Business & Finance Bankruptcy

How to File Bankruptcy

    • 1). Open your internet browser and go to the Annual Credit Report website to obtain a free copy of each of your credit reports. All three of the major credit reporting agencies (CRAs) sponsor the service. You will need a copy of your credit report from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. By obtaining your credit reports, you will be able to get a better idea of all of your credit accounts. This will ensure that all of your debt obligations are included in your bankruptcy paperwork.

    • 2). Read the information on bankruptcy provided by the U.S. Courts Bankruptcy Basics website. If you are filing for personal bankruptcy, read the information contained in the chapter 7 and chapter 13 links. By understanding the process, you will be better prepared to enter into discussion with your future bankruptcy attorney.

    • 3). Locate a bankruptcy attorney in your area. Although an attorney is not required to file for bankruptcy, it is highly encouraged that consumers use a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney. The bankruptcy process is not clear-cut and it is important to have an experienced professional on your side. The e-bk website maintains a lawyer directory that will help you in your search for an attorney to help you with filing your bankruptcy.

    • 4). Call the bankruptcy attorney and explain your situation. Notify the attorney that you have obtained copies of your credit reports, you have a list of all of your credit accounts, you have read the information about chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcies and that you would like to set up an appointment to meet with him.

    • 5). Meet with the attorney. The two of you (or three if you bring your spouse or partner) will discuss your current financial situation and determine if bankruptcy is the correct choice. The attorney will then help you complete a Means Test. The Means Test will determine whether you qualify to file for a chapter 7 bankruptcy (liquidation of assets) or a chapter 13 bankruptcy.

    • 6). Provide the information that the attorney requests and fill out all of the paperwork. After the attorney fees have been paid and the paperwork has been filled out in its entirety, the attorney will then file your petition for bankruptcy protection.

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