How to File a Motion in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

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In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the most common motions filed by a debtor are a motion to dismiss a case or a motion to convert a case to Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In most circumstances, the procedure for filing a motion is the same even though each motion has different wording. The following are steps for filing a motion and a notice of a motion:

  1. Refer to the rules of the local bankruptcy court for filing motions. Local rules establish time limits and the format for the paperwork.
  2. Fill in the information requesting your name, the court, and the case number at the top of the form. Fill in the blank sections in the remainder of the motion.
  3. Prepare a proof of service. It should include the name and address of the lien owner, the name and address of the trustee, and the address of the U.S. Trustee.  
  4. Make copies of the paperwork.
  5. Have someone else mail a copy of the motion and the notice of motion to the appropriate creditors and the trustee.
  6. File the original copies of the motion, the notice of motion, and the proof of service with the bankruptcy court in person or by mail.
  7. If the creditor fails to respond within the applicable period, create a Request for Entry of Default, a proposed order, and a proof of service.
  8. If the creditor responds, a hearing date will be set and the parties will present their side to the judge.
  9. If the creditor does not respond, serve the creditor, the trustee, and the U.S. Trustee with the Request for Entry of Default and the proposed order.
  10. File a Request for Entry of Default, a proposed order, and proof of service with the bankruptcy court.
  11. Request a certified copy of the order from the court.

Motions can be obtained online at the U.S. Bankruptcy website and in the local jurisdiction where filing.

Getting Legal Help

If necessary, an attorney can help you fill out and file the appropriate motions and other bankruptcy paperwork.