If you are feeling overwhelmed by a mounting pile of debt you don’t have the means to pay, filing bankruptcy may be the ideal solution for achieving financial freedom. However, before taking such a big step, it’s important to know what to expect from the process. For almost three decades, the Law Office of James B. Mallory III has been providing the residents of Statesville, NC, with exceptional legal advice to help resolve debt issues.
Below, Attorney Mallory III explains the five steps involved in filing bankruptcy in North Carolina:
- Attend Credit Counseling: The first thing you will need to do if you intend to submit a petition for bankruptcy is undergo credit counseling. This must be done within six months before you file with a state-approved agency. During the session, a counselor will go over your budget and talk about your bankruptcy options.
- Take the Means Test: Next, you will have to take the means test to ensure you are eligible to file for bankruptcy. This involves comparing your income to the average income of a similar North Carolina resident. To qualify, you must show you don’t have the financial capacity to pay back a significant portion of your debt.
- Take Financial Inventory & File the Proper Paperwork: Once you verify eligibility, take inventory of all your finances, assets, and debts. You will need to provide this information on a schedule along with your bankruptcy paperwork. Decide whether you wish to file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, complete the correct documents, and file everything in the appropriate district.
- Attend Meeting of Creditors or Repayment Plan Hearing: After officially filing bankruptcy, you will either attend a Meeting of Creditors or a repayment plan hearing. The first is for Chapter 7 applicants and will require you to answers questions concerning your debts and assets. If you filed a Chapter 13, you must appear in front of a judge who will either approve or deny your repayment plan.
- Complete Debtor Education Course: Following the acceptance of your petition, you will be obligated to attend a debtor education course. This final step will have to be completed before you receive your debt discharge, and it must also be conducted by a state-approved agency.
There are many factors to take into consideration before filing bankruptcy, so consult with an attorney to determine if this is the best option for your situation. They will educate you on both the benefits and consequences of bankruptcy, as well as guide you through the process if you decide to move forward. Contact the Law Office of James B. Mallory III at (704) 872-1911, or visit his website for additional information.