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Our Bankruptcy Process

Detailed Steps We Take

INFORMATION GATHERING

  1. You call us, and we'll talk to you over the phone about your financial situation.
  2. After getting relevant information from you, we'll talk to you about whether we think bankruptcy might be an option that can help you. If so, we'll tell you what type of bankruptcy case we think you should probably file under, if you decide to file. We'll also talk to you about the pros and cons of any non-bankruptcy options you might have for dealing with your debt.
  3. If, after talking to us, you think you would like to go forward with bankruptcy, we'll make an appointment for you to come in to our office for an intake consult with our bankruptcy attorney. We'll also send you a copy of our questionnaire to fill out, and we'll also give you a list of documents we need from you so we can prepare your bankruptcy case. 
  4. You'll fill out our questionnaire, and bring it with you to your consult. You can also bring any documents you have from our list to your consult, but don't worry if you can't find them or don't have any documents at this point. You can get those to us later, after your consult. All you need for your consult is yourself, and your questionnaire. 
  5. We'll meet with you about one hour for your intake consult. During your consult, we'll get more information from you about your potential bankruptcy case. We'll review whether we think bankruptcy might be an option that can help you. We'll discuss with you what type of bankruptcy case we think you should file under, and we'll talk to you about what to expect in your potential bankruptcy case. And finally, we'll review the pros and cons of any non-bankruptcy options you might have for dealing with your debt. 
  6. At the end of your consult, we'll tell you the other information and documents we think we'll need to prepare your case. We'll talk to you about your pre-filing credit counseling course requirement, and we'll give you instructions for how to sign up and take your course. We'll talk to you about the attorney fees and court filing fee you'll need to save up and pay to us before you can file your case. Finally, we'll also give you a copy of the retainer agreement you will need to sign to hire us to file a bankruptcy petition on your behalf, along with required legal disclosures.
  7. You'll do the required document gathering, including for example 3 months proof of income, 6 months of bank statements, 2 years of tax returns, certificates of title for any vehicles you own, and the most recent statement for all your debts.
  8. You'll sign our retainer agreement and return it to us.
  9. Using the information we get from your consult, your questionnaire, and your documents, we will prepare your bankruptcy papers. 

PRE-FILING CREDIT COUNSELING

  1. You'll need to complete your pre-filing credit counseling course before you can file. The course will take about 90 minutes to complete, and can be taken by phone or over the internet using a computer. The course will cost about $20-$25 and you will pay this directly to your course provider using a debit card or an electronic draft from your bank account. 

ATTORNEY FEE AND COURT FILING FEE PAID

  1. You'll need to save up and pay us your required attorney fee and court filing fee before you can file. To see what fees may be required in your case, see our Price List, in the section below.

BANKRUPTCY PETITION READY TO SIGN AND FILE

  1. When all of the above are complete, we'll revise your bankruptcy papers as necessary.
  2. We'll send you your bankruptcy papers for review and comment.
  3. You'll need to review your bankruptcy papers to ensure they are truthful, accurate, and complete, and you'll need to let us know about any corrections or changes you see that may be necessary.
  4. Using your input, we'll revise your bankruptcy papers as necessary, and finalize them for your signature. 
  5. You'll set up a time with us to sign your bankruptcy papers in our office, and you'll come in to sign your papers. 
  6. We'll file your bankruptcy case with the bankruptcy court. 

BANKRUPTCY PETITION HAS BEEN FILED

  1. The next business day after your bankruptcy case has been filed, we'll send you information about the date and time the bankruptcy court has set for your 341 meeting, including driving directions to the meeting and parking. We'll also give you information about your post-filing credit counseling course, and we'll give you instructions for how to sign up and take your course.
  2. About 30 days after your bankruptcy petition is filed, sometimes more, sometimes less, you will need to attend your  341 meeting, so you can meet with the bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case and answer questions about your financial affairs. We will send you reminders about your 341 meeting beforehand, to help you remember. You will need to bring your driver's license and social security card with you to the 341 meeting.
  3. We recommend that you complete your post-filing credit counseling course before your 341 meeting. The course will take about 120 minutes to complete, and can be taken by phone or over the internet using a computer. The course will cost about $20-$25 and you will pay this directly to your course provider using a debit card or an electronic draft from your bank account. 
  4. You'll attend your 341 meeting. Once called, most 341 meetings are over in about 5-10 minutes. 
  5. After your 341 meeting, the bankruptcy trustee will typically file a report with the court saying whether there are any assets in your case that the trustee can use to pay your creditors. More than 90 percent of Chapter 7 cases are no-asset cases; if your case is one of these typical cases, the trustee will file a report of no distribution. If we think your case will not be typical or will have assets, based on the information available to us before we file your petition, we will have discussed this with you beforehand.
  6. About 60 days after your 341 meeting, most typical Chapter 7 cases receive an order of bankruptcy discharge. The discharge is the main goal of bankruptcy - it's a court order saying you are no longer personally liable for your discharged debts. 
  7. Shortly after your discharge is entered, your bankruptcy case will be closed by the court. 
  8. Even though your bankruptcy case is officially over, you will still have to tell the court if you receive certain assets within 180 days of your case being filed. We will already have sent you a letter with information about this the week after your 341 meeting, so this shouldn't be a surprise to you at this point.
  9. You're done with your bankruptcy, congrats! Now get out there and enjoy the fresh start you've earned by completing your bankruptcy in accordance with the Constitution and laws of the United States!

Learn More

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