Steps to Filing Bankruptcy
- The first step is speaking with a bankruptcy lawyer on the phone and setting up a free consultation. Our law firm offers free consultations (Free consults can either be in person or by phone).
- At your free consultation our expert lawyers will listen to you and put together the pieces of your financial situation. Your lawyer will review your finances in detail and determine which kind of bankruptcy (chapter 13 or chapter 7) would be most suitable for your current financial situation, circumstances and needs.
- Your attorney will then go over with you our information packet and questionnaire and walk you through the paperwork that is required in order for you to file bankruptcy. The My AZ Lawyers offers an initial free bankruptcy consultation in all bankruptcy matters. It is important that you see an attorney in person because each case is different and needs individual attention. If you decide to retain our law firm, you can then inform your creditors who call you; to now speak with us, even while you get all the paper work together we will put a stop to your creditor calls
- Once all the necessary documents and paperwork are put together, you will meet with your attorney again to review and sign the bankruptcy petition and schedules so that our office may file your bankruptcy. We will then prepare the paperwork and will e-file the bankruptcy on your behalf. The bankruptcy petition may typically involve 40 to 60 pages of completed forms and must exactly follow local and federal bankruptcy court rules.
- The moment your chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy is filed with the bankruptcy court, the protective measures become effective. These protective measures better known as the “automatic stay” instantly becomes effective. All garnishments will cease, collection actions against you must stop as creditors will be forbidden from attempting to collect debts.
- Approximately 30 to 40 days after the filing for bankruptcy, you will attend a hearing known as the First Meeting of Creditors or a 341 Meeting of Creditors (Section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code requires the debtor to make a personal appearance at a creditor’s meeting) which is why it’s called a 341 meeting. At your 341 meeting, a trustee will ask you questions regarding the content of your petition, assets, debts, and other matters regarding your finances and your bankruptcy petition. Your creditors may do the same. This is nothing to be concerned about as it is a standard part of the process and your attorney can represent you at this hearing.