steps for filing
GETTING A FRESH, NEW START
What you can expect if Michael J. Cox, Attorney at Law LLC, represents you in a consumer or individual bankruptcy:
The Free Consultation
We offer a free thirty-minute consultation to discuss your specific financial situation. You will be provided with some basic worksheets prior to your appointment that will provide, in general terms, an overview of your finances.
During this meeting, we can, with your permission, obtain your credit report and provide you with a copy. With the credit report information and the information you provide, we will develop some options for you. We will also ask you to sign four disclosures, and copies of these will be provided to you.
Your financial situation can sometimes be resolved without filing for bankruptcy protection. If this is the case, we will briefly explain other options, define what actions you need to take and, if necessary, refer you to the appropriate nonprofit center to help you.
If filing for bankruptcy protection will be the most beneficial option for your situation, we will describe the advantages and disadvantages of each bankruptcy chapter and explain which chapter is likely to be best for your situation. We will provide you with an action plan detailing the steps you need to take and the costs involved. You will also receive a “homework” package that you will need to complete if you decide to move forward with a bankruptcy filing.
We will give you a bankruptcy folder containing additional information about bankruptcy and available resources.
You will leave this consultation with an action plan that can be your first step towards a fresh start.
If you choose to move forward with a bankruptcy filing, the next step to financial freedom and a fresh start will be to complete the “homework” package you were provided at the free consultation. You can use the credit report we provided for you as a resource when completing your package.
Filing for bankruptcy requires full and complete disclosure about your financial situation. You must, therefore, provide truthful and thorough answers to the questions in your package and copies of all the documents that we require. You will be given this list at your initial consultation.
Required documents may include the following:
- Copies of your income tax filings for the past two years.
- Copies of your bank statements for the six months prior to your filing date.
- Copies of pay stubs for the past six months or, if you are retired, a document showing your monthly pension or social security benefits.
- Loan documents for your car and home.
- Vehicle registrations, tax assessments, and insurance policies.
Once you have completed your homework package and gathered your documents, you are ready to move to Step 3.
The Follow Up Visit
If you have not already made your follow up appointment, you can call our office to schedule one. This appointment usually takes about ninety minutes.
You will bring your completed “homework” package, copies of the documents requested, and the follow-up fees with you to this meeting. You will meet with the same paralegal you worked with during your initial visit. Once your financial information has been reviewed, Michael J. Cox will meet with you and your paralegal to discuss the best way to proceed.
You will leave this meeting knowing that you are on your way to a fresh start.
In the days that follow, we will be preparing your bankruptcy petitions and schedules. We ask that you use this time to complete the required credit counseling course, which can be done in the privacy of your home using your personal computer or in our office by appointment. We will point you to the Web site you need to visit and explain the steps you will need to take. You will receive an identification number once you log in to the Web site. You will need to write down this number and report it to us when you have completed your course. We will use the number you were given to download your credit counseling certification.
If we have questions or need additional information while preparing your petitions and schedules, we will contact you either by e-mail or telephone. When we have completed your petitions and schedules, we will notify you and schedule your sign-off appointment. Then we will go to step 4.
Reviewing Your Schedules, Signing Your Petition, and Filing Your Case
Again you will meet with your paralegal to review all aspects of your petition and schedules for accuracy and completeness. Corrections, additions, and deletions will be made at this time. Mr. Cox will be available for questions and will review the petition schedules with you and your paralegal.
It is important to us that you know you have the right to ask any question and have it answered respectfully and accurately.
After all corrections are made and you fully agree that all information is accurate and complete, we will ask you to sign the documents and the petition. Once everything is signed, we will file your case electronically with the bankruptcy court.
The balance of your fees will be due at this meeting. All fees quoted to you at your initial consultation must be paid before we can file your case with the bankruptcy court.
You will be assigned a bankruptcy case number when your case is received by the bankruptcy court. At this time, you are totally protected from any further actions from your creditors. Your bankruptcy filing will protect you from foreclosures and repossessions, even if the action is already in process. All collection activity from creditors must stop immediately. You will be able to answer your telephone and your doorbell with a peace of mind. The automatic stay required by the bankruptcy court is powerfully enforced. Creditors who willfully violate the automatic stay will be held in contempt of court and can be made to pay for their unlawful actions.
The bankruptcy court will assign your case to a bankruptcy trustee. The trustee's job is to determine the accuracy of the debtor's petition and schedules.
Once your case is filed, a trustee is appointed and a date will be set for a meeting with creditors and the trustee. As a general rule, creditors do not show up for this meeting. The meeting is held approximately thirty days after your filing. In most cases, the meeting is very brief, and Mr. Cox will be there with you. This is the first opportunity for the trustee to ask you about your financial situation.
*You can harness your runaway debt, reclaim your financial freedom, and get your life back in less than two weeks just by following our five easy steps to a fresh start.
*Emergency filings can be accomplished within 24 hours.
We feel that each client is entitled to respect, compassion, experience, and professionalism from all members of our staff. We also feel that it is important for our clients to feel comfortable discussing their personal financial affairs with members of our staff, so we strive to have the same skilled paralegal assist you at every step of the process. This person will be your direct contact in our office.