Your guide to a fresh start!
When you have more debt than you can possibly pay off, the bankruptcy system is there to help -- and with How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you'll find the clear and user-friendly information, advice and forms you need to get through the entire process.
If you're considering bankruptcy, the reliable, up-to-date information in How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy will help you successfully complete your bankruptcy claim without breaking the bank.
First, you'll find out how to determine whether you qualify for Chapter 7 -- and whether it's the best way to deal with your debts. Then you'll find out how to:
decide if bankruptcy is right for you
complete the official bankruptcy court forms
prepare for the meeting of creditors
cancel as much debt as possible
keep as much property as you can
deal with secured debts such as car loans
keep your home, if possible
rebuild credit afterward
This edition has been revised to reflect changes to state exemption laws, which determine what property you'd get to keep in bankruptcy, and the latest court decisions. You'll also get up-to-date legal forms, including the line-by-line instructions you need to fill them out. Easy-to-use charts make looking up your state's laws a snap.
Please note: This book does not cover business bankruptcies, farm reorganizations or individual repayment plans (Chapter 13). For Chapter 13 bankruptcy, see Nolo's Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Keep Your Property & Repay Debts Over Time.
Until his death in late 2011, Stephen R. Elias was a practicing attorney, active Nolo author, and president of the National Bankruptcy Law Project. He was an important part of Nolo for more than 30 years, and was the author or coauthor of many Nolo books, including Bankruptcy for Small Business Owners. Other titles include Special Needs Trusts: Protect Your Child's Financial Future, How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, and Legal Research: How to Find and Understand the Law. He was also one of the original authors of Nolo's bestselling WillMaker software. Steve held a law degree from Hastings College of Law and practiced law in California, New York, and Vermont before joining Nolo in 1980. He was featured in such major media as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Good Morning America, 20/20, Money Magazine, and more. The blog he began on bankruptcy and foreclosure law continues at Nolo's Bankruptcy & Foreclosure Blog.
After receiving his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1985, Albin Renauer worked for various public-interest law firms in the bay area and as a staff attorney for Chief Justice Rose Bird of the California Supreme Court. He spent 17 years as an editor at Nolo, where he helped create numerous books and software programs, including the bestselling WillMaker. He also edited Law on the Net, the first online directory of legal resources and was the architect of Nolos Webby Award winning website during the dot-com boom. Currently, Albin is an independent web and database developer and Webby Award judge. His latest project is LegalConsumer.com, an online companion to his How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy designed to help debtors file for bankruptcy.
Baran Bulkat, contributing updater for the 18th edition, is a consumer bankruptcy attorney practicing in Southern California. He has authored numerous bankruptcy articles on Nolo.com as well as other bankruptcy sites in the Nolo Network. He received his undergraduate degree from Georgia Tech and his law degree from California Western School of Law. Baran has been practicing bankruptcy law exclusively since graduating from law school.
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