Practical tips for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing

  1. Before preparing final documents, each creditor should be contacted to verify the exact amount of the debt and correct account number. As the debtor, you may have based figures on an old statement or may have omitted additional finance charges.
  2. Your (the debtor’s) accountant may have additional information regarding your financial standing. Your bankruptcy lawyer should request any financial statements the accountant may have.
  3. As the debtor, you should furnish your bankruptcy attorney with a copy of all deeds to your real property to ensure the legal descriptions are correct and to ascertain how title is held. When describing real property in the schedules, the bankruptcy lawyer should list the legal description and indicate how title is held. If the legal description is lengthy, some courts will allow it to be attached to the schedule as an exhibit. If attached, it should be incorporated into the schedule. For example:

    “Real property located at [Address], held in the names of [Name] and [Name], husband and wife as joint tenants, the legal description of which is attached hereto, marked Exhibit A, and incorporated herein by reference.”

  4. When listing your automobiles, your bankruptcy attorney should provide as much information as possible, including year, make, model, license number and vehicle ID number.
  5. Before completing the schedules, your bankruptcy lawyer should contact you to make sure all debts are listed and none have been overlooked.
  6. After mailing the order for relief, your bankruptcy attorney should contact the court to determine if any notices were returned for an insufficient address. If so, the attorney should obtain the correct address and mail the notice to the creditor as soon as possible. A return receipt will prove the creditor received the notice.
  7. If a lawsuit is pending against you, the debtor, the bankruptcy attorney should list all pertinent information, including name and address of the court, judicial district, caption, case number, and date filed. For example:

    “Lawsuit pending in the __________ Court, County of __________, __________ District, located at [address, city, state]; case no. ____________ entitled [name of case]; dated ____________, for the principal sum of $ ________.”

  8. You and your bankruptcy lawyer should check and double check the petition and schedules to make sure all information is listed and all requisite pages have been signed.
  9. Official forms should be used at all times.

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