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Chapter 7 Pre-Filing Requirements

Before Filing, You Must:

Stop using your credit cards and don't incur any additional credit. Once you have decided to file for bankruptcy, you should not use your credit cards nor incur any additional credit from that point forward. Any recent purchases or recent cash advances can be held still due and owing after you file for bankruptcy. The rational is that you never intended to pay those debts back and is therefore, tantamount to fraud. If you're seeking a fresh start, do your best to insure that you will in fact receive that fresh start. The credit card issuers are very aware of attempts to run-up charges on credit cards. This also applies to cash advances. If you take a cash advance too close to filing bankruptcy, you are likely to see an objection from the particular credit card issuer. The objection comes in the form of an adversarial complaint. If the creditor is successful in their objection, the amount of the recent advance(s) will be held due and owing after your bankruptcy case.

Take the required credit counseling briefing

Before a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case can be filed, you must take a credit counseling briefing from an approved credit counseling agency. This credit counseling briefing can be done on the internet or on the telephone. The entire briefing typically takes less than one hour and at the time of this writing costs approximately $50.00. The credit counseling briefing requires that you provide information as to your monthly income and expenses as well as a listing of your creditors. This briefing must be completed within 180 days prior to filing bankruptcy.

File your taxes

You must file your most recent year's taxes to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief. Although this seems like a simple requirement, you would be amazed at the number of individuals who have not filed their most recent taxes. A copy of the return will be forwarded to your assigned bankruptcy trustee after your case is filed. You must also provide your most recent tax return to any creditor who requests it.

Provide your most recent pay advices

You must provide the most recent 60 days worth of paycheck stubs at the time your case is filed. These will be forwarded to your assigned bankruptcy trustee or may be filed with the Clerk of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. This measure is in place to make sure that the amount listed on the petition for monthly income is in fact accurate. If you receive income from a source other than employment, evidence of that income must be provided just as if is was a paycheck stub. Once you are aware that you are likely going to file bankruptcy, keep copies of all of your paycheck stubs in an organized manner.


David M. Siegel is the author of Chapter 7 Success: The Complete Guide to Surviving Personal Bankruptcy. He is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute and currently practices bankruptcy law in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs. Additional information is available at http://www.bankruptcy-lawyers-lasvegas.com .

This article is free for republishing
Source: http://www.articlealley.com/article_208574_18.html

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