How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Cara O'Neill


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Want to enjoy a debt-free life? Help is here.

You don’t have to struggle with burdensome debt. By filing for Chapter 7, relief can be yours in as few as four months. How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy explains the bankruptcy process in easy-to-understand language, including:

  • whether you’ll qualify for a Chapter 7 discharge
  • the debts that get wiped out in Chapter 7
  • the property you’ll be able to keep, and
  • how to retain a home or car.

Once you’re ready to file, you’ll use the step-by-step instructions to:

  • complete the official bankruptcy court forms
  • prepare for the meeting of creditors (the one appearance you’ll make)
  • file your debtor education course certificates, and
  • rebuild your credit after receiving your fresh start.

With Downloadable Worksheets and Sample Forms

Get more than 40 additional resources, including samples of completed bankruptcy forms, fillable financial worksheets, current income and exemption charts, motions, and more.


Cara O'Neill:
Cara O'Neill is a legal editor and writer at Nolo, focusing on bankruptcy and small claims. She has authored a variety of Nolo book titles, including The New Bankruptcy, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, and Everybody’s Guide to Small Claims Court. Before joining Nolo, Cara practiced for over 20 years in civil litigation and bankruptcy. During that time, she served as an Administrative Law Judge mediating disputes in the automotive industry, taught undergraduate and graduate law courses, and served as house counsel for a large insurance company. She earned her law degree in 1994 from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, where she served as a law review editor and graduated a member of the Order of the Barristers—an honor society recognizing excellence in courtroom advocacy. Cara maintains a bankruptcy practice in Roseville, California at the Law Office of Cara O’Neill.