Are there any steps I need to take before filing for bankruptcy? 14 Answers as of January 03, 2011

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

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Law Offices of Juan Dotson
Law Offices of Juan Dotson | Juan Dotson
You should take a credit counseling class, speak with an attorney, and stick to a new budget (only keep necessities, sometimes premium cable channels got to go).
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/3/2011
Mankus & Marchan, LTD
Mankus & Marchan, LTD | Tony Mankus
First and foremost I would recommend that you consult with a good bankruptcy attorney to assess your financial situation, determine the feasibility of filing bankruptcy, and decide on decide on type (chapter) of bankruptcy to file.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 12/29/2010
The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
Yes. You should have a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney who can evaluate all the relevant facts specific to your situation and advise you accordingly.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/28/2010
Steven D. Keist, Attorney at Law
Steven D. Keist, Attorney at Law | Steven D. Keist
Yes you should get a credit report to be sure that you have all of your debt information and then you need to take a prebankruptcy class. This certificate Is only good for 6 months so you want to be sure not to take it too soon before you are ready to file.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 12/28/2010
William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
Yes, gather up all of your bills and get a credit report on yourself for your lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Tennessee
Replied: 12/28/2010
    Greifendorff Law Offices, PC
    Greifendorff Law Offices, PC | Christine Wilton
    Do not bank where you owe money; do not transfer any assets into or out of your name; gather all your financial papers; call an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/28/2010
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    That depends on your situation. In some cases there are many steps to take in preparation and you might have to wait to file at the right time. In other cases you can file without preparation, particularly if it is a Chapter 7 case and your income is low. You need to have a consultation with
    a local bankruptcy attorney to discuss your situation and find out when is the best time to file, what kind of bankruptcy is best for your and what needs to be done before filing because this depends on each person's situation. One thing you certainly want to do is stop using credit because there is a presumption of fraud when you use credit within the 90 days before filing, particularly for non-essential goods and services. You also do not want to transfer any property until you have a chance to discuss it with an experienced qualified attorney. In fact, you should do nothing at all until you first consult with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/28/2010
    DiManna Law Office, LLC.
    DiManna Law Office, LLC. | Dawn DiManna
    Yes, but it depends on the specific facts of your case. You should meet with a bankruptcy attorney as sometimes you need to time your filing.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 12/28/2010
    Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed
    Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed | Robert Weed
    There are things you certainly can't do. For example, you can't pay back old debts to family members.

    One thing probably everyone should do. If you have a bank account with Wells Fargo or Wachovia, you should probably change banks, because in most of the country they freeze your account when they hear about the bankruptcy.

    There may be a lot of other things you have to do. But that would depend on the exact facts of your case. And your state law in wherever you are.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 12/28/2010
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Your questions are to vague to answer. Make appointment to see a lawyer. Not all cases are the same.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/27/2010
    The Law Office of Brian Nomi
    The Law Office of Brian Nomi | Brian H. Nomi
    Step one is to talk with a good, experienced bankruptcy lawyer. Any good lawyer will give you a half hour consultation for free initially. Another step is to get the "pre-bankruptcy certificate of education" done. This will help get things started easily, takes about 1-2 hours, and costs $35.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/27/2010
    Law Offices of Lady Justice
    Law Offices of Lady Justice | Mona Patel
    You do not need to do anything before filing a bankruptcy. You should call a experienced bankruptcy attorney to discuss your financial situation. Please do not pay for a consultation - a experienced attorney does not charge clients to speak about their issues.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/27/2010
    The Orantes Law Firm
    The Orantes Law Firm | Giovanni Orantes
    You should consult an experienced attorney. Many offices, including mine, offer a free initial consultation. Whether you file right away or file weeks or months later, the best thing you can do is talk about your situation with a bankruptcy attorney to determine what it is that you can or should do prior to filing. The passage of time may negatively impact your rights. For example, some people come to see me after needlessly exhausting their 401K or pension plans.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/27/2010
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    If you are hiring an attorney, the attorney can explain the process to you. I not, you need to complete a court approved credit counseling course first before you can file.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/27/2010
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