How to File for Bankruptcy in Nebraska
Preparation, planning and a familiarity with the federal bankruptcy process are required when filing for bankruptcy in the state of Nebraska. The process of filing for bankruptcy in Nebraska closely resembles the process in all other states. However, learning about the local guidelines and fees that exist in Nebraska can help a person to prepare properly and avoid delays. The first step that all debtors must consider involves deciding which form of bankruptcy is appropriate. Most people will end up filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This form of bankruptcy eliminates debts that cannot be realistically paid. A debtor with the capacity to potentially pay off debts over time may be eligible for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This form of bankruptcy allows a debtor to set up a structured payment plan through the court. There are also several other forms of bankruptcy that may be appropriate for specific cases. For instance, Chapter 12 bankruptcy is something that is open to farmers and fishermen. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is something that is available to certain debtors with very high debts or business debts.
It is recommended that most people seek the guidance of a bankruptcy attorney before beginning the bankruptcy process. The complicated nature of the federal bankruptcy process leaves a lot of room for confusion and errors. Any mistakes made when filling out court paperwork could result in delays, penalties, fees or a case being thrown out of court.
Starting the Bankruptcy Process in Nebraska
A person must file a formal bankruptcy petition with the court to officially begin the bankruptcy process. A petition activates something called an automatic stay. An automatic stay prevents all creditors from making any attempts to contact a debtor or collect unpaid debts. The form of bankruptcy that a person is eligible to file for is determined by something called a means test. This test is an important step in the bankruptcy process because it takes into account things like a debtor's assets, income and liabilities to determine eligibility.
Important Steps to Complete When Filing for Bankruptcy in Nebraska
While the act of filing a petition with the bankruptcy court in Nebraska makes the process official, the process unofficially begins much earlier. A debtor will be required to complete a credit counseling course during the six months prior to filing for bankruptcy. This course must be taken through an agency that is approved in the state of Nebraska. A list of recognized course providers can be found here. In addition, it is necessary for a debtor to complete a debtor education course during the bankruptcy process. A list of recognized providers for this course can be accessed here. It is also necessary to attend a meeting of creditors before the end of the bankruptcy process. This is a mandatory meeting that provides creditors with a final opportunity to try to uncover any nonexempt assets that a debtor may have. In addition, creditors have the option to challenge any aspect of a payment plan that has been set up under a Chapter 13 case.
A Closer Look at Nebraska's Bankruptcy Process
The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nebraska has locations in Lincoln and Omaha. The fee to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Nebraska is $335. The fee to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Nebraska is $310. A full list of all of the other fees a person can anticipate when filing for bankruptcy of any form in Nebraska can be found here. All of the forms that are required when filing for bankruptcy in Nebraska can be accessed here.