bankruptcy checklist

bankruptcy checklist

Although never recommended, sometimes people have to file a bankruptcy on their own.  Primarily these bankruptcies are Chapter 7.  Chapter 13 Bankruptcies, which are highly complex and risk being dismissed if not handled properly, are filed only by people with working incomes and therefore nearly always can afford an attorney.

When filing your bankruptcy, you can get forms and schedules at the bankruptcy court’s website.  For the Northern District of Illinois, please visit  National forms can be found at, and Local forms can be found

When you file your own bankruptcy, you are known as a “pro se filer.’  A pro se filer can file their documents in the Courthouse Manually by going to:  219 S. Dearborn, Room 713; Chicago, IL 60604.  For a Chapter 7, bring all of your schedules for filing, four sets of copies and a certified check made payable to Clerk of Court in the amount of $299.  (As of November 1, 2011, the filing fee increased to $306.)

After you have filed, you must submit the following documents to the bankruptcy trustee for your case.  Usually these documents are mailed, emailed or brought to the meeting.  You should call the bankruptcy trustee to ask how they want these documents delivered.  All documents are due 14 calendar days after you file your bankruptcy.  If you do not file these documents on time, your bankruptcy will be dismissed.  Hypothetically, if someone filed pro se July of 2011, he/she would need:

1)  Last Four Years of Tax Returns (2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)
2)  Last Six Month of Paystubs (June, May, April, March, February, January)
3)  Last Twelve Months of Bank Statements for Each of your bank accounts

Don’t be fooled – this is a laborious and time consuming process that must be completed with out error.  And don’t forget to take the Federally required credit counseling courses.  Abacus is one of many pre-filing and pre-discharge credit counseling providers.

To get Bankruptcy Trustee information, simply review the 341 Meeting notice you will receive in the mail approximately one week after filing or ask the clerk when you file.

If you need assistance with filing your bankruptcy, there is a bankruptcy help desk at the courthouse: 219 South Dearborn; 6th floor, Chicago, IL;  starting at 9:30am for approximately 2 hours.

Many times, a pro se filer will file their bankruptcy successfully but make a mistake or get an objection to their bankruptcy that they cannot handle.  Our law firm will represent you in your filed bankruptcy if you need assistance.  For more information call:  877-GO-GO-NLO (877-464-6656) or email:

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code. CALL 877-GO-GO-NLO (877-464-6656) FOR A FREE BANKRUPTCY CONSULTATION TODAY! SATURDAY APPOINTMENTS ARE AVAILABLE.