Friday, October 16, 2015

How Do I File Bankruptcy?

If you're facing overwhelming debt, garnishment, foreclosure, or other aggressive creditor collection activity, filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be the best solution for you. To determine whether you should file bankruptcy, your first step should be to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.

Consulting with a Bankruptcy Attorney

By consulting with an experienced bankruptcy attorney, you should be able to determine what your options are and what solution makes the most sense for you. I offer free in-person consultations. So, there is no harm to sit down with me and discuss your situation. When I consult with potential clients, I review their situation in detail, examining their finances, assets, debt obligations, and personal goals. This information allows me to not only explain a person's options, but also the best way to resolve their problems while moving toward their personal goals, such as saving a home or car, or rebuilding their credit.

Researching Bankruptcy

I always appreciate it when I speak with a potential client that has taken the time to do a little research about what bankruptcy entails. There are some very good bankruptcy information sources on the internet; however, there is also a lot misinformation. When researching bankruptcy, a person should always use great caution when basing a decision on what they read on the internet. Getting the opinion of an experienced bankruptcy attorney that practices in your area is always the best option for getting the right information. If your looking to get some basics and you live in the Western District of Michigan, the Bankruptcy Court's website is a good place to start: U.S. Bankruptcy Court - Western District of Michigan 

How to Choose an Attorney

Attorneys can vary greatly in experience, manner, and cost. While I think paying a fair price to file bankruptcy is extremely important, I think it is equally, if not more important, to find an attorney that you feel comfortable with and that has the experience to effectively represent you. When you consult with an attorney, don't be afraid to ask what their experience is. Also, don't be shy asking the attorney to explain how bankruptcy works. While bankruptcy law is very technical and confusing, a good attorney should be able to translate the complex concepts and legalese in a way a layperson can understand.

Documents Needed to File Bankruptcy

When you prepare a bankruptcy, Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, there are certain documents that must be provided to your attorney so that the filing can be correctly prepared. There are also documents that must be provided to the trustee that is assigned to your case. If you are going to file bankruptcy, you should expect to have to provide the following: (1) copies of your most recent city, state and federal tax returns, (2) proof of your household income, (3) bank statements, (4) vehicle titles, (5) real estate documents (i.e. recorded deed & mortgage, mortgage statement(s) state equalized statement, proof of homeowners insurance, etc.), (6) statement demonstrating the type and value of all investments, (7) statement relating to insurance policies, (8) judgments of divorce, and (9) copies of statements/bills demonstrating the debts owed.  This list is by no means complete. When you consult with an attorney they should be able to tell you exactly what is needed.

The Bottom Line

If you think you need to file bankruptcy, make sure to consult with an experienced local bankruptcy attorney. I have helped thousands of individuals through their difficult financial times. I offer free consultations and will take the time to understand your situation and help you determine what solution is best for you. Please call me at (616) 389-0629 or visit my website at

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.