updated 10/20/2010 6:45:54 AM ET 2010-10-20T10:45:54

IRVINE, Calif., Oct. 19, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Attorney Timothy G. McFarlin of McFarlin & Geurts LLP, a full-service law firm representing businesses and consumers in California, Utah and throughout the United States, today outlined for California debtors the six basic steps in filing for bankruptcy. McFarlin has done so in the effort to demystify the process and to remind consumers that bankruptcy laws exist to protect them – not to humiliate them. McFarlin is a renowned authority in bankruptcy law, having discharged millions of dollars of debt for clients over the years.

"Filing for bankruptcy protection no longer bears the moral weight it did in previous generations," said McFarlin. "These days it's simply a financial choice. For the vast majority of debtors, our country's economic crisis is a circumstance completely beyond their control. This is exactly why bankruptcy protection exists. By outlining the six steps of the process, it is my hope that imperiled consumers can objectively view their avenues to financial safety."

Following are the steps individuals would take to file for bankruptcy protection: 

  1. Get a lawyer. Due to the complexities of bankruptcy law and unscrupulous pressure from creditors, it's important that consumers have strong representation. Consumers should thoroughly review their case with legal counsel and, if necessary, save the money necessary to retain them.
  2. Pre-filing credit counseling. In most cases, consumers can complete this step online for a nominal fee.
  3. Filing. Once an attorney files bankruptcy on behalf of a client, creditors are no longer allowed to call and harass. A consumer receives notification by mail of the date for the bankruptcy "meeting."
  4. Post-filing credit counseling. Also available online for a nominal fee. Consumers must submit proof of completion to the court.
  5. The meeting. Verifies truthfulness of answers in the bankruptcy petition. The meeting is usually quick and in some cases can last less than a minute.
  6. Discharge from debts. At this point, consumers have no further obligation to repay discharged debts. Creditors no longer have recourse to collect debt from the consumer.

From start to finish, the bankruptcy process takes an average of four months, with most of the time spent waiting for the meeting. For more information please visit http://mcfarlinlaw.com/ or dial 888-728-0044 for a free consultation.

About McFarlin & Geurts LLP

McFarlin & Geurts LLP is a full service law firm representing businesses and consumers in California, Utah and throughout the United States. Areas of practice include both litigation and transactional matters, in federal courts as well as state courts. The firm is committed to providing clients with superior legal service with integrity and giving each client the personal attention they deserve.

McFarlin & Geurts strives to reach a positive outcome for clients' legal or transactional matters by implementing a philosophy of practical and effective representation. Placing clients' needs at the forefront of all engagements is the firm's top priority – with a goal of conserving client resources wherever possible without sacrificing quality of service. For more information or a free consultation, please call (888) 728 0044.

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