How to File Bankruptcy in Illinois

By Nicki Howell

Filing bankruptcy in the state of Illinois can seem like an overwhelming process. But the United States Bankruptcy Court District of Illinois provides many resources to make the process easier to navigate. And the filing fees aren't too expensive, typically ranging from $200to $300.

Decide if you will file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This type of bankruptcy wipes the slate clean on the majority of your debts. But the State of Illinois does have income restrictions for filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. For a single person, you can earn $52,597 or less, $68,075 for a family of two, $80,344 for a family of three and $96,695 for a family of four. For each additional family member, the State of Illinois allows an additional $6,900.

Decide if you will file Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to repay your debts by allowing an extension for repayment. The repayment plan usually spans several years. However, to qualify for this type of bankruptcy, you must have steady income with money left over after paying your monthly expenses. But the State of Illinois doesn't allow more than $1,010.650 in secured debt and $336,900 in unsecured debt.

Seek the help of an attorney. Securing legal representation can be helpful for those who are overwhelmed by the bankruptcy process. State Lawyers is a company that provides a free directory of bankruptcy attorneys in the state of Illinois.

File bankruptcy paperwork. You can download the necessary forms to file Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcies at the United States Bankruptcy Court District of Illinois website. (Follow the link in Resources.)

Get ready to be called to attend a hearing. When declaring bankruptcy in Illinois, you will need to attend a court hearing. At this hearing, you will be required to answer questions about your debts that will be posed by creditors and the court trustee.

About the Author

Nicki Howell started her professional writing career in 2002, specializing in areas such as health, fitness and personal finance. She has been published at health care websites, such as HealthTree, and is a ghostwriter for a variety of small health care organizations. She earned a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Portland State University.