- There are several steps you will need to following to prepares and file your papers in your local courthouse.
- First you must determine where your case in using “The Court Report” and our “Foreclosure Warning System”
- The “The Court Report” and our “Foreclosure Warning System” will tell you where your case is and what “Do-It-Yourself Foreclosure Defense Package” you need to respond/counter the Plaintiff.
- Then you open the package, pull out your form, fill it out, and go to court and file it.
- There two types of documents you are going to be filing in court. One type is a responsive pleading (or motion) where your document is responding to a documents filed against you from the opposing side (plaintiff).
- The other type of filing is where you file a sort of offensive pleading in that you are lodging or requesting something from the other opposing side (plaintiff).
- Regardless of type you have to fill out the document ( form ) and take it to the courthouse and file it with the clerk of the court.
- Once you enter the court house there will be an information both or area where you can ask where to file your papers and you will be directed to the appropriate clerk.
- Once you file your papers make sure to take a copy up to the Judge’s chambers. You can ask the clerk who your judge in your case is and you can ask the information desk where the judge’s chambers are. This is in order for the judge to put your motion on their calendar and advise you when it is to be heard.
- Whenever you file a document in court you will need to send a copy to the other parties involved in the case in order for everyone to know you filed something in court. The documents that you file will have a section at the bottom of the page called a Certificate of Service. Here is where you state and write the names and address of the parties (people) you are sending copies to.
- Whenever you file any document with the court you should always have additional copies. You can ask the clerk of the court to file stamp as many copies as you wish as proof you filed your papers creating what is referred to as file stamped copies. You can also ask the clerk for certified copies of your documents which they will provide for a nominal fee.
- Always remember to be respectful and quiet when in court and in front of a judge. A judge has many powers and abilities when in his court and will not allow people to do any of the following things listed before. If you do you may be held in contempt of court and the judge may issue you a punishment that may be monetary or even place you in jail for a specific time.
- Be disrespectful
- Raise your voice or yell
- Cell phone use
- Lateness (always be on time to your court case)
- Speaking out of turn (always wait for the judge to address you before attempting to speak to him)
- Speaking to the other side (attorney) You should not speak to the other side during a hearing in front of a judge. If you wish to speak to the attorney of the other side do it either before or after the hearing.
1. Before you file your bankruptcy case you must do a pre filing credit counselling course, as required by section 109(h)(1) of the bankruptcy rules, and present it, with your filing in the Bankruptcy Court, a certificate stating you completed the credit counseling course. If you complete your bankruptcy you must also do a post credit counselling course. A list of approved Credit Counseling Agencies can be located on the U.S. Trustee’s website at www.justice.gov/ust/eo/bapcpa/ccde/cc_approved.htm
2. Whenever you file any document with the court you should always have at least additional copies along with your original filing. You can ask the clerk of the court to file stamp as many copies as you wish as proof you filed your papers creating what is referred to as file stamped copies. You can also ask the clerk for certified copies of your documents which they will provide for a nominal fee. You then use these to send copies to the other parties in your case as outlined on the Certificate of Service.
3. When you file your bankruptcy for the purpose of stopping your sale and attempting to save your home, remember to get a certified copy of your bankruptcy confirmation and at least 2 file stamped copies. With the bankruptcy confirmation in hand go over to the court where your foreclosure is filed and go to the clerk and tell them you just filed a bankruptcy and to please file the confirmation to stop your sale. Also have the clerk stamp your extra copy of the confirmation as proof you filed it in your foreclosure case.
4. If you decide to file a bankruptcy to stop the sale of your home, remember that the bankruptcy court requires exact change to file you petition. The Bankruptcy Court will not issue change if you bring more than the filing fee. The policies of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts do not allow the Clerk’s Office to provide change. So bring the exact amount needed to file your papers.
5. If and when you ever go in front of a judge always remember to turn your cell phone off, and always refer to the judge as your honor. Also it’s probably best not to speak unless you are spoken to first. Don’t worry, the judge has to hear both sides and you will get your chance.
6. If, for whatever reason, you do not complete your entire bankruptcy the court will, within 10 days, dismiss your case. You can, however, file a motion for additional time ti file the rest of your paperwork. If you complete your case the court will issue what is called a discharge. But if the court dismisses your case you will have an opportunity to refile another bankruptcy with 6 months of the dismissal.
7. If the plaintiff notices that you are filing several bankruptcies during your foreclosure case, the plaintiff may ask the judge to not allow you to file any more until your foreclosure case is finished. Also the Plaintiff in your foreclosure case may request the judge to lift what is referred to as a stay order from your case. The stay order is what is issued by the Bankruptcy Court ordering the foreclosure court to postpone your case until the Bankruptcy Court decides what to do with your house. If this is done your foreclosure case will continue without the protection of your Bankruptcy.
8. What happens when a bankruptcy petition is filed?
The commencement of a bankruptcy case creates an “estate.” The estate technically becomes the temporary legal owner of all of the Debtor’s property. The estate consists of all legal or equitable interests of the Debtor in property as of the date the case is filed, including property owned or held by another person if the Debtor has an interest in the property. Section 362 of the Bankruptcy Code governs the applicability of the “automatic stay” to the facts and circumstances of your bankruptcy case. If it applies, it prohibits creditors from taking collection action against the Debtor or the Debtor’s property without Bankruptcy Court approval. The Court issues a notice of commencement advising all interested parties of the filing of the bankruptcy case. This notice provides the case number, trustee, date of the meeting of creditors, deadline to file a proof of claim (if applicable), and deadline to file an objection to the discharge (if applicable).
9. Do I need an attorney to represent me in my bankruptcy case?
Each Debtor filing an individual bankruptcy has a right to represent him or herself (Pro Se Debtor); however, the use of an attorney is recommended. Ignorance of the law may cost an individual far more than an attorney’s fee. By law, a Corporation is required to have an attorney. Note: Individuals who choose to represent themselves will not be able to obtain legal advice from court personnel or from the trustee appointed to their case.
10. What is a Pro Se Debtor?
A Pro Se Debtor is one who files bankruptcy without an attorney. A Pro Se Debtor is responsible for all proceedings of his/her case. Failure to comply with the Bankruptcy Code and Rules or with court orders may cause dismissal of the Debtor’s case. It is recommended that all Debtors seek legal advice before filing bankruptcy.
11. Where can I obtain the necessary forms for filing bankruptcy?The Court cannot supply forms. Forms are available from office supply stores or legal stationery stores. Forms are also available for printing by clicking here: Official Bankruptcy forms.However The Court Report will provide you with the necessary forms needed to get your initial filing done in the Bankruptcy Court.
12. What are the current filing fees for filing bankruptcy?
Filing fees can be found on the Filing Fees page or by clicking here.
13. Before you file your bankruptcy case you must do a pre filing credit counselling course, as required by section 109(h)(1) of the bankruptcy rules, and present it, with your filing in the Bankruptcy Court, a certificate stating you completed the credit counseling course. If you complete your bankruptcy you must also do a post credit counselling course. A list of approved Credit Counseling Agencies can be located on the U.S. Trustee’s website at www.justice.gov/ust/eo/bapcpa/ccde/cc_approved.htm
14. If you have concerns regarding your credit rating there are several ways you can check it after you have done your bankruptcy. The Bankruptcy Court has no jurisdiction over credit reporting agencies. The Fair Credit Reporting Act, 6 U.S.C. §605, is the law that controls credit-reporting agencies. The law states that credit Counseling agencies may not report a bankruptcy case on a person’s credit report after ten years from the date the bankruptcy case is filed. You may contact the Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Education Division, Washington, D.C. 20580; their phone number is (202) 326-2222. That agency can provide further information on reestablishing credit and addressing credit problems. You can also directly contact the credit bureau(s) reporting the information – e.g., Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.