For many people the process of declaring bankruptcy may seem exceptionally complicated and for the inexperienced person, it is. However, an experienced bankruptcy lawyer can guide you through all of the steps required to insure that when you get to court, everything goes smooth. The process is much more detailed than merely proving to the court you can't pay your bills and with fresh federal bankruptcy law changes, it can be extremely burdensome to file without the assistance of an expert.
When you finally decide you might want to file for bankruptcy, contact an attorney who concentrates on bankruptcy law. They will actually figure out, based on the amount and type of your debt and existing income, whether you qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 personal bankruptcy. Those people who are unemployed or have constrained income will probably be able to file Chapter 7, meaning all unsecured debts might be wiped clean. When filing for Chapter 7, some the secured debts will also be reduced, but it really does depend on the kind of debt or collateral held.
You will then need to list all of your current assets, including any pending earnings such as lottery winnings or payments due from legal settlements. Your lawyer may also have you fill out loads of paperwork needed to file to the court. Furthermore, courses on financial management and budgeting will also be expected, before and after you file, before the court can finish the procedure, helping you to begin with a clean financial slate.
People that don't qualify for a Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy will likely have the choice to file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, allowing them to pay monthly payments to a court trustee to eliminate the debts during a period of a few years. Under a Chapter 13, you'll be allowed to keep all of your property and assets, even your secured finance, and lenders will have no choice but to simply accept the terms established by the court trustee.
Regardless of what type of personal bankruptcy your attorney determines suits your financial condition will be filed to the court. On your appearance date, you will be required to show up in front of the individual bankruptcy judge and, after responding to a few questions and providing your attorney has filed the required forms, you will have about six months before your bankruptcy is completed.