that not everyone qualifies for Chapter 7. In order to be eligible for Chapter 7 you must meet the standards of the means test. This test evaluates your income and assets to your amount of debt owed. If your financial profile passes the means test you may be able to file for Chapter 7. Your Houston bankruptcy lawyer can review the details of this test with you before you file.
Last, there are a few requirements that are important to remember. Before you can file your Chapter 7 case you must complete a credit counseling course. This can be done at a reputable Credit Counseling agency. You will provide the completion certificate to the court prior to filing. After filing your petition you will complete a debtor’s education course as well. Also, you will be attending a 341 Meeting of Creditors sometime soon after you file. This meeting is mandatory for the successful outcome of your case.