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Can You Declare Bankruptcy Online?

Online Bankruptcy

Can you declare bankruptcy online? The answer is “yes” at least to some extent. You can do most of the process online even if you are declaring bankruptcy directly without an attorney. You can do this by reaching the forms and researching the locaton (which federal court office) in which you must declare your bankruptcy.

Declare Bankruptcy Online by These Federal Forms

There are online federal forms required for declaring bankruptcy. These online forms include an official request for bankruptcy (which is called a petition). They also include several other required documents such as schedules and statements. These documents help describe to the court your entire financial condition. You must fill out all of these forms which are available online. Then, you must submit them to your local federal bankruptcy court. You will also be required to take a bankruptcy course online that takes 1 hour. These federal forms can be accessed online here.

Declare Bankruptcy Online By Researching your Bankruptcy District

You must locate your bankrutpcy district and division online to see where to declare bankruptcy. You can do this first by going to the online district identifier provided by the U.S. Courts. This will be a good start to see which local office you must file for bankruptcy. Here is the Bankruptcy District link:

Once you have determined your district and division for your area online, you can usually call the local clerk of courts. You can call the clerks office through their number listed online. Every district will have its own website with contact area for each division office. By calling, you can make sure that you are declaring bankruptcy in the proper jurisdiciton. To declare bankruptcy, it would be best to drop off your bankruptcy request in person, complete with all the proper documents and schedules. Remember, you will need to also bring a $335 money order for your court costs and have already completed the first bankruptcy class. The class provider will provide you a certificate proving that you have already taken the class.

Declare Bankruptcy Online Easier Through an Attorney

Only bankruptcy attorneys usually have full access to online bankruptcy filing. Most bankruptcy attorneys declare bankruptcy online for their clients on a regular basis. The attorney will do your entire bankruptcy online much safer and more thoroughly than you can do by yourself. For a full discussion of why it is a good idea to hire an attorney to declare your bankruptcy online, please read this Federal Bankruptcy Court article.

If you are a resident of Indiana, contact Bymaster Bankruptcy Law Offices to set up a free initial consultation.  


Declare Bankruptcy

Declare Bankruptcy

Want to declare bankrputcy? You declare bankruptcy to eliminate all of your debts. Before you declare bankruptcy, it is important to know some basics behind the process. Knowing these basics will help you understand exactly how declaring bankruptcy actually works.

You Declare Bankruptcy in Federal Court

You or your lawyer will need to prepare a petition. Although you may clearly be “bankrupt” and overloaded with debt, you still need to file a bankruptcy petition. This is how you offically “declare” bankruptcy. This petition is a formal request for bankruptcy relief with the Federal court. If you file the petition correctly and follow bankruptcy’s rules, you will get your bankruptcy relief every time. Your case will not be denied. You are entitled to the relief if you need it. Declaring bankruptcy will then permanently eliminate all your debts in about 90-120 days. Most normal debts will be completely elimated. There are only a few exceptions such as child support, recent tax debt, and student loans that do not get eliminated through delcaring bankruptcy.

Listing All Your Income, Assets, and Debts

Your bankruptcy petition will list out all your income, assets, and debts. This is how you declare bankruptcy. You must provide the court all your financial information. If you do not provide all your finanical information correctly, then the court may require you to make changes to your petition. If the information is very incomplete or inaccurate, the court may even deny your case. This is one reason why it is wise to find a bankruptcy attorney to represent you.

The bankruptcy court will also assign a Trustee to oversee your bankrupty case.  This trustee will be assigned to your case to make sure everything is handled and reviewed correctly. You will go to a single bankruptcy meeting with this Trustee. The Trustee will ask you several questions a this meeting about your financial condition. When you declare bankruptcy, you must follow all the rules of the court and the trustee in order for your case to finalize. You will not receive the release of your debts until your bankruptcy case is finalized and completed.

You File Bankruptcy by Calling an Attorney or Preparing Forms Yourself

Because of the complex nature of bankruptcy, it is always best to contact an attorney to declare bankruptcy. If you declare bankruptcy on your own, you could run into problems. These problems could include being unable to understand the forms or other various bankruptcy requirements. Sometimes these problems can even be worse such as losing money or property unexpectedly. That is why you should always seek an attorney to represent you.

If you still want to declare bankruptcy on your own, you can do so by filling out the forms on your local district’s website. To declare bankruptcy, you must turn in all of your petition forms to the local branch of your federal bankruptcy court. You must also take a one-hour required class beforehand and present a money or for your case’s $335 court cost. You can find the forms, including the Petition, Schedules, Statement of Financial Affairs and other sections by following this link here.

Remember, it is always wise to hire an attorney. It is much easier and safer to file bankruptcy with an attorney.

Bankruptcy Attorney Mailers

Indianapolis Bankruptcy Attorney John Bymaster discusses Bankruptcy mailers or flyers

Overloaded by Mail Flyers for Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy attorney mailers have become increasingly popular in the last couple of years. You may find 4-5 or more of these mail flyers in your mailbox within a week of a creditor filing a lawsuit against you. Can you trust these bankruptcy mail flyers? Should you just choose between which mailer’s office looks best if you are filing for bankruptcy? Choosing between bankruptcy mail flyers may be a very bad idea. Let me explain.

Bankruptcy Mailers and Flyers Rarely Reveals the True Qualities of the Law Office

If you need to file bankruptcy, you should do what is best for YOU. Bankruptcy mailers are only advertising material. The flyers rarely reveal the true qualities of the law office. These mailers are designed for one main purpose: getting you into the office. The flyer will be designed to capture your interest in any way possible. They also will make claims frequently that sound better than what the office is really offering. Do not trust the low-cost or $0 down bankruptcy claims: they are usually misleading or exaggerated. You may actually be led to going to the most expensive office in town! These mail flyers are also unreliable for revealing the true character, reputation, and experience of the law office.

Some bankruptcy mail flyers will be more accurate than others about what is truly being offered. You will not, however, be able to verify the claims only by the mailer. Remember, ALL bankruptcy offices need new clients to stay in business. The full gambit of offices could be sending you a mailer. These bankruptcy offices will likely range from the affordable to the most expensive, the friendly to the cold, and the experienced to the newly opened office.

Do Your Research: Better Options Are Likely Available than Your Mailers

For the most part, you will do much better with some quick research than just choosing a mailer option. Using the internet is one of the best ways to make your decision. Look at the disclosures (or lack thereof) of the bankruptcy office’s fees. If the website is not upfront or sounds too good to be true, it may also be an inaccurate presentation similar to the mailer. Use common sense. If the website is helpful and inviting, you may likely find the office to be similar once you attend the consultation. When you find a place that meets your standards or looks genuinely desirable, give that office a call or do more research. You can usually get the feel of the place over the phone and also ask for more information.

Another good source better than bankruptcy flyers are reviews and referrals. You may be surprised: ask your friends and family who to call. They will probably know somebody who can help you. They may have had a good personal experience themselves. In addition, it is common to find online reviews for most services. Although these reviews are not always accurate, they may also give you a much better feel as to the nature of the office.

Remember the old adage when it comes to bankruptcy flyers, “don’t call us, we’ll call you.” Any sales person that approaches you is likely to not be selling exactly what you are desiring. When people truly want something (including a service), they usually just go searching and then buy it. Do your research. You will likely save money and possibly even prevent a bad experience.

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Bymaster Bankruptcy Law Offices offers free consultations.  Call us today  – 317-769-2244.

Fishtanks, concert trips, and bankruptcy

fish tanks concert tickets and bankruptcy

Fishtanks and concert trips – how can these things have anything to do with bankruptcy? The answer actually is they do not have anything to do with bankruptcy! That is the problem: these are perfect examples of expenses that your bankruptcy trustee will not accept if they occurred shortly before your bankruptcy case was filed.

Bankruptcy allows normal, necessary expenses

During bankruptcy planning, your attorney may instruct you to only spend your money only on normal and necessary expenses. Examples of these expenses would be things like food, shelter, or transportation. Normal expenses that your family faces are usually acceptable in the analysis. However, your bankruptcy attorney will usually warn you against such things as paying back relatives or paying back creditors in a preferential way. In fact, your attorney will probably give you a whole list of warnings and instructions that describe how to not violate this principle before you file your case.

Fishtanks and Concert Trips

Over the years, I have found the perfect two examples of unnecessary expenses. First, if you purchase a 5000 gallon fish tank before you file, you will likely be violating this principle. The fish tank has nothing to do with your normal needs and necessary expenses. In fact, it even creates unnecessary future expense for the maintenance and support of this hobby item.

Planning a trip to attend a concert in another state is another perfect example of an unnecessary expense. This expense would be entirely for entertainment value. There are no sick relatives you are visiting in the trip. No business activity will occur during the trip. The trip would be purely for experience and entertainment sake: it has no normal or necessary element to it.

Always ask your attorney

If you were unsure whether an expense will be deemed normal and necessary, you need to always ask your attorney. It is very easy to justify an expense because it is what you were already planning to do with your remaining money. The normal rules to how you spend your money do not apply if you are contemplating bankruptcy. Ask your attorney. You do not need to be planning to do something wrong to make a mistake. If you make a mistake, it probably will not ruin your bankruptcy case. However, as your attorney will tell you, it could make the total “cost” of your bankruptcy increase greatly. You could face being required to pay any incorrectly spent money back to the trustee in your bankruptcy case.

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Why does Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Cost so Much?

image of man frustrated because bankruptcy costs so much

I hear the same question frequently: why does Chapter 11 bankruptcy cost so much? Chapter 11 bankruptcy always costs much more than the conventional Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case. The reason why Chapter 11 costs so much is because it is extensively-monitored and always “custom” in nature.

Chapter 11 Costs So Much Because it is Extensively-Monitored

Chapter 11 costs so much because it is extensively-monitored by the United States Trustee’s office. In fact, a good part of the initial filing fee goes towards the first payment of this cost. In many Chapter 11 cases, the United States Trustee will directly conduct the initial meeting of creditors. The United States Trustee will monitor the entire case, requiring a quarterly or monthly payment for these services. Public reports that the United States Trustee will review will also be required to be filed each month. The monthly operating reports also cause the total cost of the case to increase, making the case even more expensive.

Almost every aspect of a Chapter 11 case must be monitored and conducted with court-approval. This also requires the expensive and time-consuming necessity of filing first-day motions, various public reports, and a host of other requirements. In addition, almost all Chapter 11 items require an in-person, Judge-approved court hearing to occur. Truly on every level – from public reports to Judge and United States Trustee supervision – every aspect of Chapter 11 is meticulously monitored, increasing the cost of the case.

Chapter 11 Also Costs So Much Because it is Always “Custom” in Nature

Chapter 11 costs so much because it is almost always entirely “custom” in nature. There are virtually no “cookie-cutter” cases that use the same process that can be quickly replicated. This aspect of Chapter 11 is probably the most cost-generating aspect of the endeavor. Essentially, all plans of reorganization are “custom” negotiated and drafted to be presented to the court. This makes the entire process of Chapter 11 very expensive to complete.

Certain defaults plans do actually exist such as local small-business reorganization plans. Also, your attorney can usually take advantage of the process they have used in the past (or can also examine what other local firms are doing in that district with the public record and local rules). Form sets are also available through programs to speed up the process. Even with all these attorney resources, the process is still a unique and “custom” in nature to avoid high legal expenses.

Chapter 11 Costs How Much Usually?

Your type of case and geographical area will usually determine how much Chapter 11 costs more than anything else. The court cost (filing fee) for a Chapter 11 case is currently $1717. In addition to this, there will be a periodic fee (usually quarterly) that must be paid to the United States Trustee’s office during the entirety of the case. Attorneys can frequently charge $25,000 to $50,000 as a retainer on Chapter 11 cases. Usually, additional fees will be required later in the case if they are court approved.

The cost of a complex Chapter 11 case can GREATLY exceed these amounts, sometimes ranging into the hundreds of thousands or even millions upon completion of the case. In addition, very simple Chapter 11 cases can sometimes occur for less than the amounts stated above. It would be extremely rare, however, even in the most simple of cases for an attorney to charge less than $5,000 to $10,000 for an initial retainer (with further billing to follow). Chapter 11 usually always costs considerably more than it’s Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 counterpart, regardless of the situation.

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