First decide whether you need an attorney to represent you or whether you are representing yourself although it is not advisable to represent yourself while filing for Bankruptcy.
1 Attend a credit counselling class. Before you file for bankruptcy, you must receive credit counselling from a course approved by the U.S. trustee within 180 days of filing. You can complete the course online, over the telephone or in-person. Upon completion, you will receive a certificate of completion.
2 Complete a petition package. The package contains every form needed to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. The main document, the petition, initiates the bankruptcy case. Other forms in the package include Schedules A, B and C (personal and real property), Schedules D, E and F (debts) and Schedule I, which documents your income. In all, a package contains approximately 30 forms.
3 File the petition package with the California bankruptcy court in your area. You only need to submit one original copy of the petition and schedules with the bankruptcy court. If you desire, you may request that the court stamp another copy with the word “filed” and keep this for your records. You can file the documents in-person at the court or by mail. Electronic filing is not an option for debtors; it is a method only attorneys may use. Along with filing the petition package, also file your certificate of completion of credit counseling.
4 Pay the filing fee. You may pay the fee with cash, a money order or a cashier’s check. The money order or cashier’s check must be made out as follows: Pay to the Order of the United States Bankruptcy Court. The court does not accept personal checks. At the time of publication, the filing fee for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is $299, and it’s $274 for Chapter 13. If you are filing for Chapter 13, you must pay the entire fee in one lump sum. However, if you are filing for Chapter 7, the court may waive the fee or allow you to make installment payments if your income is less than 150 percent of the federal poverty line. You must complete a Fee Installments and Fee Waiver Application.
In most cases involving personal debt, you will file for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Chapter 7 allows you to eliminate all eligible debt if you qualify, and Chapter 13 allows you to repay creditors over time in a court-approved payment plan.
People in business or individuals can also seek relief in Chapter 11, the chapter of the Bankruptcy Code providing (generally) for reorganization, usually involving a corporation or partnership. A Chapter 11 debtor usually proposes a plan of reorganization to keep its business alive and pay creditors over time.
In order to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must participate in a Credit Counselling Course provided through an agency approved by the U.S. Trustee in California within the six month period prior to filing. You’ll also have to take a debtor education course before you can get a bankruptcy discharge.
The Chapter 7 Bankruptcy allows you to eliminate most unsecured debts in a matter of months in return for giving up all “non-exempt” property — if you have any.
Most people who file for Chapter 7, have no available non-exempt property or equity. Whatever they still own by the time they file is either protected by exemption laws, or pledged to a secured creditor as collateral for a debt, and hence not available to pay off unsecured creditors.
These are known as “no asset” bankruptcies, and most Chapter 7s are of this type.
A Chapter 7 is quick (a few months), and quite complete when it comes to removing unsecured debt like credit card and medical debts. You may want to save it for when you really need it–you can use Chapter 7 bankruptcy only once every seven years.
The Chapter 11 Bankruptcy is one designed for businesses and high net assets cases. Well known examples of Chapter 11 bankruptcies are United Airlines and, more recently, Circuit City.
The goal of a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy is to help the debtor “reorganize” their debt to keep the business operational or to keep the personal assets intact. The Chapter 11 Bankruptcy is not a guarantee of success but an opportunity to try. For example, United Airlines emerged a leaner and profitable (relatively speaking) company. However, Circuit City announced that it would liquidate and close its stores.
An individual Chapter 11 Bankruptcy usually falls into two categories. An individual who has just enough assets to disqualify them from a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy to a regular Chapter 11 filing. A “mini” Chapter 11 bankruptcy is best described as a Debtor who owns an asset (usually a house) that exceeds the Chapter 13 secured debt limit of $1,010,650.00 or the unsecured debt limit of $336,900.00. The high debt prevents a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy plan approval, so the debtor must file for a Chapter 11 even though their overall goal of a payment plan is similar to the Chapter 13.
The Chapter 13 Bankruptcy takes 3 to 5 years. Instead of giving up property, you repay a portion of your debts and live within a strict budget that is monitored closely by the bankruptcy court trustee. If you can’t make the required monthly payments, your Chapter 13 bankruptcy fails and your debts will remain (unless you convert to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy).
Chapter 13 is commonly used by people who are behind on secured debt payments (e.g., mortgages) and want to propose a Chapter 13 plan to catch up on these payments over time.
Most of your interactions (including the filing of your forms) can be done by mail. However, you will need to go to the courthouse, in person, at least once for a meeting with the bankruptcy trustee.
The city of Upland and all of San Bernardino County are in the jurisdiction of the :
California Central Bankruptcy Court Riverside
Central District of California
3420 Twelfth Street
Riverside, CA 92501-3819
Phone: +1 855 460-9641
No public parking is available in the Riverside Division Courthouse. There are two parking structures across the street from the Riverside Division.
9:00 am – 4:00 pm
9:00 am – 4:00 pm
9:00 am – 4:00 pm
9:00 am – 4:00 pm
9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Excluding Federal holidays
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0155-free-credit-reports
Federal Courts http://www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/Bankruptcy.aspx
Court Locator http://www.uscourts.gov/court_locator/CourtMapDetails.aspx?state=CA
Bankruptcy Basics http://www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/Bankruptcy/BankruptcyBasics.aspx
Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code http://www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/Bankruptcy/BankruptcyBasics/Chapter7.aspx
Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code http://www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/Bankruptcy/BankruptcyBasics/Chapter11.aspx
Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code http://www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/Bankruptcy/BankruptcyBasics/Chapter13.aspx
Credit Counselling http://www.justice.gov/ust/eo/bapcpa/ccde/cc_approved.htm
California Homeowner Bill of Rights http://oag.ca.gov/hbor
Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/programs/lower-rates/Pages/harp.aspx
Automatic stay http://www.uscourts.gov/FederalCourts/Bankruptcy/BankruptcyBasics/Glossary.aspx
Bankruptcy fraud http://www.justice.gov/usao/eousa/foia_reading_room/usam/title9/41mcrm.htm
Bankruptcy fraud investigations http://www.irs.gov/uac/Examples-of-Bankruptcy-Fraud-Investigations-Fiscal-Year-2012