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  1. 7. Mail Documents to Your Trustee The bankruptcy trustee is a official appointed by the court to oversee your case. Pay attention to mail you receive from the trustee after filing. The trustee will send you a letter asking you to mail them certain financial documents, like tax returns, pay stubs, and bank statements. If you don’t mail the the trustee the requested documents, you will not get a discharge of your debts. 8. Take Bankruptcy Course 2 As soon as possible after filing your bankruptcy forms, you also need to take your second mandatory bankruptcy course. The second
  2. 3. Complete the Bankruptcy Forms This is the most time-consuming step. The Bankruptcy Forms include 23 seperate forms totalling roughly 70 pages. The forms ask you about everything you make, spend, own and owe. If you download and print out the forms online, you will have to enter repetitive data and make lots of math calculations. So if you’re not able to hire a lawyer, you probably want to buy a bankruptcy software program or use Upsolve.org’s free online bankruptcy service. 4. Get Your Filing Fee Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy normally requires a $335 filing fee,
  3. 1. Collect Your Documents Before getting started, you need to collect all your financial documents so you understand the current state of your finances. First, you need to obtain a copy of your credit report from Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax to learn how much debt you owe. You can obtain your credit report from all three at AnnualCreditReport.com. Some of your debts may not be listed on your credit report, like medical bills, personal loans, or tax debts. Make a list of any missing debts as you will need to list all of them on your bankruptcy forms. In additi
  4. 13. You’ll have to go to class. Before you file, you’ll be required to take a 90-minute credit counseling class, says Mark. Later, before your bankruptcy is officially concluded, you’ll take a second, two-hour session. You can attend in person, by phone or online. Cost: no more than $50 per class. And if you’re receiving free or discounted legal services, or you’re living on Social Security disability payments, you can get the fees waived. 14. It can pay to be proactive. If you’re considering bankruptcy, it pays to get advice early — especially if you’re getting notices of foreclosure or
  5. 11. A bankruptcy doesn’t protect joint account holders. A bankruptcy dissolves your obligation to a creditor. But if anyone else is also on the hook for one of your debts, such as a joint account holder or co-signer, your bankruptcy makes that bill his or hers alone. And that’s a situation that commonly occurs after a divorce, says Rick McElvaney, program director for the Center for Consumer Law at the University of Houston Law Center. Best bet: Before you finalize a divorce, pay off bills or have the obligations transferred into the name of one party or the other. 12. It’s public. “
  6. 8. You may be able to get free or low-cost legal help. Some law firms may have discount programs, so ask about the option, says Mark. In addition, the bar association might have a list of firms that do low-cost or pro bono work. And your local legal aide office might be able to help. Some cities, including Philadelphia, have organizations such as the Consumer Bankruptcy Assistance Project, which help low-income consumers. One tip: Avoid nonlawyers who say they can help with a bankruptcy, says Sommer, who is a supervising attorney with the project. Instead of saving money, “you can en
  7. 6. You have to qualify for a Chapter 7. Consumers must show through income (if they are below the state median) or through both income and expenses (if they are above the state median) that they can’t repay their debts. But since bankruptcy is often a last resort, filers who need Chapter 7 are having no problems qualifying, Sommer says. 7. Bankruptcy is not cheap. Costs vary depending on your attorney and location. But in general, a Chapter 7 can run $1,500 to $2,500, while a Chapter 13 can run $2,000 to $4,000, says Sommer. One source for local bankruptcy attorneys: NACBA.org.
  8. 3. Where you live matters. When it comes to which assets you can keep in bankruptcy, rules vary widely by state. In addition, income and expense limits used for determining whether you qualify for a Chapter 7 will vary by location. Also attorney’s fees and filing fees will vary. 4. You get to keep assets. Filing bankruptcy doesn’t mean giving up all your possessions. You keep your personal property, such as clothes, electronics, household furnishings and other exempt assets. Depending on your state laws, the type of bankruptcy you file, and your finances, you can sometimes retain larger a
  9. 1. There are two main types of personal bankruptcy. Chapter 7 allows the filer to walk away from debts entirely. This option is used by those whose debts are so high or income so low that after basic expenses they don’t have the money for a payment plan. Chapter 13 allows the filer to draft a plan to repay all or part of the debts over three to five years. 2. Consumers don’t use bankruptcy frivolously. People turn to bankruptcy when they have major life events that significantly reduce their income, increase their bills or both, says Henry Sommer, past president of the National Associatio
  10. First, you need to know whether you need to file bankruptcy. Filing bankruptcy is a way to stop a garnishment as soon as the bankruptcy petition has been filed. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a very effective tool for erasing credit card debt, medical debts, and most other unsecured debt. But you can only be use it once every 8 years. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is another type of bankruptcy available to consumers. The main difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 is that you pay a portion of your debts making monthly payments to the Chapter 13 Trustee. You only pay as much as you are able to based on t
  11. Economic democracy is described as an integral component of an inclusive democracy in Takis Fotopoulos' Towards An Inclusive Democracy as a stateless, moneyless and marketless economy that precludes private accumulation of wealth and the institutionalization of privileges for some sections of society, without relying on a mythical post-scarcity state of abundance, or sacrificing freedom of choice. The proposed system aims to meet the basic needs of all citizens (macroeconomic decisions), and secure freedom of choice (microeconomic decisions). Therefore, the system consists of two basic el
  12. Hungarian historian Karl Polanyi suggested that market economies should subordinate themselves to larger societal needs. He states that human-beings, the source of labor, do not reproduce for the sole purpose of providing the market with workers. In The Great Transformation, Polanyi says that while modern states and market economies tend to grow under capitalism, both are mutually interdependent for functional development. In order for market economies to be truly prosperous, he claims social constructs must play an essential role. Polanyi claimed that land, labor, and money are all commodifie
  13. While there is no single approach or 'blueprint' for social control of investment, many strategies have been proposed. For example, Gar Alperovitz claims many real-world strategies have already emerged to democratize and decentralize the ownership of wealth and capital. In addition to worker cooperatives, Alperovitz highlights ESOPs, credit unions and other cooperative forms, social enterprises, municipally-owned utilities and public banks as starting points for what he has termed a "Pluralist Commonwealth". Alternately, David Schweickart proposes a flat-rate tax on capital assets to repl
  14. In worker self-management, each productive enterprise is controlled by those who work there. Workers are responsible for the operation of the facility, including organization, discipline, production techniques, and the nature, price, and distribution of products. Decisions concerning distribution are made democratically. Problems of authority delegation are solved by democratic representation. Management is chosen by the worker, not appointed by the State, not elected by the community at large and not selected by a board of directors elected by stockholders. Ultimate authority rests with the e
  15. Advocating for an "alternative economic system free of capitalism's structural flaws", economist Richard D. Wolff says reform agendas are fundamentally inadequate, given that capitalist corporations, the dominant institutions of the existing system, retain the incentives and the resources to undo any sort of reform policy. For example, Wolff goes on to say: According to David Schweickart, a serious critique of any problem cannot be content to merely note the negative features of the existing model. Instead, we must specify precisely the structural features of an alternative: "But if we
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