Pre-Filing Requirements For Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

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Pre-Filing Requirements For Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Filing bankruptcy is always a complex and stressful procedure that should be both well considered and well prepared.  If your bills have become insurmountable and you need to file chapter 13 bankruptcy, you should be aware of the fact that there are a number of mandatory requirements you must meet before filing bankruptcy.  Failure to meet these requirements will result in the court refusing your chapter 13 bankruptcy.  It is evident that meeting these mandatory requirements before filing bankruptcy is the first important step on the journey to what will be, if all goes well, a clear financial future.  So what are these mandatory requirements exactly?
The first thing every consumer must do before filing bankruptcy is take a credit counseling class at a government-approved credit counseling agency.  This class must be taken within 180 days prior to filing bankruptcy.  It is vital that you file the certificate of compliance that attests you have, in fact, completed the credit counseling class.  If you are unable to take the class within the determined time period, you may be able to file for an extension, but only if you can prove you tried to obtain the class within the last five days before filing bankruptcy.  If an extension is granted, you must take the class and file the certification within 30 days after filing bankruptcy.

 

The second requirement you must meet before filing bankruptcy is to take the so-called means test.  This means test is key in determining whether you need to file chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy.  The means test examines your income level against a state-determined median, and determines the amount of disposable income you have which may or may not be sufficient, when filing bankruptcy, to support the repayment plan included in a chapter 13 bankruptcy.  Because the median income differs from state to state, the income level associated with a chapter 13 bankruptcy also differs from state to state.  A third requirement you must meet before filing chapter 13 bankruptcy is that you avow all documentation and information submitted to the court is well grounded in fact, and warranted by existing law or a good faith argument for the modification of the existing law.  If you are filing chapter 13 bankruptcy this means that you declare to know and understand the chapter 13 bankruptcy laws that apply when filing bankruptcy.  If you claim ignorance of the chapter 13 bankruptcy laws at any point during your chapter 13 bankruptcy filing, it will not count as an excuse.  Due to this pre-required knowledge of chapter 13 bankruptcy law, it is always in your best interest to retain the services of an experienced chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer before filing bankruptcy.


About the Author:
The writer of this article has made his mark by writing on legal issues especially on bankruptcy filing procedures in different states. The author regularly writes on bankruptcy related issues like filing bankruptcy, chapter 13 bankruptcy and chapter 7 bankruptcy etc. visit http://www.bankruptcybalance.com/.
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