After You File
You can still participate in a Free Self Help Program
Once your petition is filed, it operates as an “automatic stay” that stops actions by creditors to collect debts from you (there may be an exception to this if you have filed prior cases).
Your case is entered into the court’s Case Management/Electronic Case Filing (CM/ECF) system by a case manager. Your case is randomly assigned to a bankruptcy judge. A case Trustee is assigned to administer your case.
If you do not file a complete petition, including the list of creditors/matrix (see our When You File page for additional information) you will have 14 days to complete the remaining documents If you do not complete and file the remaining documents within 14 days, you care may be dismissed. If your case is dismissed, your creditors will be notified and may resume collection efforts against you.
You will be given notice of the date, time, and location of the meeting of creditors (often called a “341 meeting”). You are REQUIRED to appear at this meeting. If you do not appear, your case may be dismissed. At the meeting, you will meet with the Trustee assigned to your case. You will be required to answer questions, under oath, by the Trustee and/or creditors about your financial situation. After the 341 meeting of creditors:
- Chapter 7 case : the Trustee will determine whether or not you have assets to be liquidated. Your case may be eligible for a discharge after 60 days from when you filed your case. A copy of the discharge is sent to you and to your creditors. Your case may then be eligible to be closed.
- Chapter 13 case: the Trustee determines whether the repayment plan that you proposed is adequate to pay back your creditors. Your plan may require you to make monthly payments for up to 5 years. Upon completion of the Chapter 13 repayment period, the Trustee will file a final report. After you have completed all your payments, a discharge will be issued and sent to you and all your creditors. Your case may then be eligible to be closed.
- Creditors may object to your discharge in general or to specific debts. The creditor may do this by filing what is known as an “Adversary Proceeding.”
- If you are unable to travel to court, you may be able to Appear in Court by Telephone.
- After Hours Filing Procedures for Non-Electronic Filers via Facsimile Local Rule 5005-4 [we should link to the rule or at least our local rules generally] for emergency situations.
Please be aware that this is only a brief description of the bankruptcy process. Your individual circumstances may vary.