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NJ Chapter 7 Pro Se questions...

mbjp09
New Member

NJ Chapter 7 Pro Se questions...

I plan to help my girlfriend file Chapter 7 Pro Se.  In my opinion it should be a quick, no asset case and be discharged without any issues.  We went to a consultation with an Attorney and he said it seemed pretty cut and dry as well.  I would have hired him for us, but we can absolutely not afford to do so, but I feel confident to do it on my own and really I have no choice.  I want to get the ball rolling now, but I have a few questions – so I am here hoping to get some help from people who have filed Pro Se or know about doing so.  I searched on my states (NJ) bankruptcy local rules site for answers to these questions, but did not find them.

I read on the NJ Bankruptcy Court website that we can file immediately by filing the following:

  • Voluntary Petition for Individuals Filing for Bankruptcy(Bankruptcy Form 101)  
  • Statement About Your Social Security Numbers (Official Form 121)
  • A Credit Counseling Certificate from an approved credit counseling agency
  • A complete List of Creditors (you must have at least one creditor).
  • Application for Individuals to Pay the Filing Fee in Installments  (Bankruptcy Form 103A)

I plan to go this route because I have a feeling that judgements are near on some of her debts and need to get the stay.  I will follow up after this first mailing with all of the other forms that I must file within the 14 day period that is allowed.  If I feel it is not enough time, I will apply for an extension of the 14 day deadline as suggested on the site.  I have some questions and they are as follows:

 
     1. Do I staple or paper clip the forms and their copies?

     2. Can I write "original" and "copy" or put post it notes on the forms to designate them from each other?

     3. Do I include pay stubs, tax returns and bank statements with this initial mailing? If so, how many and how old?  I have heard it is  not  until the trustee meeting that this may be requested.

  1. Can I include a cover sheet to detail everything that I am including in this initial mailing?

 

I have a few other questions, but I am still working on getting the answers myself from research.  THANK YOU in advance to anyone is willing to post a reply.

Message 1 of 5
4 REPLIES 4
DaveInAZ
Senior Contributor

Re: NJ Chapter 7 Pro Se questions...


mbjp09 wrote: I have some questions and they are as follows:

 
     1. Do I staple or paper clip the forms and their copies?

- Paperclip is safer

     2. Can I write "original" and "copy" or put post it notes on the forms to designate them from each other?

- Yes, probably safer with post it notes, they can stamp is they want

     3. Do I include pay stubs, tax returns and bank statements with this initial mailing? If so, how many and how old?  I have heard it is  not  until the trustee meeting that this may be requested.

- No, do not include with initial filing. But the Trustee will request those things prior to the 341 Creditors Meeting ("trustee meeting")

  1. Can I include a cover sheet to detail everything that I am including in this initial mailing? - Won't hurt

 

I have a few other questions, but I am still working on getting the answers myself from research.  THANK YOU in advance to anyone is willing to post a reply.


 

Message 2 of 5
leonel9
Frequent Contributor

Re: NJ Chapter 7 Pro Se questions...

In my jurisdiction (Central District of California) it IS common to include paystubs in the filing. 

 

It can't hurt to get a PACER account and take a look at a few other Chapter 7 filings and compare to yours. Perhaps search for cases handled by the attorney you met with. Or see if your local Legal Aid office can assist you.

 

If you do search through PACER, you should be able to access it for free at the courthouse vs. paying $0.10/page from home. 

 

Hope that helps!

Message 3 of 5
mbjp09
New Member

Re: NJ Chapter 7 Pro Se questions...

PACER is absolute best thing I have found in helping my file Pro Se for my GF.  Thank you for encouraging me to try it out.  I downloaded several cases in my state/vicinage.   Excellent advice.

Message 4 of 5
rprisco
Regular Contributor

Re: NJ Chapter 7 Pro Se questions...

I'd be very careful, at your GF meeting of the creditors, the trustee will ask for pay stubs and tax ino and may go over the schedules. If you are not a lawyer it is illegal to advise someone else, the trustee will ask who helped complete the forms.

You said there are judments, they will have to be vacated. Pro se is an absolute last resort. Do you know how to write motions and defend against them? Or notices of motions, will an adversary proceeding need to be files or defended? What about reaffirmation agreements, do you know a good one from a bad one?

It's a Hugh apple to bite off, I'd make sure she is prepared. She will be on her own with the trustee and standing before the judge, is she prepared for that. You will not be able to help her in anyway. Bk courts frown heavily against non attorneys practicing bk law and btw, if she does not fill out her own schedules, you will have to sign them as a preparer. This is tricky stuff and you get no do ovets for any miatakes. Are you sure she can't swing 750 or so for a lawyer, even if it has to be done in patments?

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