What is the minimum the debtor’s attorney should do in a chapter 7 consumer case?
June 28, 2022
By Diane Drain Attorney & Retired Law Professor
• First and foremost, inform the debtor about the need of filing for bankruptcy. It is critical that the debtor completely disclose all assets and liabilities (no exceptions). This instruction takes several hours, and the most of it must be completed by an attorney, not an attorney’s assistant.
• Assist the debtor in determining whether bankruptcy is the best solution for the debtor’s financial troubles based on the quantity and nature of the obligations owing.
• Assist the debtor in preparing their estate for bankruptcy so that just a small portion of their assets must be turned over to the Trustee later. Pre-bankruptcy planning.
• Examine the Debtor’s payment and transfer history to evaluate probable exposure to the Debtor and others.
• Assist the debtor in gathering the data and information needed to compile the bankruptcy schedules and statements for filing.
• Prepare the necessary petitions, schedules, and statements for bankruptcy court filing.
• Decide whether or not the education classes are required. If this is the case, submit the relevant certificates to the court.
• Obtaining the required injunctions and restraining orders by filing bankruptcy petitions, schedules, and declarations with the court.
• Attend the Debtor’s Meeting of Creditors.
• As necessary by the court, prepare and file updated schedules.
• Address redemption, surrender, and reaffirmation difficulties.
• Respond to creditors’ and/or the Bankruptcy Trustee’s queries.
About the Author: Diane Drain
Diane is a well respected Arizona bankruptcy and foreclosure attorney. As a retired law professor, she believes in offering everyone, not just her clients, advice about bankruptcy and Arizona foreclosure laws. Diane is also a mentor to hundreds of Arizona attorneys.
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