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Do I need an attorney to file bankruptcy?
While it is possible to file a bankruptcy case pro se that is, without the assistance of an attorney, it may be difficult to do so successfully. It is recommended that a person considering bankruptcy consult with a competent attorney prior to filing a case. For information on lawyer referral programs, or free legal clinics in your area contact the local bar association.
How do I find out who the trustee is in a case?
The trustee's name and address is printed on the notice of the sec. 341(a) meeting of creditors. You also can obtain the trustee's name from the court's automated public information systems, PACER, or by calling the court and speaking to the clerk.
How do I get certified copies of documents?
Certified copies of documents are available at the Clerk's Office. The cost is $11.00 per certification plus the copy fee $.50 per page. To obtain copies by mail write to U.S. Bankruptcy Court c/o mail requests. Please specify the name of the document to be certified and the document number if available. There is an additional file search fee of $32.00 for mail requests that require research. Please make the administrative check or money order payable to Clerk, U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The Clerk's Office does not accept personal checks from debtors.
How do I obtain case information?
Bankruptcy cases are public records and are available for viewing via computers in the Clerk's Office, via telephone using the Voice Case Information system (VCIS) by dialing (866) 222-8029, via a mail request, and through the court's Public Access to Court Electronics Records (PACER) system.
How long does a bankruptcy remain on my credit report?
The fact that an individual filed a bankruptcy can remain on the credit report no longer than 10 years under provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. For information on your credit history you can contact the following agencies:
How many copies do I need to file at the Court?
The court requires an original for all Chapters (7, 11, 12 and 13). Please provide an additional copy if you want one for your records. Local Rule 1002 governs requirements for filing papers with the court.
What are the court legal holidays?
The Clerk's Office is open to the public from 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, except for the following holidays:
New Years Day
Three Kings Day
Martin Luther King's Day
U.S. Citizenship Day
Discovery of Puerto Rico Day
Day after Thankgsgiving
Christmas Eve Day
What do we do if someone in bankruptcy owes us money?
In a chapter 7 no-asset case do not file a claim unless requested to do so by the court. In a chapter 7 asset case you will receive a notice setting a date to file the claim. In a chapter 13 case, a proof of claim must be filed within 90 days of the 341 meeting date. In a chapter 11 case a proof of claim must be filed within 90 days of the 341 meeting date. Any government agency has 180 days of the 341 meeting date to file a claim.. The original claim and any supporting documents are filed with the Clerk's Office. If you wish to have a stamped copy returned to you, please enclose an extra copy and a self-addressed stamped envelope.
What if the case I'm interested in is closed or archived?
The closed cases are shipped to the Missouri Federal Records Center (archives). To view a case at the Federal Records Center you need the accession, location and box number. That information is available by calling the Clerk's Office at (787) 977-6000. If you prefer to have the case shipped from Missouri to the Clerk's Office to review, there is a $45.00 archive retrieval fee. The Missouri Federal Records Center accepts copy requests from bankruptcy case files by mail or fax.
What is a section 341(a) meeting of creditors?
Section 341(a) of the Bankruptcy Code requires every debtor to personally attend a meeting of creditors and to submit to an examination under oath. The United States Trustee, his designee or, in a chapter 7 case, a panel trustee, presides at the meeting. Creditors may question the debtor under oath, elect a trustee other then the one assigned, and conduct such other business as may be appropriate. Creditors are not required to attend the meeting.