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Five Steps You Must Take If You Decide to File for Bankruptcy

If you have mounting debts you cannot afford to pay, you may want to file for bankruptcy to improve your situation. Filing for bankruptcy lets you live a life free of debt. But, due to the complexity of bankruptcy laws, filing for bankruptcy can be difficult. Thankfully, an experienced bankruptcy attorney Hagerstown, MD can work with you throughout the process. If you must begin the bankruptcy process, here are the steps to take:

Look for a Reliable Bankruptcy Lawyer

Look for an attorney who will protect your rights and interests. Also, they should be honest about your options. Ensure you pick an attorney you are comfortable working with. The best attorney is experienced in defending consumer rights. They will use their knowledge, experience, skills, and resources to come up with a comprehensive debt solution approach for you. 

Get Counseling

In most bankruptcy cases, you must get credit counseling before you file for bankruptcy protection. Also, you may need to complete a debt management course before you can have your debts discharged. Bankruptcy counseling makes sure you have exhausted all options and reduces your chance of filing for bankruptcy again in the future. 

Typically, credit counseling sessions last around thirty minutes. You can usually complete them online, over the phone, or in person. These sessions come with a fee but if you cannot afford it, you can request a fee waiver before the start of the session. 

Complete the Paperwork

When you file for bankruptcy, you will have to complete a petition, which is composed of forms and schedules. Your attorney can complete the paperwork for you. Ensure you don’t omit any vital information regarding your finances on the bankruptcy disclosures. Otherwise, your filing can get delayed or dismissed. 

See the Trustee

The trustee will review the bankruptcy forms, investigate your information, and verify your financial details. They should ensure your bankruptcy claim isn’t fraudulent. Also, they manage your assets, determining the property you own, converting your assets to cash, and paying your creditors with the proceeds. 

Appear at a Creditors’ Meeting

During this meeting, your creditors and the trustee will ask you questions under oath regarding your bankruptcy petition and the necessary documents you must give the trustee. This meeting is a hearing meant to verify the accuracy of the information your bankruptcy papers contain. In addition, you must present two forms of identification to verify your identity. This prevents fraudulent filings from taking place.

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