Are there any steps I need to take before filing for bankruptcy? How? 8 Answers as of June 25, 2015

How do I start the process? Is there anything I need to do before I decide to file?

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Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
From a strictly legal standpoint, you first look into bankruptcy at noon and file your petition at 1:00 PM. I and all the attorneys that I know about charge extra fees for an emergency case. As a practical matter, almost everyone benefits from bankruptcy planning. First, bankruptcy isn't a good plan for everyone, you need to have an attorney evaluate your unique situation and discussed the risks and advantages of bankruptcy as it affects you. Second, often clients are advised to make changes to get the maximum benefit from their bankruptcy. Sometimes this is as simple as waiting, sometimes it involves taking actions to secure exemptions - for example, $5,000 in cash from your tax return isn't an exempt asset but using the $5,000 as a down payment on a car to replace a car which is more expensive than you can afford makes the $5,000 exempt. To start the process, schedule an appointment with a bankruptcy attorney in your area.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 6/25/2015
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C.
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
There are a lot of things you need to do. To numerous to list here. Meet with an experienced BK lawyer. For example, I charge a small fee for a one hour meeting where we cover everything from A to Z. It is worth the small payment to be completely knowledgeable about what you need to do to protect yourself pre-filing, and everything thereafter. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 6/25/2015
Eranthe Law Firm
Eranthe Law Firm | Cate Eranthe
Yes. You need to meet with a knowledgeable local bankruptcy attorney to discuss the facts of your situation. There are many factors to consider and no way anyone here can tell you what is right for you and what pitfalls there might be. Avoid problems by getting good information and make sure it is a good fit for you. This is a complex area of the law and is fact specific.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/24/2015
Deborah F Bowinski, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Debby Bowinski
There are many things to consider in making a decision to file for bankruptcy, including the total amount of debt you have, what sorts of debts they are and how much of it would be discharged in bankruptcy, what sorts of assets you own and what they are worth, what your household income is and how many of you there are in the household, etc. The best way to begin is to sit down with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer who can evaluate your situation. Most bankruptcy lawyers will offer a brief initial consultation at no cost.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 6/24/2015
Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
First things first: you would really benefit from retaining an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. Such a person's advice and representation can save you from many possible pitfalls. An initial consultation with such a lawyer can tell you what you need to know about preparation. The most important single thing is that you must truthfully disclose all your debts and claims against you, and all your property, and a good-faith estimate of the values of all these. That's not the only information your lawyer will need, but that's a good start. Working out your monthly expenditures and monthly income (gross income, each deduction, and that leads to net or disposable income).
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 6/24/2015
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Well, sorry not enough here to answer this question. You can get an initial consultation for free. You may find a lawyer at nacba.org.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/24/2015
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    To prepare to file bankruptcy, the bankruptcy court requires you to complete a course referred to as credit counseling. Most bankruptcy lawyers work with a preferred provider of this course and can often get you a discount on the price or include it in their legal fees. Your bankruptcy attorney will need you to provide all of your wage records going back at least 6 months and at least 2 years of recent tax returns. It is very helpful if you can describe your debts in general terms, such as that your car loan has a balance of $15,000, your student loans total $20,000 and that your credit cards come to $40,000 to allow your attorney to assess whether you are a good candidate for bankruptcy, and if so, what type of bankruptcy is best designed to solve your debt problems.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/24/2015
    Patrick W. Currin, Attorney at Law | Patrick Currin
    There is a credit counseling class requirement.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/24/2015
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