Explained! Filing Bankruptcy While In Prison
Bankruptcy laws are a set of federal laws in the United States that allow businesses and individuals to be relieved of their debts so that they can start afresh in business.
If you're in jail wondering if you are eligible to file bankruptcy, then the short answer is yes. There are people and organisations that work to help inmates live a better and stress free life. There are You can file for bankruptcy in a few situations. These are:
1: When you and your spouse have joint debts that you want to deal with
In this case, you can certainly file bankruptcy with the help of your attorney. He will need to file a motion to excuse your appearance. This allows you to stay away from court hearings. In your place, your spouse will appear in court. To make this happen, your spouse should see a bankruptcy lawyer and activate the process.
2: Your spouse needs to use your car, but it may be repossessed.
By quoting Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can stop repossession of your car. However, this might be a little knotty if the car is in your spouse's name and he or she is imprisoned because only the prisoner can file bankruptcy as the owner of the car.
It might still be a good idea to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, though your attorney would prefer to visit your spouse in prison and get your case approved by the courts.
Yet again, if you are in prison, your spouse needs to speak to a bankruptcy lawyer to enable this to happen.
3: You, the prisoner, have piled up a lot of debt.
If the issue with you is only that you are greatly in debt, it might be a good idea not to file bankruptcy while you're in prison. You can file bankruptcy after you're released as it's also very difficult to do while in prison.
Once you're out of jail, your ex-inmates can file bankruptcy for you. At that time, you will have a better idea of your debts and can meet your lawyer or go to court, if you need to. You can then build up your credit again.
How to file bankruptcy while in prison:
There are ways of filing bankruptcy while you're still in prison. Depending on where you reside, the process may vary. Here are the steps that will involve filing bankruptcy while you serve a prison term.
- File A Power Of Attorney:
Obviously, if you're in prison, you cannot help yourself to file bankruptcy but will need the help of someone close to you, say a family member. With the help of this person, you need to file a power of attorney so that this person meets the bankruptcy lawyer who will file bankruptcy on your behalf.
Your attorney will need to meet you so that he can have all the necessary information from the beginning so that he can discuss matters with your family member or friend.
- 341 Meeting of Creditors:
Once the case is prepared and reviewed, it will be filed by your attorney. Generally, you're expected to appear in court for questioning by your creditors or their trustee at a meeting better known as the 341 Meeting of Creditors. This meeting is usually held about two or three weeks after the case is filed.
There are several ways in which the 341 Meeting of Creditors can be held for a prisoner. This could be a telephonic meeting of creditors and you, or you could appear in court for the meeting and return to jail after it ends.
Or, the trustee can give your attorney a questionnaire and ask you to fill out the answers. You will then have to sign the questionnaire, with a notary as witness and under a perjury penalty.
- Motion To Waive Attending the Creditor's Meeting
After this, your attorney will have to file a motion stating that you will be unable to attend the 341 Creditor’s Meeting, since you will be in prison.
- Take a Credit Counselling Course:
When filing bankruptcy, you need to take a credit counselling course and a financial management course. However, being in prison you will not have access to the web. Hence, your attorney should file a motion to waive this requirement.
- Filing Bankruptcy DIY:
This is a foolish step to take, particularly if you're in prison and your spouse is trying to go it alone. Don't encourage her to take this step; engaging the services of a bankruptcy lawyer will make all the difference to your case.
Cutting through the sea of things to be done in a bankruptcy case is no cakewalk, no matter how experienced your attorney may be. Still, it pays to work with an experienced attorney who knows all the ins and outs of this matter and can work to have you file bankruptcy under the purview of the laws of your state.