How to File for Bankruptcy in North Carolina
The steps required to file for bankruptcy in North Carolina closely mirror the steps that people filing for bankruptcy in all other states must follow. However, there are some specific details and requirements that must be followed by people filing in North Carolina. Anyone filing for bankruptcy must decide which form of bankruptcy is appropriate before a petition can be formally registered with the court. Most people will either qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows for debts to be discharged. Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires a debtor to set up a payment plan through the court. Fishermen and farmers have the unique option to file for Chapter 12 bankruptcy. There is also the option to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy if a debtor meets certain criteria and has a large amount of personal or business debt.
The form of bankruptcy that a person will ultimately file under is determined by something called a means test. This test is an essential aspect of the process of filing for bankruptcy. The court will use factors like income, assets, liabilities and more to determine a debtor’s financial standing. The results of the test will determine which form of bankruptcy is appropriate. It is important to supply honest, accurate information when completing a means test. Failure to do so could jeopardize a bankruptcy case. Any attempt to hide assets or misrepresent finances could result in serious penalties and a case being thrown out.
The Specifics of Filing for Bankruptcy in North Carolina
North Carolina is one of only two states in the country that is not under the jurisdiction of the United States Trustee Program. This means that all questions regarding a bankruptcy case that is filed in any of the jurisdictions in North Carolina should be directed to the bankruptcy administrator for the specific district where the case is pending. The bankruptcy court in North Carolina is divided into three sections. Debtors must file with either the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of North Carolina or the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of North Carolina. The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina has locations in Raleigh and Greenville. The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of North Carolina has locations in Greensboro and Winston-Salem. The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of North Carolina has locations in Charlotte, Asheville, Statesville and Shelby. Forms needed to file for bankruptcy in North Carolina can be found here. The cost to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the North Carolina is $335. The cost to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in North Carolina is $310. A list of complete fees that anyone filing for bankruptcy in the state of North Carolina can expect to pay can be found here.
Essential Steps When Filing for Bankruptcy in North Carolina
It is necessary to file a formal petition with the court that is assigned to you when starting the bankruptcy process. This petition will trigger what is called an automatic stay. An automatic stay officially prevents any creditors from attempting to contact you or collect any debts. All debtors will be required to attend a mandatory meeting of creditors during the bankruptcy process. This meeting gives creditors an opportunity to try to reveal any nonexempt assets that a debtor possesses. In addition, creditors may voice objections regarding the terms of a payment plan that has been set up for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case.