This website does not provide legal advice.  It is for informational purposes only. Please do not act or refrain from acting based on anything you read on this site. The information contained in this web site, article or link may be outdated, incorrect or not applicable; it is your obligation to confirm the accuracy. Using this site or communicating with Law Office of D.L. Drain, or any agent/employee of our firm, through this site does not form an attorney/client relationship. This site is legal advertising. Please review the full disclaimer for more information.

It is very important that you obtain legal advice from an experienced attorney regarding your particular situation. Consultation before you take action will certainly cost you less than it will cost to fix your unintentional errors.



Each client receives individualized attention because our firm is not a bankruptcy “mill”.

We believe you deserve better than to be treated like cattle headed down a chute. I customize my legal advice in order to respect your unique history, needs and wants.

Taking time to plan a bankruptcy is an absolute necessity; that is the only way to avoid unnecessary surprises.

No one should ever file a bankruptcy without looking at the big picture.  There is far too much is at stake – like losing your tax refunds, surrendering a vehicle you need or asking mom to give back the money you just repaid her.  Sometimes our clients need to move forward quickly due to a foreclosure or garnishment.  We try to accommodate those needs, but all of these issues must be balanced in such way that you understand possible consequences.

The information you provide us will help to paint an accurate and detailed picture of your unique situation.  Make list of any questions.  You will have several opportunities to ask questions or make corrections.

Always remember you are not alone; we are here as your guide.  But also remember a guide does not carry you up the path or walk it for you.  A guide’s job is to help you traverse this rocky mountain called “bankruptcy”.


Obtain credit reports from all 3 reporting agencies. If you are married obtain credit reports for each spouse.  Here is a link to your free annual credit reports at Annual Credit Report. Why free? – The federal law requires that every Arizona resident be able to obtain a free annual credit report from each of the three credit reporting companies.

Do your best to obtain these credit reports (all three for each spouse) in order to fill out the Online Asset and Debtor Information (see below) completely.

The law requires that you list every creditor address on every piece of mail received in the last 90 days before filing a bankruptcy. There are creditor addresses on both the front and back of each statement/bill. These credit reports are intended to supplement, not replace the demands and statements you recently received from your creditors/collection companies.

Note – just because we had the free telephone consultation does not mean I agreed to take you as a client or that you agreed to hire my office to help with bankruptcy.  Assuming we agreed to work together, one of two options happened:

  1. I either sent you an invitation to enter data to a secure on-line portal:, or
  2. I suggested you contact me if you wanted to move forward.

Please call us if you cannot find that invitation.  MyCaseInfo is a secure site and only our firm will receive your financial information.


When your bankruptcy is filed you will be asked to swear under oath that the information in your documents is complete and accurate.

I want you to be very comfortable with this affirmation.   Now you can see why it is very important to commit the time and effort now in order to avoid serious complications later.


( Instructions-for-MyCaseInfo-7-23-18.pdf (3 downloads) )

If after reading these instructions and those on MyCaseInfo you have questions – please call Jay (602-246-7106).

The law requires that you take a credit counseling class before filing bankruptcy.  If you are married and filing together then both of you must take on-line course.  The law requires the provider to offer the courses for free if you financially qualify.

1) Abacus Counseling –
a. The cost is $25 to $35 (good report from other clients)
2) Start Fresh Today: (10/11/17 – client complained she was left on hold for more than one hour after completing the required information.)
a. Online and telephone consultations available
b. Prices for household advertised to be the “lowest”
3) Access Counseling –
a. The cost is $15 to $25. (Note – one client was very unhappy with this company.)
4) DebtorCC –
a.  $14.95 for the counseling class and $9.95 for the education class
5) Dollar Learning Foundation
a. $14.99 for credit counseling course and $7.99 for debtor education, plus additional fee for joint course takers.

Other options for providers are: CINgroup, GreenPath, DebtHelper and DECAF.

Note from Diane: Please let me know immediately if you have any problems with the providers I suggested. Always confirm the provider is approved by the US Trustee’s Office. Several non-approved providers are preying on naive folks charging for unapproved services.

NOTE: The credit counseling course certificate is good for only 6 months so please do not take it until you are ready to meet with me and ready to file your bankruptcy.

Beware of offers from fraudulent educational services.  They must be approved by the US Trustee’s Office.

Diane will call to schedule your first meeting (which may be virtual using Zoom (free and easy to install) and email a list of items to provide us for your meeting.  If you are anxious to schedule the meeting feel free to call at 602.246.7106 to confirm we received notice that you completed the MyCaseInfo form.

The following is an advanced look at some of the items on the list Diane will send confirming your first meeting:

  1. Half of the retainer fee.  You can pay the fee by check, cash, cashier’s check or on-line using your debit card, or a friend or family member can use their credit card at:  The balance, plus the court filing fee, is to be paid at your next meeting (when we will be preparing to to file your bankruptcy).
  2. Your driver’s license and social security cards.  – Lost your social security card?  Complete an application ( or call 1-800-772-1213.
  3. Last 7 months of all pay stubs and/or proof of income (if self-employed).
  4. Credit Counseling Certificate(s).
  5. Bank statements for last 12 months for all bank accounts (open and closed), including business (if any).  Make sure to obtain these statements BEFORE closing the accounts, otherwise the bank may charge for the statements.
  6. Tax returns for last 3 years
  7. Copies of all vehicle titles or registrations.
  8. Copies of law suits, if any.
  9. If you owe back child support or alimony – calculate how much you owe.
  10. If you are behind on house payments and plan on saving your home, then bring a statement from lender indicating the amount necessary to bring the loan current, plus a copy of the Notice of Trustee’s Sale, if any.
  11. If you owe back federal taxes – obtain a literal transcript – IRS form 4506T-EZ from the IRS for the last 4 years.
    NOTE: IRS Information about taxes.


Gift for you –  Starting-Over-Dave-Ramseys-Survival-Guide.pdf (299 downloads)

Some other materials from Dave Ramsey:

  • (premier budgeting site and app);
  • (good financial advice site- numerous tools);
  • Thriving After Bankruptcy webinar and live video Diane’s note – Dave Ramsey tries to persuade folks not to take on any debt (that is fine is you are a millionaire like Ramsey, but not for the rest of us).  Don’t take what his people say as gospel.  Learn to find your own path by learning from others.  Trust yourself.

Young children or health issues:

Most likely our meetings will be on Zoom, but if this meeting is in person, please honor these instructions:

  • Both Jay and I are sensitive to strong smells.  We would really appreciate if you avoid the use of perfumes or cologne when you meet with us.
  • If we are meeting in person, please leave small children at home.  This is not fair to the child or to you.  Our first meeting is almost three hours long and you need to be able to concentrate.   If you have children over 10, who can be left on their own for three hours, we will be happy to accommodate them.
  • Illness.  If anyone you have been in contact with in the last two weeks has been ill – we will need to schedule your meeting with Zoom (free and easy to install).

Thank you for your courtesy.