Filing for bankruptcy can seem overwhelming. For most filers, the list of documents needed and the bankruptcy paperwork itself can seem daunting. With an experienced bankruptcy attorney assisting you, you can rest assured that nothing is missed and that you will have a smooth filing.
Before filing for bankruptcy, it is best to meet with an attorney who can help you assess if filing for bankruptcy is the right option. There are many options aside from filing for bankruptcy to help with debt, including:
- Loan Modifications
- Short Sales
- Debt Settlements
- Repayment Plans
If, after meeting with an attorney and assessing your finances, you believe that filing for bankruptcy is the right option, then you would work with your attorney in providing the documents requested so that your bankruptcy paperwork can be prepared.
Most attorneys will have a checklist of items you need to compile and provide them. This will usually include:
- Bank Statements
- Tax Returns
- Copies of creditor statements
- Any court orders regarding a divorce or child support
- Various documents related to your income and expenses
In addition to the documents, you are also required to complete a pre-filing credit counseling course. The counseling course can usually be completed over the phone or online, and must be completed with an accredited agency.
Once you have turned in the documents to your attorney and have completed credit counseling, you will then meet with your attorney to review and sign the bankruptcy petition. Once the case is filed, all collection activity from creditors will cease. About 30 days after filing, you’ll then have a creditors’ meeting (also known as a 341 meeting). This meeting is where the trustee will ask you questions about your bankruptcy petition.
Before your bankruptcy is complete, you will complete a second counseling course, known as the debtor education course. After you complete your debtor education course and file the certificate, your debt will be discharged (usually about 60 days after your creditors’ meeting).
Also, we are pleased to announce that Darcel Lobo, the owner and attorney at DAL Law Firm, has created Your Planning Coach, a financial coaching business to help people after their bankruptcy discharge. If you’d like help getting started with planning your finances after bankruptcy, here is a great guide you can use: Budget After Bankruptcy Guide.