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There is a special procedure for filing an application for bankruptcy under Chapter 13 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. The debtor can file the application only in the court of the city where he actually resides. In other words, the court should be located at the place of the debtor's domicile. The application is a two-page form. This has to be duly signed by the debtor and his attorney.
Once the application has been accepted by the court, the petitioner has to pay the court a specified filing fee and administrative charges. These fees roughly amount to $155. There are also administrative charges of $30. If the debtor cannot pay both fees together in one lump sum, he can petition the court to permit him to pay the fees in installments. The court usually grants this, and in most cases, the petitioner can pay the amount in a maximum of four installments.
The debtor has to furnish certain documents in support of his arguments to seek relief. The important documents include details of his assets and liabilities, current income and expenditures, contracts and unexpired leases, and also a statement of his financial affairs.
Besides his income, the debtor also has to mention in detail all the important items of expenditure-his expenses on monthly living, medical expenses, transportation, housing, taxes, food and clothing. The petition should also contain the list of all his creditors along with the amount of debt to be paid to each one of them.
In case the debtor is married, both the spouses can file the petition jointly or individually. If they decide to file a joint petition, they will have to pay only one filing fee and one administrative fee. In the joint petition, both the spouses are required to furnish their financial details. A special mention in the financial details has to be made of the sources of their incomes, along with their frequency. They also have to mention the properties which they individually or jointly own.
The application form can be purchased from the local stationery shop. It may be noted that the court does not supply the application forms. Once the application is admitted, the fee has to be deposited with the clerk of the court.