Steps To Filing a Bankruptcy

  • Set up a free consultation to evaluate your financial circumstances with Daniel J. Rylander and develop an initial strategy to resolve your debts and discuss attorney’s fees and court costs.
  • Once you decide to retain Daniel J. Rylander to proceed with preparing a Chapter 7 (fresh start) or Chapter 13 (reorganization) Bankruptcy, set up a retaining appointment with Mr. Rylander to discuss your case and pay part of, or all of, the fees.
  • If you are unable to pay all of the fees at the retaining appointment, Mr. Rylander will put together a retainer agreement that will outline a payment schedule. At that meeting, Mr. Rylander will give you a strategy for handling your creditors and your other financial considerations.
  • Once all of the fees are paid (which will include attorney’s costs, filing fees and credit report downloads), you will need to set up a questionnaire appointment with Mr. Rylander. At that appointment, Mr. Rylander – or one of his experienced Paralegals – will provide you with a questionnaire packet that you will need to carefully fill out in a timely manner. Mr. Rylander will let you know what information our office needs to complete your case. Please follow his instructions thoroughly to make the process easier for you and our staff! 🙂
  • Once you have filled out the questionnaire, call our office to set up an appointment with one of our Paralegals to review it. You will need to bring the documents Mr. Rylander has asked for. The meeting with a Paralegal will include reviewing your questionnaire, discussing the next steps – which may include providing us with more information – and answering any questions you or the Paralegal may have about your case.
  • Your Paralegal will put your case together under the guidance of Mr. Rylander.
  • Your Paralegal will send you a status email, or call you, to request any missing information and/or for an explanation of any items that need to be addressed. We do this to make certain you are in compliance with the law and to ensure that your case is successful!
  • Once we have all the necessary information, your petition will be finalized and the Paralegal – after reviewing with Mr. Rylander – will call you or email you to set up a signing appointment. At this appointment, one of our Paralegals will let you know about the rest of the process – including credit counseling, the hearing, and the requests a Bankruptcy trustee is likely to make.
  • In order to file your case, your Paralegal will need need up-to-date pay stubs & will need your first credit counseling certificate. (Our recommendations are here. You can view the full list of U.S. Justice Department’s Approved Credit Counseling Agencies here.)
  • Once we have the first credit counseling course certificate, and your signed petition/case information, your petition will be filed with the United States Bankruptcy Court.
  • It is the filing of your petition that puts you into safe territory – when you can tell the creditors to get lost! (If you tell them to get lost, and give them your bankruptcy filing case number, and they STILL call, document every communication from them. It is ILLEGAL for creditors to continue to hound you after a bankruptcy filing.)
  • Your hearing – called the First Meeting of Creditors – will be about six to eight weeks later. If you have been honest in your answers in your bankruptcy petition, this should be routine.
  • If your case is a Chapter 7, in about four to six months you will receive an Order signed by the Bankruptcy Judge discharging your debts.
  • If your case is a Chapter 13, your Chapter 13 Plan – prepared by Mr. Rylander and our Paralegal and reviewed by you – will be filed. You will be making monthly payments to the Chapter 13 Trustee. Payments need to start before your Chapter 13 hearing.
  • It can take anywhere from six months to a couple of years for your Chapter 13 Plan to be confirmed. When you have completed all of your payments to the Chapter 13 Trustee, you will receive an Order signed by the Bankruptcy Judge discharging your debts.
  • Before you receive either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy discharge, you must take a second credit counseling course and furnish our office with a copy of the certificate so our office can file it with the Bankruptcy Court. This is a must or you will not get your discharge.
  • Throughout this process, you must keep our office informed of any address, telephone number, email and employment changes.
  • Keep your Bankruptcy Petition paperwork and ALL of the paperwork that our office has given you for AT LEAST ten years.
  • Always promptly comply with any requests from the Bankruptcy Trustee.
  • If questions arise after your discharge, Daniel J. Rylander’s staff will assist you.