How to File for Bankruptcy in Missouri
The process of filing for bankruptcy in Missouri requires a good amount of preparation. Anyone who is considering filing for bankruptcy in the state of Missouri should first become familiar with the federal laws and requirements regarding the process. It is also helpful to look into the local rules that need to be followed on the state level. Deciding which form of bankruptcy to file for is one of the first steps that a person must take. Most people will either file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows for debts to be discharged. Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows for a payment plan to be set up through the court. There are also other forms of bankruptcy that are appropriate for specific circumstances. For instance, farmers and fishermen have the option to file for Chapter 12 bankruptcy. People with large amounts of debt or debts that are related to business may be eligible to qualify for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
It is highly recommended that anyone planning to file for bankruptcy in the state of Missouri should seek the guidance of a bankruptcy lawyer. The detailed nature of the bankruptcy process makes it difficult for a person to file without proper guidance. In addition, errors or mistakes made during the filing process could result in delays and added fees.
Starting the Bankruptcy Process in the State of Missouri
The bankruptcy process officially begins when a person files a petition with the court. This petition is important because it triggers what is called an automatic stay. This automatic stay officially prevents creditors from contacting a debtor or making any attempts to collect debts. A debtor will need to submit a means test to the court early on in the process of filing for bankruptcy. This test will require a debtor to supply detailed information regarding assets, liabilities and other aspects of their financial picture. It is also necessary to complete a credit counseling course in the six months leading up to filing for bankruptcy. This course will need to be taken through an agency that is approved in the state of Missouri. A list of approved course providers can be found here. In addition, it is necessary to complete a debtor education course at some point after filing for bankruptcy. The list of approved providers for this course can be found here. One other key step in the bankruptcy process is an event called a meeting of creditors. This is a mandatory meeting for a debtor. A meeting of creditors provides creditors with the opportunity to prove that a debtor possesses nonexempt assets that may be forfeited as part of the bankruptcy process. In addition, creditors are given a chance to object to the details of a structured payment plan that has been set up under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case.
A Closer Look at Missouri’s Bankruptcy Process
Missouri’s bankruptcy process is divided between the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri and the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Missouri. The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri is located in St. Louis. The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Missouri has locations in Kansas City, Jefferson City and Springfield. The cost to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Missouri is $335. The cost to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Missouri is $310. The full list of fees that can be anticipated when filing for bankruptcy of any kind in the state of Missouri can be found here. The forms that are needed to file for bankruptcy in Missouri can be accessed here.