How do I file for bankruptcy? What is the process?

Filing for bankruptcy is easier than you might think.  If you are hiring a bankruptcy attorney to file it for you then he or she should be very familiar with the process.

You will be asked about income, expenses, and assets.  You will need to list all of  your personal and real property.  Most people have a car, a bank account, furniture, clothes and maybe some jewelry.  Others have a house. All of this will be listed along with any loans you have on any property.  Your income will be determined by 6 months of pay stubs of with a profit and loss statement if you have a business.  Your expenses you can list also.

Next comes your debts.   Your attorney will list your debts in the bankruptcy and most can download them from you credit report.  There will be a few questions about when the debt was incurred if they considered high but for the most part your unsecured debts are dischargeable.  If you have student loans, some taxes, or spousal/child support debts then those would not be dischargeable.

The attorney will get more information from you and fill out the rest of the schedules like the statement of financial affairs and he or she will complete the bankruptcy schedules.  You then will sign the documents and most attorneys will file electronically after that.  Most attorneys will take the necessary time to do this but in an emergency the whole process can be done rather quickly.

You will then get a meeting of creditors 30 days after the bankruptcy filing.  There a trustee will ask a few simple questions unless there are more serious issues.  Your attorney will attend this hearing so if you get stuck they are there to help you.  Creditors rarely attend this meeting and if they do then there are only a few questions they can ask.

Sixty days after the hearing you get your discharge if there are no holdups or problems with the case.  You are now debt free and able to move on with your life and a fresh start.   There that wasn’t so bad was it?

I am a bankruptcy attorney in San Diego.  Please visit my website for more help at

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