In today’s tech driven world just about anything can be done online including filing bankruptcy. With the growth of the Internet, most companies, schools and even the court system have added online features for ease and convenience of the individuals using them. While technically a person can file bankruptcy online, they will still have to appear in the bankruptcy court for their 341 meeting or meeting of creditors. Also a person will have to be represented by a bankruptcy attorney to file their bankruptcy petition with the court electronically. For someone who is filing pro se, otherwise known as a do-it-yourself bankruptcy, they have to physically file the bankruptcy petition with their district bankruptcy court. This feature adds to the ease and convenience, while removing the stress of dealing with the bankruptcy court. Hiring a bankruptcy attorney makes the process go much easier because the individual will only have to go to court one time.
How the bankruptcy filing process works today is, a person will first make the decision that filing bankruptcy is in their future. This is usually helped along when a person consults a bankruptcy attorney to discuss the dire financial problems they are facing. After hiring an attorney, the individual will be required to gather all of their financial information to give to the bankruptcy attorney to populate the petition. Usually, the person will be dealing with the attorney’s paralegal for this part of the process. Before filing the bankruptcy petition with the court, the individual will be required to take a pre-bankruptcy credit counseling course and get a certificate that will be submitted at the time of filing. When all the ducks are in a row, the bankruptcy attorney will be able to electronically submit the petition to the court. The bankruptcy court will in turn give a date for the 341 meeting that the individual will be required to attend with their attorney. Usually this meeting takes place about 4 to 6 weeks after the filing date.
As soon as the bankruptcy petition is filed with the court, the individual will begin to enjoy the quietness of no more creditors calling because the automatic stay has been put in place. The automatic stay will stop all collection and legal activity against the debtor. This action will stop foreclosure, lawsuits, judgments and wage garnishments. The person filing bankruptcy will start to feel the real power of the legal process. After about a month, the individual will be required to attend the 341 meeting with their attorney and at that time meet the trustee to answer some simple questions about their bankruptcy filing. If everything looks good, the person only needs to wait for the bankruptcy discharge to come in the mail about 2 to 3 months later. The only thing the individual will be required to do after this meeting is take a post-bankruptcy financial management course online and send the certificate into the court prior to the discharge.
In reality a person can’t totally file bankruptcy online, but a big portion of it can be completed using the Internet. Nowadays, most attorneys use online software that has a web portal allowing the individual to submit all of their information from the comfort and security of their own home. The bottom line is, to complete all this, a bankruptcy attorney is necessary.