The Bankruptcy Process Prior to Filing
Should you choose to file bankruptcy with our firm, Attorney Kelly K. Brown and his experienced staff will guide you through the complicated process. While the information on this site is a basic guide to help prepare you for the bankruptcy procedure, it is no substitute for experienced legal counsel. During your free consultation with Mr. Brown, he will review your situation and help you to decide your best course of action.
Once you have retained legal counsel:
- Begin referring collection, repossession, and foreclosure attempts directly to our office.
- We will provide you with a list of specific documents to gather, such as bank statements, utility bills, collection notices, pay stubs, etc.
- Fill in our worksheet. It will help you to organize a list of your assets and their values, and to recreate your financial history. The worksheet also will help you list all debts for which you don't have statements. It is VERY important to honestly and accurately list all debts, even those you owe to friends or family. This will help our office to properly file your case.
- Our office will obtain a copy of your credit report. You will also be provided with a copy.
- A recent addition to Oregon Bankruptcy Law is the requirement for Debt Counseling. This is the first of two classes that are conveniently available online from many accredited sources. Before filing, you will need to obtain the pre-bankruptcy credit counseling certificate.
- Click here for more information about living debt free, and tips for rebuilding your credit and financial life after Bankruptcy.
What is the Bankruptcy Court procedure?
Attorney Kelly K. Brown will help you to file a petition at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the district where you live. The petition lists all your income, assets, and debts, along with information about your finances in the last few years. You must also pay a filing fee. The day you file a bankruptcy petition, your creditors are immediately stopped, or stayed, from trying to collect.
Upon filing your case, the court will appoint a trustee. The trustee determines what non-essential property you own, if any, sells it to create cash for your unsecured creditors, investigates your financial affairs, examines your creditors' claims, and monitors your case.
A meeting of creditors is conducted by the trustee. This meeting is usually held four or five weeks after the petition is filed. You must attend. In joint bankruptcy cases, both spouses must attend. At the meeting, the trustee and any creditors who show up will ask questions about your property and your debts. If you fail to attend the meeting, your petition will be dismissed, which means your creditors will resume trying to seize money from you. Usually they will not appear at the meeting, since they know that, most likely, they will not be able to collect on the debt. The only creditors who sometimes attend are secured creditors, who will want either to retrieve their secured property (such as a car), or to make arrangements to have you resume paying for it.