How to File for Bankruptcy in Tennessee
Anyone seeking to file for bankruptcy in Tennessee should become familiar with national bankruptcy laws. The process of filing for bankruptcy in Tennessee requires the same steps that are required nationally. In addition, it can be helpful to learn about the specific requirements that people filing for bankruptcy in the state of Tennessee must follow. It will be necessary to review the different forms of bankruptcy that exist and decide which one is appropriate before filing a formal petition with the court. Most people will qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 is the most common form of bankruptcy. This form of bankruptcy allows for a debtor to have debts discharged. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is often an option for debtors with too many assets to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A payment plan is set up through the court during the process of filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. There are also some other forms of bankruptcy that are less common. Farmers and fishermen have the option to file for Chapter 12 bankruptcy. People with high debt amounts or business debts may qualify for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Determining Which Form of Bankruptcy Is Appropriate When Filing in Tennessee
There isn’t a lot of choice involved when it comes to which form of bankruptcy a person can file for. The court will actually issue a means test to a debtor. This test will require a debtor to supply detailed information and records regarding income, assets, liabilities and other aspects of their finances. The results of the test will ultimately determine which form of bankruptcy a person is eligible to file under.
A Closer Look at Filing for Bankruptcy in Tennessee
Tennessee’s bankruptcy court is divided between the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, the Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Tennessee and the Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Tennessee. The Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee has locations in Chattanooga, Greeneville, Knoxville and Winchester. The Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Tennessee has locations in Nashville, Columbia and Cookeville. The Court for the Western District of Tennessee has locations in Memphis and Jackson. Forms needed to file for bankruptcy in the state of Tennessee can be found here. The cost to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the state of Tennessee is $335. The cost to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in the state of Tennessee is $310. A full list of all other fees associated with filing for bankruptcy in the state of Tennessee can be found here.
The Essential Steps of Filing for Bankruptcy in Tennessee
There are several steps that cannot be bypassed when filing for bankruptcy in the state of Tennessee. Anyone who is gearing up to file must complete credit counseling courses in the six months leading up to filing for bankruptcy. This course must be administered by an agency that is approved in the state of Tennessee. The list of approved agencies can be found here. It will also be necessary to complete a debtor education course after filing for bankruptcy. The list of approved providers of the necessary course can be found here.
The formal bankruptcy process does not begin until a debtor files an official petition with the court. This petition will trigger an automatic stay. An automatic stay is important because it bans creditors from contacting a debtor or attempting to collect any debts or assets. One other major aspect of the bankruptcy process is something called a meeting of creditors. This meeting provides creditors with a chance to try to prove that a debtor does have some nonexempt assets that can be forfeited. In addition, creditors will be able to contest aspects of a payment plan if a debtor is filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.