The Bankruptcy Process

What Are the Steps to Bankruptcy?

Like any other legal process, filing for bankruptcy can be intimidating if you don't know what the legal process will be like. CBG Law Group, PLLC, has helped thousands of clients get the fresh start they are looking for through Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Every personal bankruptcy is different, of course, because every individual's financial circumstances are different. In general, though, if you understand the basic process, it may help you feel more comfortable about the basics of bankruptcy, the legal definitions and your decision to file.

Take a moment on this page to understand the basic steps you will encounter as your case progresses through the bankruptcy court system. Contact us to schedule a free consultation with attorney Darrel Carter to discuss your specific circumstances. We promise you will be treated with respect and you will get an honest evaluation of whether bankruptcy truly is your best financial option.

When you come into our office to discuss the bankruptcy process, we will explain these steps:

Fill out a questionnaire: To determine whether you will qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, we will need answers about your statement of accounts, income and debt. It is part of the pre-petition process that is an important part of helping the process move ahead smoothly.

Decide whether you want to retain our services: We will explain our fees and our expectations. You will be required to pay a retainer along with signing the retainer agreement. As soon as you retain our services, you will be able to notify your creditors of our representation, which will generally cause them to stay legal actions against you. You can immediately tell bill collectors to call our offices because you have a lawyer representing you!

Additional records: If you retain us to represent you, we will send you home with homework. The bankruptcy courts require full disclosure of your financial accounts, including six months of paystubs and expense statements. This may take you several weeks to gather together. In the meantime, most creditors will stop any collections actions started against you.

Go through your statement of accounts again: When you have everything in order, you will meet with us again to go through your formal statement of accounts so there will be no surprises when we formally file the petition. If we need anything more, we'll let you know. Otherwise, we take over from here.

Meeting of creditors: Your creditors get their day in court, too. You will be required to meet with a trustee of their representatives. If the representative attend the meeting, and answer questions about your assets. You have a right to exempt some property from the bankruptcy, such as your house and car. The meeting of the creditors can be a tough time for you, but we've been at hundreds of them. We'll help you get through it.

Credit counseling: The law requires that you will have to go through a certified credit counseling and financial management class before you can get your debts discharged or restructured. We will provide a list of certified counselors. Upon completion, we will submit your certification to the courts and wait for the final disposition of your case.

Wait for the conclusion of your case: Altogether, the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process to liquidate your debts will generally take about five months. The Chapter 13 process to restructure your debt under a supervised repayment plan takes generally three to five years.

We will stay in touch with you to keep you informed. You may also feel free to call us at any time.

Contact us to arrange an opportunity to learn more about getting a fresh start from your secured and unsecured debt. Our offices are located in Bellevue and we represent clients throughout the Bellevue metro region and western Washington.