What Is The Process of Filing For Bankruptcy in Pennsylvania
Sep 1, 2020
Filing bankruptcy is a difficult decision to make. There is a process that needs to be followed before you can say that you are debt free – depending on what Chapter of bankruptcy you filed.
To file bankruptcy in Pennsylvania there are a number of requirements you must meet. They include:
- Residency – you need to have been living in Pennsylvania for at least 91 days out of the 180 days prior to your date of filing.
- No waiting period – there is no waiting period to file bankruptcy. However there are waiting periods for successive bankruptcy discharges. Your attorney can explain how that works if you have received a discharge previously.
- Counseling – all debtors must take credit counseling before filing in Pennsylvania.
- Amount of debt held – the Chapter of bankruptcy you file is, in part, predicated on how much debt you hold. Also, if you earn too much, you may not be able to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
The bankruptcy attorneys at Melaragno, Placidi & Parini have the answers to your bankruptcy questions and can tell you what you need to know to choose the right Chapter to file for bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy tips from Melaragno, Placidi & Parini
Filing bankruptcy is not just deciding to do it and then going to court and having your debts dismissed. It is a process designed to help you understand the ramifications of your decision and to educate you about managing credit.
There are other steps you can take to make filing bankruptcy easier and cost effective. Some of the steps you can take are to:
- Make sure to check your credit report. Know what the report says, whether there are any errors in it and what you owe to creditors.
- Determine dischargeable debts before filing. Dischargeable debts may include business and personal loans, credit card bills and medical bills.
- Come to your first consultation with a bankruptcy attorney with all your relevant paperwork relating to all financial activity, such as income, assets, and debts. Bring bank statements, credit reports, utility bills, pay stubs and any other relevant financial material.
- Is declaring bankruptcy your only option? It may not be and this is a good reason to speak to an experienced bankruptcy attorney at Melaragno, Placidi & Parini. You may decide to consider debt consolidation or mortgage modification.
- Carefully choose how you are going to file, meaning under which Chapter and decide if you want to file individually without your spouse. It is not required that both married people file together, there are pros and cons and depend on your individual circumstances.
- Hiding assets is a really bad idea. If you sell or transfer valuable assets before declaring bankruptcy you can be charged with bankruptcy fraud. Concealing assets can end with criminal prosecution and/or your case being dismissed. Be sure to disclose any asset transfers to your attorney before you file for bankruptcy. It may be possible to reverse the transactions and still file bankruptcy without subjecting yourself to a fraud claim.
- File bankruptcy with legal representation because the rules and regulations are very complex. While you could attempt to file on your own, an experienced attorney can help you navigate the process with success.
Ask us at Melaragno, Placidi & Parini about this and any other concerns you have in attempting to determine which Chapter of bankruptcy makes the most sense for you and how you wish to proceed. We are here to help.