Although the decision to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a big one, many individuals do not realize just how much work goes into the actual filing. There are quite literally dozens of pages that have to be filed after the initial petition. Regardless of how simple or complex your Chapter 7 bankruptcy is, it requires an abundance of paperwork.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy begins with filing a petition. Although a bankruptcy begins with the initial petition, within a short period of time from that filing, debtors must also file many additional documents. These documents are known as schedules, and while they take up a good portion of the documentation required by the bankruptcy court, they are not all that is required.
A schedule of income and expenditures, assets and liabilities, and executory contracts and unexpired leases must be filed shortly after the initial bankruptcy petition. Along with these schedules, a debtor must file a statement of financial affairs and a copy of their tax returns. Generally speaking, debtors must also provide the bankruptcy court with a creditor matrix, a declaration about the schedules, and occasionally a means test.
While each bankruptcy case is different, complex Chapter 7 bankruptcies can require dozens of forms to be filled out by the debtor or their attorney. Even though it is possible to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy without the help of an attorney, it is such a highly complex process that without a thorough understanding of bankruptcy law, numerous mistakes can be made.
With so many forms, schedules and statements to be filled out, bankruptcyfilers may find the process much easier with the help of an experienced bankruptcy attorney. With their comprehensive knowledge and thorough understanding, the required forms can be more accurately completed, which may lead to a quicker process and seamless discharge.