1. Gather the required documents listed on the pink sheets and return them to the office.  There is a mail slot in the front door if you need to drop documents off when the office is closed.  You don’t need to see me to dropoff documents.
  2. Pay the required fees.  Payments can be made in person by cash, check, or money order. You can also mail checks to the address at the top.  The office is open from 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Thursday and Friday from 9 to 2.  Anyone in the office can accept a payment for me.  If you want to stop by outside the hours listed, please call to set an after-hours appointment with me.   You can make a debit card payment by phone or in-person but you must reach me directly to do a debit payment. 
  3. Take the required “before filing” bankruptcy class online at MoneySharp.org.  The attorney code for my office is “Chesterfieldbk.”  You pay MoneySharp the $10 fee.  MoneySharp automatically sends me the credit counseling certificate.
  4. Make an appointment to sign your bankruptcy documents so the case can be filed with the court.
  5. After your case is filed, I will send you information about the meeting with the trustee.  The court will also send you this information by regular postal mail.  Please take the time to read what the court sends you.  The date and time of the meeting with the trustee is in Section 7 of the notice the court sends out.  You will get 2 emails from me before the meeting with more info.
  6. Send or bring me bank statements for all accounts showing the actual balance in the account on the date your case was filed.  You may not have this until shortly before (or even shortly after) your meeting with the trustee.  You can provide online prints for the date of filing, but the trustee will require actual bank statements unless the online document includes your name, account number, and the balance on date of filing.  Most of the online printouts are missing one of these.
  7. Make the first payment to the trustee no more than 30 days after your case is filed.   Failure to make this payment can result in your case being dismissed.
  8. Appear in person at the meeting with the trustee at the date and time to which you have been assigned at the federal courthouse in downtown Richmond.  You must bring a government-issued ID (driver's license, military ID, state-issued ID card) and proof of your social security number.  Your SSN can only be proven with your social security card or a W-2.  If the meeting is scheduled on a day you are not going to be in Richmond due to employment requirements, the meeting may be re-scheduled to the trustee’s next date, or be set to be done by telephone in an extreme situation.  This needs to be arranged in advance of the hearing date.
  9. Provide to me any additional documents the trustee has requested at your meeting with the trustee if any were requested.
  10. Complete the 2nd required “After filing” bankruptcy class online with MoneySharp and pay them $10.
  11. Make the direct payments required by your Chapter 13 case.  These almost always include your mortgage or rent payments, car payments, furniture payments, and all normal utility payments.  If you have a car loan that is being paid through the Chapter 13 plan, it is critical to have the plan successfully completed or you risk losing the car.
  12. Set up your monthly payments to the trustee through TFS Bill Pay so that money can be deducted from your bank account and sent to the trustee automatically if you have chosen this option when we met with the trustee.  Otherwise, watch to be sure payments start being deducted from your wages.   If they do not start with the 2nd pay period after the meeting with the trustee, make another payment to the trustee yourself and notify me that I need to send another copy of the wage order to your employer.
  13. If you change jobs, notify me of the new employer’s payroll address and new pay periods if plan payments are payroll deducted.  I also need to know when you expect the first paycheck from the new employer. 
  14. If you move while your case is in place, please let me know what your new address is so I can file a change of address with the court.  All court notices are sent by regular first-class mail.
  15. If you change banks during the case, be sure to change the TFS Bill Pay information so the payments are made from the new account.
  16. There are a number of things that you have to do at the end of your case and I need to be able to reach you by mail, phone, and email at all times.  Cases get dismissed if things have gone wrong and I can’t reach you to advise you on how to fix whatever has gone wrong.