Deciding to File For Bankruptcy Protection:
Getting Started

The decision to file for bankruptcy should not be taken lightly.  Bankruptcy is a public event in your life, because your personal financial information will be disclosed to the public. Filing for bankruptcy may also have a negative impact on your credit score and your ability to obtain financing.  However, filing for bankruptcy may be the best alternative for your financial situation.    

To file for bankruptcy, your attorney will help you fill out a series of detailed forms and schedules and file them in federal court.  Generally, the process is fairly straightforward and proceeds along the following path:

  1. Decide whether to seek bankruptcy as a solution to your situation
  2. Contact an attorney
  3. Prepare detailed schedules of your:
    • Assets & liabilities
    • Income & expenses
    • Or, if you don't know how much you income you have, how much you owe, or how much your monthly expenses are, you need to at least have an idea of what you make versus what you owe.
  4. Meet with your attorney:
    • The attorney reviews the financial data you’ve prepared.
    • You will discuss with the attorney whether you qualify for bankruptcy, and if you do, whether you should file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Once you and your attorney decide which type of bankruptcy petition (chapter 7 or chapter 13) you are likely to qualify for, there are two timelines you will be following. The first is the Pre-filing Timeline – what must happen before you file your bankruptcy petition. The second is the Post-Filing Timeline – what happens once your petition is actually filed with the court. These are covered on the next pages following this section:

  1. Basics of Bankruptcy
  2. Getting Started (you are on this page)
  3. Pre-Filing Timeline
  4. Post-Filing Timeline
  5. Paperwork
  6. Chap. 7 or 13?
  7. More Information

How to Contact Bruce A. Wilson, APLC

I make an effort to accommodate urgent matters, and new clients are always welcome. For more information or to make an appointment, please contact me either by:

Telephone: (619) 497-0627


I can be reached by telephone Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. You may also use the form below to contact me. This form is answered Monday through Friday during the work day. Please remember that for me to become your attorney, we must first have a written attorney-client agreement signed by both of us, so please do not email any confidential information at this point. After I have reached an agreement with you, we can then exchange information freely. I look forward to helping you.

Contact Information:
Name:    (Required)
E-mail:    (Required)
Home or Cell Phone:
Work Phone:
How may I help you?