The U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the District of Wyoming has two locations. Bankruptcies in the area are governed by federal statutes, and all bankruptcy proceedings occur in these federal courts. Filing bankruptcy may be a good option in the case of financial distress, but it is highly suggested to first seek the counsel of a local attorney. You may file without a lawyer, or pro se, but can also contact the American Bar Association to find one who offers free consultations or reduced rates.
Types of Bankruptcy and Terms
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is filed by individuals who wish to liquidate their holdings and property to pay back their debts. Unsecured debts may be discharged in this type of bankruptcy, except for some debts such as taxes and student loans.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is filed by those who wish to reorganize debt to a more affordable balance/payment level, all while maintaining possession of most types of property such as houses and cars.
Chapter 11 is filed by businesses who wish to reorganize debt and remain in business, and Chapter 12 is filed by professional fishermen and farmers.
Bankruptcies can leave a negative mark on credit reports and scores for up to 10 years, and greatly affect your ability to obtain additional credit during that time.
Steps to Filing Bankruptcy
Before filing for bankruptcy at the local courthouse, debtors must complete an approved credit counseling course and provide documentation of such. This must take place within 180 days of filing for bankruptcy.
Court fees are due upon initial filing, and are a few hundred dollars for Chapter 7 and 13 cases. Chapter 7 debtors may request a waiver of fees or reduced payment plan. Chapter 11 can cost $1500 or more. If these fees are not paid, the case will be dismissed.
Chapter 7 debtors must complete a means test to prove they cannot pay their debts in order to qualify. All debtors must provide multiple documents such as tax returns, balance sheets, proof of identity and details regarding debts and creditor identities. If these are not provided by a specified deadline, the case risks being dismissed.
After the initial court hearing, a meeting of creditors is scheduled with the appointed trustee. If the debtor does not attend the meeting, the case may be dismissed and collection efforts continued. At this meeting, creditors may negotiate payment and lowered obligations to a more affordable level for the debtor. Creditors may also interview the debtor about current income, employment and learn of other debts they are responsible for. The agreed-upon schedule is then submitted to court for approval.
Before the court will discharge a bankruptcy, the debtor must attend a financial management course by an approved local vendor.
Location Specific Information
The District of Wyoming U.S. Bankruptcy Court has locations in Cheyenne and Casper, at 2120 Capitol Avenue and 111 South Wolcott, respectively. Hours are 8:30a.m. – 12:00p.m. and 1:00p.m. – 5:00p.m.