How to File for Bankruptcy in Vermont
Anyone considering the decision to file for bankruptcy in Vermont must become familiar with the state’s rules and requirements. Vermont’s rules and requirements more or less mirror the national rules and requirements that you’ll encounter in every state. However, it is beneficial to learn about the specific steps you’ll need to take if you’re filing in Vermont. The complicated nature and precise deadlines that go along with filing for bankruptcy in the state of Vermont make using a lawyer highly advisable. Failing to fill out the right paperwork on time or filing improperly could cause your case to be thrown out of court. In addition, you could incur extra fees if you need to make changes to your initial filing.
The First Step to Filing for Bankruptcy in Vermont
The first step to filing for bankruptcy in Vermont actually involves making a decision. You will need to decide which form of bankruptcy is the most appropriate for your situation. Nearly all cases will involve either Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a form of liquidation that discharges the debts you’re unable to pay off. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a form of restructuring that enables you to work with creditors to create a structured payment plan and timetable for paying back unpaid debts. Farmers and fishermen can consider Chapter 12 bankruptcy. Chapter 11 bankruptcy could be an option for someone with a large amount of personal debt or business-related debt.
The Specifics of Filing for Bankruptcy in Vermont
Bankruptcy hearings and creditors meetings are held at the court offices in Rutland and Burlington. The clerk’s office at the Burlington location is open during normal weekday hours. The Rutland location does not have a staffed clerk’s office.
Forms and Local Rules When Filing in Vermont
Official court forms for use in the District of Vermont can be found here. The cost to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Vermont is $335. The cost to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Vermont is $310. Additional fees can be incurred for appeals, motions, case conversions and case reopenings. A full list of fees can be found here. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Vermont offers debtors the opportunity to request receipts of court notices and orders electronically via email instead of through U.S. mail. The Debtor Electronic Bankruptcy Noticing program is a free service that creates a faster process with less paperwork.
A Look at Some Essential Steps
All debtors filing for bankruptcy in the state of Vermont are required to complete pre-discharge and post-discharge financial counseling. You must receive credit counseling courses and debtor educations courses from agencies that are approved in Vermont. A list of approved credit counseling agencies in the state of Vermont can be found here. A list of approved debtor education agencies can be found here.
It will also be necessary to attend a meeting of creditors as one of the steps before your case can be closed. This meeting is held 20 to 60 days after your petition is filed. It provides your creditors with an opportunity to receive unpaid funds from you one last time. You will be required to testify under oath and answer the questions of a trustee during this meeting. Copies of deeds that you possess and financial statements may be requested by trustees. You may be responsible for paying back all or some of the money you owe if a creditor is able to prove that you are capable of doing so.