Before I can file your bankruptcy case as a Volo bankruptcy attorney, there are pre-requisites. The first prerequisite is a credit counseling session. A credit counseling session is a one-hour session with an approved credit counselor whereby you will get a certificate enabling you to file a bankruptcy. The government believed when they passed the bankruptcy law that if you took a credit counseling session, you might decide not to file for bankruptcy and you might work out some sort of payment plan or debt management plan for your creditors.
In reality, most of the people who are doing credit counseling are doing it to enable them to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy since it is one of the main requirements before you can file. So really, this is an exercise that debtors have to go through. This is something that they have to pay $25.00 for. This is something that takes an hour out of their life. In reality, all of the people that I referred to credit counseling are doing so because they need to go to credit counseling in order to file for bankruptcy. So the government wisdom behind this that people would not file for bankruptcy simply is not the case. People have to do the credit counseling as a means to an end to actually be able to file bankruptcy.
The next requirement is the debtor must provide the most recent federal tax return. If the debtor did not have to file a federal tax return, then we’ll have him sign a statement stating so. But providing a federal tax return is another prerequisite and requirement to filing a bankruptcy case.
Another requirement under the Bankruptcy Code is that the debtor must provide two months’ worth of paycheck stubs. If the person does not receive paycheck stubs, then we need some proof of income, whether it be retirement income, unemployment income, or anything of that nature. If the person does not have any source of income, we will have them sign what we call a pay statement, which basically states that they did not receive any kind of income in the last two months. This is required under Federal and Illinois bankruptcy laws.
Once we have these items in hand, the case can be filed with the Clerk of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The Court will then assign a case number, set a date and set everything out on notice. You and your attorney will receive the same notices.