2. Stay of proceedings
Question & AnswerHow do I file for bankruptcy?
File your documents
You can file most law forms and supporting documents:
- Online using Bankruptcy Submissions Online. You will need a ONe-key ID. All you need to create this key is a username, password and email address.
- In-person at your local court.
You cannot file forms and documents online if you:
- want to request an urgent hearing
- have a court date that's 5 business days or less away
- need to meet a court deadline that's 5 business days or less away
If you're filing documents in a public space like a library, be careful when entering . Make sure no one can see you what you're typing or can take pictures of your screen. If you're using a public computer, clear its cache after you finish your session.
Make sure you have everything ready before you start filing online. Once you've started, your session ends if you're inactive for 15 minutes. Your information won't be saved. You will need to start over again.
After you submit your court forms and documents online, you cannot view them online later. So it's important to keep a copy of everything for your records.
If you file online on a business day between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., you get an email from the court the same day. If you file outside regular business hours, you get an email the next business day. You will get an onscreen confirmation that your documents were submitted. Take a screenshot for your records.
Within 5 business days you find out if your documents have been accepted or rejected. If your documents are:
- accepted, you get an email confirming your documents have been filed
- rejected, you get an email saying your documents haven't been filed, the reasons why they were rejected, and that any fees you paid will be refunded
Stay of proceedings
When you file for bankruptcy, there is an automatic “stay of proceedings”. This means that your unsecured creditors cannot sue you, take your money, or ask for payment. An is a that does not have for their debt.
Secured creditors are not covered by a stay of proceedings. A is a creditor that holds collateral for your debt. Common examples of secured are:
- mortgage: the house is the collateral
- car loan: the car is the collateral
With a , if you do not pay what you owe or if you stop making regular payments, the creditor can take the collateral instead.