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Here are the nuts and bolts of the process (at least, this I how it happens in my office):

• First, you and I talk on the phone so that I can get a sense of your situation, determine which type of bankruptcy would be best for you, answer all of your questions, and explain how much money you need up front to meet with me and get your case filed.

• Next, you get the necessary amount of money together to get your case filed and call me back to schedule an appointment. At the time we set up your appointment, I send you an email with directions to my office and a list of paperwork I need you to bring with you.

• We meet in my office for around 90 minutes to go over the paperwork in detail and ensure that you are a good candidate for bankruptcy, and to make sure that you are going to get out of it what you want or need.

• If we agree that bankruptcy is right for you, you pay the fee, and I give all of your paperwork to my paralegal to file your case.

• About 30 days after that, we go to a meeting where you answer a few very simple questions about your case. The person asking these questions and looking over the bankruptcy paperwork I filed is called a trustee. Usually these meetings last only a few minutes.

• What happens after the meeting depends on the type of case you are filing. If you are a chapter 7, there isn’t much else for you to do but wait for the official discharge of your debts 60 days later. If you are in a chapter 13, you just need to start making your monthly bankruptcy payments for the next 3 to 5 years, at the conclusion of which any remaining unsecured debts will be officially discharged.

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