Each debtor is now required to take two “educational courses” as part of the bankruptcy process. The first course is a credit counseling course to explore alternatives to bankruptcy. It must be taken within 180 days prior to filing for bankruptcy relief. The credit counseling course lasts 90 minutes and can be taken by telephone or through the internet. Upon completion of the credit counseling course, a certificate is issued which must be filed with the bankruptcy petition. The next step is to prepare the bankruptcy petition. The average Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition is about 50 pages in length. It describes the debtor, his property, his monthly income and expenses, his creditors, what his financial life has looked like over the past few years, and whether he satisfies the means test. Also, pay stubs and tax returns are required by the trustee to verify the petition’s accuracy. Once the debtor signs the bankruptcy petition under penalties of perjury, it is filed with the US Bankruptcy Court. A trustee is then assigned to the case, a date is set for the creditor’s meeting, and all creditors are notified by the Bankruptcy Court to stop all collection activity.
Attorney Buckley has streamlined the bankruptcy process for his Rhode Island and Massachusetts clients. After an initial phone consultation, an in-home appointment is scheduled. Attorney Buckley will then ask all the questions necessary to prepare the bankruptcy petition, pre-register you for the two education courses, download your credit reports and file your case for hearing in Providence, Rhode Island. (Massachusetts clients will usually have their hearings in Brockton or Boston.) His goal is to be so thorough in the interview process, that the meeting of creditors is virtually stress-free. To date, every case filed for bankruptcy relief by Attorney Buckley has been approved.