There are some pre-filing requirements that must be satisfied before I can file a bankruptcy case on behalf of debtors as a Carol Stream bankruptcy attorney. The first requirement is the completion of a credit counseling session within 180 days prior to filing. The credit counseling session has to be done with a credit counselor approved by the United States Bankruptcy Court. The approximate cost is $25.00, and the length of time that it takes to complete is anywhere from 30 minutes to 60 minutes. The second requirement is that the debtor in a Chapter 7 case must provide a copy of their recent federal tax return. The third requirement is the debtor must provide two months’ worth of paycheck stubs or other pay advices prior to the case being filed to their bankruptcy lawyer.
Once the attorney’s fees are paid and I have all of those three pre-bankruptcy filing requirements satisfied, I will then file the case electronically with the Clerk of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. That right. You can file bankruptcy online. The days of bringing tons of papers down to the clerk’s office and waiting for them to file stamp everything is long ended. Bankruptcy cases are now filed electronically through the Internet. Within just a few minutes of pushing the Go button, the Clerk of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court will process the electronic case filing and spit out a case number, a trustee, a judge, a date and time for the meeting of creditors, all on the spot. This filing with the Clerk of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court is done in the convenience of the law office, and it can be done while the client waits. Theoretically, the client could come to my office, await the case being filed, and leave my office with a filing date, a case number, and court date information. The Clerk of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court will send official notice to all creditors, the debtor, and the debtor’s attorney with regard to the case number, the date filed, the judge, the trustee, and the meeting of creditors date and time and room number.
Once the case is filed, something called an automatic stay is created. An automatic stay is a separate document that basically lets creditors know that a case has been filed and that creditors cannot take certain collection activities. Those are simply the bankruptcy facts.