Filing Information

The Big Picture

The Big Picture when it comes to Bankruptcy is this: the person or entity that owes money and needs relief from creditors (the debtor) is making a deal of sorts with the Federal Government for protection. In this deal, the debtor gives up certain assets and information, and in return the Federal Government steps in to offer protection like no other. In essence, Bankruptcy is that simple: you, the debtor, give your information to your Attorney, and the system set up by the U.S. Bankruptcy Code (Code) does the rest. With that said, let's take a look at some other aspects of Bankruptcy with which you may or may not already be familiar.

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Chapter 7: Liquidation

The purpose of Chapter 7 is to discharge (wipe out) most debts and allow for a fresh start.

How does Chapter 7 work?

The essence of Chapter 7 is that you turn over all non- exempt property in which there is equity to a person known as the Trustee, who is generally, but not necessarily, an Attorney. The Trustee's responsibility is to sell your assets and distribute the proceeds to your creditors in the order required by the Code. In exchange, unless you have committed certain wrongful or fraudulent acts before or during the Bankruptcy, or unless there are other unusual circumstances, you will be absolved (that is, receive a discharge) of all of your dischargeable debts. This is your fresh start.

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Chapter 13: Reorganization

What is the purpose of Chapter 13?

Chapter 13, also known as a Wage Earner Plan, is used by debtors that either wish to pay their creditors back for certain reasons or who cannot file Chapter 7 because they would lose their house, car, etc. Chapter 13 cases are heard by the same Judges, and in the same Courtrooms, as Chapter 7 cases. However, the Chapter 13 Trustees differ from those that oversee Chapter 7 cases.

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Chapter 7: $ 209
Chapter 13: $ 194
Chapter 11: $ 839
Chapter 12: $ 239
Revised October, 2003

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