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Is filing chap 7 BK yourself ok?


anicholson75
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Can anyone tell me about filing BK 7 myself? My husband and I need to file, but we cannot afford a BK attorney (it costs around $1000-1500, right?) I am a stay at home mom, and we only make enough to support our family and our mortgage. There is NO extra income to make payments to file a BK 13. Has anyone ever filed themselves, and if so, what advice would you offer?

Thanks everyone, you all are such a big help.

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Although you can file yourself it is not advisable under the new law. There are too many trip-ups you could make that would get your case tossed out and prevent you from filing again for another 3 years (I think that's the right time). Under the old law you oculd buy a kit at OfficeMax, fill out the forms, and file it yourself. It's just not that easy any more.

I really hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you are thinking that continuing payments on your house and filing chapter 7 for everything else will protect the house, you would be very mistaken. Under the new law a home is not as protected as it once was. And you still have to list the mortgage in the bankruptcy even if you keep making payments on it. "Ride through," as the used to call it, has been eliminated. Lenders can more easily get a release from the stay and continue foreclosure even while you are in bankruptcy.

All I can say is I hope the new Congress gets their head out of the sand and repeals that law as soon as possible.

The good news is that Texas has some of the most generous homestead exemptions around. Even if you were to stop making the mortgage payments in order to pay the attorney it is likely the exemption levels your state has would protect your home (or at least the deficiency from the missed payments).

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Sounds like we're just going to have to somehow come up with the money for an attorney, as I don't want to miss anything and get my case dismissed. Do attorneys take payment plans?

Even though I list my mortgage on the BK but will continue to make payments, if I'm not behind on any payments, the mortgage company could foreclose?? I guess I'm confused, since I am in Texas.

Filing BK 13: would this be different in terms of our home? Does BK 7 mean that ALL debts (mortgage included) would be gone and I'd have to give up our home? I'm confused.

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Filing BK 13: would this be different in terms of our home?

Yes, it would. Because in a Ch 13 you keep paying your secured creditors at 100%, and because you can add any amount in arrears to the plan, you get to keep your house - as long as you keep up the payments.

Does BK 7 mean that ALL debts (mortgage included) would be gone and I'd have to give up our home?

No. While you must include ALL debts, it's generally the UNsecured debts that are 100% discharged. Morgtages can be discharged, but it's trickier now, as Methuss mentioned. If you've been in your home more than 4-1/2 years, the homestead exemption is capped at 125K in equity. If you've had it longer than that, the homestead exemption in TX is unlimited. If you reaffirm secured debts, keep up your payments, you keep the house. If you have more than 125K in equity, then Ch 13 would be more likely to keep the house.

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