What do I need to have to file bankruptcy? 

If you’re considering filing bankruptcy, it is best to gather the following documents prior to your consultation. Before we can file your bankruptcy case the court requires the following information:

1. Proof of your total household income for the past six months.

2. If you are required to pay taxes, copies of tax returns for the past four years.

3. If you own or are buying any property, a property tax appraisal of that property showing what it is worth. A copy of your tax appraisal can be found at your county courthouse.  You also may be able to find an appraisal online here.

4. Picture ID and Social Security card.

5. At least one written correspondence from each creditor that you owe and for each debt that you owe, dated within the ninety days preceding the date of your appointment.

6. A complete list of EACH and EVERY creditor that you owe with the following information. You can exclude no one and no bill.

a. Creditors’ correct names
b. Creditors’ correct addresses
c. Amount of each debt
d. Date the debt was incurred
e. Account numbers
f. For all credit cards, the date the credit card became effective and the date it was last used.

7. If you take the pre-petition credit counseling course at our office, it will take approximately 30 minutes to do so and you will need to bring the $35.00 fee that the credit counseling agency charges to take this course.

Does filing bankruptcy hurt my Credit?

Yes. If you are worried about your credit, do not file bankruptcy.  However, you should ask yourself, “How is my credit now and what will happen if I don’t file bankruptcy?” Usually, if you are considering bankruptcy, your credit is already damaged.  If you don’t file, the phone calls will still be coming, or worse, you may have property repossessed or foreclosed on or lawsuits filed against you.

What do I do if I get served with a lawsuit?

The best course of action is to see a lawyer IMMEDIATELY!! If the lawsuit is filed in district court, you have 14 days to file an answer.  If the suit is filed in circuit court, you have 30 days to file an answer. If you don’t file an answer, a default judgment can be taken against you. Let us emphasize again, if you are served with a summons and complaint, you should see an attorney immediately.

What happens if I don’t file an answer and a judgment is taken against me?

If a creditor takes a judgment against you, the creditor then has a right to garnish your wages or put a lien on your property. If a creditor garnishes your wages, it has a right to take money from your paychecks to pay the debt.  If a creditor has a lien on your property, it has a right to sell your property in order to collect the amount of the judgment.

How can I stop my creditor’s from calling to try to collect a debt?

The automatic stay under § 362 of the Bankruptcy Code prevents most all creditors from attempting to collect a debt from you. This protection is granted to you once you file a bankruptcy petition, but may be limited in repeated filings.

What does a discharge of debts under bankruptcy mean?

A discharge of debts under Bankruptcy Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 means that creditors are prohibited from EVER attempting to collect that debt from you again. A discharge wipes out your legal liability for those debts.

Will a bankruptcy stop a garnishment?

Yes, the filing of any bankruptcy petition will stop a garnishment of your wages.

Will I lose my house if I file bankruptcy?

As long as the house has not already been foreclosed on, filing bankruptcy will generally stop the foreclosure sale.