How Do I file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Sacramento, California?
Many people have heard that Chapter 7 bankruptcy is one of the most efficient means to eliminate old debts and obtain a fresh start. In fact, when favorable circumstances are present, a Chapter 7 proceeding can be completed in as little as six months. However, it is essential to note that the actual duration of one’s individual bankruptcy is based on the filing’s complexity, how quickly a court can hear the matter, creditor responses to the Chapter 7 plan, and several additional factors within and outside of the filer’s control.
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy in Sacramento or any of the nearby cities like Folsom, Roseville, or Citrus Heights, contact an experienced bankruptcy lawyer today. The Bankruptcy Group has offices conveniently located in Folsom and Roseville. Call the firm at 1-800-920-5351 to arrange a confidential consultation.
Should You Choose Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
The first step in determining whether a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing would be appropriate in your situation is to determine if Chapter 7 would accomplish your legal and financial goals. Generally speaking, individuals with significant amounts of unsecured debts – debts like doctor’s bills and medical expenses – are better served by Chapter 7. By contrast, individuals with significant secured debts may be better served by a Chapter 13 filing. If the debtor has significant assets or property, he or she should assess whether the equity in this property is sufficiently protected by California’s bankruptcy exemptions.
Sacramento, Folsom, and Roseville Bankruptcies Are Filed in California Eastern District Bankruptcy Court
The next step is to determine in which court is proper to file your Chapter 7 petition. This is important for several reasons. First, it is important because filing in the wrong court will mean that your petition will be dismissed and you will not obtain the debt relief you seek. Second, many bankruptcy courts have standing orders and local rules that may impact your filing. Petitioners must educate themselves regarding local rules and any other requirements, such as one for credit counseling, and adhere to them in all filings and proceedings.
While all bankruptcy proceedings contain a blend of federal and state law issues, the actual proceedings are held in federal court. For individuals living in Sacramento County or Placer County, the proper court to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition is the California Eastern District Bankruptcy Court’s Sacramento Division. The Sacramento Division is located at:
501 I Street, Suite 3-200
Sacramento, California 95814
Traditional paper forms may be filed with the court, although filing electronically is often more efficient and provides more timely status updates.
Complete and File All Required Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Forms
The Eastern District of California Bankruptcy Court requires Chapter 7 filers to make use of the official bankruptcy forms. A collection of forms is available in the clerk’s office or on the court’s website. In the past, the court has collected all of the forms one could conceivably need for an individual bankruptcy filing, and yet not all forms may be necessary. In order to avoid unnecessary confusion or delay, a Chapter 7 petitioner should file only the forms that are required. The forms for a Chapter 7 petition include:
- Form 101: Voluntary Petition for Individuals Filing for Bankruptcy
- Form 106D (Schedule D): Creditors Who Have Claims Secured by Property
- Form 106E/F (Schedule E/F): Creditors Who Have Unsecured Claims
- Form 106I (Schedule I): Your Income
- Form 106J (Schedule J): Your Expenses
- Forms 122A-1: Chapter 7 Statement of Your Current Monthly Income
- Form 122A-2: Chapter 7 Means Test Calculation
- Form 108: Statement of Intention for Individuals Filing Under Chapter 7
- Form 103B: Application to Have the Chapter 7 Filing Fee Waived
The bankruptcy filer must read through, understand, and complete the relevant forms contained in this 107-page packet. He or she should then file the forms, with any required fee, with the court. Following the filing of these forms, the individual should be prepared to engage in the Chapter 7 process. This includes attending a Section 341 meeting of creditors, providing information regarding satisfaction of the Chapter 7 means test, and determining what action you wish to take regarding secured debts. If you successfully complete these requirements and attend a financial management course, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge eliminating your unsecured debts will be granted.
Work with a Meticulous Sacramento Bankruptcy Attorney
If you are considering a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, working with a bankruptcy attorney can take much of the confusion and anxiety out of the process. We can provide strategic legal guidance to increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome in your matter. To schedule a confidential consultation with an attorney at The Bankruptcy Group, call 1-800-920-5351 today.