One question I get from clients on a regular basis is, how long will it take to file my bankruptcy? My answer is always the same: that depends upon you. How quickly can you pay the fees and costs? How quickly, and more importantly accurately, can you assemble the information necessary to prepare the paperwork for your signature? As a further answer to this question, I offer the following tips on what you can do to make the process run smoothly.

Follow the Path Your Attorney Gives You

The most important thing overall is to listen to what I tell you and follow the process I outline. It is designed for maximum efficiency and thoroughness. Deviating from it seldom does anything other than cause a delay, or worse, result in important facts being omitted or overlooked. As one of my recent blog posts noted: be reasonable, do it my way!

Avoid Delays Caused by Questions or Uncertainty

Second, if you have a question, check out my Bankruptcy FAQs and articles on the web site to get the answer. You can also download my book on bankruptcy to review offline. If it isn't there, then call or e-mail me.

Getting the answer right away, online, means that you will be back to the preparation process that much faster and not waiting until business hours to call me (and risking telephone tag) or until I am able to respond to your e-mail.

Get Your Attorney What He Needs ASAP

Third, get back to me promptly with the requested information. The longer it takes you to get it to me, the longer it will be before I can prepare the bankruptcy petition. Sometimes the delay can also lead to problems:

  • information provided becomes outdated or useless;
  • the six month income "window" for means testing moves to include a month where you received a big bonus from work;
  • a pending lawsuit results in a judgment being entered, thus creating a lien against your home necessitating more work (and fees) to remove it.

Keep in Touch With Your Attorney

Fourth, stay in regular contact with me. Oftentimes clients will sign the retainer agreement, leave my office, and I never hear from them again, despite prompting letters. If something is holding you up, let me know; maybe I will have a solution.

In addition, updates on your situation will help me to know what kind of time frame we are looking at for filing, so that I will know what to tell creditors when they call.

Also, if something important happens, tell me! It might change my legal advice or make filing your bankruptcy more urgent that I originally thought.

Finally, although it may seem like this goes without saying, if your street address, phone number, or e-mail address change, let me know.

So What Do I Do?

Filing bankruptcy is scary and daunting, I know.  However, the sooner you address it by asking questions, gathering and submitting information, and paying the fees and costs, the sooner you come in out of the financial rain and under the umbrella of the bankruptcy code.

If you live in southern New Jersey and are considering filing bankruptcy, please feel free to call me at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site for a free consultation in my Woodbury office to discuss your case.

If you are looking for more information about bankruptcy, then download my free book,Top Questions People Ask About Filing Bankruptcy in New Jersey.

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Steven J. Richardson
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Bankruptcy, Collections, Student Loan, DUI and Traffic Court attorney in Woodbury, NJ.


Richardson Law Offices