Bankruptcy Forms; Superseded Bankruptcy Forms; Civil Forms; Criminal Forms; Court Reporter Forms; CJA Forms; Human Resources Forms; Jury Forms; Other Forms; Bankruptcy. Bankruptcy Basics; Filing Without an Attorney; Credit Counseling and Debtor Education; Trustees and Administrators; Approved Bankruptcy Notice Providers; Unclaimed Funds in. United States Bankruptcy Court Central District of California Judge Wayne Johnson, Presiding Courtroom Calendar Riverside Tuesday, June 9, Hearing Room PM Michael A. Curd and Lisa A. Curd Chapter 7 # Hrg re trustee's final report and applications for compensation Docket 47 Final Ruling. The Central District of California is a federal bankruptcy court which handles cases from the following Counties in California: Riverside County, San Bernardino County. The federal courts have 90 different judicial district across the states and U.S. territories (some states have more than one district court).Each district court has a matching.
The discharge is permanent and prevents the creditor from further pursuing repayment of the debt or contacting the debtor. Put another way, the Debtor is no longer obligated to pay any debts that are discharged. The bankruptcy discharge is a permanent order. Once granted, the Creditor is prohibited from taking any form of collection action on a discharged debt including written communications or telephone calls with the Debtor.
The discharge removes the Debtor from personal liability, but any valid lien that was not avoided in the bankruptcy case still remains. Under Chapter 12 or 13, the discharge occurs only after all payments under the plan which may be about four years after the bankruptcy petition is initially filed. The debtor may rebut a presumption of abuse only by a showing of special circumstances that justify additional expenses or adjustments of current monthly income. A typical Chapter 7 Debtor will usually not be required to appear in court.
The Chapter 7 Debtor will only have to appear in court if an objection is filed. A Chapter 13 Debtor will usually only have to appear before the bankruptcy judge at a plan confirmation hearing.
A debtor usually only has to appear at a meeting. A meeting is a usually held at the office of the U. The meeting is required under Section of the U. Bankruptcy Code and requires a Debtor to attend the meeting so the Creditors can ask the Debtor questions about debts and property. Corporations, Partnerships, or any other association are required to have an attorney. Parties are required to follow the rules and procedures of bankruptcy court whether or not they are represented by an attorney.
These rules are called the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy. Under the rules, the bankruptcy judge has jurisdiction to make all the decisions surrounding the bankruptcy case including eligibility and whether a debtor is entitled to a discharge. A large majority of the bankruptcy process is administrative. In certain cases filed under Chapters 7, 12, and 13 , a trustee carries out many of the administrative functions.
Chapter 7, sometimes called Liquidation, allows for an orderly court-supervised procedure where a trustee takes over the assets of the Debtor, reduces them to cash, and distributes the funds to Creditors. This distribution to Creditors is subject to certain exemptions that the Debtor is entitled to.
Generally in Chapter 7, there is little to no assets which are nonexempt. This means generally the Creditors will not receive anything under this Chapter. Usually, in Chapter 7 cases, the Debtor is an individual and will receive a discharge that releases the Debtor from personal liability for the debts. This discharge is usually received a few months after bankruptcy is initially filed. Chapter 13 is designed for a Debtor who has a regular source of income.
In making its decision, the court looks to the requirements for determination under the U. Bankruptcy Code. Chapter 13 is different from Chapter 7 because the Debtor usually remains in possession of the property usually the house , and makes payments to the Creditors for the duration of the payment plan. Also a difference from Chapter 7, is that the Chapter 13 Debtor does not receive a discharge until all the payments required under the plan are made.
One other advantage is that the discharge under Chapter 13 is broader than under Chapter 7 ie. Chapter 11 is normally used by commercial enterprises that wish to keep operating a business and repay Creditors through a debt repayment plan approved by the bankruptcy court.
For many filers, this will be your only trip to the courthouse. This is when you meet with the bankruptcy trustee appointed to your case, and are asked questions about the information you have entered on your forms. Most court websites post schedules of hearings, and when you file, you will be notified of your hearing date.
When you show up for your hearing, you will find that many other people have hearings set for the same day. You sit wait for your name to be called. This is also the time when creditors can ask questions about your papers, and objections to your filing may be raised by creditors. Bar associations like to talk about the fact that lawyers do 'pro bono' but, in fact, very few actually do, and the need for legal services is far greater than the amount of pro bono help available.
Nevertheless, some court websites will direct you to pro bono services instead of simply providing the information you need. Pro bono services can be uneven. Some can be excellent while others may be done by lawyers with little expertise in bankruptcy law. If you read a good book on how to file for bankruptcy before you meet with your pro bono lawyer, you will be better able to gauge their knowledge of bankruptcy law.
If you're a lawyer, you must file your client's bankruptcy forms electronically and receive training on how to do it. Creating PDF files does not require special software. Any software that can print can also produce PDF files with the proper software add-ons. There are some specialized attorneys' bankruptcy software that will produce PDFs from data you enter. Most downloadable official forms these days are PDFs with fillable fields and most computers can "print" a filled-in form to a PDF file.
See the Free Bankruptcy Forms page for more info. Courts should serve all taxpayers, not just lawyers. Filing requirements should be clear and accessible to everyone.
After all, everyone must follow the law, so why not make the rules clear and in plain English? Unfortunately, not all courts provide clear, simple instructions for filing bankruptcy forms.
It takes some effort to translate legalese into plain English, and some courts just don't bother. In fact, many courts call information for non-lawyers "pro se" a Latin term information. They just don't get it. Fortunately, more and more courts are starting to "get it" and are providing information to help non-attorneys get find relevant information and lay out clear timelines of essential procedures and explain requirements in a clear, easy to follow manner.
In our first review of 90 bankruptcy court websites nationwide in , LegalConsumer. A few courts showed what could be done if all courts would bother to take the time to help the general public, and so we created a "Hall of Fame" of good government, to show what could be done by a court with taxpayer's money and a little extra effort, organizaion, and plain English.
All bankruptcy courts should follow their example. In more recent reviews, we've discovered a promising trend: many court websites showed significant improvement from to Here are the best of the best. Court websites can and do change -- hopefully for the better, but not always.
Note: As you will see if you look at several of these, most of the information you find is general and applies regardless of which court you're filing in. However, some procedures are "local" and deadlines and forms can vary from court to court. Always confirm that you are complying with your own court's local rules and procedures. One of the best courts in the nation in providing information to non-lawyers.
A model that other courts would do well to follow. Some of the information could be better organized, but it is far better than what most courts offer. The court even offers community outreach programs to explain the bankruptcy process to the general public. Updated March The "Debtor Home Page" link on the home page leads to a menu of filing information for non-lawyers. Forms are fillable. All in all, this court does a good job of providing information to non-lawyers. Revised March 3, Brand new site overhaul has transformed this court's website from one of the worst to one of the best.
Essential information is clearly labeled and easy to find from the home page. The "Filing without an attorney" link is the place to start if you're going it alone. What an improvement! Reviewed March 3, Updated March 3, Much improved since last review. Now offers a guide to persons filing without an attorney, featured prominently on the front page.
Although it features many shrill warnings, it does an admirable job of spelling out the deadlines and procedural requirements for a successful filing. Reviewed May, Straightforward navigation. Clear links, Filing Without at Attorney home page is a good one-stop resource for filing information. One of the best in the nation. May Still excellent. March One of the best courts in the nation for helping people filing without an attorney. A huge improvement since our last review.
Still good. Lots of warnings about filing without a lawyer, but also lots of good, helpful information about how to avoid screwing up. Reviewed May Features a new section for "non attorney filers" that collects all relevant information into a single menu. The filing requirements section offers a helpful list of checklists. Even includes instructions for each of the official forms, which the federal courts main site no longer provides. Be sure to check out "top ten filing mistakes". May Still great.
Despite lots of warnings saying they can't help non-attorneys, they do, in fact provide a reasonably helpful menu of links to self-filers, and even say so in English. They do offer a fillable means test form. Still very good. This court went from a grade of F to a grade of A- in this most recent review May Many improvements have been made, to the point where this court does a good job presenting needed information efficiently and clearly. The info is not all that in depth, but the links are well organized.
A model for other bankruptcy courts around the nation. You can easily find what they have to offer. Click the "Debtor Help" tab on the main menu to get started. May They get credit for having a page geared to non-attorneys and making the link to the info fairly prominent. The home page is messed up as of this review. Click the link called "General Information" to get a better starting point. Nice improvements move its grade from a B to a A and a spot in the hall of fame.
Offers a dedicated menu to help non-attorneys. Filing requirements are spelled out clearly. May Update. Home page does a good job of steering consumers in the right direction to the information they need. Worthy of a "hall of fame" designation for overall quality. Good revisions to this court recently include a guide specifically designed for debtors filing without an attorney.
Update: New Jersey has embarked on a cutting edge experiment in pro se filing. They now allow debtors to file electronically, without an attorney. Great idea. Will be interesting to see if this idea spreads.
Could be a model for other courts. One caveat. Their link to the federal exemption statutes fails to mention that the statutory amounts are indexed for inflation and are now higher than what appears in the statute.
One of the most debtor-friendly sites in the US bankruptcy court system. Home page links in plain English direct non-attorneys to important and helpful information. Still excellent. This court now offers procedural guidance to non-attorneys. Also offers live chat to guide you to helpful resources. One of the only courts to offer that. Their pro se page offers links to helpful manuals from the local legal aid society.
You can tell that a lot of thought and effort has gone into helping self-represented debtors. Well done. Information for non-attorneys is easy to find, and quite exetensive. Some branches of the court even have a "Pro Se Law Clerk" specifically assigned to help people who are filing without an attorney. Court does an excellent job of organizing info and making it easy to find. Much better than most bankruptcy courts in the county. One of the first courts to offer information to non-lawyers.
The "Pro Se Debtor Info" links from the home page go directly to a menu that links to information for non-attorneys on how to file, including forms and instructions about procedure. Forms page is clear and helpful. Reviewed, March 3, Not much here, at first glance. Go to the Site Map to find anything. Decent page for filing without an attorney, once you find it. May Update: Navigation has gotten better as there is now a direct link from home page for folks filling without an attorney.
Information is well organized and clear. New interface is a bit too clever by half. Important info is buried in the menu called "Court" Click the "No Attorney" link. Once you get past that, it's pretty good. Pop up menus work very slowly and may not work on all browsers.