Getting started with the bankruptcy process

If you have come to this page, you are most likely seriously considering filing for bankruptcy protection. This page seeks to walk you step-by-step through the bankruptcy process from your initial phone call to our office to the filing of your case.

Step 1: Schedule your free initial consultation

Your initial appointment with my office is free. Scheduling your appointment is easy and can be done by telephone or by filling out our contact form. If you would like to schedule an appointment in the Baton Rouge office, please call 225-771-8220 and ask to schedule a new appointment. If you are calling for an appointment in the Metairie office, please dial 504-912-3805. In most instances, my assistant will answer the phone and schedule your appointment; however, if she is busy assisting other clients or if she is on another line, you may be prompted to leave a voicemail message. We strive to promptly return all voicemail messages within one hour.

Step 2: Attend your free initial consultation

At your free initial consultation, you will meet with me to discuss your financial situation and potential options. Upon arriving at the office, you will be asked to fill out a brief one-page questionnaire prior to meeting with me. I will use this questionnaire to assess your circumstances and then we will discuss each issue in more detail. The typical initial consultation lasts between 30 minutes to an hour, and you will have the opportunity to ask as many questions as you like. I want to make sure that you have all the information you need and have all of your questions answered before you make a decision about what your best course of action will be. At the conclusion of our meeting, I will make a recommendation as to what I believe you should do, and provide you with a new client packet and instructions for moving forward. The new client packet can also be found at the bottom of this page.

Step 3: Gather your information & documentation

There's a line in the movie Jerry Maguire, where the main character tells his client, "Help me, help you … help me, help you." This step is where that advice comes into practice. It is very important for you to provide me with accurate information and complete documentation. I cannot adequately prepare your bankruptcy paperwork without it. Inaccurate or incomplete paperwork and missing documentation will hold up the filing of your case and delay the relief that you seek. It is up to you to answer the questions in the new client packet completely and provide me with all of the documentation I have requested. I assure you that I would not ask for documentation if I didn't need it to prepare your case. Simply put, if your documentation is accurate and complete, the preparation of your case will go quickly and smoothly. You "help me" by compiling correct information so I can "help you" by quickly and accurately preparing and filing your case.

Step 4: Retainer appointment

Once you have gathered all of your information and documentation, you can call to set up your retainer appointment. At your appointment, you will meet with me and have an opportunity to ask any additional questions that you may have. I will review your paperwork and may have questions for you. You will pay your down payment on your fee and sign your retainer contract. At this point, you will have hired me to represent you and you may begin giving creditors my name and telephone number. At the end of our appointment, I will schedule an appointment for you to come back in to review and sign your bankruptcy petition, schedules and other appropriate documents.

Step 5: Appointment to sign your documents

At this appointment, you will meet with me to review your bankruptcy schedules, statements and plan (in Chapter 13 cases). We will go over these documents in detail, make any necessary corrections, and you will sign the final draft. I will electronically file your bankruptcy case on the same date you sign your paperwork. Once your case is filed, you will be assigned a case number and you will be protected by the automatic stay in most circumstances.

You can visit our Chapter 7 and Chapter 13  pages for general information on the flow of cases after they are filed with the court.


In certain instances, it is necessary to expedite the intake and filing process. This most commonly occurs when you have a sheriff’s sale scheduled on your property, or when your check is being garnished. If there is a sheriff’s sale, your case must be filed prior to the auction of your property. Therefore, it is often necessary to prepare and file cases on a very short timeline. We can prepare and file your case on in a short timeframe only if you take the following steps:

  • Call to schedule your initial appointment. Make sure you inform our office that you have a pending sheriff’s sale date or garnishment and that you need an emergency appointment.
  • Print out the new client packet prior to coming in for your initial appointment.
  • Compile all documents and complete the questionnaire in full prior to coming in for your initial appointment.
  • Bring all requested documentation and the completed questionnaire to your initial appointment.
  • Bring your down payment for your fee to the initial appointment. This down payment must be in the form of a money order or cash. No personal checks will be accepted at an emergency appointment.


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Andress | Inzina
218 Rue Louis XIV, Suite A
Lafayette, LA 70508
Telephone: 337-347-9919
Fax: 337-541-2553
Andress | Inzina
343 N. Third Street, Suite 307
The Roumain Building

Baton Rouge, LA 70801
Telephone: 225-771-8220