Preparing To File

When preparing to file bankruptcy, there are some simple steps you can take to achieve the best possible results, as well as legal requirements, such as completing a Credit Counseling course.  The main steps to follow when preparing to file are detailed below.  Always keep in mind that no set of steps, or anything you read, can substitute for obtaining legal advice from a bankruptcy attorney.

How to Prepare For Bankruptcy San Diego

When preparing to file bankruptcy, the first thing you should do is schedule a consultation with an attorney. Also, there are certain legal requirements such as completing Credit Counseling, which you must do before filing your case. You will need to provide your attorney with certain documents so that your lawyer can properly prepare your case. If you need assistance with paying for the cost of bankruptcy, your lawyer can set you up on a payment plan that you can afford within your budget.

Schedule a Consultation

If you need to prepare to file, the first step you should take is to schedule a consultation with an experienced San Diego bankruptcy attorney to discuss your options. It is important that you meet with an attorney as early as possible in order to have sufficient time to address any bankruptcy planning that needs to be done before you file, so that you obtain the best possible results once your case is filed with the court.

Credit Counseling

The next step in preparing to file is to complete a Credit Counseling course for the Southern District of California, which covers San Diego, California.  Before you can file, you must complete a one hour Credit Counseling course otherwise you case will be dismissed shortly after you file.  The course typically takes less than an hour to complete and can be done entirely on the internet.

Documents Needed

After your office consultation, your bankruptcy lawyer will give you a tailored list of documents needed to file bankruptcy so that we can prepare and file your bankruptcy case for filing with the Court.  Be sure to provide your lawyer with all requested documents and information, to enable your lawyer to properly prepare your case so that your filing goes as smoothly as possible.

Please refer to the tailored list provided to you by your lawyer.  In preparing your petition and schedules and supporting documentation to file with the trustee, we exercise painstaking detail in providing the trustee with all documents that we anticipate the trustee will ask for in your case, so that your case can be completed with the least amount of trustee hearings, hopefully (and in most cases) only one hearing.


Preparing for a successful filing sometimes requires advance planning for bankruptcy.  If you file and have too many assets that are not exempt (protected) under your applicable exemptions, the trustee could force you to turn your property over to the Court to be liquidated and sold to satisfy your debts.  If you have too many assets, your situation requires planning before you file.  Therefore, your lawyer will discuss planning issues with you during your attorney consultation and recommend actions to take to protect your assets as part of the planning process.

Petition & Schedules

Using the documents and information gathered after your consultation, your attorney will prepare your petition and schedules, which are the official forms that are required to be filed when your case is submitted to the Court.


The final step and consideration in preparing to file is the cost to file bankruptcy, including the attorney fee and the required Court fee.  Court fees for the bankruptcy court in San Diego depend on whether you are filing a Chapter 7 case or a Chapter 13 case.  The applicable attorney fee will depend on the nature and complexity of issues involved in your matter and can be accurately assessed after discussing your situation in detail with your attorney during your consultation.

Payment Plans

You are suffering financial stress.  Money is tight.  We understand that and we want to help you.  We have very flexible payment plans and options available to you, to help you pay for the cost of bankruptcy San Diego.


If you need to file an emergency bankruptcy to stop a foreclosure or to stop a wage garnishment, carefully review our detailed requirements for emergency filings and call us as soon as possible and talk to a lawyer to plan your filing.  The sooner you talk to a lawyer, the sooner we can get started and prepare you to file bankruptcy and get out of debt San Diego and the better your chances of your filing being successful.