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How to File Bankruptcy

Hayward Bankruptcy Filing Lawyer

For most people, filing for bankruptcy is an intimidating and confusing process with complex legal and financial details. However, it is important that the bankruptcy filing is complete, accurate, and in good faith. An improper filing can result in expensive delay or dismissal.

If you are considering filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, it is important to consult with an experienced Bankruptcy Attorney to make sure that the filing is proper.

Steps of a Bankruptcy Filing

1. Decide Which Type of Bankruptcy To File

The first step to filing for bankruptcy is deciding what type of bankruptcy is best for you. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy each have their advantages, and which type of bankruptcy is best will depend largely on individual circumstances. Chapter 7 is the most common type of bankruptcy for individuals, but Chapter 13 Bankruptcy may be preferable in situations where a debtor has significant income or non-exempt assets they wish to keep.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is a type of liquidation bankruptcy. In Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, a debtor sells or liquidates all of his or her non-exempt assets in order to satisfy their unsecured debts. Any remaining unsecured debts are discharged. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy typically takes several months to complete.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is a type of reorganization bankruptcy. In Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, the debtor restructures and reorganizes their debt. Over the course of 3 to 5 years, the debtor makes payments on their secured and unsecured debts according to an agreed-upon payment plan. After the payment plan is complete, the debtor’s unsecured debts are discharged.

2. Decide What Assets to Protect

The next step to filing for bankruptcy is deciding how to allocate California’s system of property exemptions to exempt some of the debtor’s assets. In Chapter 7, property exemptions can determine what assets a debtor is allowed to keep in bankruptcy. However, in Chapter 13, the property exemptions will be used to calculate the amount of unsecured debt that must be paid during the Chapter 13 payment plan.

3. File the Proper Documents

An essential part of filing for bankruptcy is filing the proper documentation with the bankruptcy court. Documents that must be filed include:

  • The bankruptcy petition;
  • The bankruptcy schedules, which list all of the debtor’s assets, income, and other financial information;
  • Lists of creditors;
  • A statement of compliance with the credit counseling requirement; and
  • In Chapter 13 cases, a Chapter 13 Plan.

4. Other Steps

After the bankruptcy petition and supporting documentation is filed, the bankruptcy filer must take certain other steps, such as a meeting with their creditors. After the completion of the bankruptcy proceedings (which can be as short as a few months in Chapter 7 or 3 to 5 years in Chapter 13), the debtor’s remaining unsecured debt will be discharged.

Contact a Fremont Bankruptcy Attorney Today

The process of filing for bankruptcy can be a daunting one, involving an extensive amount of paperwork and preparation. Our attorney has years of experience in helping debtors through the bankruptcy process from start to finish. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, do not wait – call the Law Office of Melanie Tavare at 510-255-4646 or contact us online.

The Law Offices of Melanie Tavare is a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.


"Melanie is the best she very responsive and helpful throughout the process everything was taken care of smoothly. If you are thinking of going through bankruptcy she is the best attorney for you. I will forever be grateful having the chance to work with her. She is very honest too."


"I can't thank Melanie enough for helping me through a challenging process and doing so with incredible knowledge, professionalism and tenacity! She went to great lengths to keep me informed, she responded quickly to my questions, and communicated in terms that I could understand. I highly recommend getting in touch with Melanie should you have the need."


"Choosing to work with Atty. Melanie has been one of the best decisions I've ever made. She was a very patient professional to work with and attentive while providing valuable solutions to all of my concerns. If you are searching for of an Attorney who is knowledgeable, transparent, and diligent - well that's Atty. Melanie."


"What I liked about working with Melanie was how prompt and easy to work with she was. She made the process clear and understandable with as little stress as possible. I would work with her again and recommend her to others."