One of the most recent developments is the ability to apply for bankruptcy online. What the bankruptcy courts refer to as Electronic Case Filing-Case Management (CM-ECF). This allows the attorney to complete the bankruptcy petition, schedules, and matrix, and file them through their court's CM-ECF system with the press of a button. This means that counsel are no longer required to print multiple copies of a debtor's bankruptcy petition (which can be 60+ pages) and deliver or mail it to the courthouse. One can now file for bankruptcy from their home or office with the touch of a button.
With the introduction of Electronic Filing came the standardization of Official Forms and the need for bankruptcy software that enables electronic filing with a single click. And despite the fact that bankruptcy software had existed for years prior to electronic filings, they had to implement the connection to the court's CM-ECF system and ensure that their counsel could easily use it. This involves making the forms simple to fill out using data entry and then creating the forms in the format chosen by the court. In the case of bankruptcy filings, text format (.txt) and portable document format (.pdf) files are utilized.
CM-ECF requires attorneys to submit a petition and schedules (in pdf format), the creditor matrix (as a text file), and then statistical information (indicating the debtor and the program being used by the attorney - also as a text file). The bankruptcy software can perform all of these tasks. First, it directs your attorney through the petition and schedules preparation process. On the petition and schedules, you will enumerate your identifying information, all of your property, all of your creditors, any exempt property allowed by your state, as well as your income and expenses. This provides the bankruptcy court with all the necessary information to determine your eligibility for bankruptcy.
As part of Electronic Filing, you must also complete a financial management counseling course prior to filing for bankruptcy. The course is available online, making it simple to obtain the certification before registering for bankruptcy. Your attorney will request a copy of this certificate (on paper or in PDF format) to confirm that you have completed and passed the course. This document is also submitted during the electronic filing of a bankruptcy. This is just the start. After you and your counsel file your bankruptcy electronically, you will receive a receipt and be notified of your judge assignment and the next steps (341 meeting, required post-petition documents, etc.).""
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