When you just can’t seem to get all your bills paid each month, filing for bankruptcy in Tennessee might be the solution for you. The first step toward a fresh start is understanding the differences between filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Once you know which chapter will benefit you most, you’ll want to begin preparing your filing. This article explains where to find some of the information you’ll need when completing the bankruptcy paperwork, such as official bankruptcy forms, Tennessee means test figures, credit counseling providers, and your local bankruptcy court. Also, you’ll learn about legal exemptions that protect property in a Tennessee bankruptcy.
Before the Tennessee bankruptcy court forgives (discharges) your eligible debt, you must first disclose all aspects of your financial circumstances. You’ll use the official bankruptcy forms to list your property, debt, income, expenses, and recent property transactions (such as selling a car, closing a bank account, or transferring property to a new owner).
You can get free copies of the forms on the U.S. Courts form page. The completed forms get filed in the Tennessee bankruptcy court. With your paperwork, you’ll include:
Bankruptcy is a process under federal law, but Tennessee residents will need some state information to complete the paperwork.
You can find two types of Tennessee-specific information on the website of the U.S. Trustee: means testing figures and approved credit counseling providers.
The three federal judicial districts each have a court website with the court’s local rules and instructions for filing your paperwork. (Clicking on the link below will take you to the site. Select “Filing Without an Attorney,” “Local Rules,” or “Pro Se” from the navbar.)
Each of the federal districts has multiple divisions. To determine where to file your case, visit the Federal Court Locator page. In the drop-down box, choose “Bankruptcy” and enter your location.
|Historic U.S. Courthouse
31 East 11th Street
Chattanooga, TN 37402-2722
(423) 752-5163 James H Quillen U.S.Courthouse
220 West Depot Street, Ste. 218
Greeneville, TN 37743-4924
(423) 787-0113 Howard H Baker U.S. Courthouse
800 Market Street, Ste. 330
Knoxville, TN 37902
(865) 545-4279 U.S. Post Office & Courthouse
Second Floor Courtroom
200 South Jefferson Street
Winchester, TN 37398
(423) 752-5163(This location isn’t staffed.)
|Nashville Division701 Broadway, Room 170
Nashville, TN 37203(615) 736-5584Columbia DivisionFederal Building and Courthouse
815 South Garden Street
Columbia, TN 38401(615) 736-5584Cookeville DivisionL. Clure Morton Post Office and Courthouse
9 E Broad Street
Cookeville, TN 38503(615) 736-5584
|Western Division200 Jefferson Avenue, Suite 410
Memphis TN 38103
(901) 328-3500Eastern Division111 South Highland Avenue, Suite 107
Jackson TN 38301
Filing for bankruptcy doesn’t mean you’ll lose all of your property, but you might not get to keep (exempt) all of it, either. You can determine the status of your property by reviewing the list of exemptions for people filing bankruptcy in Tennessee.
To learn more about the property you can keep when you file your bankruptcy case—and to see a list of commonly-used exemptions—visit Tennessee Bankruptcy Exemptions.
This article provides resources that a filer can use when preparing a bankruptcy case. It does not cover all aspects of bankruptcy, and each filer is responsible for understanding the law. If you plan to file without an attorney, consider purchasing a do-it-yourself book like How to File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy by Attorney Cara O’Neill and Albin Renauer J.D.