Filing Bankruptcy in Gaithersburg, Maryland

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Written by the Upsolve Team.  
Updated October 1, 2020


Is the stress of increasing financial obligations that you can’t honor along with your income shortages causing you concern about the immediate needs of your family? Are you worried you may end up losing your house or your vehicle? There is a solution. Filing bankruptcy in Gaithersburg is a powerful and useful tool that can help you eliminate or reorganize your debt and give you the peace of mind you need. Gaithersburg bankruptcy can stop creditor harassment, lawsuits, garnishment, and foreclosure as well. So, if your family is going through difficult financial times, it is advisable to consider filing bankruptcy in Gaithersburg. People in Gaithersburg consider bankruptcy for a variety of reasons, like poverty and divorce.

By filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Gaithersburg, you can enjoy a fresh start and address your financial issues. Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Gaithersburg is a legal process that’s designed to wipe out your credit card debt, high medical bills, and other kinds of unsecured debts that you’re not able to repay. On the other hand, filing Chapter 13 allows people with regular income to adjust their debts using a repayment plan. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy have many differences. For the purposes of filing, the most important difference involves the types of debts you have and the assets or property that you would like to keep. If you are filing bankruptcy in Gaithersburg, you have to decide whether to file for protection under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. By filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Gaithersburg, you have about three to five months for discharge and can sell your non-exempt property in order to pay back your creditors and get rid of your debt faster. 

People in Gaithersburg have several myths and misconceptions when filing bankruptcy in Gaithersburg, which need to be debunked. One of the common myths in bankruptcy cases is that many people believe that they will ruin their credit after filing bankruptcy in Gaithersburg. This is not true as your credit is likely already pretty bad and filing bankruptcy will help improve your credit by flipping the debt-to-income ratio back in your favor. Also, people in Maryland think that they need a lot of money to pay a bankruptcy attorney to find out about Gaithersburg bankruptcy protection. Actually, you can obtainfree legal help or file on your own!

Gaithersburg Bankruptcy Lawyers - Estimated Cost

The cost of a bankruptcy lawyer in Gaithersburg is between $899 and $3,500. The cost depends on how complicated your Gaithersburg bankruptcy case is and what type of bankruptcy you are filing. A lawyer can help you out with several things, like determine if it is possible to lower your interest rates through Chapter 13. However, you don’t need to hire a bankruptcy lawyer. You can file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Gaithersburg on your own if your bankruptcy case is simple, saving a lot of money. Hiring a lawyer is a good investment if your Gaithersburg bankruptcy case is complex as they will simplify the process and potentially save you more money than they cost you.

How to File Bankruptcy in Gaithersburg, Maryland for Free

Many people want to know how to file bankruptcy in Gaithersburg for free. If you are one of them, you have come to the right place. Filing bankruptcy in Gaithersburg is not too complicated if you are good at following directions. This City Guide is a useful resource and will give you an overview of the Gaithersburg bankruptcy process so that you can easily get out of debt as soon as possible.


Collect Your Gaithersburg Bankruptcy Documents

When filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Gaithersburg, your first step must be to collect all the documents you’ll need during the Gaithersburg bankruptcy process. Note that some documents, such as your paycheck stubs, recent bank statements, and collection letters you’ve received from your creditors, will be useful when filling out your forms. You will also need a recent copy of your credit report. The bankruptcy forms you’ll submit to the Court comprise your petition, schedules, and statements. They report information regarding your creditors, your sources of income, and your property. Try to be as careful and organized as possible when you’re collecting the documents for your Gaithersburg bankruptcy case.

Take Credit Counseling

Before you can file for Gaithersburg bankruptcy, you will have to take a brief credit counseling course that is approved for Maryland bankruptcy filers. Completing the credit course usually only takes a few hours or less.  Also, the good news is that most providers in Maryland offer it online and by phone. You will find the list of approved credit counseling services on the U.S. Trustee website for Maryland helpful when you are filing bankruptcy in Gaithersburg. One of the important documents that you’ll have to file along with your Gaithersburg bankruptcy petition, statements and schedules is the completion certificate that you will get at the end of this course. DebtorCC is an approved creditor counselor in the city.

Complete the Bankruptcy Forms

As filing bankruptcy in Gaithersburg involves filling many forms, this is a time-consuming step.

It is important that you carefully read and review all Gaithersburg bankruptcy forms to ensure you do not accidentally miss anything. It’s crucial to be diligent in completing your bankruptcy forms, as you’re signing all documents under penalty of perjury. To simplify matters, the federal judiciary has also released an in-depth instruction manual for the bankruptcy forms that you have to complete when filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Gaithersburg. In these forms, you will have to disclose the key details of your financial situation, such as your expenses, income, property, property transactions, and debt. Steer clear of common mistakes that a lot of people make when filing bankruptcy in Gaithersburg, such as not listing all creditors.

Get Your Filing Fee

You may wonder why someone who has to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Gaithersburg needs to pay a Court filing fee to do so. After all, you’re seeking the protection of the Bankruptcy Court because you do not have enough money in the first place. However, the fee for filing bankruptcy in Gaithersburg is $335, and you have to pay it if you’re not eligible for a fee waiver. If you do not have the money to pay your filing fee now, you have the option to complete a special form, which allows you to pay your filing fee in installments. You can also complete the necessary paperwork in order to obtain a fee waiver. 

The last step before you file your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Gaithersburg is to print all your Gaithersburg bankruptcy forms that you have to file with the Bankruptcy Court. You would like things to go as smoothly as possible when you’re at the courthouse; hence, it makes a lot of sense to be thorough and methodical and take all the time you need to put together your packet, paying due attention to the Court’s filing requirements. Note that only bankruptcy lawyers filing bankruptcy cases on behalf of their clients can file the case electronically. If you are filing bankruptcy in Gaithersburg without a lawyer, you have to submit the documents to the Court in paper. Print all documents on standard-sized paper in black and white.

Go to Court to File Your Forms

It is now time to bring your Gaithersburg bankruptcy forms and your Course 1 certificate to the Bankruptcy Court to file them. As filing bankruptcy in Gaithersburg is stressful enough, before going to the Court make sure that you know in advance where to go, when the clerk's office in the city is open to the public and where to park. You can go to the Edward A. Garmatz Federal Building and United States Courthouse if you are filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Gaithersburg. Make sure you bring a valid picture ID with you when you visit the courthouse.  

Mail Documents to Your Trustee

After you’re done filing bankruptcy in Gaithersburg, a bankruptcy Trustee will be appointed by the Court to handle your case. Your bankruptcy Trustee will be your main point of contact during your Gaithersburg bankruptcy, particularly if you’re filing bankruptcy without an attorney. Pay attention to the mail that you get from your Trustee after filing bankruptcy in Gaithersburg. Your Trustee will review your bankruptcy petition and documents submitted to determine if you are eligible for relief under the Chapter you have filed. Also, the local rules require that you mail all of the paycheck stubs that you’ve received in the sixty days before filing your bankruptcy case to the Trustee, rather than filing them with the Bankruptcy Court, so remember to do that after filing bankruptcy in Gaithersburg.

Take Bankruptcy Course 2

This is the second course that you will have to take when filing bankruptcy in Gaithersburg. This debtor education course is designed to teach you how to budget and prudently use your money after filing bankruptcy. Anyone who wants to get a discharge of their debts must take this course. You can take the course from any of the approved debtor education providers on the U.S. Trustee’s website. You can complete the Course 2 online or by phone, and it takes at least two hours to complete. The fee for this debtor education course ranges from $10 to $50.

Attend Your 341 Meeting

Approximately 40 days after filing bankruptcy in Gaithersburg you will have to attend a 341 meeting of creditors. During the meeting of creditors, your Trustee will ask some questions regarding your Utah bankruptcy petition and your creditors may ask questions if they want. You will receive notice of the date, time, and location of your 341 meeting usually by mail within one week of the filing of your bankruptcy case. If all your papers were done correctly, then you should have no problem answering the questions raised at this meeting. Bring your picture ID and original social security card to make sure everything goes smoothly. Most meetings last just about five minutes. 

Dealing with Your Car

How to deal with their vehicle when filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Gaithersburg is one of the most crucial questions people usually have. A car is an important asset for a lot of people in Maryland. If your car is paid for, then it’s yours to keep provided you can claim an exemption for its full value on the Schedule C. If you’ve a car loan when filing bankruptcy in Gaithersburg, and a review of your budget indicates that you will not be able to afford the car, then you should surrender the vehicle. In this case, the remaining balance on the loan will be discharged.

Maryland Bankruptcy Means Test, Bankruptcy Forms, and Exemptions for Gaithersburg

Maryland Means Test

Everyone who intends to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Gaithersburg has to make sure they are eligible for it. The first step in the process is comparing your household income with the median household income of the same size in Maryland. In case your household income is higher than this limit, then the second part of the Maryland bankruptcy Means Test has to be completed for determining whether your income is sufficient to meet your reasonable living expenses. If your average income is more than the median income in Maryland, you will “fail” the Maryland Means Test calculation. The Means Test helps prevent bankruptcy fraud. 

Median Income Levels for Maryland

Maryland Median Income Standards for Means Test for Cases Filed On or After May 1, 2020
Household SizeMonthly IncomeAnnual Income
1$5,899.08$70,789.00
2$7,535.33$90,424.00
3$8,856.83$106,282.00
4$10,689.33$128,272.00
5$11,439.33$137,272.00
6$12,189.33$146,272.00
7$12,939.33$155,272.00
8$13,689.33$164,272.00
9$14,439.33$173,272.00
10$15,189.33$182,272.00

Poverty Levels for Maryland

Maryland Fee Waiver Eligibility for Cases Filed On or After May 1, 2020

Eligible for fee waiver when under 150% the poverty level.

Household SizeState Poverty LevelFee Waiver Limit (150% PL)
1$1,063.33$1,595.00
2$1,436.67$2,155.00
3$1,810.00$2,715.00
4$2,183.33$3,275.00
5$2,556.67$3,835.00
6$2,930.00$4,395.00
7$3,303.33$4,955.00
8$3,676.67$5,515.00
9$4,050.00$6,075.00
10$4,423.33$6,635.00

Maryland Bankruptcy Forms

When filing bankruptcy in Gaithersburg, there’re about 23 federal forms that you will have to complete, not including the optional and local forms that you may need for your case. You will have to complete these Maryland bankruptcy forms when filing bankruptcy in Gaithersburg. All of the forms are available for free online. You should use this Maryland bankruptcy form to notify all other Courts of your pending bankruptcy case if you were sued before the case was filed. 

Maryland Exemptions

Maryland bankruptcy exemptions will protect your equityin certain property. Property or assets that are exempt can’t be used to pay debts. Therefore, you are permitted to keep all your exempt property when filing bankruptcy in Gaithersburg. Major Maryland bankruptcy exemptions available are a homestead and personal property exemptions. To keep your non-exempt property when filing Gaithersburg bankruptcy, you must generally pay your Trustee the value of that non-exempt property. Maryland has opted against allowing its residents to use the federal bankruptcy exemptions; hence, you can only use Maryland statutes that define and list the exemptions. Individuals keep exempt property when they file a Chapter 7 case.



Written By:

The Upsolve Team

Upsolve is fortunate to have a remarkable team of bankruptcy attorneys, as well as finance and consumer rights professionals, as contributing writers to help us keep our content up to date, informative, and helpful to everyone.

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