The 10-Step Guide To Filing Bankruptcy In 2021

Each bankruptcy applicant must attend credit counseling sessions within the six months before filing the petition.

First, you need to decide if bankruptcy is the right option for you.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be used to eliminate credit card and medical debts.

Consumers also have the option to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

A bankruptcy discharge will not eliminate non-dischargeable loans like student loans or child support obligations. Cosigners are not protected by bankruptcy.

If you have good credit, your credit score will be affected.

  1. Get your paperwork together.
  2. Get credit advice
  3. All bankruptcy paperwork must be completed
  4. Learn the cost of a document.
  5. Keep a copy of your bankruptcy papers
  6. File bankruptcy forms at the Courthouse
  7. Send your Trustee Documents
  8. Learn more about bankruptcy by taking the Bankruptcy Course 2
  9. Show Up to Your 341 Meeting.
  10. How to manage your auto loan

Get your paperwork together

Gather all financial records to evaluate your financial situation.

Request a free copy of your credit card reports to get started.

These papers are required in addition to your credit reports:

  • The last six months of payslips and any other proof of income. 
  • Recent statements from brokerage accounts or retirement accounts. 
  • Appraisals or valuations of any real estate that you own. 
  • Copies of your vehicle registration. 
  • All other documents about your assets, obligations, or income.

These papers can help you get a complete picture of your financial situation.

Credit Counseling can be an option

This credit counseling class will help you decide if bankruptcy is necessary or if you can get back on track using a more informal repayment plan.

It takes less than an hour to complete the course. You can complete the course in under an hour.

Once you have completed the course, you will be issued a certificate of completion. This certificate must be presented to the court when you file your bankruptcy papers at Step 5.

Complete the Bankruptcy Forms in as complete detail as possible

The bankruptcy forms are at least 23 pages long.

Engaging a lawyer will allow them to complete the paperwork for you using the information you have provided. You can either use BankruptcyHQ’s online bankruptcy service to check if you are eligible, or you can make an appointment with local legal aid providers.

Search For The Bankruptcy Filing Fee

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is subject to a $338 fee by the federal court. This amount is usually due after a bankruptcy petition has been filed with the court.

If you don’t have the cash immediately, you can ask for payment in monthly installments.

If you are unable to pay in installments, you can ask for a waiver of fees.

You may print bankruptcy forms

Once you have completed the bankruptcy papers, you need to print them for court.

You will need the following: 

  • The petition forms and any other paperwork.
  • Your credit counseling certificate and your payslips. 
  • Your fee waiver or payment plan application, if necessary.

Most bankruptcy courts require only one signed copy of your petition. You should contact your local bankruptcy court to get copies.

Filing Bankruptcy Forms at Courthouse

You will be greeted by security officers at your local courtroom.

The court should not receive copies of your bank statements or tax returns.

While you wait, the clerk will begin working on your case. The clerk will scan your documents and upload them to the court’s online file system. This usually takes less than 15 minutes.

After you’re done, the clerk will call back the front desk. The clerk will tell you what to do next:

Meeting with your bankruptcy trustee. Also called “Meeting of Creditors” or “341 meetings.”

Your case has been submitted. To get a fresh start under the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy code, there are still steps you must follow.

Send your Trustee Documents

A Chapter 7 trustee (or a court-appointed person) is responsible for overseeing your case and liquidating exempt property.

After you file your case, pay attention to the letters the trustee sends to you. They will ask you for tax returns, bank statements, and pay stubs.

Learn more about bankruptcy by taking Bankruptcy 2

After filing bankruptcy papers, you will need to complete a Debtor Educational Course at an approved credit counseling agency. It costs between $10 and $50 and can be completed online or over the phone.

Although the course’s purpose is to help you make better financial decisions for the future, it doesn’t offer any legal advice on filing bankruptcy. Learn how to make a budget and not take out high-interest loans.

If you fail to complete the course or submit the certificate from a credit counseling agency to the court, you won’t be eligible for bankruptcy discharge.

Participate in Meeting 341

Within a month of your bankruptcy filing, a 341 meeting (or meeting of creditors) will be held. This notification will inform you of the location, date, and time of your 341 meetings.

A 341 meeting is designed to verify your identity and to ask basic questions about your financial situation.

Your government-issued ID and social security cards must be brought to the meeting.

How to Manage your Auto Loan

Tell the court and bank what you plan to do with the car in bankruptcy if you owe money.

To give the vehicle back or cancel the loan, you can stop making payments. Wait until you get discharged to take it up.

If you wish to keep the vehicle, you have two options. Reaffirm the loan or redeem it.

To redeem the vehicle, you will first need to file a court order. After the court approves your request, you can then purchase the vehicle at the current value. You must only pay one amount.


Planning is key when filing for bankruptcy. BankruptcyHQ can help you navigate the process and prepare your papers to be filed in court if necessary.



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