Written by the Upsolve Team.
Updated September 29, 2020
Are you slowly drowning in insurmountable debt? Do you avoid opening your mail? Do you ignore phone calls from unknown callers out of fear that it will be a bill collector? Whether you are finding it difficult to your manage credit card debt or repayments on a mortgage, filing bankruptcy in Jonesboro may be a solution for you. Seeking bankruptcy relief is a financial tool and your constitutional right when your finances have become unmanageable. The bankruptcy system offers many people a safe haven for pursuing a fresh start or a reorganization of their debt.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Jonesboro is the most common form of bankruptcy and can help you liquidate your non-exempt assets, so you can receive full forgiveness for your outstanding debts. Chapter 7 discharges most debts. These debts are mostly unsecured debtsand might have been accrued through medical bills, credit card debt, personal loans, or payday advances. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the best option for you if you’re a wage earner, you have assetsand your home equityis not protected in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This kind of debt relief is not for everyone since it requires you to stick to a strict budget for 3 - 5 years. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Jonesboro is the quickest and easiest way to legally wipe out your debt and give you the peace of mind. People filing bankruptcy in Jonesboro have to decide whether to file for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Assess your situation to determine which chapter is right for you.
There are a number of rumors and misconceptions about bankruptcy that deter folks from considering filing for bankruptcy protection. These myths don’t hold up when you look closely. Contrary to popular belief, Jonesboro bankruptcy isn’t reserved for unscrupulous people who can’t control their spending urges. Sometimes, even the most conscientious penny-pinchers may fall on hard times. So, bankruptcy is for anyone with insurmountable debt. Many people believe that they can only file Jonesboro bankruptcy once. While the length of time required between bankruptcy petitions will vary depending on the Chapter of bankruptcy you filed in the past and the chapter you intend to file in the future, you can file for bankruptcy on your own or withfree legal help if eligible.
Jonesboro Bankruptcy Lawyers - Estimated Cost
A person considering filing bankruptcy in Jonesboro often has little reserve savings to hire a bankruptcy attorney. The cost of filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case varies from one attorney to another. The typical cost of a bankruptcy lawyer in Jonesboro ranges from $595 to $1,500. Most attorneys in Arkansas have a free consultation, and this can be very useful, as you can educate yourself about the bankruptcy system. You can, however, file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Jonesboro on your own as it is not mandatory to hire a lawyer. This will help you save money for your filing fee.
How to File Bankruptcy in Jonesboro, Arkansas for Free
“Can I file bankruptcy for free?” This is a very common question that people in Jonesboro have. If you want to know how to file bankruptcy in Jonesboro for free, you have come to the right place. If you are overwhelmed with debt and can’t hire a lawyer, this City Guide will give you an overview of the Jonesboro bankruptcy process so that you can get out of debt soon.
Collect Your Jonesboro Bankruptcy Documents
Before filing bankruptcy in Jonesboro, you should first know what you need in order to properly begin the bankruptcy process. Before you do anything else, it is recommended that you collect information and documents that will be helpful in your completing the bankruptcy forms. Filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Jonesboro can be a complex process because you need so many details. Documentation of your current income sources, your monthly living expenses, all financial transactions for the past two years, and secured and unsecured debts, will be needed to evaluate your financial situation: The documents are easy to locate. Of course, you should also obtain a copy of your credit report.
Take Credit Counseling
Before filing bankruptcy in Jonesboro, you must receive credit counseling from an approved counseling agency. You should complete the course in the 180 days before your Arkansas bankruptcy case is filed. It will just take you one or two hours to complete the class. The credit counseling agency will review your possible options in credit counseling and help you review your budget. Many agencies in Arkansas provide counseling by telephone, in-person, or over the internet. If you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Jonesboro, you must have a completion certificate from the agency, showing that you received the credit counseling before your Arkansas bankruptcy case was filed. Debt Relief Arkansas is an approved creditor counselor in Arkansas.
Complete the Bankruptcy Forms
The bankruptcy forms are the documents that you file with the Court in order to start your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Jonesboro. How you present all your financial information on your Jonesboro bankruptcy forms can be crucial, both in terms of completeness and accuracy and also perception. You should explain things in your “paperwork” so that the judge and Trusteein your bankruptcy case understand them and see no problems. If you hire a lawyer, then their office will put together all the completed Jonesboro bankruptcy forms for your review and signature. Don’t make mistakes when filing bankruptcy in Jonesboro as it can cause you a lot of headaches later on.
Get Your Filing Fee
Court fees will vary depending on the Chapter of the US Bankruptcy Code you’re filing under. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Jonesboro requires a $335 filing fee. If you can’t pay the entire filing fee upon filing your Arkansas bankruptcy case, you must get the Court’s permission to pay your fee in installments. Regardless of which bankruptcy chapter you are filing under, you must pay the fee in no more than four installments. Pay the installments on time, or your case may get dismissed. If you earn less than 150% of the federal poverty guidelines, you may ask the Bankruptcy Court to waive your filing fee.
Print Your Bankruptcy Forms
When filing bankruptcy in Jonesboro without a bankruptcy attorney, you have to bring all your documents to the Court in hard copy format. You should print a checklist like this one to keep track of all the bankruptcy forms you need for a Chapter 7 case. It is important to print two complete sets of all your Jonesboro bankruptcy forms, so you have a copy of what you gave to the Arkansas Bankruptcy Court for your files. Go to a print shop in Jonesboro to make a copy of the bankruptcy packet for you to keep if you completed your bankruptcy forms by hand.
Go to Court to File Your Forms
The last - official - step on how to file Jonesboro bankruptcy is to bring the bankruptcy forms, your credit counseling certificate and your filing fee (or application for a waiver) to the Arkansas Bankruptcy Court. The automatic stay will go into effect when you file your Jonesboro bankruptcy paperwork. The clerk's office will handle this process. The staff will handle the administrative back end while functioning as the primary point of contact for people filing bankruptcy in Jonesboro without an attorney. After the clerk processes your forms, you will be assigned a bankruptcy case number.
Mail Documents to Your Trustee
A bankruptcy Trusteeis assigned to your Chapter 7 case randomly based on the division handling your Jonesboro bankruptcy case. Your Trustee will review your Arkansas bankruptcy petition, statements, and schedules. You have to disclose your income, assets, debts, and financial transactions within these documents. The Chapter 7 Trustee's job is to review your documents for accuracy, completeness, and fraud. The Trustee is charged with challenging a creditor claim if necessary and can object to the entry of a dischargeif necessary. When bankruptcy filers fail to, or stop cooperating with the Trustee in the administration of the case, Trustee’s can even ask the Court to revoke a discharge that’s already been entered. Remember that your bankruptcy Trustee is unbiased, so they are neither for you nor against you. They want the bankruptcy case to run quickly and smoothly, just like you do.
Take Bankruptcy Course 2
After you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Jonesboro, you will have to take a debtor education course so that your debts can be discharged. You should take the course within sixty days after the first date set for the 341 meeting to complete your debtor education course and then file the completion certificate with the Arkansas Bankruptcy Court. You have the option of taking this course on the phone, in person or over the internet. Some providers offer this course in different languages, like Spanish, as well. There are many approved debtor education providers in Arkansas.
Attend Your 341 Meeting
The Bankruptcy Code requires you to personally attend a Meeting of Creditors, also known as the 341 meeting, shortly after your Arkansas bankruptcy filing. The Trustee assigned to your Jonesboro bankruptcy case will conduct the hearing. In most cases, the hearing of creditors is over in ten minutes or even less. The meeting of creditors will take place in the bankruptcy Trustee’s meeting room, not a courtroom. It is uncommon for creditors to attend this meeting. A judge will not be present. When you arrive at the 341 meeting, you’ll need to provide your proof of your Social Security number and photo ID before it begins.
Dealing with Your Car
Your vehicle is considered an asset in your Jonesboro bankruptcy case, and if it’s not yet paid off, it’s also a liability (debt).You have to deal with it in a way that best suits you. If you would like to keep your vehicle, you have a couple of options. The most common way people accomplish this is through signing a reaffirmation agreement with the creditor. This is great as it allows you to keep everything the same as it was before filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Jonesboro. You can also choose to surrender the car to get out from under the loan.
Arkansan Bankruptcy Means Test, Bankruptcy Forms, and Exemptions for Jonesboro
Arkansas Means Test
Under bankruptcy law, you’re only eligible to wipe out your debt with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Jonesboro if you make less than the median income for your household size in Arkansas; if you’re over the median, allowed expenses have to offset all of it. The Arkansas bankruptcy Means Test has two parts, and both are designed to see if you have any disposable income that you could put toward repaying your debt. The higher your disposable income, the less likely you are to get approved to file under a Chapter 7. When completing the Arkansas bankruptcy Means Test note that certain deductions are automatically given to all filers. These figures are pre-determined by Congress, irrespective of what your actual expenses for those items are.
Median Income Levels for Arkansas
Arkansas Median Income Standards for Means Test for Cases Filed On or After May 1, 2020
|Household Size||Monthly Income||Annual Income|
Poverty Levels for Arkansas
Arkansas Fee Waiver Eligibility for Cases Filed On or After May 1, 2020
Eligible for fee waiver when under 150% the poverty level.
|Household Size||State Poverty Level||Fee Waiver Limit (150% PL)|
Arkansas Bankruptcy Forms
Note that the Arkansas bankruptcy forms are made up only of the official national forms that people filing bankruptcy throughout the country are required to complete. The first Arkansas bankruptcy form you will have to file is a Voluntary Petition for bankruptcy. The Court has put together this in-depth listing of the filing requirements, which includes all required forms, for people thinking about filing for Jonesboro bankruptcy protection. All of the bankruptcy forms, like Schedule B – Personal Property, must be completed and included in your Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. Leaving a bankruptcy form blank makes it unclear whether the form was overlooked and information is missing, or the answer is simply “none” or “N/A.”
Items you are permitted to keep are called exempt assets. You will not lose all your property when filing bankruptcy in Jonesboro. Individuals in Jonesboro usually keep exempt property when they file a Chapter 7 case. Arkansas bankruptcy exemptions allow you to protect property that you will need to work and live. Arkansas bankruptcy exemptions are able to lower your bankruptcy risk when filing bankruptcy in Jonesboro. Arkansas law allows filers to use the federal bankruptcy exemptions or the Arkansas bankruptcy exemptions law when filing bankruptcy in Jonesboro. You can use either state or federal or exemptions in Arkansas. To keep most of your assets determine which exemptions are more suitable to your situation.