How difficult is it to file for bankruptcy relief?

Many potential clients know they need to do SOMETHING about their finances, but think of the bankruptcy process as being overly time consuming and burdensome. There are a few simple steps which can deliver a discharge of your debts.

1. Schedule an initial consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. It helps if you bring a list of bills and/or recent paystubs showing your income to the meeting.

2. Fill out the attorney’s questionnaire describing your financial situation. Gathering the bills and bank statements is often the most difficult chore for someone filing, but usually a paralegal is assigned to help smooth the process out.

3. Take a credit counseling class. This is usually done online, and takes about an hour.

4. Sign the petition in the lawyer’s office. In this meeting, you will confirm the information listed on the petition, and get any lingering questions you have answered.

5. Attend a 341 meeting with your lawyer. This meeting is held with a trustee, and generally takes about 10 minutes.

6. Receive your discharge in the mail! In a chapter 7 its a discharge, and in a chapter 13 you will have a payment plan in place which makes paying your bills much easier each month.

Thinking about bankruptcy is tough, particularly when someone is stressed out about their next steps. However, with proper guidance, getting your finances in order (and debts discharged) can be a relatively simple process. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact me.