How To Begin
Once you have decided you need to discuss the options to resolve your financial problems, you may contact us to set an appointment by telephone, email or in person to review your circumstances and to discuss the options and the pros and cons of each. We care about your problems and will provide prompt, courteous and thorough help in resolving your problems.
In order to serve you better and to have the best line of communication, the following explains how to begin the bankruptcy filing process with us.
- First, attorney client privilege and client confidentiality are very important to us. The information that you provide to us will be kept confidential and protected, and will only be disclosed to the public as required by law to be disclosed in the bankruptcy petition and schedules or as directed by you.
- We offer a free consultation either by telephone, by email, or in person. During this free consultation, you will be asked basic information concerning you, your debts, and your assets to help decide if bankruptcy is right for you and if so, which bankruptcy would best serve your interest.
- Prior to your free consultation, you will be asked to complete a questionnaire and return it to us at the time of your consultation along with certain documents.
Click for Questionnaire
- During your free consultation, you will meet with a licensed attorney who will review your information, and help you decide if bankruptcy is right for you or if you should consider a non-bankruptcy alternative. The attorney will explain all fees required to hire us to prepare and file your bankruptcy and will provide to you a contract to hire us, written disclosures of information, and a list of all documents needed to prepare your petition.
- Upon hiring our firm, you will be given a receipt, credit counseling will be set up, which is required within 180 days of filing a bankruptcy, and a signing date and time will be set. You will come to the signing appointment with all additional documents and information we may request when you hire us. All fees paid pursuant to the contract must be paid in the form of cash, money order, or certified check.
- At your signing appointment, you will review the petition, schedules and related documents with the attorney for accuracy, the attorney will make all necessary changes and both you and the attorney will sign the documents. We will then file these with the Court to begin your case. Your case does not begin until these documents are signed by you and filed with the Court. You will also be given a signing packet that will have information necessary for the successful completion of your bankruptcy that the attorney or legal assistant will review with you.
- Once your petition is filed, an automatic stay goes into effect which prohibits creditors from trying to collect from you without permission of the Court. The Court will immediately set a Creditors Meeting date, prepare the notice of bankruptcy and mail the same to all of your creditors, your attorney, your Trustee and you. This notice has all of your relevant information including when and where to appear for the creditors meeting, when you filed your petition and all of the dates that you should place on your calendar for attendance. KEEP THIS DOCUMENT AND PLACE THE DATES ON YOUR CALENDAR.
- We will either email you a final copy of your petition and schedules or you can come by and pick up a copy of it. You will need to review this prior to the creditor’s meeting so you can answer questions about it if asked at the creditor’s meeting.
- Your lawyer will prepare you to answer truthfully the questions that may be asked of you at the creditor’s meeting, and the lawyer will be present with you at that meeting to assist you. The usual time for you to answer questions is about 5-10 minutes. The meeting usually starts on time and your case will be called within about 30 minutes in Chapter 7 case and within 60 minutes in a Chapter 13 case.
- You must present to the Trustee a picture identification at the creditor’s meeting such as a valid driver’s license, military ID or a state issued identification card. You will also have to present proof of your social security number. Your social security card is the best proof. If your driver’s license number is the same as your social security number, you can use it. Your payroll stub, W-2, a Medicaid Card, or an insurance card may also have your social security number on it. If you do not provide proof of your picture ID and proof of your social security number, your case will be continued or a motion to dismiss filed by the Trustee depending upon whether this is your first scheduled appearance or a continuance has previously been granted.
- You are required to appear at all notice hearings in the Bankruptcy Court unless you have express instructions from us that you do not have to appear. If we give you express instructions not to appear at a hearing, that instruction should also include an explanation of why you do not have to appear. If you are not given such an explanation, then please ask for it.
- Finally, you will have a duty to cooperate with us on your case including keeping us informed at all times of how to reach you and returning all requests for information promptly
Click here to download the Questionnaire
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