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The nagging question will continue on throughout the bankruptcy process as it is never easy for any of you emotionally, financially or even legally – Should I go bankrupt?
There is no easy answer as it depends on so many factors as to what your situation is – some of you will be more hopeful than others. The entire process will take alot out of you one way or another. One of the most difficult parts other than deciding what to do, is filling out the forms.
The forms are like a foreign language to most of you and most times are easier to understand when you have legal counsel to help you review them. For those of you filing in the United States here is a quick overview and understanding of the forms required. More than anything this will be a generalized overview to give you an understanding of the meaning of the forms, in the interest of time we will not be able to be specific on forms which are related to specialized proceedings. That type of coaching will have to be done in a one on one setting.
If you are an individual who is filing in the United States, most likely you will be filling out bankruptcy forms specifically dealing with either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Even as a business you may be filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, although you may be filing for Chapter 11 as well. In any case, there are separate forms that need to be filled out with each chapter stating the intention to file under that particular chapter.
You will be required to fill out the following forms:
- Statement of Petition
- A list of all creditors
- Personal Income
- Personal Property
- Declaration of Penalty Under Perjury
If you are confused about which forms to fill out, your lawyer can help you with that process or another option is not to be afraid to ask the court system for guidance. Forms are fairly easy to identify as they are all labeled with a capital ‘B’ followed by a number. For example, B1 is the Voluntary Petition, B3A and B3B are applications to either waive the filing fee or pay in installments, and B4 is a list of the twenty largest unsecured claims. Even exhibits to these forms are labeled in this way, so form B1D, the Statement Of Compliance With Credit Counseling Requirement, is understood as exhibit D or form B1, the Voluntary Petition.
Form B9 is where the different types of bankruptcy forms begin to branch out. The main differences between the two types of consumer bankruptcy is that, under Chapter 7, all nonexempt assets are liquidated and any debts that remain unpaid are discharged. The first four versions of B9 indicate whether you are a corporation or individual, and whether you have any assets eligible for liquidation. The next four divisions of Form B9 involve filings for Chapter 11 reorganization, and depend on whether you are an individual or corporation. The remaining three B9 iterations are reserved for the less common Chapter 12 and 13 filings.
Even though asking the court for guidance is a great idea it may not be the most efficient way to handle things as the court system may be overwhelmed with other cases which they feel are more important making it very difficult to find answers to your questions about the related forms. In this case, you can always consult with legal advice, or even a financial service organization who can help you understand the paperwork better.
If you don’t plan to hire a lawyer to handle your case, it still can be worth the time to consult them regarding the paperwork. You may even want to consider an online service to aid in the process, as they can answer any questions you have and guide you through the entire process.
Thanks for reviewing today’s message – Should I Go Bankrupt – we hope to see you in Part 4. If you find these messages helpful please send us a note to let us know and if you want to provide other feedback related to our messages we welcome all responses.