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Unlike chapter 13 bankruptcy, chapter 7 bankruptcy does not involve filing a repayment plan. Instead, your bankruptcy trustee will gather and sell all of your nonexempt assets and use the sale proceeds to pay off a portion of your debt. Even though filing chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to keep certain exempt property, it may also result in loss of property.

Filing your petition
Before you file for chapter 7 bankruptcy, you should consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Your attorney will interview you and review all of your financial documents while filling in portions of your bankruptcy petition. Before you can actually file for bankruptcy, you must complete the required credit counseling course. You can complete this course over the phone, online or in person. Usually pre-bankruptcy credit counseling courses cost approximately $50. Your bankruptcy petition must include every creditor you have, including credit card, mortgages, and medical bills.

Completing a financial management course
After filing your petition, you can complete the required financial management course with the same company you took your credit counseling course with or a different company. Next, you must attend the 341 meeting of creditors, which is a meeting between yourself, the trustee, your lawyer, and creditors. The purpose of this meeting is to verify the accuracy of your petition and ensure you are not abusing the bankruptcy code.

Paying to file
Not every bankruptcy case is the same, so you need to talk to a bankruptcy attorney about your individual case. However, you should expect to pay between $1,200 and $2,000 to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy. In order to actually determine the cost of your petition, you will need to schedule a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney. Once he or she analyzes your case, he or she can give you a more accurate fee estimate.

Cutler & Associates, Ltd. is a team of aggressive, qualified debt relief lawyers serving the Chicago area. We offer a free over-the-phone bankruptcy consultation with a Chicago bankruptcy attorney.