Your first step is to call 918-587-3000 to schedule an initial attorney meeting. You will not need any lists or documents, but please bring anything that you have already gathered and any documents that are especially troubling you, for example divorce decrees or lawsuit documents. The first thirty minutes of this meeting are usually free, but sometimes not for complex matters; so ask when you make the appointment if this is important to you. This meeting does not obligate you to file bankruptcy or us to accept your case.
The initial meeting takes at least thirty minutes. An attorney will ask questions and explain, as time allows, (1) your eligibility for bankruptcy, (2) what bankruptcy chapter is best for you, (3) what debts bankruptcy will wipe out, (4) what assets bankruptcy will allow you to keep, (5) whether your transaction history will interfere with your bankruptcy, (6) attorney fees, court costs, and payment arrangements, and (7) what documents you will need to gather for your bankruptcy.
Rarely, a second attorney consultation may be required to complete the analysis of your case or to answer all your questions. If you desire such a meeting, you will pay a fee for it.
Next, if you decide in favor of bankruptcy, you will (1) gather the documents on the list given to you in your initial attorney meeting (for example, tax returns, deeds, titles, bank statements, pay stubs, utility bills), (2) obtain pre-bankruptcy credit counseling from one of the agencies suggested by the attorney (2- hour process by internet costing about $10), (3) enter your debts on our website, and (4) call 918-587-3000 to let us know you are finished. We will then arrange for you to deliver your workup documents and part or all of your court costs and attorney fees (as previously arranged) to us so that we can begin preparing your bankruptcy papers. It will take a few days, rarely a week or more, for us to prepare your bankruptcy papers. When we have done as much as possible in your absence, we will call you to schedule a meeting to finish and sign your bankruptcy papers. Rarely, this meeting has to be continued on another day. Issues affecting the desirability of bankruptcy filing occasionally arise during this meeting.
If you and the attorney still both wish to do so, your bankruptcy case will then be filed in court. Creditors suing you or threatening repossessions, and your employer if your wages are being garnished, will be notified by fax, and all creditors will be notified by mail, that the Bankruptcy Code’s “automatic stay” prohibits any further actions to collect debts from you or to continue with lawsuits, garnishments, repossessions, or foreclosures.
About a month later, you and your attorney will attend a meeting with the trustee assigned by the court to your case. The meeting will take only about 5 minutes and will be conducted in a private meeting room with the door closed (except Eastern District cases). Creditors almost never attend, particularly in consumer cases.
If your case is filed under chapter 7, the court will enter a discharge order, permanently wiping out your dischargeable debts, about 2-1/2 to 3 months later. If your case is filed under chapter 13, the discharge order will not be entered until you complete your 3- to 5-year chapter 13 plan.