How to File for Bankruptcy in Philadelphia
Filing for bankruptcy is a tedious process, so we’ll walk you through the basics. We offer a free consultation for anyone considering bankruptcy where we will discuss your finances, debts, and goals. For some, bankruptcy may not be the best option. For others, you may need assistance learning which type of bankruptcy between Chapter 7, Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 makes the most sense for your financial situation.
To file for bankruptcy, first you need to compile all of your financial information. This includes a list of all creditors and what debts you owe to each, your income information, and a list of any assets that you own. If you work with the bankruptcy attorneys at Cibik & Cataldo, we will also run a credit report and help you pull together a list of all creditors, debts, assets, and outstanding liabilities.
U.S. Bankruptcy Code requires that you complete credit counseling to file for bankruptcy in Philadelphia, PA. Credit counseling is a common requirement, and it can typically be done over the phone or online in about an hour. Your counselor will help review your financial situation and offer solutions, likely leading to a recommendation of bankruptcy. We will assist you with this.
Next, determine if you need to file for Chapter 7, Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you are unsure what these terms mean, visit our dedicated pages to each type of bankruptcy on this website, or come in for a consultation. The bankruptcy experts at Cibik & Cataldo can help guide you through the different types of bankruptcy to learn which is the best option for your unique situation.
Once you have taken these steps, it is time to complete a bankruptcy petition. This involves a lot of paperwork, which is why it is better to work with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to guide you through the process. There are over 20 forms to fill out, totaling over 60 pages of information needed to complete your bankruptcy petition.
There are various “schedules” or series of documents that you must complete. The main schedules include the following and must list certain pieces of information:
Schedule A/B: Your assets, including real estate
Schedule C: Your exemptions
Schedule D: Your secured debts
Schedule E: Your priority debts
Schedule F: Your general, unsecured debts
Schedule G: Your pending contracts (for example, existing leases)
Schedule H: Your co-debtors or co-signers on debts
Schedule I: Your monthly income
Schedule J: Your monthly expenses
Complete these documents to the best of your knowledge, or with the help of our bankruptcy lawyers.
You must also complete a Statement of Financial Affairs to answer any remaining questions about your finances, assets, liabilities, and any business information. Finally, complete a summary of your assets and liabilities for the full picture of your assets and debts. You may need to also submit a repayment plan or Statement of Intention depending on your debts and the type of bankruptcy you are filing under.
If you file under chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will need to create a repayment plan for your debts. The process continues, as you must file a Statement of Current Monthly Income and Expenses to show what income you have to repay debts each month.
After filing, a trustee must be assigned to your case to manage your repayments and debts. This trustee is court-appointed, or you can choose a trusted friend or relative. They will review your case and help manage repayments.
You will also undergo a meeting of creditors to discuss your ability and timeline for repayment. After this step under Chapter 7, there are no repayments and your trustee will recommend a discharge of debts, unless more information is needed. Under Chapter 13, your trustee will confirm your repayment plan and submit it, pending court approval. In a Chapter 11 your trustee will review your business financial statements to decide whether they will recommend confirmation of your Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan of reorganization.