If you are unable to pay your bills and see no change of circumstances where you will be able to pay your bills you may want to consider bankruptcy as an option.
Find an experienced lawyer
If you are considering bankruptcy as an option find a lawyer in your community who is experienced in bankruptcy.
Call and make an appointment for a free initial consultatiion
Many bankruptcy lawyers provide a free initial consultation where you have an opportunity to discuss your financial situation. In addition to asking about your bills the lawyer will want to learn about your monthly income, your monthly expenses like housing costs, food costs car expenses etc. your assets like houses, cars, 401k plans etc and your debts including credit card debt, car loans, student loans, house mortgages etc. .
Gather documents regarding your finances
Gather payroll statements for the previous 6 months of employment and tax returns for the previous 2 years along with any other documents you have regarding your finances (like mortgage payments, car loans, credit card statements etc) to review with your lawyer during the initial consultation.
Meet with an experienced lawyer
Most lawyers provide a free initial consultation where you can discuss your financial situation and ask for recommendations on how to proceed. The lawyer will provide you with the costs and attorney fees once he has had an opportunity to review the facts of your case.
Decide if you want to file bankrupty or not.
After you have consulted with a lawyer you should consider his recommendation and decide if you want to move forward with a bankruptcy or not. Depending on your circumstances bankruptcy may, or may not, be an appropriate avenue to resolve your financial difficulties.
Hire a lawyer to represent you in the bankruptcy process.
You have a right to represent yourself in a bankruptcy proceeding but it is difficult to do so. The laws and procedures regarding bankruptcy filings are complicated and an experienced bankruptcy lawyer will have the knowledge on how to proceed.
Additional resources provided by the author
National Association of consumer Bankruptcy attorneys (NACBA)
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