Steps to Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

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Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is a big decision to make. Before you make that decision it is important to know the steps you will need to take. This article describes the necessary steps to filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy.

The Steps to Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

By Jay Fleischman

The steps to filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy may seem confusing to you. After all, there is so much misinformation out there in the press about your options for getting out of debt as well as how difficult it is to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Thankfully, an experienced bankruptcy lawyer can easily help you navigate through the process and make it as simple as possible to get a fresh financial start.

Here are the 8 simple steps to filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy:

  1. Find an experienced consumer bankruptcy lawyer. This is a critical step for you. You don’t need to hire a lawyer when you’re filing for bankruptcy but there are significant limitations to what a non-lawyer petition preparation service or paralegal can do for you. In fact, there are laws that essentially keep them from doing anything for you except typing out forms.
  2. Meet your lawyer and discuss your options. Your lawyer will help you understand if Chapter 7 is right for you, or if another solution might be appropriate. I can tell you that about 60% of the people who meet with me for a free consultation regarding bankruptcy end up learning that Chapter 7 is simply the wrong choice for them. A good bankruptcy lawyer won’t file a Chapter 7 case for you unless it’s the best option.
  3. Gather your documents. Your bankruptcy petition and schedules require you to provide complete and accurate information about your assets and debts, so be prepared to hunt down quite a bit of paperwork.
  4. Do your pre-bankruptcy credit counseling session. You must complete a credit counseling session with an approved provider before your case can be filed.
  5. Sign your petition and get the case filed. Your lawyer will go through the paperwork with you to ensure that it is complete and accurate. Once that’s done, your lawyer will file the case for you.
  6. Prepare for, and attend, your meeting of creditors. Your lawyer will help you with this simple, quick and painless process. If you’ve got a good bankruptcy lawyer then the entire meeting should last about 5 minutes and contain no surprises or anxiety.
  7. Do your pre-discharge financial management session. You must complete a financial management session with an approved provider before your case can be eligible for discharge.
  8. Get your discharge, and move on with your life. That’s self-explanatory, right? The Discharge signals the end of the case, and it proves you’re done with your bankruptcy case. Congratulations!

Bill collectors, credit card companies, car lenders and mortgage servicers have built their businesses on the hope that you remain uninformed. They routinely use sloppy record-keeping and strong-arm tactics to keep you at their mercy.

If you live in New York and are having problems with overdue bills, foreclosure or harassing bill collection tactics at home or at work then I invite you to visit http://www.NewYorkBankruptcyHelp.com to learn how the federal consumer protection laws may be able to help you.

I’ve been a bankruptcy and consumer protection lawyer for over 14 years. I not only help people file for bankruptcy, I also sue bill collectors who violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and other consumer protection laws.

From Jay S. Fleischman, Esq. – New York bankruptcy and consumer protection lawyer.

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