Once we get the approval of our client, the process will actually begin. For example, if the documents are prepared and there’s nothing that has to be changed, the next step is the actual filing. The filing is the official action for claiming bankruptcy. There are a lot of little nuances that could occur when we are preparing the bankruptcy paperwork.
In a Chapter 13, for instance, if the taxes have not been filed, then it’s going to be hard for the trustee to confirm the Chapter 13 plan until the four years of previous taxes are filed. So that’s something that could be an issue in preparing the filing of a bankruptcy. Filing is a dialogue between the attorney and the debtor. We have to have a nice dialogue and make sure that you’re being honest with everything, that the client’s being honest with everything and listing everything and listing everything truthfully.
So in order to file bankruptcy, the paperwork is the most time-consuming part of the bankruptcy, is getting all the information, getting the credit counseling classes done, getting your pay advices, things of that nature, and any other documentation that we’ll need. We would like to have bills, all of your bills. The bills make up the bulk of the petition and are part of the bankruptcy basics needed to file the case. We will run a credit report for you; however, credit reports are not always accurate. Generally, they are very accurate, especially the one we use. However, in many circumstances, the credit report will not pick up on things like medical bills or debt that has just been recently incurred, but medical bills mostly. So if a debtor comes in and has a lot of medical bills but it is not found in the credit report that is more paperwork that the debtor needs to provide to their attorney.
If they don’t provide that information to the Chicago bankruptcy lawyer, there’s no way we would know that your medical bill of $2,000.00 should be listed in your bankruptcy petition. So in order for this bankruptcy to run smoothly and to have confidence that all creditors are listed, the debtor needs to help us out also and provide as many bills as they can. We need to know who the creditor is, we need to know the amount of money that is owed to the creditor, we need to know the account number (if there is an account number for the particular debt), and we need to know the address of the creditor in order for us to give notice to them.
So in that respect, gathering up your bills could be time consuming for the debtor, depending on how many bills they have. Generally speaking, we only need the most recent bill. We don’t need to have your whole year of your past bills. So that is another thing that needs to be done before filing the bankruptcy and what is involved in preparing the bankruptcy. From that point forward, the matter will be in the hands of a chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney and you will be kept informed every step of the way. Provided you follow the easy instructions of the bankrupcy attorney, your case should run very smoothly.