The first step in filing a bankruptcy petition is to make an initial assessment of the financial condition of the debtor, and to determine if a bankruptcy petition is the appropriate vehicle to resolve the client’s financial challenges. This process takes two forms, first, to educate the client about the bankruptcy process, some of that effort can be accomplished through a review of these pages. Second, is to gather preliminary information about the client’s financial condition by discussing matters with the client, and to make a preliminary decision as to the advisability of filing a bankruptcy petition. The second part of this preliminary effort is accomplished through a face to face meeting between the lawyer and the client. Normally, the preliminary decision about filing bankruptcy can be made at this first meeting, though on occasion follow-on questions may require that such decision be postponed until more complete information is gathered.
If it is determined, at the intial interview, that the filing of a bankruptcy petition is the best course of action, the true work of gathering detailed information must begin. The debtor must gather all their bills, bank statemnets, property lists, and other documents and organize that information in to a format that can be used to prepare the bankrptucy petition. We offer two alternativves in presenting this information to us.
First, is the MyCaseInfo web page which is a secure internet portal in which you can enter the necessary information is an easy to understand interface. It is important to note that we do not own, nor operate the MyCaseInfo web portal, it is a service to which we subscribe. While we cannot gurantee the security of that site, we have not had an issue with that security and we have not heard of any other law office experiencing a security breach as a result of using the MyCaseInfo portal.
Once the MyCaseInfo portal is completed we then “import” that information in to the software we use to prepare the bankruptcy petition. The client supplied information is merged with other information we have gathered, and input from counsel on the nature and types of exemptions available to the client to arrive at a final draft of the petition documents.
In the alternative, we can supply the client with a printed questionaire to assist them in gathering the information for the petiton preparation effort. We then take that information and manually enter it into our bankruptcy preparation software. This additional expenditure of time normally reults in an additional cost to the client (see “Fee” schedule).
Infrequently, the information that was gathered will differ materially from that orignally disclosed by the client. It is at this time that we discuss the prepared documents with the client and help the client arrive at a final decision as to the advisiblilty of filing the bankruptcy petition. The petition is then signed by the client and filed, electroncially, with the bankruptcy court.
Continue to Post-Filing Process