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How do I file for bankruptcy?

Posted by Ellen Brown | Jul 15, 2024

If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, there are a few steps you need to take:

  1. Find a bankruptcy lawyer: It is a good idea to hire a lawyer who specializes in bankruptcy to help you through the process. Your lawyer can help you understand your options and guide you through the steps of filing for bankruptcy.  Brown and Seelye has over 40 years combined experience in bankruptcy and has filed almost 20,000 sucessful cases.
  2. Discuss with your lawyer the different types of bankruptcy and which type is best for you: There are several different types of bankruptcy, but the most common ones for individuals are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 eliminates most of your debts and if you qualify this is the type of bankruptcy that most people file.
  3. Gather your financial documents: You will need to gather important financial documents, such as your income tax returns, pay stubs, and a list of your debts and assets.
  4. Take an online credit information class: Before you can file for bankruptcy, you must complete a credit information class with an approved provider. This class will teach you about managing your money and how to avoid getting into debt in the future.
  5. Your Attorney will file a petition with the the bankruptcy court:  You and your attorney will work together to file a petition in bankruptcy court. The petition includes information about your debts, assets, income, and expenses.  After your case is filed you will pay your filing fee directly to the court and attend a second credit information class online.
  6. Attend a hearing: After you file your petition, you will need to attend a hearing.  In Western Washington this is done by phone or zoom.  At the hearing the trustee will review your case and make sure that everything is in order.

  7. Get your Discharge and be Debt Free!  About 60 days after your hearing you will receive your discharge in the mail.

Filing for bankruptcy can be a complicated process, so it is important to work with a lawyer and follow all the steps carefully. Call us or book your appointment today

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