I am often asked what to I need to do to file a bankruptcy. My reply is you have taken the first step. You have contacted a bankruptcy lawyer seeking information. Only with this information can you determine if you can file bankruptcy and if bankruptcy is the right thing for you to do. I thought I would make list of the things you should do.
1. Get Some information. You can do some basic information on how bankruptcy works by visiting a good website like this one.
2. Contact a bankruptcy lawyer for a consultation. Most bankruptcy lawyers will offer your first consultation for free.
3. Visit the lawyers website for more information.
4. Gather up your financial information. Bankruptcy lawyers will provide you help with this. My office has a package we send prior to consultation either by email, snail mail, or by directing people to our website. There is a list here of what we need to review.
5. Its time for your consultation. This is the most important stes. Only by meeting with a bankruptcy lawyer will you gain enough information to make a good decision. This first meeting will give you the basic information on how bankruptcy works in general. It can give you the information on how bankruptcy will work in your case. However there is often a lot of information that the bankruptcy lawyer will need to review to determine if bankruptcy is for you and the type of bankruptcy that is best for you.
6. Gather up and bring to your lawyer all the additional information and documents the lawyer asks for.
7. Get a copy of your credit report.
8. Retain your lawyer (pay the lawyer). Remember you still have not filed bankruptcy.
9. You may now have several contacts with your lawyer and the staff depending on how complicated your case. These meeting are important to make sure your paperwork is accurate
10. Take your credit counseling course. You can not file bankruptcy unless you have completed a pre-bankruptcy credit counseling course. Your lawyer will provide you with information on how to do that.
11. My office provides a draft to our clients ahead of their signing appointment. It is very important to review this document for missing creditors and to make sure all the questions are answered truthfully and correctly.
12. Signing the paperwork. You will then go over the paper in detail with your lawyer to make sure it is correct and accurate. There are a number of different documents to sign. Once these papers are filed your answers cant be erased. Make sure you have all your concerns addressed before the papers are sent to the court.
13. Once you have signed the papers, the lawyer hits a button and you case is filed electronically with the bankruptcy
court. You are given a case number. You have now filed bankruptcy. A meeting of creditors is scheduled. There is a lot more still to be done but you have now filed bankruptcy.
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Last modified: December 30, 2012