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What information and fees are required with Chapter 7?

For people in Lehighton who are experiencing financial challenges and see no light at the end of the tunnel, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be a lifeline. However, it is imperative to have a full understanding of how the process works with information and fees that the debtor should know. When filing for Chapter 7, the debtor will file the petition with the court. Along with that, the debtor must provide a schedule of assets and liabilities; a schedule of the income and expenditures; a statement detailing the financial affairs; and a schedule of executory contracts and unexpired leases. The trustee in the case must receive a copy of the most recent tax returns.

If the debts are mostly consumer-related, the debtor must file proof that they have had credit counseling and a copy of the debt repayment plan from that counseling. If the person is employed, there must be proof of payment from employers 60 days prior to filing; a statement of monthly net income and any increase or expenses after the case has been filed; and a record of interest the debtor has in tuition or state-qualified education accounts. If it is a husband and wife who are filing, they can file jointly or as individuals. If they are filing jointly, they will still need to file based on the requirements of individual debtors.

There is a filing fee of $245 and a miscellaneous administrative fee of $75. It is possible that the court will allow the debtor to pay in up to four installments. The final installment must be paid within 120 days after the petition was filed. There can be an extension provided the last payment is made within 180 days of the date of filing. Those who have an income of less than 150 percent of the poverty level and are unable to pay the fees even if they are in installments might be able to get a waiver.

The following information has to be provided: a list of creditors and their claims; the source of income and when it is paid; a list of property that the debtor has; and a list of the expenses that the debtor has such as shelter, food, utilities and transportation. Those who are struggling with debt need to make certain that they know the requirements and fees that accompany a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. For assistance with these matters and help with any other question or concern regarding Chapter 7, an attorney can help.

Source: uscourts.gov, "Chapter 7 -- Bankruptcy Basics -- How Chapter 7 Works," accessed on Dec. 29, 2016

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