Pennsylvania Bankruptcy 101

Pennsylvania Bankruptcy 101Managing money is a challenge in today’s economy, and for many it can simply be overwhelming. Individuals and business owners often have to make the difficult decision that they need to file for bankruptcy. Though many people view bankruptcy as a defeat, the truth is that it can offer you an opportunity to make a fresh start, but in order for that to be the case, it is important that you work with a Pennsylvania bankruptcy attorney. At Erik Jensen Attorneys at Law, we will review your situation, help you decide which type of bankruptcy filing is most appropriate for your particular situation, and make sure that you follow all of the required steps so that the process goes smoothly and provides you with the least stress and greatest advantage.

The process of filing for a Pennsylvania bankruptcy has many steps. All those who file for bankruptcy are required to undergo credit counseling within six months before filing for bankruptcy relief, as well as to complete a financial management instructional course after filing for bankruptcy, so applying for this counseling is usually a good place to start. As part of your application your income and expenses will undergo a thorough analysis in order to confirm that you are financially qualified for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, whichever you have applied to. This analysis will comprise an examination of your average income over the previous six months, comparing it to others living in the state. Only those whose income falls below this median will be automatically able to file for Chapter 7. Those whose income is above this level will undergo an additional means test to determine whether Chapter 7 is available or if they must opt for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

This means that the process of filing for bankruptcy involves a great deal of paperwork. Applicants need to itemize all of the places from which they derive income, all of their financial transactions over the previous 24 months, what they spend on day-to-day living and what they owe — and to whom. They also need to list all of their assets and have all of the relevant documents at hand, including real estate deeds, and collect their tax returns from the last few years. It’s only once all of this has been gathered that you are able to identify what may be kept and what will end up being a sizeable asset.

The paperwork itself is comprised of a two-page petition, as well as several other forms that need to be submitted to the Pennsylvania district bankruptcy court. It is essential that these are carefully prepared and fully transparent – if the judge or your creditors believe that you are being deceitful or leaving out important information, your filing may be rejected.

To ensure that your Pennsylvania bankruptcy filing goes smoothly, you are strongly urged to have legal representation. The attorneys at Erik B. Jensen Attorneys at Law have extensive experience in assisting with bankruptcy filings. We will guide you through the process, minimizing the challenges and complexities and making sure that the process is as painless as possible.