It is much easier to file bankruptcy with the help of an efficient attorney. But, when you have already so much financial issues, you may not have such financial support to afford the cost of hiring an attorney. In such a situation, you can file bankruptcy on your own to get out of the distressed financial condition. Though, chapter 13 is quite difficult to understand, but it is still popular for some other benefits. Such as, it stops the foreclosure, reduce the debt burden and gives affordable court approved repayment plan in order to eliminate existing debt. Check out the other benefits of Chapter 13 and the other requirements.

So, if you plan to file for chapter 13 bankruptcy without seeking help from a lawyer, then you should be prepared early to manage the whole process successfully.

Remember, you should know how to file bankruptcy without a lawyer. You must know what forms are to be filled out, what court appearances you need to attend, and whether or not the counselling is required. So, take a look at how you can file chapter 13 bankruptcy without a lawyer.

Are you sure that bankruptcy is the best solution for you?

Filing bankruptcy should be your last option. Both chapter 7 and chapter 13 are available to get rid of the financial trouble. So, make sure you’re choosing the best remedy for your problem.

Read more - Is chapter 13 bankruptcy right for you? Why?

Some must do steps for a debtor while filing for chapter 13 bankruptcy

Below are some basic things which a debtor must performwith his/her own. The things are as follows:

  1. A debtor need to complete the online education courses before filing bankruptcy chapter 13.
  2. A debtor who is going to file chapter 13 bankruptcy should itemize his/her assets and liabilities.
  3. A debtor should clear the “means test”.
  4. The debtor needs to fill out the paperwork online.
  5. A debtor need to attend the “creditors meeting”.
  6. A debtor should organize all the records related to taxes, bank statements and recent income.
  7. A debtor should pay the monthly payment to his/her bankruptcy trustee.
  8. A debtor needs to attend the “confirmation hearing”.

Read more - Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Fundamentals for a successful means test

Ways to file chapter 13 bankruptcy without an attorney

Below are the ways a debtor can file chapter 13 bankruptcy without a lawyer.

1. Get prepared beforehand

If you are planning to file chapter 13 bankruptcy on your own, then you need to be prepared in advance. You need to calculate all your assets that you owe, including cars, homes, savings, retirement accounts, other assets etc.. You need to have current values of these items while calculating the total value of your assets. After this, get a consumer credit reportand find out your creditor's name and address. List all your debts, including that you have been passed off to the collectors for the actual creditor and the collection agency. Thus, you will be able to stop collection activities from both of them.

2. Finish other required paperwork

Go online and download free chapter 13 bankruptcy forms from the U.S. Court. Download all the forms that are appropriate for chapter 13 and for bankruptcies as well. You need to file a petition in your local district. Fill out the forms according to the directions. Remember, it is important to fill out the forms in a particular order. Now save the file as instructed by your computer in order to make it easy to take out information as and when required.

3. Meet with a credit counselor

Contact a credit counselor to go through the first two sessions online. The counselor will ask you a few questions about your debt from the forms you have filed. Then, you will be asked to pay the fee. After paying the fee, you will get a phone call from the counselor. Take a print of your certificate number, which you will need for the courts.

4. Keep all the documents

Keep the receipt of your case number, the name of the judge, trustee, a court date for the “meeting of creditors”. Read out all the information carefully that you get from the Trustee. Follow the information and do whatever is asked by the Trustee. Attend all court appearancesto know about your repayment plan and for how many years you will have a repayment plan.

Things to do after filing for chapter 13 bankruptcy on your own

After filing, you can no longer change your mind to withdraw. Because, the “automatic stay” begins. There are some other things you should do after filing DIY chapter 13 bankruptcy. Such as:

1. Don’t miss the last credit counseling session. This will take an hour or so where you will need to watch a video and answer a few questions. Then, pay the fee and print the certificate number. Send your certificate number to the right place. You will get a letter telling you where you need to send this information. After you get the final documents in your mail, start making monthly payments to the Trustee.

2. You need to make your first payment to the bankruptcy trustee within 30 days of filingas per the proposed debt-repayment plan. The proposed monthly payment will be based on your “disposable income”.

3. You should give a response to the trusteeas long as receive any correspondence from the trustee or the court.

4. You should attend the meeting of creditors on the stipulated date and time. Don’t ignore the meeting as you will be asked some basic questions by the trustee and creditor.

5. You should attend the “confirmation hearing”. The “confirmation hearing” will be held just after the “creditors meeting” is done.

6. Once you get the court approved repayment plan, then you’ll be able to get the 3-5 years of repayment period.

7. Don't forget to pay the monthly paymentsto the bankruptcy trustee on time.

8. Lastly, you must file your annual incomealong with reports of total expenditure in the bankruptcy court.

Final words

Filing chapter 13 bankruptcy of your own is always tough as the particular chapter is not easy to learn than other chapters. But, if you do research thoroughly to get knowledge, then you’ll be able to file chapter 13 bankruptcy successfully. You may get the court approved repayment plan that is suitable with your income status as well. So, give it a shot to pay off your debts and get back a stable financial condition with time.

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