If you and your family are considering filing for bankruptcy, you are far from alone. According to data provided by the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), 4,401 people filed for bankruptcy protection in the first seven months of 2021. Bankruptcy is a tool. When it is used properly, bankruptcy can help you get back on track; towards a stable and more secure financial future.
This raises an important question: How do you get ready to declare bankruptcy? At Vohwinkel Law, we want to make sure that you have all of the information and resources that you need to navigate the legal filing process. In this blog post, our Las Vegas bankruptcy lawyer provides a practical guide that you can use to help prepare to file for bankruptcy in Nevada in 2021.
Step #1: Review Your Financial Situation and Consider Your Options
The first step in the bankruptcy process is to review your financial situation to determine whether filing for bankruptcy is truly the best option. If bankruptcy is the right approach, then you need to decide which type of bankruptcy offers the best path forward. During a free, confidential initial consultation, a Las Vegas bankruptcy attorney can assess your finances, answer your questions and explain your options. Here are your three basic options:
- Non-Bankruptcy Debt Relief Alternatives: For people and families dealing with deep financial distress, Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is often the best solution. Still, it is always important to start by assessing the viability of any non-bankruptcy debt relief alternatives.
- Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Chapter 7 bankruptcy is called a liquidation bankruptcy. Through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, you may be able to clear most (or all) of your debts. However, you can only file for Chapter 7 if you qualify under Nevada’s “means test.” If you have any questions about filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Nevada, our lawyers can help.
- Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Chapter 13 is a personal bankruptcy alternative to Chapter 7. It is often referred to as a “wage earner’s plan.” With a Chapter 13 filing, your debt will be rolled into a sustainable monthly payment. If you have any questions about filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Nevada, we offer the help you need.
Step #2: Gather and Organize Nevada Bankruptcy Documents
Once you determine that bankruptcy is the right path towards financial stability, you need to get yourself organized. There are records that you need to gather before submitting a bankruptcy petition. Among other things, the financial documents that you will need to file for bankruptcy in Nevada include:
- Tax returns;
- Wage and income statements;
- Bank account records;
- Retirement account records;
- Vehicle records, including loans;
- Mortgage statements;
- A comprehensive list of debts; and
- An account of monthly living expenses;.
Step #3: Sign Up for a Credit Counseling Course
In Nevada, you must complete credit counseling before you can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. As simply defined by Investopedia, credit counseling is an educational course that “provides consumers with guidance on consumer credit, money management, debt management, and budgeting.” Ultimately, the goal of credit counseling is to make sure that you have the knowledge and tools you need to look out for your financial interests. You should sign up for an approved credit counseling class and save the certificate that you receive that proves that you completed the course. The cost of this course is included in our bankruptcy fees, and we provide you with the information about how to take this course.
Step#4: Complete the Bankruptcy Forms and File for Protection
Once you have determined that personal bankruptcy is the right option, decided between Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, gathered all relevant financial documents, and completed a Nevada-approved credit counseling course, you will finally be in a position to file for bankruptcy protection.
At this point in the process, it is time to complete the bankruptcy forms. The small details matter. Make sure you get these forms completed properly. Even a relatively small error could cause you problems. An experienced Las Vegas bankruptcy attorney will help you complete and submit all of the required legal paperwork.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Bankruptcy Attorney in Nevada
At Vohwinkel Law, our Las Vegas bankruptcy lawyers have the professional skills and legal knowledge to help you get a true fresh financial start. If you have any questions about preparing to file for bankruptcy in Nevada in 2021, we are here to help. Call us now or connect with us online to set up your free, no obligation consultation. From our Las Vegas law office, we are proud to provide people and families with bankruptcy law services in Clark County and throughout Southern Nevada.