Steps to Take to Start the Bankruptcy Process

woman preparing for bankruptcy in Florida

If you are dealing with financial obligations that you cannot afford to pay, bankruptcy may be your best option for improving your situation. While many people are hesitant to file bankruptcy, there is no reason to be ashamed about doing so.

Filing bankruptcy can allow you to get a “clean slate” and live debt-free. However, because bankruptcy laws are so complex, filing for bankruptcy can be an intimidating and challenging process.

For many years, the bankruptcy attorneys at Loan Lawyers in Fort Lauderdale, FL have been helping individuals pursue bankruptcy so they can get a fresh financial start. Contact the experienced Loan Lawyers today to schedule a free, no-obligation review of your financial situation. We can provide free legal advice about the steps in the bankruptcy process.

If you need to start the bankruptcy process, Loan Lawyers recommends that you take the following steps:

Step 1: Find a Bankruptcy Attorney

It’s critical that you find an experienced bankruptcy lawyer who will have your best interest in mind and who will be forthright and honest about your best options – whether it’s bankruptcy or another route altogether. Make sure that you are comfortable with the bankruptcy attorney you select.

Step 2: Conduct a Bankruptcy Counseling Session

In the majority of bankruptcy cases, you will need to get credit counseling within 180 days before filing for bankruptcy protection. You must also complete a course on debt management before you are eligible to have your debts discharged.

The bankruptcy counseling session is intended to ensure you have exhausted all other options and decrease your chance of having to make another visit to the bankruptcy court in the coming years.

A pre-bankruptcy counseling session with an approved provider should include:

  • A review of your finances
  • Information on the alternatives to bankruptcy
  • A plan for your personal budget

Credit counseling sessions typically last about 30 minutes and can be completed online, in-person, or over the phone. If you cannot afford to pay for the sessions, you may request a fee waiver before the session begins. Depending on where you live, a counseling session generally costs around $50.

Step 3: Complete a Petition and Paperwork

The bankruptcy petition consists of forms and schedules. If you are married, you must complete just one set of forms with information for both you and your spouse. Your particular court may require local forms.

Your bankruptcy lawyer will complete the paperwork on your behalf. Make sure you do not omit important information about your finances on your bankruptcy disclosures. This can result in your filing being delayed or even dismissed.

Step 4: Meet the Trustee

It’s the responsibility of the trustee to review your bankruptcy forms and investigate and verify your financial information. The trustee must make sure your bankruptcy claim is not fraudulent. Your trustee is also responsible for managing your assets, including collecting your property, converting your assets to cash, and distributing the proceeds to your creditors.

Step 5: Attend a Meeting of Creditors

The meeting of creditors is when the trustee and your creditors get a chance to ask you questions under oath about your petition and the documents you are required to provide to the trustee.

The meeting of creditors is basically a hearing used to verify that the information contained in your bankruptcy papers is complete and accurate. You will also be required to prove your identity by presenting two forms of identification. These steps in the process of filing for bankruptcy help prevent fraudulent filings from occurring.

How the Bankruptcy Attorneys at Loan Lawyers Can Help

At Loan Lawyers, we are experienced consumer rights attorneys ready to use our skills, knowledge, and resources to develop a comprehensive debt solution strategy for you. We are prepared is to take on your burdens, resolve your issues, and give you confidence in knowing you are on the path to a better future.

To schedule a free initial consultation, call now or reach out to us online.