Filing for bankruptcy in Arkansas has a few general requirements. First, you must compile your financial documents. Next, you must complete a credit counseling course. Then, you can submit your petition and materials to the bankruptcy court.
However, there are eligibility requirements for filing for bankruptcy in Arkansas, and you must also establish the chapter under which you will file your bankruptcy. If you have specific questions, you should speak with a bankruptcy lawyer in Arkansas for legal advice.
What is the Process to File for Bankruptcy in Arkansas?
Consumers can file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy requires you to liquidate your non-exempt assets, but does not require any payment plans to creditors.
- Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to keep most of your assets, but you must repay your creditors totally or partially for your debts.
Regardless of the filing chapter, here are the 3 steps you must take when filing for bankruptcy in Arkansas:
Step 1. Compile All Relevant Financial Documents
Since filing for bankruptcy requires you to prove several aspects of your financial situation, it is necessary to assemble a file of your financial documents that show any assets, liabilities, or equity. All personal information is relevant in this situation, so it helps to gather as much as possible.
These are the relevant financial documents you’ll need to determine if you qualify for bankruptcy:
- Proof of identification
- Paycheck stubs
- Last 4 years of tax returns
- Real estate titles and records
- Vehicle titles and records
- Credit card statements
- Bank statements
- Student loan statements
- Alimony and/or child support verification
- A complete list of your personal property
- Retirement account statements
- Other relevant financial records
These documents should be readily available when filing your petition, so keep them in a safe, accessible location to reference them as needed. If you hire an Arkansas bankruptcy lawyer, he or she will maintain copies of the files on your behalf.
Step 2. Determine if You Qualify for Bankruptcy
Qualifying for bankruptcy depends on the facts and circumstances of your financial affairs. To qualify for bankruptcy in Arkansas, you must meet the following requirements within 180 days of filing your petition:
- Complete a court-approved credit counseling course
- Have no filings that were dismissed for a failure to appear or by the petitioner after a creditor applies for automatic stay relief
There are also eligibility requirements that you must meet according to the code under which you are filing for bankruptcy.
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy is reserved for the most severe financial situations. To qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Arkansas, your income levels must be less than the state median, or you must pass the Chapter 7 bankruptcy means test.
- Chapter 13 bankruptcy is for debtors who do not meet the requirements for Chapter 7. To qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Arkansas, you must have secured debt that is less than $1,257,850 and unsecured debt that is less than $419,275.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy provides more significant financial advantages than Chapter 13 bankruptcy. To see if you qualify, an Arkansas bankruptcy lawyer can review your financial situation in its entirety to determine if there are opportunities to pass the Chapter 7 bankruptcy means test.
Step 3. File Your Bankruptcy Petition with the Court
Each case and bankruptcy filing is unique, but in general, you will submit the following materials when filing for bankruptcy in Arkansas:
- A check to cover the cost of filing fees
- Voluntary petition
- Asset and liability summaries
- All declarations and statements
- Credit counseling certification
- All disclosures and schedules
- Evidence of all claims contained within
Your attorney will prepare your bankruptcy package on your behalf. If you are filing your bankruptcy without an attorney, you must submit the required materials through Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER). All personal data identifiers should be removed from your files.
Do I Need a Lawyer to File for Bankruptcy in Arkansas?
You have the right to hire a lawyer when filing for bankruptcy in Arkansas, and because bankruptcy laws are so complex, we recommend you do so. An Arkansas bankruptcy lawyer will protect your rights while reviewing your finances for crucial opportunities.
You can file for bankruptcy without a lawyer, but if you do, you could end up making mistakes that jeopardize your case. You may want to hire an Arkansas bankruptcy lawyer if you:
- Have concerns about passing the Chapter 7 means test
- Want to uncover every opportunity to eliminate your debt successfully
- Are not sure whether you should file for bankruptcy or use alternatives
- Are still deciding which bankruptcy filing is right for your situation
- Want someone with legal experience to analyze your bigger financial picture
- Want to protect yourself from creditors and collection agencies
Hire a Lawyer to Protect Your Rights During Bankruptcy
Filing for bankruptcy is an opportunity for financial freedom, but the amount of time, commitment, and attention involved in the process is challenging for most people to handle without an attorney. A bankruptcy lawyer will ensure that no legal mistakes are made at any given point.
Federal and state bankruptcy codes and regulations are vast and intricate. An experienced bankruptcy attorney will prevent legal errors from happening and will review your overall financial picture to ensure that you do not give up any more of your assets than necessary.
Milligan Law Offices Will Help You File For Bankruptcy in Arkansas
If you need help filing for bankruptcy in Arkansas or have questions about the process, get in touch with Milligan Law Offices for an initial consultation. Request yours today by messaging us through the form on this page or by calling 479-783-2213.