How to File for Bankruptcy in Montana
Anyone who is considering the option to file for bankruptcy in Montana will need to do some research and preparation before taking a first step. Montana's bankruptcy process closely follows the bankruptcy process in all other states. It is necessary to become familiar with federal guidelines when learning about the state laws and rules that apply in Montana.
It is recommended that most people seeking to file for bankruptcy in the state of Montana attain the guidance of a qualified bankruptcy attorney. The complicated nature of the bankruptcy process can often be difficult to navigate without proper legal or financial knowledge. Any failure to provide accurate information or meet court deadlines could result in fees and delays.
One of the first decisions that must be made is which form of bankruptcy to choose. A variety of options exist for debtors with specific situations. The most common form of bankruptcy is Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows for debts to be discharged through the court. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is another commonly used form of bankruptcy. This form of bankruptcy allows for a debtor to set up a structured payment plan that can be used for paying back debts over time. Farmers and fishermen have the option to file for Chapter 12 bankruptcy. In addition, Chapter 11 bankruptcy is an option that's available for some individuals with large debt amounts or business debts.
Preparing to File for Bankruptcy in Montana
There are several steps that must be taken when preparing to file for bankruptcy in Montana. It is actually necessary to complete a credit counseling course during the six months leading up to formally filing for bankruptcy. It is important to know that this course must be taken through a provider that is approved in the state of Montana. The complete list of approved course providers can be accessed here. It is also necessary to complete a debtor education course during the bankruptcy process. The complete list of approved providers for this course can be accessed here.
A key step in the bankruptcy process is something called a means test. It is necessary for a debtor to submit details regarding assets, income, liabilities and more when completing a means test. The information gathered from this test will be used to determine an individual's eligibility to file for bankruptcy.
Key Steps in Montana's Bankruptcy Process
The bankruptcy process officially begins when an individual files an official bankruptcy petition with the court. This petition will activate something called an automatic stay. An automatic stay prevents all creditors from making attempts to collect debts or contact a debtor for any reason. Debtors must be prepared to attend something called a meeting of creditors before the bankruptcy process comes to a close. This meeting is typically brief. However, it is considered important because of the fact that it provides creditors with an opportunity to try to obtain unpaid debts from a debtor's nonexempt assets under a Chapter 7 case. Creditors can also make objections to a payment plan that has been arranged as part of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case.
A Closer Look at Montana's Bankruptcy Process
The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Montana has locations in Butte, Billings, Great Falls, Helena and Missoula. The filing fee when filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Montana is $335. The filing fee when filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Montana is $310. A complete list of fees that can be anticipated when filing for bankruptcy of any type in Montana can be found here. The court forms that are needed when filing for bankruptcy in Montana can be viewed here.