How to File for Bankruptcy in Rhode Island
Filing for bankruptcy in Rhode Island will require you to go through all of the same steps that are required federally. It is also helpful to know about the specifics of making your way through Rhode Island’s own bankruptcy court system. You will first need to select the type of bankruptcy that is appropriate for your situation. Most people seeking a discharge of debt will end up filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Those with the ability to make payments to creditors using a structured plan may find that Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the best option. Farmers and fishermen are able to file for a special form of protection called Chapter 12 bankruptcy. Another option is to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy if you meet certain criteria regarding the amount and type of debt you owe.
Some Basics Regarding How to File for Bankruptcy in Rhode Island
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Rhode Island is located in Providence. The local and federal forms that you’ll need to file for bankruptcy in Rhode Island can be found here. You will be required to submit extensive information regarding your income, assets, liabilities and other factors that will enable the court to determine your means. You must also complete courses before and after you file. Both courses must be administered by agencies that are approved in the state of Rhode Island. One course is a credit counseling course. The list of approved credit counseling agencies can be found here. The other course is a debtor education course. The list of approved debtor education agencies can be found here.
You will be required to attend a meeting of creditors during the process of completing your bankruptcy case. This meeting takes place at the Federal Center in Providence. This meeting will provide creditors with the opportunity to ask you for financial documents, deeds and other pieces of information that may help them prove that you are capable of paying back some of the debts that are owed. You will be asked to provide this information by a trustee. You could potentially be required to pay back some debts if it is proven that you have the means to do so.
Rhode Island offers people filing for bankruptcy the option to enroll in the Debtor Electronic Banking Noticing program. This program allows debtors to request court notices via email instead of through the U.S. mail. The program delivers a faster, easier way to receive notices without any type of fee.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Rhode Island offers a unique service called the Rhode Island Bankruptcy Legal Clinic. This is a free legal clinic that provides debtors with an opportunity to have a no-cost meeting with a volunteer bankruptcy attorney. This volunteer is able to answer questions regarding the bankruptcy process, paperwork and foreclosure prevention. The clinic is only available to individuals without attorneys. A volunteer attorney from the Rhode Island Bankruptcy Legal Clinic cannot be provided to complete your bankruptcy paperwork or represent you during the process.
Fees When Filing for Bankruptcy in the State of Rhode Island
The cost to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Rhode Island is $335. The cost to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Rhode Island is $310. Additional fees may be charged for case reopenings, case conversions, case amendments, case appeals, motions and more. A full list of bankruptcy fees for Rhode Island can be found here. Individuals who cannot afford to pay filing costs when filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy may qualify for a fee waiver if they meet the required poverty guidelines.