The Bankruptcy Process

It can be overwhelming to think about filing bankruptcy.  Where do you start?  What is the process like?  How long will it take?  While there is no one-size-fits-all bankruptcy filing, the vast majority of our cases follow the same basic timeline.

1. Initial Call

Contact our office to talk one of our bankruptcy attorneys about your options.  We can go over your situation right on the spot during your first call if you have time, or the same day if no attorney is available.  We will discuss bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy options available in your situation. 

2. Gather Documents

We try to make it easy - no worksheets to fill out but we still need documents.

  • Photo identification
  • Proof of your social security number (W2 or card)
  • Paystubs (in some cases up to the last 6 months)
  • Your last years tax return (if you have filed one).

Your lawyer will go over requirements in your particular case. 

3. Complete Credit Counseling

We cannot file your case until you complete a credit counseling class.  It can be done online or over the phone. The class takes about an hour and it is easy.  We will provide you with instructions on how to take it.  

4. Meet with a Bankruptcy Attorney

During the appointment we cover all the paperwork and disclosures required in your bankruptcy case. We also go over your budget. We will cover what to expect next and answer any questions you might have.  If there is an active garnishment, threat of repossession, or sale of the house, we will make sure we can draft you case as soon as possible. 

  • Meet on Zoom or in Person
  • Evening & Saturday Appointments available

5. Sign Bankruptcy Paperwork

 If you conduct the meeting in person you sign the case then but if it is over the phone or by Zoom then we put the case up on Docu-Sign and you sign it electronically.

6. We file your bankruptcy case

We can file within 24 hours of signing the paperwork - as long as we have all the documents necessary and the credit counseling class is done. Once your case is filed the court issues an order to all your creditors that stops them from continuing to collect from you and it is mailed out to them based on the information in your case. This is when bankruptcy protection starts. 

7. Attend Meeting of Creditors (341 hearing)

You have a hearing about 30 days from the date of filing. You will have about three weeks advance notice about this hearing. Right now these hearings are done by phone. One of the attorneys from our office always appears with you.

8. Pre-Discharge Education

After your hearing you will do another class online called the Pre-discharge or Debtor Education course. It is required after you file but before you get a discharge.

9. Bankruptcy Discharge

Once you complete the requirements of your case you will get a discharge. In a chapter 7 case this is usually in five to six months from the filing. In a chapter 13 case it is just after you make your last payment, which is usually within 3-5 years.

You're Done!

Enjoy being debt free!

Talk to a bankruptcy attorney today
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