Filing for bankruptcy is a major decision and one that has the potential to have a dramatic and positive impact on your life. In order to ensure you are able to successfully navigate the bankruptcy process, however, you need to know exactly what to do to properly file. Avoiding mistakes and other issues will not only help ensure you qualify, but will also help the bankruptcy proceeding move along more efficiently. The following are the specific steps that must be taken in order to file for bankruptcy in the Chicago area.
Determine if You Will Qualify
The first thing you want to do is make sure that you will qualify for bankruptcy. Just because you are in a difficult financial situation does not mean that you will always be approved for bankruptcy protection. Fortunately, it is quite easy to learn if you qualify, and if so, what type of bankruptcy is right for you. We offer a free, no-obligation bankruptcy evaluation tool right on our website. CLICK HERE to fill out a quick form so we can help you determine if bankruptcy is the right option for you.
Take a Financial Inventory
Taking a complete financial inventory is going to be part of the evaluation process and will also be necessary for going through bankruptcy itself, so it is important to do this early on. This means you need to find financial records related to all of your debts and assets. This would include things like your latest copies of bills from your mortgage, car loans, credit cards, and more. Additionally, you will need statements from savings accounts, checking accounts, retirement accounts, and any other assets you have. This will typically apply to both you and your spouse. Running a credit report is a free and easy way to get a good list of your financial accounts so you aren’t as likely to forget any.
Complete Credit Counseling Course
In Illinois, anyone who wants to file for bankruptcy has to complete an approved credit counseling course. This course usually takes between 45 and 90 minutes to complete, and depending on your preference, can be done online, over the phone, or in person. Our team can help you find the most convenient option for your situation so you can get your certificate right away and continue through the process of filing for bankruptcy without delay.
Petition the Courts for Bankruptcy
Once all of these things are done, you will need to file a petition to the court letting them know that you are seeking bankruptcy. At this point, all of your creditors are required to stop calling you, any foreclosure proceedings need to stop, and the case in bankruptcy court will begin. After you have actually filed for bankruptcy, the courts will provide instructions on when you need to be in court or other meetings, and what documentation you will need.
Don’t File Alone
Filing for bankruptcy is an important legal process, and one that you want to make sure is done properly to ensure you get the best possible results. Our team has helped thousands of people from throughout the Chicagoland area successfully file for bankruptcy and emerge in a strong financial position. Please contact us for a free bankruptcy evaluation, and to begin the filing process as quickly as possible.