Garcia & Gonzales, P.C.
Bankruptcy Planning 101: 5 Steps to Take before Filing a Bankruptcy Petition
Eliminating debt through bankruptcy can help people get their finances back on track. While bankruptcy is a process that can take months (or longer) to resolve, however, preparing to file for bankruptcy can also be a process. This is because there are some steps consumers have to take before their bankruptcy petition will be ready to file with – and acceptable to – the courts.
How to Prepare to File for Bankruptcy in Colorado
In general, the steps that should be taken before filing for bankruptcy in Colorado include (but may not be exclusive to, depending on an individual’s situation):
- Taking the means test – The Colorado means test is essentially a complicated calculation that evaluates a person’s income versus debt to determine whether that person qualifies for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. So, if you plan on submitting a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition to the court in the future, you need to make sure you pass the means test before submitting your petition; otherwise, you run the risk of having your petition dismissed.
- Attending credit counseling – Regardless of whether you want to pursue Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will also need to complete the credit counseling requirement before filing for bankruptcy in Colorado. This is a course that can be completed in a day, online or in person, and proof of completion (i.e., a certificate of completion) will have to be filed with the bankruptcy petition to verify this requirement has been met.
- Making sure your recent income taxes have been filed with the IRS – If you have not filed income taxes for the current or a few past years, make sure you get this done as well before you file your bankruptcy petition with the court. Your income taxes are one of the only ways your income can be officially verified; consequently, the court will usually dismiss bankruptcy petitions for people who have failed to file income taxes for recent years.
- Getting your financial documents in order – As you work on preparing your bankruptcy petition, spend some time compiling the various financial documents that verify the nature of your income and debt obligations. These documents will be important later on, and taking the time now to compile them can facilitate your future bankruptcy case.
- Consulting an attorney – Meeting with a lawyer is always a good idea before submitting a bankruptcy petition to the court because an attorney can review the petition for any possible problems, alert you to any exemptions that may benefit you, and inform you of the next steps to take to move your case forward.
Contact a Denver Bankruptcy Attorney at Garcia & Gonzales, P.C.
Are you looking for real relief from serious debt? If so, you can trust an experienced Denver bankruptcy attorney at Garcia & Gonzales, P.C. to provide you with experienced help, honest answers and the highest quality legal services.
To learn more about your best debt relief options, as well as how we can help you, contact us today by calling or by emailing us using the contact form at the bottom of this page.
When you contact us, you will communicate directly with one of our attorneys, not a paralegal or legal assistant. We welcome Spanish-speaking individuals to contact us also – hablamos Español.