Clients who file bankruptcy have different understandings of what their role is in the bankruptcy process. This blog post will attempt to clarify the bankruptcy filer’s role in getting their bankruptcy case filed. Over the years, we have encountered a few people who were surprised by the amount of “work” required to file a bankruptcy case. Some people showed up and expected a bankruptcy case to be filed on the day they made their payment to our firm, and were surprised by the amount of “work” they had to complete in order to file. An attorney and their client always work together in each and every attorney/client relationship. An attorney cannot successfully represent our clients without their cooperation.
The following is a list of the mandatory requirements that a person filing bankruptcy must complete in order to get their case filed after they sign a retainer agreement with our firm and make their payment arrangement. The requirements should be the same irregardless of which bankruptcy attorney you decide to file your bankruptcy case with. It is not a full and comprehensive list of all the events in a bankruptcy case, but a list of the minimal requirements that an individual must complete in order to get your case filed and enjoy the benefits of the automatic stay.
- Complete an online credit counseling course at www.debtorcc.org ($19.95). A credit counseling course is mandatory in order to file a bankruptcy case. Our firm prefers that our clients use debtorcc.org as we have a long standing relationship with that provider and their fees are on the lower end of the fee spectrum.
- Complete an online bankruptcy questionnaire. It is vital that all bankruptcy filers diligently complete our online questionnaire. All responses on a bankruptcy petition must be truthful and correct. It is important to think of each question and properly provide a response.
- Provide documents to our office. In order to properly prepare you bankruptcy petition, we will need certain documents such as tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs, other financial statements, lawsuits, etc. The bankruptcy attorney will provide you with a comprehensive list of documents that we need at your consultation. Documents can be emailed to our office or they can also be uploaded to our online bankruptcy questionnaire.
- Review your bankruptcy petition with a bankruptcy attorney. Then give us a little time to prepare your final draft.
- Conduct a final review and sign your petition.
- Your bankruptcy case will be filed by our office and the automatic stay will protect you any creditor actions against you; such as calls, letters, lawsuits, foreclosures, and many others as well.
- After your case is filed, you will have other requirements to meet. Check out our blog post on “What Do I Have To Do AFTER My Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case is Filed?”
Your cooperation is essential to your bankruptcy case. The faster you complete your requirements, the faster we can file your case. The better you complete your questionnaire and provide all of the documents we request, the better your bankruptcy petition will be as well. The success of your bankruptcy case depends on your diligence and cooperation with our firm.
If you are interested in the entire process of chapter 7 bankruptcy please check out our previous blog post on the subject, “The Process of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy”.