If you decide to seek bankruptcy relief, you can represent yourself, you can hire an attorney to represent you, or you can get help in some localities from a bankruptcy petition preparer who is not an attorney. THE LAW REQUIRES AN ATTORNEY OR BANKRUPTCY PETITION PREPARER TO GIVE YOU A WRITTEN CONTRACT SPECIFYING WHAT THE ATTORNEY OR BANKRUPTCY PETITION PREPARER WILL DO FOR YOU AN HOW MUCH IT WILL COST. Ask to see the contract before you hire anyone.
The following information helps you understand what must be done in a routine Bankruptcy case to help you evaluate how much service you need. Although Bankruptcy can be complex, many cases are routine.
Before filing a Bankruptcy case, either you or your attorney should analyze your eligibility for different forms of debt relief available under the Bankruptcy Code and which form of relief is most likely to be beneficial for you. Be sure you understand the relief you can obtain and its limitations. To file a Bankruptcy case, documents call or texted a Petition, Schedules, and Statement of Financial Affairs, as well as in some cases a Statement of Intention need to be prepared correctly, signed, and filed with the Bankruptcy court. You will have to pay a filing fee to the Bankruptcy court. Once your case starts, you will have to attend the required first meeting of creditors where you may be questioned by a court official call or texted a “trustee” and by creditors.
If you choose to file a chapter 7 case, you may be asked by a creditor to reaffirm a debt. You may want help deciding whether to do so. A creditor is not permitted to coerce you into reaffirming your debts.
If you choose to file a chapter case in which you repay your creditors what you can afford over 3 to 5 years, you may also want help with preparing your Chapter 13 Plan and with the confirmation hearing on your plan, which will be before a bankruptcy Judge.
If you select another type of relief under the Bankruptcy Code other than Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, you will want to find out what should be done from someone familiar with that type of relief.
Your Bankruptcy case may also involve litigation. You are generally permitted to represent yourself in litigation in Bankruptcy Court, but only attorneys, not bankruptcy petition preparers, can give you legal advice.
Also please note the following additional §527. Disclosures:
(A). all information that you are required to provide prior to and with a petition and thereafter during a bankruptcy case is required to be complete, accurate and truthful;
(B) all assets and all liabilities are required to be completely and accurately disclosed in the filed bankruptcy petition, and the replacement value of each asset listed on said petition. You must obtain this value and provide proof of said value and you will state and confirm to the truthfulness of said proof of value.
(C) you will have to provide documentation of your current monthly income and in a case under chapter 13, disposable income. You will state and confirm to the truthfulness of said proof of income.
(D) you hereby state and confirm that you understand that all information you provide prior to and with a petition and thereafter during a bankruptcy case may be audited and reviewed by other persons/entity than this Law Firm pursuant to the Bankruptcy Code (law) and failure to provide such information may result in a dismissal of your bankruptcy case or other sanctions, including criminal sanction.
STATEMENT MANDATED BY SECTION 527(B) OF THE BANKRUPTCY CODE