The simplest answer is that you have to because the Bankruptcy Code requires it. But there is actually a very good reason for this requirement (and it more often than not helps your situation).
When you file a St. Louis bankruptcy, the court demands that you disclose a great deal of information. For instance, you must tell the court about all of your assets, whether it is real or personal property (because your Bankruptcy Trustee has a right to know if you own anything that he might want to liquidate); a full list of all your debts (because your creditors have a right to know that the debt you owe them is subject to discharge); and an accounting of your household income, regardless of the source (this would include things like wages from you and your spouse’s job, but would also entail things like Social Security Income, Social Security Disability, unemployment benefits, retirement income, contributions from other family members, or even income from rental property).
Once all the household income is calculated, you can then determine if you are considered to be above or below the median income level for your particular household size. So for instance, let’s say you are a household of two (you and your spouse). According to the government, the median (average) income for a household of two is approximately $52,000. If the combined sources of income between you and your spouse is less than 52K, then you most likely will quality for a St. Louis Chapter 7. This type of Missouri bankruptcy is thought of as a straight discharge of unsecured debt (things like credit cards, medical bills, payday loans, etc). A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will also put an end to things like wage garnishments, bank levies, and lawsuits directed against you.
If your household income is far above this level (in other words, your lawyer is unable to get your disposable income below 52K after using certain applicable exemptions), then it is likely that you will be filing a St. Louis Chapter 13. Such a bankruptcy is described as a repayment plan over the course of three to five years, during which certain debts are paid back (such as arrearage on a mortgage, car loans, tax debt, and back child support). A Missouri Chapter 13 will also stop a home foreclosure and car repossession.
Whichever type of bankruptcy that is filed, it is very important that you hire an experienced firm to handle your case. The affordable St. Louis bankruptcy attorneys at The Law Office of Jennifer Alter-Rieken have been helping people get back on their financial feet for over ten (10) years.
We have two locations: in the Central West End, at 1 North Taylor, St. Louis, MO 63108; and in the Twin Cities of Festus / Crystal City, at 1000 Truman Blvd (Highway 61/67), Jefferson County, MO 63019. The initial consultation is free of charge. So contact us today to learn more!!