How to File for Bankruptcy in Illinois
Filing for bankruptcy in Illinois is a process that closely resembles filing for bankruptcy everywhere else throughout the United States. Anyone thinking seriously about filing for bankruptcy in the state of Illinois should take time to become familiar with the local rules and requirements that will need to be fulfilled. Where does a person start? The first step in the bankruptcy process involves figuring out which form of bankruptcy is appropriate. Most people will qualify to have debts discharged under Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Those with the means to pay off debts over time will likely have to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Fishermen and farmers have the option to file for Chapter 12 bankruptcy. People with large amounts of debt or business debt may qualify to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Deciding which form of bankruptcy is appropriate doesn’t come down to a guessing game. Anyone filing for bankruptcy in Illinois will have to submit a means test to the court. This test uses factors like income, assets, liabilities and more to determine a person’s financial standing. The results of the test ultimately determine which form of bankruptcy a person is eligible to file under.
It is highly recommended that anyone filing for bankruptcy in Illinois should seek the guidance of an attorney. The bankruptcy process involves heavy amounts of paperwork and very specific deadlines. In addition, all paperwork submitted to the court must be complete and accurate. Any attempts to misrepresent facts or finances could result in serious penalties. Even simple errors can result in delays and extra court fees.
The Steps of Filing for Bankruptcy in Illinois
The bankruptcy process officially begins when a person files a bankruptcy petition with the court. However, it is necessary to complete a credit counseling course through an approved provider during the six months leading up to filling for bankruptcy. The list of approved course providers in the state of Illinois can be found here. However, this isn’t the only course that’s required. All people seeking bankruptcy protection must also complete a debtor education course once they have filed paperwork with the court. The list of approved providers of debtor education courses can be found here. Another big obligation that is part of the bankruptcy process is something called a meeting of creditors. This is typically a brief meeting that simply serves as a formality. However, it is mandatory. Creditors are given a chance to ask for information that may help them to reveal any nonexempt assets that are possessed by a debtor. In addition, it can be a time for creditors to object to any aspect of a payment plan that has been drawn up for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case.
A Closer Look at the Bankruptcy Court in Illinois
The bankruptcy court in Illinois is divided between the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Illinois and the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of Illinois. The United States Bankruptcy Court of the Northern District of Illinois has locations in Chicago, Rockford, Joliet, Lake County and Kane County. The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Illinois has locations in East St. Louis and Benton. The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of Illinois has locations in Springfield, Peoria and Urbana.
The cost to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Illinois is $335. The cost to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Illinois is $310. The list of all fess associated with the bankruptcy process in Illinois can be found here. A list of forms needed to file for bankruptcy in Illinois can be found here.