Steps Involved for Filing Bankruptcy in Alabama

April 11, 2012 by  Filed under: Bankruptcy 

Going through bankruptcy is never a happy time; however, filing for bankruptcy can give you peace of mind that your financial problems will come to an end and you can create a fresh start to rebuild your financial foundation. To file a bankruptcy in Alabama, you will need to follow several steps to complete the process.

Determine What Chapter You Will Be Filing Under

Alabama has four different chapters that a consumer can file bankruptcy under and a consumer’s filing status is determined by the particular circumstances of his case. Chapter 7 involves a liquidation of the consumer’s assets that is used to pay off debts and allow a discharge of the consumer’s remaining debts. Certain assets are protected during the process. Chapter 13 is for consumers who have a steady stream of income who want to make installment payments to pay off their debt over time. Only consumers who have less than a specific amount of debt as determined by the Bankruptcy Code. Chapter 12 is similar to Chapter 13 but is only available to farmers and fishermen. Chapter 11 is usually used for businesses, but can also be used for consumers in exceptional circumstances.

Learn About Bankruptcy Fraud

It is important that consumers who are considering filing bankruptcy be aware of various types of bankruptcy fraud to avoid disastrous results. Thoroughly research reporting requirements and forbidden actions to prevent major problems from arising.

Take a Credit Counseling Course

According to Alabama law, you must complete a credit counseling course at least 180 days before you file your petition for bankruptcy.

Complete a Voluntary Petition for Bankruptcy

This form serves as your initial request for a bankruptcy decree. This form is referred to as Form B1 in Alabama. Additional forms may need to be filed depending on the type of bankruptcy relief you are requesting and extenuating circumstances. Complete the statement regarding your compliance with requirements to enroll in credit counseling. You may also need to complete the form “Statement by a Debtor Who Resides as a Tenant of Residential Property” if a landlord has a current judgment for the possession of your residence.

Pay the Filing Fee

The amount of the bankruptcy filing fee varies with the type of bankruptcy relief that is being requested. The fee ranges from $239 to $1039. If you are filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you may be able to have the filing fee waived if you cannot afford to pay it. You can also complete a form to request to pay the fee in installments.

Prepare Other Forms

Prepare a list of creditors with the existing payment address and each creditor’s name. Complete Form B201 and B21 regarding your social security number and notice to your creditors. Include your certificate of completion for your credit counseling with other forms you submit. You will also need to complete multiple schedules and a summary of schedules. Complete a Statement of Financial Affairs and Statement of Current Monthly Income and Means Test Calculation. Most of these forms are available on the bankruptcy court’s website and are available for download. Include check stubs or other evidence to indicate all income you have received from your employer within the last 60 days. You may need to include other forms depending on the type of bankruptcy that you are filing.

Consult an Attorney

While it is possible to file for consumer bankruptcy on a pro se basis, the bankruptcy system is often complicated. Every rule, form and step of the process must be completed in a perfect manner before a judge will grant you bankruptcy relief. An attorney can help prepare forms for you and keep you aware of laws pertaining to bankruptcy and bankruptcy fraud. The Alabama State Bar Association may be able to link you with a Pro Bono attorney or a public service firm if you are unable to afford the services of a competent attorney.

An Alabama bankruptcy attorney can sure help when you’re put in such a situation. For more information regarding bankruptcy in Alabama, visit the law office of Stephen Klimjack.

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