The first step is meeting for the consultation. Our office offers a free initial consultation to make sure that bankruptcy is the best option for your financial situation. If we advise you that it makes sense to file bankruptcy then the next step is to determine whether you qualify for Chapter 7 or if a Chapter 13 payment plan is a better option. The consultation consists of an interview to review your debts, assets, income and expenses. The consultation generally last from thirty to forty-five minutes.
A few helpful materials to bring to your initial consultation are your: (1) last 6 months of pay stubs, (2) previous two years federal tax returns, (3) credit card statements or collection notices, (4) collection lawsuits or judgment court papers, (5) most recent bank account statements, (6) retirement account statement, and (7) mortgage and vehicle loan statement showing remaining balance.
At the end of your interview you will have a better understanding of your bankruptcy and other debt relief options. Also, we will send you a letter requesting any additional documents required to file your bankruptcy petition.
Drafting the Petition:
After executing our representation agreement we will begin the process of drafting your bankruptcy petition. The bankruptcy petition with
accompanying schedules and forms is a lengthy and extremely technical document
that must be drafted precisely and completely. I have noticed many bankruptcy cases that were dismissed or in trouble because of poor petition drafting.
Congress requires that prior to filing the bankruptcy petition that all debtors must complete a credit counseling course. You may complete this course online or over the phone and it normally takes twenty to forty-five minutes. There are dozens of course providers and our office will recommend several that our clients have used in the past.
Meeting of the Creditors:
Most bankruptcy filers only make one appearance before the bankruptcy trustee. Although this appearance is named the meeting of the creditors, only on rare occasions would any of my client's creditors attend. In addition, this meeting does not take place in a courtroom and usually occurs in a conference room or office. At the beginning of the meeting the debtor is sworn in under the penalty of perjury and the meeting is recorded. The trustee will review your petition and schedules and ask questions. We will help you prepare for and represent you at this meeting.
For more information about the bankruptcy filing process please contact us at (610) 935-5555 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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