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Important Information
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Important Information


  1. OVERVIEW: Your bankruptcy case is not officially filed with the clerk’s office until you have paid all fees including your attorney’s fee, court filing and credit report fee. Your final completed bankruptcy petition must also be signed before filing, this includes all schedules, statement of intent and any other documents associated with your case. Once this is completed our office will file your case with the clerk’s office and obtain a case number and court hearing date.
  2. PAYING FEES: Our firm offers several options in order to help you get your fees and costs paid so we can proceed with the processing of your bankruptcy paperwork. Just remember that in order for your case to be filed; your account must be paid in full. The amount of time for your case to be concluded depends on how fast you are able to pay all fees.
    • Office payments: You are more than welcome to come by our office at any time to make a payment. We are available Mon-Thurs 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM and Fridays from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM.
    • Mailing payments: You may also mail payments in the envelopes provided. Please ensure that your name is clearly printed on the check so we can accurately credit your account.
    • Third-party credit card payments or debit card payments: Our firm also accepts credit card payments for fees. We cannot accept a payment directly from you on a credit card as we are likely trying to discharge all of your credit card debt. We are equipped to process credit card payments if you have a friend, employer, family member, or some other entity wanting to pay your fees. Contact our offices and we will send out necessary authorizations for your signature by email/fax or you may come into our office.
  3. PROVIDING INFORMATION: In addition to paying your fees, you also MUST provide all requested information so we can prepare the bankruptcy paperwork. You should provide the information at the same time you are making your last payment on attorney fees in the list of you file. Keep in mind we will need updated bank statements and paystubs until the day of filing.
  4. CREDIT COUNSELING: Prior to filing your case we will send you login information directly to your email to complete counseling course by internet or telephone. You must obtain Certificate from an approved credit counseling agency showing you’ve completed a credit counseling session as required under the Bankruptcy Abuse and Consumer Protection Act of 2005.
  5. PREPARING PETITION: Once we have received your final payment and all required documents we will prepare your bankruptcy petition and all required schedules and statements.
  6. SHOULD YOU PAY ANY DEBTS? The only debts you should pay are the secured debts you are keeping. If you are filing a chapter 7 you are not allowed to keep ANY unsecured credit. If you are filing a chapter 13 all unsecured will be placed into your plan once filed. You should continue to pay your regular mortgage payments, your car payments, your utility bills, your non-dischargeable debts like student loans, most taxes, child support or maintenance obligations, co signed debts that you are keeping to protect the co-signor, or other debts we specifically instructed you to keep paying. Do not pay debts you are eliminating though your bankruptcy and do not pay store cards, furniture companies, or jewelry stores.
  7. THINGS YOU SHOULD NOT DO: Do not pay ANY debts to friends or family members. Do not pay any individual creditor more than $600.00. You can pay mortgage, car payments or utilities as stated before, but not anyone else. Do not give away or transfer any of your property. Do not continue to use credit cards or lines of credit as this will affect you negatively in your bankruptcy. These instructions are for your own protection, and if you have any questions regarding this please contact our office.
  8. CREDITOR CALLS: Do not engage them in conversation or ague with creditors. All you should say is “I can no longer pay my debt and have retained an attorney to represent me in regards to my debt. Please contact my attorney Maite L. Diaz”. Under federal law a collection agency or attorney representing a creditor cannot continue to call you.

  10. FILING YOUR CASE: Before filing your case, we must have received your credit counseling certification. After we have received your reviewed, corrected and signed paperwork and your credit counseling certificate from you we will make an appointment for you to review and sign the petition.
  11. NOTICES FROM THE COURT: Once your case is filed, the bankruptcy clerk’s office sends out notice of the filing to all your creditors and to you. The notice has your bankruptcy case number on it (ie.09-____) and will also contain the date, time and location of your required meeting with the trustee. The trustee is a court appointed official who represents your creditors and verifies the information on your schedules. If any creditor calls you once you have received the notice of filling, you only need to give them your case number and you can e-mail them a photocopy of the notice you received.
  12. MEETING OF THE CREDITORS/ 341 HEARING: About 4 weeks after your case is filed, you must also attend a meeting of creditors (called the 341 hearing). Even if you have to take time from work to appear you must appear.
    2. If you do not get a notice within 3 weeks of sending your paperwork back to us, you must follow up with our office. The $ 320.00 fee will not be waived because you did not get your notice. The reason you missed the meeting is irrelevant, there will still be a $320.00 fee assessed no matter what. The purpose of this meeting is for the trustee to ask questions to make sure all of your paperwork is accurate. The trustee is also trying to figure out if you have any assets the court might be able to sell to pay creditors. The meeting is typically informal, but you should dress business casual and you should NOT WEAR ANY JEWERLY. Your creditors do not appear at this meeting and the meeting usually completes in about 10 minutes.
    3. ITEMS YOU MUST BRING: Your photo ID, your ORIGINAL social security card and anything else our firm instructs you to bring.
  13. DEBTOR EDUCATION: The bankruptcy Abuse and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 requires that all filers must complete a debtor education course from an approved provider. Failure to complete the course can result in denial or revocation of discharge. The course should be completed prior to your discharge and must provide a Certificate of Completion to us so we can file.
  14. DISCHARGE FOR CH. 7 CLIENTS: APPROXIMATELY 2-3 months after your meeting of creditors, the clerk’s office will issue a discharge. The discharge is proof that your debts have been eliminated. Your creditors also receive notice of the discharge. KEEP ON HAND RECORDS OF YOUR DISCHARGE FOREVER. You may need it later when you are trying to re-establish credit. Or in case creditors try to contact you later. Remember some debts are not discharged like child support, recent income taxes, student loans, governmental fines and tickets or debts you may owe to your ex- spouse pursuant to a divorce decree or property settlement agreement.
  15. DISCHARGE FOR CH. 13 CLIENTS-After 3-5 Year plan is complete depending on your final confirmation.