COVID-19 is causing all types of financial problems for thousands of Maryland residents . These include unemployment, evictions, mortgage loan defaults and automobile repossessions. As a result, many people are filing Ch. 7 bankruptcy in MD to get relief from debt.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy can eliminate consumer debts, temporarily stop home foreclosures and stop creditor calls. Whether you hire a lawyer or file bankruptcy on your own, it’s a good idea to learn about the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process. Here are 7 things you should know about filing Ch. 7 bankruptcy in MD.
Completing bankruptcy courses is part of the filing Ch. 7 bankruptcy in MD requirements.
Bankruptcy filers (with a few exceptions) must take a pre-filing credit counseling course and a post-filing debtor education course. Plan to take the pre-filing counseling course before you file your forms with the Maryland bankruptcy court. The post-filing debtor education course must be taken after you file your forms. You should be aware that you won’t receive a bankruptcy discharge until you take the post-filing debtor education course.
Attending Your 341 Meeting of the Creditors is mandatory.
After you file your forms, the Maryland Bankruptcy Court will send a notice to you. This notice includes a bankruptcy case number and the date of your 341 Meeting of the Creditors. If you don’t attend this meeting, the court may dismiss your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.
The Maryland Bankruptcy Court offers three options for paying your court filing fee.
As of September 2020, the cost to file bankruptcy in Maryland (and throughout the United States) is $335. The court fee does not include lawyer fees or bankruptcy petition preparation costs. You can pay the court filing fee in full, request a bankruptcy court fee waiver or apply to pay the bankruptcy fee in installments.
Bankruptcy fraud is a crime.
When you file Ch. 7 bankruptcy in Maryland, you must provide accurate information to the courts. If you knowingly provide false information, the courts can charge you with bankruptcy fraud. The penalty for bankruptcy fraud is imprisonment and/or monetary fines. When it comes to bankruptcy, honesty is always the best policy.
Maryland Bankruptcy Courts accept pro se bankruptcy filings.
Pro se means that you are filing bankruptcy without legal representation. When you file bankruptcy without a lawyer, you are responsible for representing yourself in all proceedings. The Maryland Bankruptcy Court accepts pro se bankruptcy filings. This means that it is legal for you to file bankruptcy in Maryland without a lawyer.
There are two bankruptcy court locations for filing Ch. 7 bankruptcy in MD.
You can file your bankruptcy at the District of Maryland – Greenbelt Division or the District of Maryland – Baltimore Division. Typically, Maryland bankruptcy filers submit their forms to the court that is closest to their residences.
The District of Maryland – Greenbelt Division serves the following counties and cities: Anne Arundel, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Caroline, Carroll, Cecil, Dorcester, Harford, Howard, Kent, Queen Annes, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomoco and Worcester.
The District Court of Maryland – Greenbelt Division serves the following counties: Alleghany, Calvert, Charles, Frederick, Garrett, Montgomery, Prince Georges, St. Marys and Washington.
The Maryland Bankruptcy Court is open during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Maryland Bankruptcy Court is following the CDC safety guidelines for COVID-19. Although the bankruptcy clerk’s office is operational, it isn’t open to the public. However, you can submit your bankruptcy forms in the drop box or via CM/EMF for electronic filings.
Want to learn more about filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Maryland? Visit the District Court of Maryland bankruptcy site for more information.
This blog post is sponsored by Prepare My Chapter 7. We prepare Chapter 7 bankruptcy forms for people who file bankruptcy in Maryland, D.C. or Virginia (and a few other states) without a lawyer.
Explore the Prepare My Chapter 7 website to learn more about our non-attorney bankruptcy services.