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How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy [Paperback]

Stephen Elias , Albin Renauer , Robin Leonard
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)


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How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy 4.6 out of 5 stars (127)
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Book Description

November 14, 2009 1413310605 978-1413310603 Sixteenth Edition
Find debt relief by filing bankruptcy with this all-in-one-book!

If you have more debt than you can possibly pay off, the bankruptcy system is there to help -- and with How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you'll find the clear and user-friendly information, advice and forms you need to get through the entire process.

First, the book will help you determine whether you qualify for Chapter 7 -- and whether it is the best way to deal with your debts. Then you'll find out how to:

  • stop wage garnishments and attachments
  • fill out and file all the forms
  • cancel as much debt as possible
  • deal with secured debts
  • keep the maximum amount of property
  • keep your home, if possible
  • rebuild credit after bankruptcy

    The 16th edition is revised to include the most recent forms and figures, changes to state exemption laws (which determine what property bankruptcy filers may keep), and the latest court decisions. Please note: This book does not cover business bankruptcies, farm reorganizations or individual repayment plans (Chapter 13). For Chapter 13 bankruptcy, see Nolo's Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.


  • Editorial Reviews

    Amazon.com Review

    In these times of massive credit card debt and stagnating incomes, filing for bankruptcy has become the only relief for thousands of people. The information in How to File for Bankruptcy is so complete that a person can file virtually on his own, without needing to hire a lawyer. By no means does the book encourage filing for bankruptcy, but it will help anyone in serious financial trouble determine if bankruptcy might be a sensible course to take, and examines what kind is appropriate for different individuals. All of the necessary forms are included, complete with explicit directions. Like all Nolo Press titles, this is a straightforward, no-nonsense book of useful advice and specific guidance, written in clear, easy-to-understand language. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

    From Library Journal

    This book focuses almost exclusively on personal or so-called "straight" bankruptcy under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code, and excludes detailed consideration of Chapter 13 repayment plans. The authors, all lawyers associated with Nolo Press, provide step-by-step information necessary to determine whether or not, and how, to file. Included are worksheets, examples, and illustrative filled-in forms. Although not stated, this volume is apparently intended by Nolo to replace Janice Kosel's perennial Bankruptcy: Do It Yourself , which has a California emphasis; however, it will complement her Chapter 13: Federal Plan to Repay Debts (Nolo Pr., 1987. 3d ed.). The present work is more up-to-date than Benji Anosike's How To Declare Your Personal Bankruptcy Without a Lawyer (Do-It-Yourself Pubs., 1983), and although less comprehensive than the excellent Consumer Bankruptcy Law and Practice (National Consumer Law Ctr., 1988 . 3d ed.), which is intended for lawyers but useful for laypersons, this is a best buy to support a commonly asked legal reference question. Recommended for public and academic libraries.
    - Merlin Whiteman, Indiana Univ. Sch. of Law, Indianapolis
    Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

    Product Details

    • Series: How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
    • Paperback: 555 pages
    • Publisher: NOLO; Sixteenth Edition edition (November 14, 2009)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1413310605
    • ISBN-13: 978-1413310603
    • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 8.3 x 10.8 inches
    • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
    • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #442,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    257 of 269 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and accurate resource September 21, 1999
    By A Customer
    Format:Paperback
    This book has been my light at the end of the tunnel. It took me approximately 4 wks. to research the book and understand it so I didn't make any mistakes in filing inaccurate information but once I did the paperwork (all through the mail) it only took 1 wk. before the creditors meeting was set for 3 wks. later and the entire chapter 7 should be done within about 3 months. I was the only one present at my meeting without an attorney but my meeting as well as the 15 people before me only took 5 minutes each in front of the trustee. None of the creditors in any of the cases showed up except Sears in other cases but they just noted the information for their records. This is possible to do by yourself and for approximately $175.00 administrative and filing fees. No other costs have been incurred and I am on my way to a new start. Thank you so much!
    Comment | 
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    62 of 63 people found the following review helpful
    Format:Paperback
    I can't say enough wonderful things about this book!

    6 months ago I was contemplating bankruptcy. I searched for a book to help me and decided to buy this one. Honestly, I figured I'd read it, be more confused than ever and have to hire an attorney.

    That's NOT what happened. I took a weekend and studied every page of this book and took notes. I filled out and filed my bankruptcy petition on my own. Today, I attended my creditor's meeting. Now, in just 2 months, I'll receive my discharge. All WITHOUT a lawyer!

    Filing bankruptcy without a lawyer is more time consuming, but the money saved is worth it. Just take your time and study this book and you'll be fine.

    Thank you, Nolo. Buying this book was the best thing I've done this year.
    Comment | 
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    34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to Follow Big Money Saver August 25, 2004
    Format:Paperback
    I recently filed for bankruptcy using the book How to File a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. It told me where to file, what schedules to file, how to fill them out,what fees I would have to pay. By doing this, I saved myself over a $1000 that a lawyer quoted me if he were going to do it for me. Though meticulous and a bit detailed,the book is not hard to read. So, if you too want to file your bankruptcy yourself and save yourself a $1000, buy this book! I filed, paid my fees, attended the 5 minute bankruptcy hearing myself--all without any problem. It was a breeze!

    D.S.

    Chicago
    Comment | 
    Was this review helpful to you?
    12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
    Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
    Having never gone through bankruptcy, I was interested to learn about it as I have a few friends who are facing this situation. This review is from a lay person's perspective.

    HOW TO FILE FOR CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY is a large workbook sized book of 542 pages. Within these pages are not only well laid out explanations of all of the intricate ins and outs of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, but lots of hints and tips put in key places throughout the book, as if a teacher were sitting next to you anticipating your questions or things that you might or might not think about while you embark on this complicated journey.

    Here is the chapter breakdown

    1. SHOULD YOU FILE FOR CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY?
    This section explains and overview of bankruptcy in America, who can file, what is involved, does it make sense, and alternatives.

    2. THE AUTOMATIC STAY
    This chapter talks about actions prohibited by the stay, when the stay does not apply and evictions.

    3. YOUR PROPERTY AND BANKRUPTCY
    Property in your bankruptcy estate, what is and is not in your bankruptcy estate and what you can keep. Also it covers selling nonexempt property before you file.

    4. YOUR HOUSE
    How bankruptcy affects a typical homeowner, what if you are behind on mortgage payments, will you lose your home? and ways to prevent home loss.

    5. SECURED DEBTS
    What they are, how Chapter 7 affects secured debts, choosing the best options on ways to deal with secured debt and step by step instructions.

    6.
    Read more ›
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    10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Lawyers hate this book as well as its Publisher! March 8, 2009
    Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
    If you are staying up nights, trying to figure out how to stop creditor phone calls and harassment...and seek a fresh start in your financial life, this book is like a breath of fresh air. Both parties in Congress have been paid off by lobbies for big banking and credit card companies to support HR 333, the egregiously misnamed "Bankruptcy Reform and Consumer Protection Act..." The only consumers protected are politicians, who have accepted millions of dollars in contributions to support this destruction of your ability to obtain a 'Fresh Start' chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge. You can see your representative's money haul on this terrible bill at [...] . NOLO.COM, publisher, has been harassed by the State of Texas and their lawyers, for costing them their fees to file these relatively simple forms. Don't expect this to be really easy, but if you have the time available to save legal fees, this is a great book with all necessary forms for most courts. It is certainly helpful to have a computer to print forms, available from NOLO.COM, or your local bankruptcy court site. I did it, with only one visit to the courthouse. It is a lifesaver. Hold your head up high, kiss your bills goodbye, and don't let it get out of hand again! Good luck!
    Comment | 
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the purchase
    I didn't file Bankruptcy myself, but this book really helped understanding the details involved, and I was able to a lawyer that I liked without feeling overcharged.
    Published 3 months ago by K. Parker
    4.0 out of 5 stars Good Stuff.
    Good stuff, can help any individual file for bankruptcy on their own, uses California forms as examples which is a plus for California bankruptcy filers.
    Published 5 months ago by Eric
    5.0 out of 5 stars This is great!
    Maybe I am jumping the gun, but although I just received this in the mail and I've only got through the first chapter, I can already tell it is a Godsend! I am learning so much. Read more
    Published 7 months ago by CBMF
    5.0 out of 5 stars A wise investment
    Filing for bankruptcy without representation is not for the faint-hearted. There is a lot to be said for how comforting it is to have a skilled and experienced attorney take care... Read more
    Published 8 months ago by happy
    5.0 out of 5 stars How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy helped me file bankruptcy
    How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy helped file bankruptcy and the book gave me very helpful tips
    on bankruptcy issues. Read more
    Published 9 months ago by Leelee Sheed
    5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely thorough!!
    Excellent text. A little redundancy from cover to cover in case a person only needed one or a couple chapters, but still incredible. Read more
    Published 10 months ago by A. Craven
    5.0 out of 5 stars OUTSTANDING DO IT YOURSELF BOOK !!
    OUTSTANDING BOOK....you can actually do it yourself bankruptcy !! and it will help u fill out the forms with complete transparency
    Published 10 months ago by tbone2550
    4.0 out of 5 stars Vary thorough
    I bought this book even though i knew I was already going to hire a lawyer. I just wanted to be sure I had the right lawyer and that he was giving me the right advice. Read more
    Published 10 months ago by sss333
    5.0 out of 5 stars It had the information I need to file Chapter 7 Myself
    The books explains how to fill out the forms and it explains alot of the procedures that will occur when fiing Chapter 7
    Bankruptcy. Read more
    Published 12 months ago by Anita Young
    1.0 out of 5 stars How to file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
    The product is cumbersome, pages need to be pulled and handwritten or typed (Who has a typewriter?) Online product at inetlegalforms. Read more
    Published 13 months ago by Kenneth Wimer
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    Topic From this Discussion
    Is it worth upgrading from 14th edition to 15th?
    This is an excellent question that truly deserves consideration by anyone who is interested in the most up-to-date info regarding Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Previous editions of Nolo on this subject (especially those written prior to the housing crash, debt/foreclosure and loss of jobs affecting... Read More
    Dec 3, 2008 by Katherine Graham |  See all 2 posts
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