Chapter 1

Chapter 2
Don’t be embarrassed, nervous or afraid

Chapter 3
What causes people to need Banruptcy Relief

Chapter 4
What is the Procedure to File Bankruptcy?

Chapter 5
When should I file bankruptcy?

Chapter 6
What do I lose if I file bankruptcy?

Chapter 7
What happens to my credit score if I file bankruptcy?

Chapter 8
What can bankruptcy do for you?

Chapter 9
What Does Bankruptcy Cost?

Chapter 10
What is the Real Price Difference Between Bankruptcy Lawyers?

Chapter 11
If I am Married, Can I File a Bankruptcy Without my Husband or Wife?

Chapter 12
Will My Employer Find Out if I File Bankruptcy?

Chapter 13
Does Chapter 7 or 13 Bankruptcy “Ruin My Credit?”

Chapter 14
If I File Bankruptcy, Can I Leave Bills or Property or Transfers Off my Bankruptcy Petition?

Chapter 15
Can I File Bankruptcy on Bills in Someone Else’s Name?

Chapter 16
How Does Filing Bankruptcy Affect My Credit Union?

Chapter 17
Can I file bankruptcy if I have co-signers?

Chapter 18
What About My Car in Bankruptcy?

Chapter 19
What Happens to My House in Bankruptcy?

Chapter 20
When Will Creditors Stop Bothering Me?

Chapter 21
Cross-Collateralization Agreements in Bankruptcy

Chapter 22
Bankruptcy and Joint Accounts with Parents

Chapter 23
When do I stop paying my creditors?

Chapter 24
Gas, cable, electric and phone bill

Chapter 25
Bankruptcy and Divorce, Alimony, & Child Support

Chapter 26
What Bankruptcy won't solve

Chapter 27
Chapter 13 Debt repayment Plans

Chapter 28
Will I be able to get credit again?

Chapter 29
Bill Consolidation Loans

Chapter 30
Bill Consolidation Scams

Chapter 31
Wage Assignments, Deductions and Levies

Chapter 32
Student Loans

Chapter 33
Can I get rid of Taxes

Chapter 34
NSF Checks, Traffic & Parking Tickets

Chapter 35
Surrendering Real Estate & Time Shares

Chapter 36
Business Bankruptcy

Chapter 37
Professional Persons

Chapter 38
Do you ever "Not Get" a Discharge?

Chapter 39
File bankruptcy for the debts of my deceased spouse or child?

Chapter 40
What if I need a Bankruptcy lawyer near me?

Chapter 41
About Geraci Law LLC and Peter Francis Geraci

CHAPTER #4 - What is the Procedure to File Bankruptcy?

First, go to and take our five-minute screener.  Need help finding your debts? Go to and get a free credit report. Fill in the debt list, starting with the largest, and listing everything down to the smallest. Do not list current expenses.  Then, make an appointment with a bankruptcy attorney, for advice.  Do not get anything other than general advice over the telephone. If your car needs a muffler, you a least let the mechanic look at it.  Professionals work the same way.

If you are married, your spouse may be liable on any of your bills, and you should come in together.

Please leave small children with relatives if possible.  Bring all your contracts, payment books and paperwork.  Make a list of your creditors, starting with the largest, and include the name, address, zip code and total balance for each.  If the debt is with a collection agency, list the debt:  First Bank c/o North Side Collections, at the address of the collection agency.

Write the name and address of each creditor before you come in.  We can send you a form for this purpose.

If you bring in your bills a good list of your debts and assets, together with all the supporting paperwork and bills, we can give you advice!

Under Chapter 7, you submit a list of your debts, and a list of your assets.  I only file Chapter 7 cases where your assets are exempt from creditors, and you will keep them. After your attorney files this list, or petition, the Clerk of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court sends notice that you will appear at a “meeting of creditors” to testify about your petition.  That meeting is short, your attorney goes with you, and any creditors that want to ask you questions relating to your debt can do so.  Typical questions are:  “Do you have a car?” “What happened to the merchandise you bought?” and “How much is your house worth?"  These are questions you have already answered in your petition, so the “meeting of creditors” is often very short and painless.

Next, under Chapter 7, the creditors have 60 days to object to your discharge in bankruptcy.  Your attorney will work on any deals, or “reaffirmations”, which creditors who financed your house or car or other things will want. Then the Bankruptcy Judge will issue a notice of a hearing on these “reaffirmations”, at which time you will appear to state that you want to make these deals, and then, the Court will issue a “Discharge”, which states that all dischargeable debts are gone.  Of course, debts exempt from discharge will remain, such as certain taxes and student loans.

Under Chapter 13, you file a similar list of assets and debts, but at the first meeting of creditors, the purpose is to examine your proposed repayment plan.  After that, the Bankruptcy Judge holds a hearing to approve or “confirm” your plan. Then, you simply make the payments until the plan is complete, and then the Court issues a discharge.

So, while there is a lot of work in figuring out what to do, preparing your petition, and dealing with your creditors, your attorney does almost all of it.  All you have to do is show up where you are supposed to, and, for Chapter 13 cases, make your payments in full and on time.


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