Written by the Upsolve Team.
Updated September 29, 2020
Every day, hard working people in Brownville do their best to make ends meet. However, when financial hardships strike — whether because of a demotion, job loss, illness, or divorce, it can be a devastating blow to your welfare. Moreover, it can be suffocating and nerve-wracking to deal with the crushing burden of mounting debt. With non-stop calls from your creditors and mounting bills, it can seem as if everything is quickly spinning out of control. Living in constant uncertainty and fear that the worst is still to come is no way to live. This is why many people file for Maine bankruptcy to get out of debt. After filing bankruptcy in Brownville, you can start again. No more creditor calls and collection letters, and no more lawsuits! Your world will feel a bit brighter and filled with endless possibilities.
There are two common types of bankruptcies in Maine. You can file Maine bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Chapter 7 is a type of personal bankruptcy that has helped slash the debt of millions of Americans. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Brownville generally allows you to discharge all or part of your debts in a legal manner. With only a few exceptions, you will not need to pay off obligations discharged in your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Maine. Brownville bankruptcy seldom results in the loss of an essential vehicle or a home. There is another option for people considering filing bankruptcy in Brownville; it is called a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. To file Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Maine, you need to have sufficient income to make timely monthly payments as per your debt reorganization plan. Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows for some mortgage restructuring as well, usually eliminating your second mortgage on a home under Court supervision. Before you file your Brownville bankruptcy, determine whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 suits you best.
Filing bankruptcy in Brownville is an important step toward regaining control of your finances, but for many folks contemplating this big decision, negative myths can delay the process. Many people in Maine think that they will not be able to buy a car or house for ten years. Many people have been able to purchase cars and homes after their Maine bankruptcy. While the Brownville bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for ten years, the effects of the bankruptcy become less severe as time passes. Also, despite what many people believe, you don’t need an attorney to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Brownville as you can get free legal help.
Brownville Bankruptcy Lawyers - Estimated Cost
How much does it cost to file Maine bankruptcy? Unfortunately, there is no one answer. While the cost of filing your Brownville bankruptcy petition is fixed, what you will pay a bankruptcy attorney can vary considerably, depending on the complexity of your case and who you hire. The typical cost of a bankruptcy lawyer for Chapter 7 bankruptcy ranges from $1,200 to $1,500. If that number is too high, you don’t have to worry as you can file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Brownville on your own by following our instructions. Many people in Maine file ‘pro se’ and get the debt relief they need.
How to File Bankruptcy in Brownville, Maine for Free
Are you wondering how to file bankruptcy in Brownville for free? A ‘pro se’ filing makes a lot of sense if you have a relatively simple Maine bankruptcy case without a lot of assets or court-ordered obligations, like child support. This City Guide will give you an overview of the Brownville bankruptcy process to help you get out of debt.
Collect Your Brownville Bankruptcy Documents
To be as thorough and meticulous as possible in your mandatory bankruptcy disclosures required to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Brownville, you should begin the Maine bankruptcy process by collecting specific documents that have the vital information you will need. The most important forms you will have to prepare for your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Brownville will require information about your income. Your pay stubs and past years’ income tax returns will come in handy here. You will also have to list in your Maine bankruptcy paperwork the details of everyone that you owe. So, if you don’t know the names of all your creditors or the amounts owed, it’s better to obtain a copy of your credit report for free from AnnualCreditReport.com.
Take Credit Counseling
You have to participate and complete a credit counseling course before you can file for Brownville bankruptcy. If you do not go through this mandatory pre-filing counseling before filing bankruptcy in Brownville, your case will be thrown out. The credit course itself is nothing to stress over. This credit counseling course can be administered by any organization that has the license to provide the course. It is a short course and will walk you through your financial situation and provide you with budgeting tips and ideas of how to deal with your debt. When you finish your pre-filing session, you will get a certificate of completion that you have to file with the Maine Bankruptcy Court.
Complete the Bankruptcy Forms
Completing the bankruptcy forms you will need to file your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Brownville is one of the most important steps of this process. Fortunately, these forms are available for free online. If you’re filing bankruptcy in Brownville with an attorney, you won’t have to do much work as they will complete the forms for you after getting the necessary information. If you are filling out all of the bankruptcy forms on your own, you should have a copy of this helpful instruction manual nearby. There are several different bankruptcy forms, which include your Voluntary Petition and your Statement of Financial Affairs.
Get Your Filing Fee
Some people filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Brownville have their $335 filing fee waived because the Maine Bankruptcy Court finds that they’re eligible to have their Court fee waived based on the information present in their application for a filing fee waiver. Only people who earn less than 150 % of the federal poverty guidelines can apply for a filing fee waiver. You can also pay your fee in installments. However, keep in mind that if you’re paying your fee in installments, and your Brownville bankruptcy case is dismissed after you’ve made some of the payments, you’ll not be entitled to any refund.
Print Your Bankruptcy Forms
Now you will have to print out all the required Brownville bankruptcy forms. If it has been more than a few weeks since you filled out your bankruptcy forms when you’re ready to print all documents and bring them to the Maine Bankruptcy Court, take some time to briefly review these forms one more time. This is because you may need to update any time-sensitive information that might have changed since you last worked on your forms. Please make sure you print these bankruptcy forms one-sided on standard-sized paper. If you’re working with a bankruptcy attorney, you will not have to worry about this step because they’ll file your bankruptcy case online.
Go to Court to File Your Forms
When you have completed all the above steps, it is time to go to the courthouse to file your Brownville bankruptcy forms. The clerk will stamp and process all your documents. All Brownville bankruptcy cases are heard by the Bangor location of the Maine Bankruptcy Court. Also, be mindful of the working hours, particularly if there’s a federal holiday. If traveling to the Maine Bankruptcy Court to personally hand in the bankruptcy forms isn’t possible, you may also file your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Brownville by mailing everything to the Bankruptcy Court.
Mail Documents to Your Trustee
The main role of a Maine bankruptcy Trustee is to support the Bankruptcy Court and ensure that you unsecured creditors get a fair shake. You’ll meet your Brownville bankruptcy Trustee at your creditors’ meeting. According to The US Department of Justice, bankruptcy Trustees are used for making sure that all the tasks associated with Maine bankruptcy are completed accurately and as swiftly as possible. They are empowered to handle your nonexempt property and sell it for the benefit of your creditors. Many people filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Brownville make the mistake of assuming that their bankruptcy Trustee is a legal ally. However, this is not true as a bankruptcy Trustee is a neutral person.
Take Bankruptcy Course 2
Pre-discharge counseling, also known as debtor education, is one of the last steps you have to take before the Maine Bankruptcy Court finalizes your bankruptcy case and discharges your debts. This course offers valuable financial education designed to help you manage your financial situation in the future, so you don’t have to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Brownville again. There are many approved debtor education providers in Maine. You have to take the course after your Brownville bankruptcy has been filed but before you get your discharge. In this course, you will review topics like managing a budget, understanding your credit scores, and avoiding financial risk.
Attend Your 341 Meeting
TheMeeting of Creditors, or 341 meeting, is the informal “hearing” where your Maine bankruptcy Trustee, and your creditors, are permitted to ask you questions about the Brownville bankruptcy you filed. At this 341 meeting, your Brownville bankruptcy Trustee will also check your proof of your social security number and picture ID. This brief sit-down often takes place about thirty to forty-five days after your Maine bankruptcy has been filed. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Brownville, this meeting of creditors will likely be your only contact with your Bankruptcy Court. However, it’s not held in a courtroom, and no judge is present. In short, this is not Perry Mason.
Dealing with Your Car
The family car is usually the most used and expensive asset that folks filing Maine bankruptcy have. Filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Brownville is an excellent way to get rid of an auto loan with a balance that’s considerably higher than what your car is worth.Surrendering your car, along with filing bankruptcy in Brownville, allow you to walk away from the loan without concerning yourself with how much your car will fetch at auction. In contrast, if you own the vehicle free and clear, as long as your car’s full value (equity) is covered by any of the available bankruptcy exemptions in Maine, you get to keep the car.
Maine Bankruptcy Means Test, Bankruptcy Forms, and Exemptions for Brownville
Maine Means Test
Have you been informed that you can’t file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Brownville because you don’t meet the eligibility requirements in Maine, known as the Maine bankruptcy Means Test? Don’t worry as you can get a second opinion. The Means Test was included in the US Bankruptcy Code in order to create objective standards to determine which individuals are “worthy” of Maine bankruptcy relief in Chapter 7. You will qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Maine if your household income (adjusted for family size) is lower than the Maine statewide median. If you don’t qualify for Brownville bankruptcy under Chapter 7 you can file under Chapter 13.
Median Income Levels for Maine
Maine Median Income Standards for Means Test for Cases Filed On or After May 1, 2020
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Poverty Levels for Maine
Maine Fee Waiver Eligibility for Cases Filed On or After May 1, 2020
Eligible for fee waiver when under 150% the poverty level.
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Maine Bankruptcy Forms
Filing your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Brownville involves completing a mix of federal and local bankruptcy forms. The federal bankruptcy forms often make up the bulk of your Maine bankruptcy paperwork which will be the same in all bankruptcy cases across the US. The local Maine bankruptcy forms are also necessary, so you should complete everything before going to the courthouse. Also, the Bankruptcy Court has put together a useful guide for people planning to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Brownville without a lawyer. When you first file your Brownville bankruptcy case, you will have to file this certification along with all of the national forms.
One of the most important things you should know about Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Maine is that you are granted some exemptions on your property. In Maine bankruptcy cases, filers can protect their property or assets from the reach of the Brownville bankruptcy Trustee and creditors. To protect your property, you have to claim the property as exempt. Maine bankruptcy exemptions allow you to protect certain items of property when you decide to discharge your debt under Chapter 7. This is a great benefit of filing bankruptcy in Brownville.