Frequently Asked Questions
HOW DO I OBTAIN BANKRUPTCY FORMS?
Official forms may be downloaded from this court's website at: http://www.lamb.uscourts.gov/nationalforms.htm, or by clicking on the Bankruptcy National Forms icon.
These bankruptcy forms also may be purchased from office supply stores and printing stores.
If someone other than an attorney assists with the preparation of the bankruptcy forms, the debtor must disclose the name of the preparer on the petition and the preparer must sign the petition. The preparer is also required to file a disclosure of compensation.
WHO SHOULD RECEIVE COPIES OF FILINGS?
All documents filed by pro se debtors must be served upon the assigned trustee and the United States Trustee.
WHEN WILL I GET MY DISCHARGE?
Individual debtors are eligible to receive their chapter 7 discharge approximately 60 days from the date set for the 341 (a) meeting, unless a creditor objects in a timely manner or the court orders otherwise.
WILL ALL OF MY CREDITORS BE NOTIFIED OF MY DISCHARGE?
All creditors who were listed on the debtor's mailing matrix or who entered an appearance in the debtor's case will receive a copy of the debtor's discharge by mail.
HOW DO I GET COPIES OF MY CASE?
Case information may be obtained by using the court's automated case information systems at (866) 222-8029, or by telephoning, writing, or visiting the clerk's office.
HOW DO I GET A COPY OF MY DISCHARGE?
A copy of the debtor's discharge will be mailed to the debtor by the clerk's office after it is entered. If another copy is needed, please call the clerk's office (225 346-3333).
**After filing, it is very important that the debtor retain his/her bankruptcy documents for future reference. Sometimes the information may be needed for some future purchases or other business transactions that will require proof of filing, list of creditors and discharge.
WHAT IS A TRUSTEE?
A trustee is a person who administers bankruptcy cases. The trustee does not represent the debtor or any individual creditor and cannot give legal advice. Rather, the trustee has independent rights and duties that are set forth in the Bankruptcy Code. In a chapter 7 case, the trustee may take possession of the debtor's assets, sell them, and distribute the proceeds to creditors. In a chapter 13 case, the trustee administers the debtor's plan of payment, collects the funds, and pays the creditors. The trustee will also oversee the first meeting of creditors.
WHAT RELIEF CAN BE EXPECTED IF I FILE FOR BANKRUPTCY?
A fundamental goal of the federal bankruptcy laws is to give debtors a financial "fresh start" from burdensome debts. This is accomplished through the discharge in bankruptcy, which releases debtors from personal liability for specific debts and prohibits creditors from ever taking action against the debtor to collect those debts.
WHAT ARE THE AUTOMATION REQUIREMENTS TO FILE ELECTRONICALLY?
You will need a personal computer with a standard operating system (i.e. Windows XP, OSX, etc). Your computer will need to have a good internet connection (preferably high speed) and an updated internet browser like Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Netscape Navigator, etc. You will also need PDF creation software and word processing software. A scanner is a possible need if documents are not in your word processor or petition software.