How do I file for bankruptcy?

UPDATED: Sep 26, 2013

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How do I file for bankruptcy?

Asked on September 26, 2013 under Bankruptcy Law, Washington


Terence Fenelon / Law Offices of Terence Fenelon

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

There are 2 ways to answer your question.  I will give the technical answer first.


1.  Get consumer credit couseling and acquire a certificate of completion.  Your case will be dismissed (thrown out) without proof of completion.

2.  File your petition with the appropriate bnakruptcy clerk, along with the filing fee ($306.00 which may not be waived, although, in certain circumstances, it can be paid in installments if you file the appropriate forms and attend an additional hearing.  Uncle Sam always gets paid) , along with your statement of social security  number,  although some juristidictions require you to do so electronically, but that"s another question. You also must file a text file with your creditors information listed so that they will be on notice.

3.  Within the statutory time frame, file your schedules, (A through J, statement of financial affairs,  form 23, Summary of debts, and form 2106 if applicable.

3. Attend a 341 at a time designated by the Court (you have no input) meeting and be capable of backing up your statement on schedule C or risk losing your property.

4. Pray that you haven't made any mistakes, thus risking your chance to get bankruptcy relief  in the future.

Practical approach:

Speak to an attorney who is knowledgeable in the field.  Not the guy who helps you with a traffic violation or a real estate closing, unless they know what they are doing. 

You can do it yourself, just as you can pull a wisdom tooth without a dentist.  It may hurt a bit and you won't like the results.

Good luck without counsel.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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