Written by Attorney Karra Kingston.
Updated July 27, 2020
Jackson, “The city with soul” was chosen by AAA Southern Traveler as the best city in Mississippi. The city has many unique historic buildings that bring many people to the area to visit each year. Despite being such a great city, hundreds of individuals file bankruptcy each year. If you have been getting harassed by creditors and are looking for a fresh start, you have come to the right place. This guide will help you through the steps to complete filing bankruptcy in Jackson. If you have heard about a lot of negative consequences of filing for bankruptcy, you probably have been misinformed. Many people who use the bankruptcy process to get out of debt feel relieved after. With the tools of bankruptcy, you can get out of debt, oftentimes keep your property, rebuild your credit, and start over.
The most common bankruptcy for individuals Chapter 7. By filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Jackson, you can be debt-free in 4 to 6 months. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your debts are wiped out. If you don’t qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will need to seek assistance in filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In a Chapter 13, you pay a portion of your debts over a three- to five-year plan. Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 help you to get back on your feet.
Bankruptcy attorneys can get expensive. Luckily, there is free help to guide you through the process. Upsolve can help you file your Mississippi bankruptcy without any costs! See the guide below to help you start the process.
Jackson Bankruptcy Lawyers - Estimated Cost
Filing a Jackson bankruptcy can seem confusing for some. If you fall into this category, then you may look into hiring a lawyer to help you. A Jackson bankruptcy lawyer costs about $999-$1,2,00 to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The range varies depending on the complexity of your case. Lawyers will offer free consultations that you should attend. A lawyer should review your situation and be able to explain the process you will need to take to get out of debt. Make sure to bring a list of questions you want to ask the lawyer, so you don’t forget. Bring a notepad and write everything down so that you feel comfortable. If the cost of a bankruptcy lawyer is too high, you can file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Jackson by yourself.
How to File Bankruptcy in Jackson, Mississippi for Free
The steps below will help you manage your debt by guiding you through the bankruptcy process. Make sure to manage your time and go through all of the steps in full detail to that you can file your Jackson bankruptcy with no issues.
Collect Your Jackson Bankruptcy Documents
Being organized is the key to filing your Mississippi bankruptcy. You can start the process by gathering the documents now. You will need to find documents related to all of your finances. The court will use this to get an idea of your financial situation. To provide the court with this evidence you will need to gather all of your information about your income, debts, and assets. You will need a copy of your recent tax returns. If you need your tax returns, you can go online to the IRS and order a transcript. You should also have a copy of your credit report so that you know you are not missing any creditors. When you fill out your forms you will need to list your creditors’ names and addresses to ensure they are properly notified of your bankruptcy filing. Keep in mind that gathering all of your documents now will help you down the line when you have to complete all of your forms before filing bankruptcy in Jackson.
Take Credit Counseling
Before you can file your Jackson bankruptcy, you will need to take an approved credit counseling course. The bankruptcy course will go over different alternatives to bankruptcy. The course will review your income and expenses and give you some budgeting tips. Some bankruptcy courses even have you chat with someone at the end to ensure you understand the bankruptcy process. The court will not issue your Jackson bankruptcy discharge if you don’t complete the course in the 6 months before filing your case. Once the course is over you will get a certificate to file with the court as part of your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Jackson. You can take the credit counseling course by phone, online, or in-person.
Complete the Bankruptcy Forms
The forms are long and ask many questions. You will need to be prepared to go into detail about your income, debts, and assets. Upsolve can help you find which forms you need. We provide the forms you need for your Mississippi bankruptcy. In total, there are 24 forms that you will need to complete to make sure your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Jackson goes smoothly. The information that will be asked may be repetitive. Stay alert while filling out the forms so that you don’t make any mistakes. If you need to take a break, take one. You can always save your work and then go back to filling out the forms later. You don’t need a lawyer to fill out these forms. The forms may look intimidating at first glance. If you take your time and read the directions carefully you should be okay.
Get Your Filing Fee
The filing fee for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is $335. The court uses this fee to process all of your documents. The filing fee must be paid as soon as you file your case. This can be paid by cash, money order, or cashier's check. If you can’t afford to pay your Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing fee all at once, you can pay your fee in installments. If you are not working and can’t afford the $335 Chapter 7 filing fee at all, you can apply for a fee waiver. If none of these options are available to you, make sure to pay the filing fee. Otherwise, your Mississippi bankruptcy will get dismissed.
Print Your Bankruptcy Forms
Make sure to remember that all of your Jackson bankruptcy forms can only be printed one-sided. Otherwise, the court will reject them. If you have a printer at home, it is best to stock up on ink and paper because you should print two full sets of all of your forms which can end up being around 200 pages. If you don't have access to a home printer, you can print at your local library. The website will give you information about hours of operation so that you can print all of your forms easily. Make sure to bring money with you when you go.
Go to Court to File Your Forms
You will need to head down to the bankruptcy court in Jackson to file your forms to complete your Jackson bankruptcy. The Bankruptcy court is located at 501 East Court Street in Jackson. Some people prefer to mail their documents; however, submitting everything in person gives the Clerk a chance to review your paperwork to ensure you are not missing anything vital. The courthouse is open Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. Bring your identification with you because you will have to pass through security. Also, you may have to pay for parking so don’t forget to bring some money just in case. Bring your certificate of credit counseling along with all of your signed forms to the Clerk’s office. Once you file everything you will get a case number that should be kept with your important paperwork.
Mail Documents to Your Trustee
After you file your Jackson bankruptcy documents, the court will assign a trustee who will review your bankruptcy forms. The trustee will be at your 341 Meeting and be the person who asks you questions about your case. The trustee will sell any unprotected assets you may have to pay your creditors. As long as you don’t have much property you should not have to worry. You should look for a notice in the mail from your trustee detailing what documents will be needed before the meeting. Make sure to send these out as soon as possible so that you give the trustee time to review everything. Trustees don’t like it if you don’t send them the requested documents. Make sure to go over everything carefully. If you need more clarification you can contact your trustee directly.
Take Bankruptcy Course 2
Although, it may seem like you are done with filing your bankruptcy forms, you are not. You will need to file another certificate with the bankruptcy court to get your discharge. This is one of the most overlooked steps that people forget when filing their Jackson bankruptcy. This is the second bankruptcy course that will need to be chosen from an approved list. This course will help you with your future after your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Jackson is over. They will give you information about how you can better organize your finances and save money. This course is two hours long so, make sure you leave time to complete it. You can take this course online or over the phone. If you’re lucky, you may be able to find a course that will file the certificate for you and save you an extra step.
Attend Your 341 Meeting
Your Meeting of Creditors will take place a few weeks after you file your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Jackson. Your creditors probably won’t even be there. The trustee will call you up by your name and ask you to present your social security card and identification. Once you are sworn in the trustee will ask you questions about your paperwork. Make sure you are honest because you are testifying under oath. Normally, you will have other people in the room who are also filing for bankruptcy. If you arrive early and are not called first, you may be able to hear the types of questions the trustee will ask. Your meeting will likely last 5-10 minutes. After this meeting is closed, it’ll take about 2 months for your discharge paperwork to come in the mail and your Jackson bankruptcy case should close a few weeks after that happens.
Dealing with Your Car
The bankruptcy court understands that most families need a car to get to and from work. When you file you Jackson bankruptcy, you can decide what you want to do with your car. If you don’t want your vehicle you can choose to give it back to the lender or surrender the vehicle. Some people keep their vehicles and either reaffirm or redeem the vehicle. Reaffirmation is when you agree to continue paying the car loan off. The judge will allow you to enter into this agreement if you can prove that you are able to continue making the payments on the loan. A redemption can be helpful when the loan outweighs the value of the car. This is where the lender accepts a lump sum payment for the value of the car. Make sure to really consider if you can keep up with payments on your vehicle before signing anything. If you choose to re-enter into a contract and fail to make payments the lender will still go after you even though you filed for bankruptcy relief.
Mississippi Bankruptcy Means Test, Bankruptcy Forms, and Exemptions for Jackson
Mississippi Means Test
To qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Jackson, you will need to complete the Mississippi bankruptcy Means Test. Make sure to have your paystubs when calculating whether you qualify under the Means Test. People tend to overlook their expenses when completing the Means Test. Even if the expense is an annual one, you should average it over the 12 months. Make sure to double-check your calculations once completed. If you don’t qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy after going through the test, you may want to consider speaking with an attorney that can double-check to see what other options are available for you.
Median Income Levels for Mississippi
Mississippi Median Income Standards for Means Test for Cases Filed On or After May 1, 2020
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Poverty Levels for Mississippi
Mississippi 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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Mississippi Bankruptcy Forms
When filing bankruptcy in Jackson, make sure your Mississippi bankruptcy forms are completed properly. Go through all of your schedules and make sure all of your creditors are listed. double-check your basic information such as your social security number and address. Your address should match the address on your license.
Mississippi allows individuals to only use the Mississippi bankruptcy exemptions, this means that you are not permitted to use the federal bankruptcy exemptions when filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Jackson. Bankruptcy exemptions protect your property. To use the Mississippi bankruptcy exemptions, you need to be a resident for at least 730 days before filing your petition. Further, married couples that file bankruptcy jointly can each use the full exemption amount. This means that married couples get to double their exemption.