THE FOLLOWING NOTICES ARE PROVIDED PURSUANT TO THE BANKRUPTCY CODE, TO ENSURE YOU ARE INFORMED OF YOUR RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS WHEN FILING A BANKRUPTCY CASE:
11 U.S.C.§527(a)(2) provides that you should be advised of the following:
a) all information that you are required to provide with a bankruptcy petition and thereafter during your case is required to be complete, accurate, and truthful.
b) all assets and all liabilities are required to be completely and accurately disclosed in the documents filed to commence the case, and the replacement value of each asset as defined in section 506. This means that the replacement value of the property at the date of filing the petition, without deducting for costs of sale or marketing, established after a reasonable inquiry. For property acquired for personal, family, or household use, replacement value means the price a retail merchant would charge for property of that kind, considering the age and condition of the property.
c) current monthly income, the amounts specified in section 707(b)(2) of the code, and in a case under chapter 13, disposable income (determined in accordance with section 707(b)(2)), are required to be stated after reasonable inquiry. This refers to the new means test forms and the information requested therein – Official Form 22A, Statement of Current Monthly Income and Means Test Calculation (chapter 7) and Official Form 22C, Statement of Current Monthly Income and Calculation of Commitment Period and Disposable Income (chapter 13); and
d) information that you provide during your case may be audited [approximately one case in every 250 cases nationwide will be audited], and failure to provide information requested during an audit may result in dismissal of the case, or other sanction, including a criminal sanction.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT BANKRUPTCY ASSISTANCE SERVICES FROM AN ATTORNEY OR BANKRUPTCY PETITION PREPARER
If you decide to seek bankruptcy relief, you can represent yourself, you can hire an attorney to represent you, or you can get help in some localities from a bankruptcy petition preparer who is not an attorney. THE LAW REQUIRES AN ATTORNEY OR BANKRUPTCY PETITION PREPARER TO GIVE YOU A WRITTEN CONTRACT SPECIFYING WHAT THE ATTORNEY OR BANKRUPTCY PETITION PREPARER WILL DO FOR YOU AND HOW MUCH IT WILL COST. Ask to see the contract before you hire anyone.
The following information helps you understand what must be done in a routine bankruptcy case to help you evaluate how much service you need. Although bankruptcy can be complex, many cases are routine.
Before filing a bankruptcy case, either you or your attorney should analyze your eligibility for different forms of debt relief available under the Bankruptcy Code and which form of relief is most likely to be beneficial for you. Be sure you understand the relief you can obtain and its limitations. To file a bankruptcy case, documents called a Petition, Schedules and Statement of Financial Affairs, as well as in some cases a Statement of Intention need to be prepared correctly and filed with the bankruptcy court. Once your case starts, you will have to attend the required first meeting of creditors where you may be questioned by a court official called a ‘trustee’ and by creditors.
If you choose to file a chapter 7 case, you may be asked by a creditor to reaffirm a debt. You may want help deciding whether to do so. A creditor is not permitted to coerce you into reaffirming your debts.
If you choose to file a chapter 13 case in which you repay your creditors what you can afford over 3 to 5 years, you may also want help with preparing your chapter 13 plan and with the confirmation hearing on your plan which will be before a bankruptcy judge.
If you select another type of relief under the Bankruptcy Code other than chapter 7 or chapter 13, you will want to find out what should be done from someone familiar with that type of relief.
Your bankruptcy case may also involve litigation. You are generally permitted to represent yourself in litigation in bankruptcy court, but only attorneys, not bankruptcy petition preparers, can give you legal advice.