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How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Paperback – 1 Nov 2008

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 542 pages
  • Publisher: NOLO; 15 edition (Nov. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141330897X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1413308976
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 3.8 x 27.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Product Description


Thoroughly revised to incorporate the new Bankruptcy Reform Act, a definitive guide to the bankruptcy process offers helpful step-by-step directions, tear-out forms, and advice on such topics as debt, property liability, asset protection, and rebuilding credit. Original. IP. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
When I first saw this book, I felt overwhelmed with the size, until I saw a special chart at the beginning of the book with 34 most commonly asked questions, and directions to the specific chapters that address each question. For example, if you need help finding a bankruptcy lawyer, the charts tells you to go to Chapter 10. Maybe you just want to know if you would qualify to avoid wasting any time -- go to Chapter 1. The chart comes in handy if you prefer to have your questions answered ASAP, and then read the other details later.

Not only does this book have the legal forms you will need, but it also has several worksheets that will help you get organized, such as a personal property checklist and a homeowner's worksheet. In the back there is an appendix that lists all the state and federal exemptions that may apply to your situation. If you are unsure about any of the wording, there is an in-depth glossary included.

There are even little "extras." For instance, a sample letter telling collection agencies to stop contacting you, as well as a sample notice to creditor of filing for bankruptcy.

The only downside to this guide is that you can't tear out the pages with the forms, so photocopying what you need might be a little difficult.

I think anyone considering filing for bankruptcy should read through this book, not only to decide if you can do it on your own, but also to help find a reliable lawyer, if you decide to use one after all. At least you will know what to expect in the attorney's office, and you will be able to make more educated decisions.

Another alternative to Chapter 7 bankruptcy is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Keep Your Property & Repay Debts Over Time.
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Format: Paperback
Chapter 7 of the Title 11 of the United States Code is related to liquidation, and Chapter 11 governs the process of reorganization of a debtor in bankruptcy. An individual as well as a business could use this law to file for bankruptcy. Individuals can also file Chapter 11 bankruptcies if the individual's debt load is too high for a Chapter 13 and technically do not qualify for a Chapter 7. The features of Chapter 7 bankruptcy are that the individual is allowed to keep certain exempt property, but liens such as mortgages and security interests on car loans survive. The value of property claimed as exempt varies from state to state, but other assets are sold by the court appointed trustee to repay creditors. Many unsecured debt are legally discharged but child support, federal income taxes, property taxes, student loans, fines imposed by a court for any crimes committed by the debtor, and spousal support are not covered by the bankruptcy, however all debts and assets must be listed during the filing process. Bankruptcy discharge stays on the individual's credit report for up to 10 years or even longer in this age of heavy credit info sharing. Credit cards are available after bankruptcy but with less favorable terms. In October 2005, Congress passed a law called Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) to force bankruptcy filers to payback part of the money owed to creditors. Changing personal and social circumstances of individuals have led the judges to interpret the law differently; therefore the meaning of the law in some specific case may be uncertain, hence the reader may find the up-to-date information on Nolo's website under "update" tab.

This book is described in 10 chapters and appendices.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x952cd360) out of 5 stars 136 reviews
265 of 277 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x94ed12dc) out of 5 stars Excellent and accurate resource 21 Sept. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book has been my light at the end of the tunnel. It took me approximately 4 wks. to research the book and understand it so I didn't make any mistakes in filing inaccurate information but once I did the paperwork (all through the mail) it only took 1 wk. before the creditors meeting was set for 3 wks. later and the entire chapter 7 should be done within about 3 months. I was the only one present at my meeting without an attorney but my meeting as well as the 15 people before me only took 5 minutes each in front of the trustee. None of the creditors in any of the cases showed up except Sears in other cases but they just noted the information for their records. This is possible to do by yourself and for approximately $175.00 administrative and filing fees. No other costs have been incurred and I am on my way to a new start. Thank you so much!
65 of 66 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x952204bc) out of 5 stars This book saved me attorney's fees! Worth its weight in gold 17 Sept. 2004
By Kathleen - Published on
Format: Paperback
I can't say enough wonderful things about this book!

6 months ago I was contemplating bankruptcy. I searched for a book to help me and decided to buy this one. Honestly, I figured I'd read it, be more confused than ever and have to hire an attorney.

That's NOT what happened. I took a weekend and studied every page of this book and took notes. I filled out and filed my bankruptcy petition on my own. Today, I attended my creditor's meeting. Now, in just 2 months, I'll receive my discharge. All WITHOUT a lawyer!

Filing bankruptcy without a lawyer is more time consuming, but the money saved is worth it. Just take your time and study this book and you'll be fine.

Thank you, Nolo. Buying this book was the best thing I've done this year.
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x94ec3108) out of 5 stars Easy to Follow Big Money Saver 25 Aug. 2004
By D. Short - Published on
Format: Paperback
I recently filed for bankruptcy using the book How to File a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. It told me where to file, what schedules to file, how to fill them out,what fees I would have to pay. By doing this, I saved myself over a $1000 that a lawyer quoted me if he were going to do it for me. Though meticulous and a bit detailed,the book is not hard to read. So, if you too want to file your bankruptcy yourself and save yourself a $1000, buy this book! I filed, paid my fees, attended the 5 minute bankruptcy hearing myself--all without any problem. It was a breeze!


15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9663c4c0) out of 5 stars Excellent information for the novice or non-legal experienced 11 Dec. 2008
By Colorgirl - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Having never gone through bankruptcy, I was interested to learn about it as I have a few friends who are facing this situation. This review is from a lay person's perspective.

HOW TO FILE FOR CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY is a large workbook sized book of 542 pages. Within these pages are not only well laid out explanations of all of the intricate ins and outs of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, but lots of hints and tips put in key places throughout the book, as if a teacher were sitting next to you anticipating your questions or things that you might or might not think about while you embark on this complicated journey.

Here is the chapter breakdown

This section explains and overview of bankruptcy in America, who can file, what is involved, does it make sense, and alternatives.

This chapter talks about actions prohibited by the stay, when the stay does not apply and evictions.

Property in your bankruptcy estate, what is and is not in your bankruptcy estate and what you can keep. Also it covers selling nonexempt property before you file.

How bankruptcy affects a typical homeowner, what if you are behind on mortgage payments, will you lose your home? and ways to prevent home loss.

What they are, how Chapter 7 affects secured debts, choosing the best options on ways to deal with secured debt and step by step instructions.

Gathering necessary documents, getting info from the court, married filers information, required forms and documents, Forms 1,6,7,8,21,22A,201, mailing matrix, how to file your papers, and what happens after you file

Routine bankruptcy procedures, amending your bankruptcy papers, filing change of address, and special problems

Newly acquired or discovered property, newly discovered creditors, post-bankruptcy attempts to collect debts, attempts to collect clearly discharged debts, attempts to revoke your discharge, postbankruptcy discrimination, rebuilding credit.

Debts that will be discharged and disputes over dischargeability

Debt relief agencies, bankruptcy petition preparers, bankruptcy lawyers and legal research.

A State & Federal Exemption charts
Residency requirements for claiming state exemptions
New exemptions for retirement accounts
Individual state and federal exemption charts

B Worksheets and Charts
C Tear Out Forms

I have taken the time to list out what is in this book because I feel that if you are not sure if this book will work for you or not, it helps to know a general feel for what is covered in the book.

I find this book to be well laid out, easy to read and very comprehensive. There is a lot of encouragement and careful outlining and illustration in the book to help understand what specifically is expected in every area of Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

I was pleasantly surprised at how interesting this book made bankruptcy to read about, as it is a topic that has the potential to be very intense and bog down the average reader.

This book also lays out many pointers that I found interesting and useful on how to AVOID this type of situation if you are not there yet, and other things to look into before things get that bad.

For instance, one tip I found interesting is that you are required in most cases to attend a debt relief counseling session, but you are not required to do what they tell you to do. You just need proof that you went.

Anyway, this book seems like an excellent companion to anyone going through or looking to avoid Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It makes the process seem a lot less scary and overwhelming. Although I am not a lawyer so I do not know if there are any serious holes in this book, I did find it to be very helpful nonetheless.

I really enjoyed reading through this book.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x94ec34f8) out of 5 stars An excellent guide to the "nuclear" option 18 Dec. 2008
By Richard Aubin - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a review for the 2009 (15th) edition of the book. It is an excellent, comprehensive guide for non-lawyers - well organized and written for the lay person, but not dumbed down either. That's really a hard row to hoe in the law - make it easy to read, but also give people enough information to effectively assess many of the situations they would come up against. This is not a "skim it and file it" book. This is a serious, read-this-in-detail book with a pile of stickies next to you to tab the pages for future reference.

The authors are careful to point out situations that call for the assistance of a lawyer, but provide enough information to deal with many of the issues that might arise in a bankruptcy and include critical tips such as reading the court's local rules. There is a comprehensive index and glossary which are a lifesaver when you are going through the process.

There is also a wealth of forms and charts with updated information. It would be nice if the forms were available via an included cd - although the authors do provide a link to where you can find them online. Perhaps my -only- gripe is that you need to know up front if you can file a Chapter 7 proceeding, because if you can't do a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you need to buy another book (and, presumably, cash on hand is something of an issue if you are thinking about buying this book). Perhaps a smaller, cheaper companion guide would be in order to help you determine which book you need.

Finally, I would recommend this book even if you plan on hiring a lawyer for your bankruptcy. Its comprehensive information and easy to read nature will make it easier to follow along in the process and understand what is happening and what you need to do on your end and what you should be getting from your lawyer. Indeed, I would recommend this book to lawyers as a guide for explaining the process to your clients in a straightforward manner.
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