Bankruptcy, the 13 step process or why does it cost so much?
1. Initial consultation; the Bankruptcy Attorney should be asking you a lot questions about
your financial circumstance. This may be the first phone call to your Bankruptcy Attorney.
First meeting; your Bankruptcy Attorney should
meet with you to explain the law of bankruptcy; in fact, the bankruptcy code requires that the Bankruptcy Attorney give you
specific information at the beginning of the case. By Federal Law you will need to sign a retainer agreement to proceed.
Interview, your Bankruptcy Attorney should gather facts through a structured interview. He may do this at the
first meeting. You will probably not be able to answer everything in the first interview and you should anticipate an
exhaustive checklist of items you will need for the second meeting
4. Second Meeting; you will give your Bankruptcy Attorney the
documentation he requested and the Bankruptcy Attorney will provide you with your present credit report history, that you
5. Bankruptcy tactics and strategies; from the initial consultation the Bankruptcy Attorney has been building
an unique bankruptcy plan for you. Based upon your information, your Bankruptcy Attorney will advise you on your
6. Bankruptcy case and petition preparation. Your Bankruptcy Attorney will build your case based
upon your information. By this time your Bankruptcy Attorney has gotten to know you and your financial circumstances.
all filings in Federal Court are done electronically, by your Bankruptcy Attorney in person. Filing a bankruptcy petition
creates a “bankruptcy estate” and the court will assign a Trustee to administer this bankruptcy estate.
with the Trustee, about 30 days after you file you will meet with the Trustee assigned to administer your bankruptcy estate.
Your Bankruptcy Attorney should be at that meeting with you.
9. Post Petition issues; in most cases your Bankruptcy Attorney’s
work is complete after the Trustee meeting. However, questions may come up in the trustee meeting that your Bankruptcy Attorney
will need to respond to.
additional documents. Although your Bankruptcy Attorney’s work is generally complete at the trustee meeting, the
trustee may ask for additional information.
11. You are also required to file certification that you have completed the second and post petition Financial
Management Course. Generally your Bankruptcy Attorney takes care of this for you.
12. Reaffirmation agreements, your secured lenders (car loans) will probably ask for a reaffirmation
agreement if you want to keep your car(s). Your Bankruptcy Attorney will explain this to you, guide you through the
process and submit the agreement to the lender for you. Some Bankruptcy Attorneys DO NOT do this, you should ask up
13. You should
always meet with and communicate with the Bankruptcy Attorney. The Bankruptcy Attorney may use his office staff for
routine data entry, etc., but you are hiring an Bankruptcy Attorney. The Bankruptcy Attorney works for you. Please
notice that there are three words that appear in each of the first 12 points; “your Bankruptcy Attorney”.
It is not the paralegal, not the legal assistant, not some offshore document preparation service, IT IS THE BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY
WHO SHOULD MEET WITH YOU, PREPARE YOUR CASE AND FOLLOW UP WITH THE TRUSTEE.