STEP THREE - FILING THE BANKRUPTCY
Once we have all of the documents that we need and all of the fees paid in full, we will schedule your signing appointment. I schedule an appointment with you for about 2 to 3 hours to prepare your petition. Generally it does not take that long, but sometimes it does, so I find that it is best to schedule a bit longer and have time set aside for what could be needed rather than run short on time.
I will have a lot of your petition completed after reviewing through the documents you provided ahead of time. I will thoroughly review through this information with you to ensure that it is true and accurate to the best of your knowledge. You will be signing this under penalty of perjury, so it is important that we are as thorough as possible.
My goal is to make sure you understand what information we have put into the documents we file with the court along with the reason why we have put them there. I want you to be involved and you to understand what is going on because this is your bankruptcy.
Although it may seem unnecessary to take all of this time going through each page, I find that my clients tend to be far more prepared than other debtors I see at court. That is part of why I believe this is a necessary process in the filing of your Bankruptcy case.
Most attorneys have you fill out questionnaires and complete the petition without you having any understanding of the process or the “why”. Even though my goal is to make the process as easy and clear for you as possible, there is more to Bankruptcy than just filling out forms, I understand this and that is why I take the time to walk you through this process.
If there are any remaining questions we will also review through those at this time.
Your petition, schedules and statement of financial affairs will disclose to the court all of your assets and all of your debts. There will be a budget that we will create for you showing your monthly income and expenses. We will also prepare your means test and show your intentions for your secured debts.
Once we have filled in all the petition, schedules, and statement of financial affairs I will review through each of the schedules with you to help you understand all of the documents that will be filed on your behalf.
If you are filing a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, we will prepare your plan in this appointment as well. Learn more about Chapter 13 plans here.
After we have completed the documents, you will sign the petition, schedules and statement of financial affairs.
I will then electronically file with the court all of the required documents. Once they are filed with the court, you will have a case number.
At this point you should complete the second credit counseling course, also referred to as Debtor Education Course.
In most cases the filing of your Bankruptcy will put in place what is called the automatic stay. This basically means that all creditors have to stop calling you and cannot collect any debt from you. This means they cannot foreclose on your home, garnish your wages or repossess your vehicle.
After you file Bankruptcy, sometimes a few creditors slip through and may give you a phone call. At this stage you can provide them your case number as well as my contact information. They should stop harassing you once you have filed Bankruptcy. If they don’t, let me know right away so that I can take the appropriate action against them!
In about 1 to 2 weeks from the filing of your petition and schedules you should receive a 341 Notice of Meeting of Creditors. This will inform you of the date, time and location of your hearing. This notice will also inform you of the time frame for creditors to object to you receiving a discharge. If an objection to the discharge should occur, we can discuss the necessary steps. It is more common in Chapter 13 cases for creditors to object to your Chapter 13 plan, which is different from objecting to the discharge. Similarly, in Chapter 7 cases it is not as common to receive an objection from a creditor. Nevertheless, if this should occur, I will review through with you what to expect and how to proceed.
If you are filing a Chapter 13 case, you can review more about the Chapter 13 plan in step four.
Otherwise, at this point you will move on to step five, the court hearing.
Contact me today to see how I can help you with your Bankruptcy!