What to Expect When filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in California

Making the decision to move forward of a bankruptcy filing is not an easy one, but you can make the process easier by being prepared and educating yourself about what you will need and how the process will unfold.

Bear in mind that you will need to undergo credit counseling within six months before you file for bankruptcy relief.  After you file bankruptcy, you will be responsible for completing a financial management course.  Set up a consultation with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney well in advance of your intention to file so that you are clear about what’s expected of you. Being prepared can help you receive the help you need quickly.

To initiate the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process in California, you will need to itemize all of your present income sources, a list of your monthly living expenses, a list of all your debts, details regarding any property you own, and any big financial transactions that occurred over the last two years.  Make sure that you also have the last two years of tax returns on hand and the deeds or titles to any property that you own.

Once you have collected all of the information listed above, begin considering what property may qualify for the California exemptions.  In order to officially file for bankruptcy, you will need to complete a two-page petition in addition to some other forms at your California district bankruptcy court.  These forms are together referred to as your schedules and you should complete them as accurately as possible.

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, gather all documents related to your financial status, income, and property.  It may take some time to gather these documents as well as to complete the credit counseling process.