How to file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy without an attorney

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Filing bankruptcy is a very important matter and should not be taken lightly! If you do not know what you are doing, you could ruin your case or have it dismissed. It is important to get familiar with the bankruptcy laws and rules so that your filing can go smoothly. It is strongly recommended that you use an experienced attorney to file your bankruptcy case but if you feel you can file on your own, please use the tips on this article as a guide. All the information you need can be found online.

  1. Go to the Official US Bankruptcy Courts Website. There you will find all the information needed in choosing what chapter you need to file as well as what forms and information you will need to fill out.
  2. Take an approved credit counseling course. This is mandatory and will need to be done in order to file for bankruptcy. You will be given a Certificate showing you completed this course and it must be submited to the bankruptcy court. This course may be taken online.
  3. Find your local Bankruptcy Court and submit your paperwork. You will be required to pay court costs and fees. Currently they are $299 but you may be able to pay less or pay the costs in a payment plan. See the website for further information.
  4. Attend the meeting of creditors (341 meeting). Usually this meeting is at the courthouse with the trustee. You will be notified by mail of this within 20-40 days after filing your bankruptcy petition.
  5. Complete a Financial Management Course.  This is also mandatory and must be submitted to the court before the discharge can be granted. You can find information about this course on the website given.
  6. If there are no objections from your creditors, you should receive a Notice of Discharge in the mail. Usually you will receive it 60 days after the meeting of creditors.
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