How to File for Bankruptcy in Maryland
Anyone deciding to file for bankruptcy in the state of Maryland will need to become familiar with the national bankruptcy requirements. In addition, learning about the specific steps that must be taken by those filing for bankruptcy in the state of Maryland can help to create a full picture of what to expect. It’s important to first determine which form of bankruptcy is appropriate for the type and amount of debt you have. Most people will end up filing for either Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy makes it possible for debts to be discharged. Chapter 13 bankruptcy provides a way to set up a structured payment plan to pay back creditors. While these are the two most common options, they aren’t the only forms of bankruptcy on the table. Farmers and fishermen may be able to file for Chapter 12 bankruptcy. In addition, debtors with high debt amounts or business debts may be eligible to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
A Look at Filing for Bankruptcy in Maryland
Maryland’s bankruptcy courts are located in Baltimore and Greenbelt. A full list of forms needed when filing for bankruptcy in the state of Maryland can be found here. The paperwork that you submit regarding income, assets, debts, property and more will ultimately determine which form of bankruptcy you are able to file under. It is necessary to fill out all forms involved with the bankruptcy process accurately, honestly and completely. Any attempts to hide assets from the court or supply inaccurate information could have very serious consequences.
The locations for the mandatory meeting of creditors that all filers are required to attend are Baltimore, Greenbelt, Hagerstown and Salisbury. The fee to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Maryland is $335. The fee to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Maryland is $310. The full list of filing fees for all forms of bankruptcy in the state of Maryland can be found here. An automatic stay will be triggered as soon as you file your petition. This notice of stay serves to prevent all creditors from attempting to contact you or obtain payment that is owed on any debts.
Requirements for Filing for Bankruptcy in Maryland
It is necessary for all people planning to file for bankruptcy in Maryland to attend credit counseling during the six months leading up to filing a petition with the court. This counseling must be administered by an agency that is approved in the state of Maryland. A list of approved agencies can be found here. In addition, it is necessary to complete a debtor education course after filing for bankruptcy. The list of approved agencies offering debtor education in the state of Maryland can be found here. It is also necessary to attend a meeting of creditors before your case is closed. This meeting provides creditors with an opportunity to try to obtain any non-exempt assets you may possess or state their objections to terms of a payment plan. However, a meeting of creditors is typically a brief and uneventful meeting in most cases.
The complex nature of filing for bankruptcy in Maryland and all other states makes it highly advisable to work with a lawyer throughout the process. Failing to file your petition correctly could result in extra filing fees or your case being thrown out of court. The Debtor Assistance Project of Maryland is a resource that provides debtors with the opportunity to meet with a volunteer bankruptcy attorney. However, this program cannot provide debtors with representation or assist them with completing court paperwork.