Bankruptcy: Laws, Forms & Information
Talk to a Lawyer
Enter a zip code to speak to Lawyer that serves your area.
What is Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is a tool designed by the government to help individuals and businesses overwhelmed by debt. The process allows debtors and businesses to regain control of their finances by eliminating or reorganizing their debt. It is important to be
aware that not all debts may be absolved under the bankruptcy code. Things like child support, back taxes and student loans must still be paid in full.
A qualified bankruptcy attorney should be able to explain how bankruptcy may affect your life and help you understand the process for filing in your state. Bankruptcy lawyers can help debtors in distress find options and help choose the best solution for their financial problems.
Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
There are two main types of bankruptcy that consumers may file: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a person's non-exempt property (this varies from state to state) is liquidated to pay back debts. Even if a liquidation does not generate enough money to pay back all of your debts, whatever unsecured debts (e.g., credit cards) that remain after liquidation are forgiven. The slate is wiped clean.
In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a person's debt is reorganized for repayment. To be eligible for this type of bankruptcy, you must have a steady source of income from which you can make monthly payments to your creditors for the next 3-5 years. How much you have to pay back and what your monthly payments will be are determined by the bankruptcy court and based on things like how much money you owe, how much money your creditors would have received had you filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and how much you can afford to pay per month.
When to Consider Bankruptcy
You may want to consider bankruptcy if you are unable to pay the minimum monthly payment on your debt every month, are receiving harassing and threatening phone calls from bill collectors, have recently lost a stream of income, have been diagnosed with a serious illness, or are experiencing some other family emergency that has overwhelmed you with debt that you cannot handle. When you are feeling overwhelmed by debt, it is usually a good idea to consult an attorney to discuss the debt relief options that may be available to you.
- Using Chapter 7 Bankruptcy to Stop Wage Garnishment - Having your wages garnished is one of the most upsetting things that can happen to a person. Wages are garnished after a creditor gets a judgment against you that you don't pay and then goes back to the court to get the order...
- Bankruptcy for Small Business Owners - If you own a small business and are struggling with debt and considering declaring bankruptcy, you may wish to explore some options. There are a few different...
- Should I File Bankruptcy? - The decision to file for bankruptcy is not an easy one to make, but given an honest analysis of your financial situation and the solutions available through bankruptcy...
- What is Chapter 11 Bankruptcy? - Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a type of bankruptcy that allows businesses and individuals to restructure their debt without liquidating their assets.
- Bankruptcy for Credit Card Debt - Credit Cards can become a life-saver in difficult financial times, but can also come back to haunt us. Many consumers have relied on credit cards to sustain...
- How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy - This page outlines the most common forms necessary to file personal bankruptcy under chapter 7.
- Mortgage Refinancing With Bad Credit - If you are considering mortgage refinancing and your credit score leaves much to be desired, there are a few things you should know before you begin the refinance process.
- Bankruptcy and Your Car: Lower Your Payment - Is your monthly car payment too high? Are you struggling to pay your monthly bills, and are in danger of falling behind or have already fallen behind?
- More Bankruptcy Articles
Featured Bankruptcy Site
- Filing for Bankruptcy This site is packed with information on bankruptcy, bankruptcy laws, strategies for filing bankruptcy as well as a way to get a free consultation from a bankruptcy attorney.
Bankruptcy forms vary by state. Please click on "Bankruptcy Forms by State" and select your state to find the correct bankruptcy forms.
- How to File Chapter 7: Forms
- Bankruptcy Forms by State
- Reaffirmation Agreement, Motion and Order - For 2005 Act - Rev 1/07
- Complaint to Deny Dischargeability of Debt
- Statement of Financial Affairs - Form 7 - Post 2005
Bankruptcy Sample Letters
- Sample Letter for Hearing on Motion for Relief from Automatic Stay
- Sample Letter for Debtor's Motion for Hardship Discharge and Notice of Motion
- Sample Letter regarding Answer to Motion for Relief from the Automatic Stay and Abandonment
- Sample Letter regarding Response to Debtor's Objection to Proof of Claim
- Sample Letter for Notice of Motion to Sell Free and Clear of Liens
- Bankruptcy Forms by State Forms you complete on your computer. You package included all forms needed for filing Chapter 7 or 13, Information and Important Resources. May also be used for Chapter 11 or 12.
- Bankruptcy Information
- Bankruptcy Statistics From the American Bankruptcy Institute.
- National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, Inc.
- National Association of Credit Management
Find a Lawyer
Finding a lawyer couldn't be easier! To locate a lawyer in your area choose your state, then your city and then choose a type of law relevant to your situation.