Can someone explain what going through bankruptcy means? 16 Answers as of June 14, 2011

I need to know how to file for bankruptcy and what all is involved? I am thinking about filing very soon and need to know the proper steps.

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Law Offices of Michael J. Berger
Law Offices of Michael J. Berger | Michael J. Berger
The best way to find out if bankruptcy is right for you and to learn all that is involved is to call a Certified Specialist in Bankruptcy Law for a free consultation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/14/2011
Gresham Family & Bankruptcy Law
Gresham Family & Bankruptcy Law | Lillian Suelzle Watson
Bankruptcy is a complex process. Most bankruptcy lawyers will give you a free consultation to explain the process. We do. Call for a free consultation. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 6/9/2011
Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
My first response to this question is always to retain an attorney. It's complicated, and there are many dangers involved; if you file yourself you could end up costing yourself much more than a competent attorney would charge. And, as to attorney fees, consider the debt you're discharging in comparison to those fees. Bankruptcy means that you discharge (eliminate your responsibility to pay) most of your debts. Student loans, most taxes, obligations arising from divorce are the most common debts that are not discharged. You have the choice of filing Chapter 7 or 11 (if you make that much money) and have the debts eliminated in about 3 months, or file a Chapter 13 and pay into a Plan for up to 5 years. Chapter 13 is good for clients who make too much money to file a Chapter 7 or 11, or who have an asset with equity which they don't want to have sold to pay debts. You'll need to show your attorney your tax return, pay stubs for 6 months, all debts. You'll go over your budget and your assets. Full disclosure is required. You can't have used credit within 90 days of filing.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 6/9/2011
Law Office of Jackie Robert Geller
Law Office of Jackie Robert Geller | Jackie Robert Geller
Best bet is to consult with a bankruptcy attorney in your community. Many will provide a free consultation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/9/2011
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
I can not explain how to do it here. Book are written on subject. Competent lawyers study the subject continually. There are allot of fine nuances that make a big difference on how the case turns out. As I type this I have client in the lobby filling out a questionnaire so I can interview them about fixing a case they filed themselves.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/9/2011
    Steven D. Keist, Attorney at Law
    Steven D. Keist, Attorney at Law | Steven D. Keist
    There is too many steps to explain in an email. You should see an attorney to obtain legal information even if you intend to file on your own.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
    Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
    Individuals usually file either a Ch 7 or Ch 13. In a Ch 7, individuals are allowed to keep certain exempt property and the value varies from state to state. Generally, the result of a Ch 7 filing is the debtor's unsecured debts are discharged, which secured debts such as mortgages and car loans, are either reaffirmed or given back to the creditor. Other assets, if any, are sold (liquidated) by the trustee to repay creditors. Discharge usually takes 3 months. In a Ch 13, the debtors pay their disposable income by way of a plan to the Ch 13 trustee to satisfy their debts. A CH 13 can cure delinquencies, modify secured payments and otherwise restructure a Debtor's obligations. Discharge usually after 3-5yrs of paying into the plan.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    Explaining what going through bankruptcy means would fill a book. Two books published by Nolo Press in Berkeley cover Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The are: How to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy (2009) by Elias, Renauer and Leonard and Chapter 13 bankruptcy: repay your debts (2001) by Leonard and Michon. Both are available from the publisher or try Amazon books.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    You need to file a petition and schedules with the bankruptcy court and attend a meeting of creditors. Before filing you will need to take a course called Credit Counseling and then take a second course after filing that is called Financial Management or Debtor's Education. You can take those courses online or by telephone. This describes a Chapter 7 case (Liquidation Bankruptcy) which is the most common type of bankruptcy case. You should be represented by an attorney. It is too important and dangerous to take risks by filing without an experienced bankruptcy attorney. You cannot get out of Chapter 7 without permission from the court. Therefore, a mistake can cost you a lot of money and grief.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Ursula G. Barrios Law
    Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
    First you must receive a proper assessment on whether you qualify and whether you should file. Then you have a petition prepared and filed. Then you attend a meeting of creditors and if all goes according to plan you await your discharge and leave your debts behind you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Edward Papa, Esq.
    Edward Papa, Esq. | Edward Papa
    You should visit a bankruptcy attorney who can discuss the different bankruptcy options and help you prepare for the bankruptcy process. While you can certainly file pro se, it is much easier to have a competent guide in the process.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    The first step is to file the petition. If you have never been through this before, the services of a bankruptcy attorney can be of significant help. If you are in my area and are looking for an attorney, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    There are several very different forms of bankruptcy and many variations in procedure and outcome depending on your situation. You need to know what will happen in YOUR case. That involves going to a lawyer and showing him detailed financial information.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Daniel Hoarfrost, Attorney at Law
    Daniel Hoarfrost, Attorney at Law | Daniel Hoarfrost
    Going through bankruptcy means filing for bankruptcy relief with the appropriate paper work in federal court. The easiest way to make sure it is done properly is to hire an attorney. A typical consumer Ch 7 costs about $1,500. Please feel free to call my office.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC | Richard James Symmes
    You should speak to a bankruptcy lawyer in your jurisdiction as they could better rely all of the steps. In short it involves filing a bankruptcy petition which may discharge your liability for most debts. Generally you will only need to go to court 1 time in order to attend a meeting of creditors. The entire process takes about 4 months, however no creditors will be able to contact you after your case is filed.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/8/2011
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney