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  1. Bankruptcy Glossary
  2. Petition Preparer

What is a Petition Preparer?

Bankruptcy petitions must be filed to initiate the bankruptcy process. The bankruptcy petition consists of the debtor's name, address, the amount of debt owed and the names of the debtor's creditors. The bankruptcy petition is filed with the local bankruptcy court with other documents including all of the schedules, The Statement of Intentions, The Statement of Financial Affairs and The Attorney Statement. Under The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, additional requirements were created for bankruptcy petition preparers.

The bankruptcy petition preparer is not considered a bankruptcy attorney, they do not practice bankruptcy law, and they can not give the debtor any type of legal advice concerning the debtor's bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy advice and actions which can not be given or taken by the petition preparer includes but are not limited to:

  • The type of case the debtor should file.
  • If the debtor's debts will be discharged by filing personal bankruptcy.
  • What debts the debtor may be able to retain after they file for personal bankruptcy.
  • The dischargeability of tax claims or any tax implications for filing personal bankruptcy.
  • The classification of a debtor's creditors.
  • Any issues regarding bankruptcy procedures or rights.
  • The bankruptcy petition preparer may not collect court fees.
  • The bankruptcy petition preparer can not execute bankruptcy documents.
  • The bankruptcy petition preparer's fees can not exceed the allowable charges established by the United States Supreme Court or the United States Judicial Conference.

The tasks of the bankruptcy petition

  • Initial interview with the bankruptcy client.
  • Gathering and arranging the bankruptcy documents.
  • Requesting additional bankruptcy documents.
  • Following-up with the client.
  • For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy the bankruptcy petition preparer will draft the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy petition draft. For Chapter 13 Bankruptcy the bankruptcy petition preparer will draft the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy petition.
  • Completing corrections and revisions for the Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition.
  • Client review and sign-off for the bankruptcy petition.
  • Electronic filing of the Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition.
  • Attending the 341 Creditor's Meeting.