There are several steps one must generally take if he wishes to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Here is a general list of minimum steps that must be taken in all Chapter 7 cases:
A. Take a credit counseling course.
Take a credit counseling course by an approved, non‐profit credit counseling agency. This is the first of two (2) courses you must take in virtually all cases before you file for bankruptcy. You must take this course by a credit counseling agency acceptable to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. A list of acceptable agencies is contained in the FORMS AND INFORMATION section of this website.
These courses can be taken easily by telephone or online. Once you’ve completed the course, simply ask that agency to send our firm your Certificate of Completion. We’ll need this Certificate at the time we file your bankruptcy.
B. Complete a questionnaire and read certain bankruptcy forms and notices. After taking the credit counseling course, complete a questionnaire that in the FORMS AND INFORMATION section of this website. We’ll also be asking you to review several bankruptcy forms that the U.S. Bankruptcy Code requires you read. We have included a copy of these forms in the FORMS AND INFORMATION section of this website. Once you have done this, schedule a time to meet us at our firm.
C. Provide confirming documents.
As we prepare your case for filing, you'll need to provide confirming documentation about your finances.
We'll ask to see documentation evidencing your gross monthly income from ALL sources for each one of the last six (6) months. If you live with your spouse, we'll ask to see the same income information for your spouse. We’ll ask to see your pay stubs for the last six (6) months, and your bank statements for the last year. We'll ask to see your bills so we can see to whom you owe money. If you received collection letters, we'll ask to see them so we can provide notice of your bankruptcy to these collection agents.
We'll ask to see copies of your complete tax returns (State and Federal) for the last two (2) years.
We'll ask to see deeds to all of your real properties as well as mortgage loan documents on same.
We'll ask to see information about your motor vehicles.
We’ll ask to see your bank account records.
D. Final review of papers to assure 100% accuracy. Bankruptcy courts apply a ‘zero tolerance’ policy to material omissions or misstatements in your bankruptcy papers, and since you’ll be signing your bankruptcy papers under penalty of perjury, we must do our best to make certain your bankruptcy filing is true and accurate as possible.
On the day we file your bankruptcy, we’ll meet with you, carefully review your petition with you. We’ll ask you to tell us the exact balances in all of your financial accounts and we’ll ask you to print written proof of those bank balances for our case file. Depending upon your situation, we may require additional documentation that may include an updated credit profile report or deeds to personal property.
You will meet with Mr. Simpson in every case, and after you’ve confirmed the bankruptcy documents are true, complete, and accurate, you will sign the bankruptcy petition under oath. The bankruptcy case can then be filed.
E. Attend a “Meeting of Creditors” 30-40 days after you file for bankruptcy.