Before a person can become eligible for a chapter 7 type of bankruptcy, he or she must pass the means test and other eligibility requirements. What is the means test and who may file chapter 7 bankruptcy? The means test is a process where the bankruptcy court investigates your result whether you are eligible or not to acquire the help of the government in paying or discharging your debts. The first factor to determine who may file chapter 7 bankruptcy is how much income a person earns in a month. Having an income that is acknowledged as above average income or classified as above average in the state that you live in can decrease your chances of being eligible to file a chapter 7 type of bankruptcy. This is because in most cases, having an income that is above average simply implies that a person have an income that exceeds his expense and therefore, has a sufficient extra amount of money that can be put to pay for his debts through another type of bankruptcy which is chapter 13.
Another factor that can affect whether you can file bankruptcy is your previous bankruptcy. If you have previously filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy and is still between the 8 year period, most likely, you are not eligible to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy. The 8 year period has to pass before you can file a chapter 7 bankruptcy again.
A person can file chapter 7 type of bankruptcy in different ways. Hiring a fulltime bankruptcy lawyer can give an easy filing. The bankruptcy lawyer does the whole thing like arranging your papers, represent you in court and he will guide you through the process, if it is your first time to file bankruptcy. The only problem in having a full time bankruptcy lawyer to help you is that it cost a lot of money.
If money is the problem for you then you can probably do all the work by yourself. This means preparing all the bankruptcy papers by your self, arranging them and filling out the bankruptcy papers. This can be a cheap way to file your bankruptcy but the only disadvantage by doing it this way is that it can be hard on someone who has to learn all the legal terms and the right way to do it. You cannot speed up your papers or else the bankruptcy trustee might find an error later and then you might end up amending your papers or worst, having to sacrifice more properties than what it was supposed to be.
If you do not want to take the risk of having some mistakes in your papers and still wanted to do the filing with the least amount of expense possible, then bring your papers to a petition preparer. They will fill out the forms and prepare your papers the right way and all you need to spend is their flat fee.
About the Author
Attorney Adam Peck has been practicing law since 1981. A former successful business owner, Mr. Peck initially focused his legal career on business law. Within the first three years, after some colleagues and friend’s parents endured nursing home neglect and elder abuse, he continued his education to begin practicing elder law and nursing home abuse law.