What Comes Next?
Courthouse in Auburn, California
After your initial meeting:
- We will provide you with a packet to fill out including a questionnaire and a list of documents to provide.
- Once you have everything filled out and all of your requested paperwork, call the office to schedule a document review (No drop ins please).
- For the document review please bring your questionnaire and photocopies
of all requested documents. You do not need to bring a copy of your ID and Social Security Card to the Document Review, only the 341 meeting.
After the Document Review
- After you have submitted all of your paperwork
to our office and have paid in full (or made payment arrangements)
we can prepare your petition for filing.
- After you have retained this office you may refer creditor calls to us. Use the following script, "I/We have retained a bankruptcy attorney, his name is Stephen Johnson. Please refer your future calls to him as we have been instructed not to talk to you."
- From the time your case becomes active it typically takes about 3 weeks for the petition to be ready for review and signatures. During this 3 week period we take your paperwork and turn it into your "Bankruptcy Petition" that is then filed with the court.
- In this time period, expect a few phone calls or more commonly emails from our office asking clarifying questions. Sometimes we will request additional documentation so please respond promptly to these inquiries as they will slow the completion of your petition.
- When your petition has been prepared we will schedule a time for you to come into the office to review and sign your petition.
- When reviewing the petition make especially sure of the following:
- that your social security number is correct
- all of your creditors are listed
- all of your assets are disclosed
- your address is correct
- If we send you the petition by email we will then need to schedule an appointment for a sign-off.
***Note- the petition cannot be filed until it is personally reviewed and signed
- Once the petition has been signed, it will be filed electronically with the court and you will receive a case number and a court hearing date by regular mail. This notice is automatically sent by the court after the petition is filed.
- You will be notified by the court (by mail) about a week after the case has been filed informing you of the case number and the court hearing date (also known as the Meeting of Creditors or the 341 meeting).
- The court hearing is scheduled anywhere between four and six weeks from the date the petition was filed. (Your hearing is automatically scheduled by the court; if you know you will be out of town in the month following your sign-off please let us know.)
- In the time period between when you receive your 341 Meeting Notice and your court date, you will need to complete your Second Credit Counseling and fill out Official Form 23 (sent by the court). Form 23 is on the back side of the "Notice of requirement to file a certification of completion of course in personal financial management" and will look like this:
- You will want to fill out this form and either bring it with you to your 341 meeting or mail it to the court address listed on the front. If you choose to file it after your 341 meeting, go to the 3rd Floor Filing Counter to submit it (the office does not need a copy of the certificate).
- If the Form 23 is not submitted to the court, your case will be closed without a discharge. To reopen the case there is an additional fee.
***Note: It is extremely important that you check your mail frequently during this process, the court and the trustees will only communicate with you by mail.
- Some trustees will send questionnaires as part of your required documentation. The questionnaires are routine and assist in gathering additional information. Examples of trustees that send out the questionnaires are: Thomas May, Ryan Lucksinger and Fredrick Lucksinger *Check your mail regularly and call our office upon receipt.
The 341 Meeting
- The 341 meeting is a very brief informal meeting between you and the bankruptcy trustee. *Your attorney Mr. Johnson or one of his associate will be at this meeting with you.
- The location of the meeting is 501 I Street Sacramento CA, 95814, 7th floor. Make sure you bring your Photo ID and Social Security Card. If you do not have both of these items your case will be continued and you will have to reappear.
- The best place to park is in the lot across the street from the courthouse. It is near the train station and Starbucks. Bring cash for the parking.
- To prepare yourself you can go onto our website to find a list of questions that the trustee may ask.
- You will want to arrive at least 15 minutes early, locate Mr. Johnson outside of the meeting room, and make sure to read the green form found in the lobby.
- The 341 meeting will have one of two outcomes: 1) The case concluded at the meeting or 2) Continued (the trustee will need more information before making their decision).
- If your case is continued, typically our office will need to amendment the petition or submit additional paperwork to the court.
- When the case is concluded expect to receive your discharge letter 2+ months from that date.
Commonly received documents
- Listed below are documents commonly mailed out by the court during the bankruptcy process.
- Relief from Stay- When the bankruptcy is filed you are automatically protected by what is called the "Bankruptcy Stay". The Bankruptcy Stay means that your creditors cannot contact you by any means in any attempt to collect debt. Secured creditors can file and be granted a "Relief from Stay" meaning they can contact you to discuss a loan you will be continuing to pay after the bankruptcy or a loan you are letting go in the bankruptcy. The hearing date set in this form is NOT something you would usually need to attend. This is an informative letter letting you know that they will be contacting you in the future to discuss your loan. *If your home is in the Foreclosure process or a vehicle is to be repossessed prior to the filing of your bankruptcy be aware that this motion would grant the lender the ability to continue the foreclosure or repossession.
- Reaffirmation Agreement- Secured creditors will send this notice to to "reaffirm" or continue paying the debt after the bankruptcy (This is most common in car loans). *If you receive one of these notices call our office to discuss the benefits vs. liability of signing one.
- Notice of No Distribution- You will receive this letter after your hearing has been concluded and it is a GOOD thing. This means that none of your assets will be sold and distributed to your unsecured creditors. It will also have a "deadline" affixed; this should be considered the 2 month date after which you will receive your Discharge.
- Request for Special Notice- A notice that a specific creditor wants to receive copies of the notices from the court. *This notice is directed to us and is nothing to worry about.