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File a bankruptcy

What does it mean to file a bankruptcy ? What do you need in order to file bankruptcy?
wiki wrote:
Bankruptcy is a legally declared inability or impairment of ability of an individual or organization to pay their creditors. A declared state of bankruptcy can be requested by creditors in an effort to recoup a portion of what they are owed; however, in the overwhelming majority of cases, the bankruptcy is initiated by the bankrupt individual or organization.
Wow... this is a question with quite a few possible answers that are usually very long.

Here's a good place to begin to find basic definitions of the different types of bankruptcy, what your responsibility is, and some of the terms you'll need to learn.

Although if you can possibly afford it, the best way to file bankruptcy is with a lawyer's help.

(Just be sure you owe enough to go through the trouble of filing bankruptcy - if you only owe a few hundred dollars to a company, it's not worth it. You'd do better to work out some kind of payment plans.)

But if you cannot afford a lawyer, then it is possible to file bankruptcy on your own, although it is extremely difficult, financially risky, time-consuming, and takes an amazing amount of patience.

You'll need official forms which can be purchased as a kit from bookstores like Barnes & Noble. (They usually run around $20-$25.)
There are programs & downloadable PDF documents out there online to help you file bankruptcy, as well.
You may also want to look into hiring a professional bankruptcy petition preparer. But beware - they're not always right and if your papers are prepared incorrectly, it could cost you your home, car, lots of money, etc.

Just do some searching, look around, and be prepared to read and read and read.
Bankruptcy laws & exemptions vary from state to state, so please try to obtain some sort of professional advice before beginning this on your own.

I did all the paperwork when my buddy Neelix filed bankruptcy last year, and I swore I'd never do it again for free. He owed over 4.8 million dollars, mostly from medical procedures. It took me almost 6 months of continual research to gather all the necessary info I needed from creditors and to understand terminology and state-specific exemptions to file bankruptcy.

Good luck and the best advice I can give you is to start looking things up and decide the best course of action to take to help you the most in your particular situation. (or whomever wants to know about bankruptcy)
I can only speak to bankruptcy in the US. If you have assets worth protecting, bankruptcy can help. If your income is low and you have few assets, it may be best to save your money. The filing fee (paid to the court) for bankruptcy is about $210. It cannot be waived (forgiven) but it may be possible to pay it over time. The recent changes in the bankruptcy laws make it more complicated to file as well as more costly. Counseling is required. If you do your own bankruptcy and make a technical mistake, you may lose your filing fee and the court may not allow you to refile for six months.

You may qualify for legal aid. You should consult the provider of legal aid in your state to see whether you can get assistance. Even if you can only get advice, it may help. If you are being sued for debts, you may be able to get help for those suits. It is best to get legal advice.
I want to update on the fees: they are closer to $300. The bankruptcy law also requires counseling before bankruptcy. This costs $50 or more.

There are two types of bankruptcy for individuals: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

The bankruptcy laws require an individual to see whether s/he qualifies for Chapter 13, which is a repayment plan. If an individual qualifies (has sufficient income), s/he pays a certain amount each month for the life of the plan. At the end of the plan, any remaining balance is canceled. A Chapter 7 cancels debts right away, but it is hard to keep things like cars (with loans) and homes.

Both chapters allow individuals to keep certain assets (homes, autos and personal goods) up to a certain limit.

As I stated in my previous post, one should get legal advice about her/his specific situation. If you qualify for legal aid, use it.
Deciding to file bankruptcy can be a tough decision. Almost everyone confronting the decision vacillates from "Fight" to "Flee": struggle to pay the debts versus get relief from the constant pressure and start over. But in filing for it you should need a bankruptcy attorneys that can guide you what kind of a bankruptcy chapter you need to be filed of according to the situation that you must facing.
I hope you are asking out of curiosity and not out of possibly needing to go that route.
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