Process of Bankruptcy: Chapter 7
The following is a list of the most common steps in a typical Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case. Your bankruptcy attorney will notify you if you are required to do anything more than what is listed below. Please use this as a general reference for your case. If you have any questions during the process of bankruptcy, please contact our office.
1. Take the required Credit Counseling Course. Every person who files for bankruptcy is required to take a credit counseling class before filing for bankruptcy. The credit counseling class can be taken at www.debtorcc.org for a fee of $9.95 per household. The website describes the class as “First Course Pre-Filing Credit Counseling”. When you start your credit counseling class, the website will ask you for your attorney’s email address. Please enter the email address of our paralegal Gaiana Sarkisian (firstname.lastname@example.org). After you complete the course, a certificate of completion will be emailed to our office.
2. Complete the MyCaseInfo bankruptcy questionnaire. Every bankruptcy client is required to complete our bankruptcy questionnaire. The bankruptcy questionnaire will provide us with the information we need to prepare your bankruptcy petition. The bankruptcy questionnaire invitation will be emailed to you through MyCaseInfo and a username and password will be provided to you for login purposes. Once you have completed the questionnaire, our office will be notified. Please note that the invitation email will not be from our office. The email will be from MyCaseInfo. If you do not see the email in your inbox, please check your spam folder.
3. Provide required documents to our office. The following documents are required to file your bankruptcy case.
- Tax Returns – In general, we require the last two tax returns you have filed. If you have not filed a tax return recently, we require a copy of the last tax return you have filed.
- Pay Stubs – If you are or have been employed in the past 6 months, we require copies of your pay stubs for 7 months prior to the date we file your bankruptcy case.
- Bank Statements – We also require 3 months of your bank statements. Please include all bank accounts.
- Financial Statements – If you have any other financial accounts, such as investment accounts, life insurance policies (with a cash out value), retirement accounts, or any other account you can cash out, we require a copy of your most recent statement.
- Tax Debt Statements – If you owe any taxes to any governmental organization, please provide our office with a statement of the tax debt.
- Lawsuit Documents – If you have been sued by any creditors or are involved in any other lawsuits, please provide our office with a copy of the documents.
- Any other documents requested by your attorney. If the attorney you met with asks for a copy of any other documents, please provide them to our office.
4. Review your bankruptcy paperwork. Once step 1-3 are completed, you are required to meet with our attorney to review your bankruptcy paperwork and sign the appropriate documents. Our office will generally file your bankruptcy case on the following Friday after you meet with our attorney.
5. Bankruptcy Case Filed. Once your bankruptcy case is filed, our office will email you your case number and notify you of the location, date and time of your Meeting of Creditors. If creditors call you after your bankruptcy case is filed, please inform them of your bankruptcy filing and give them your case number. Filing for bankruptcy give you protection under the Automatic Stay. The Automatic Stay prohibits your creditors from taking any action to collect, including calling you, sending you letters, and proceeding with any lawsuit.
6. Take the required Financial Management Course. After your bankruptcy case is filed, you are required to complete a course in Financial Management. You can take the course at the same website where you took the Credit Counseling Course (www.debtorcc.org). The Financial Management Course is described on the website as “Second Course Post Filing Debtor Education” and the cost is $9.95 per household. If you fail to take the Financial Management Course your case will be dismissed without a discharge. Please take the Financial Management Course at least a week before the date of your Meeting of Creditors.
7. Attend the Meeting of Creditors. Approximately 4 to 5 weeks after your bankruptcy case is filed, you are required to attend the Meeting of Creditors. The Meeting of Creditors is not held at the bankruptcy court. The location of the Meeting of Creditors will be in the email our office sent you after we filed your bankruptcy case and you will receive a notice from the Bankruptcy Court in your mail of the location, date time and requirements. When you attend the Meeting of Creditors, you are required to bring a valid driver’s license (passport or identification card) and social security card (no copies). If you fail to bring proof of your identity and social security number, your Meeting of Creditors will be continued to a later date. Please remember to bring your social security card.
8. Discharge of Debtor. The Discharge wipes out your debt. It is why you have filed for bankruptcy. The earliest you can receive your Discharge is 60 days after your Meeting of Creditors. Your discharge should be processed within 90 days after your Meeting of Creditors.
Filing for bankruptcy is a process wherein the attorney and client work together to file for bankruptcy and obtain a discharge. The Los Angeles Bankruptcy Attorneys at MacLean Chung Law Firm cannot file your bankruptcy case without your cooperation. Completing the requirements listed above to the best of your ability will help in the obtaining a discharge smoothly.