How to Get Started Filing Bankruptcy

31 Jan How to Get Started Filing Bankruptcy

To get ready to file a bankruptcy in the United States, you need to get a credit counseling certificate, gather up your pay stubs and financial documents, and make an appointment to see an attorney in your local area.

Everyone who files a bankruptcy must get a credit counseling certificate from a provider approved by the U.S. Trustee before the bankruptcy case can be filed. There are almost no exceptions.

You do not have to pay your bills in a debt repayment plan through a credit counselor. What you have to do is attend a one-time meeting to discuss your financial problems, review your budget and get information about your options, then you are given a certificate of credit counseling. You can do this in person, over the telephone, by mail or over the Internet.

Gather up your pay stubs, pile of bills, tax returns, bank statements and other documents. Help yourself and your lawyers by organizing the stack of papers. Most lawyers have a list of documents to bring to prepare your bankruptcy. Get the list and gather all the documents. Many bankruptcy attorneys will not schedule an appointment with you unless all documents are collected.

When you have your credit counseling certificate and all your documents assembled, make an appointment with a bankruptcy lawyer. How do you find a bankruptcy attorney? You can ask family, friends and co-workers for a recommendation, but many people don’t want to divulge their problems. If you know an attorney, you can ask her to refer you to a bankruptcy attorney. You can find a bankruptcy specialist through the American Board of Certification or your state bar. You can use the attorney finder of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. You can do a Google search or reach advertising. Seek information and choose wisely.

Now that you have gotten your credit counseling certificate, gathered your documents and selected your bankruptcy attorney, go to your consultation and follow your attorney’s advice.Stop being stressed out by bills you can’t pay! Get the fresh start only the federal bankruptcy laws can give you!

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Jill Michaux has helped Kansas consumers with debt problems for three decades. She and her partner, Mark Neis, are Topeka's only bankruptcy specialists, board certified in consumer bankruptcy law by the American Board of Certification. She help start the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys.

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