When you prepare to file for bankruptcy, you must fill out official paperwork and file it with the court. You’ll list the names and addresses of all of your creditors on a document called the creditor matrix or creditor mailing list.
(Find out why you must include all of your creditors in Do I Have to File Bankruptcy on All the Accounts I Owe, or Can I Keep Some?)
After you file your case, the court will issue an order called an “automatic stay” instructing your creditors to stop collecting from you. Also, the court will mail a notice of the bankruptcy case to all parties listed in the creditor matrix. You’ll receive a copy, too. You’ll want to keep the notice because it has valuable information on it, including:
- the automatic stay order
- your bankruptcy case number and filing date (you’ll give this information to any creditor that might call)
- the name and contact information of the bankruptcy trustee (the court official responsible for managing your case), and
- the date and time of the 341 meeting of creditors—the one hearing that all bankruptcy filers must attend.
Creditors usually respond to the notice promptly. In fact, calls, letters, and other correspondence often stop by the following week.
(You can find out more about the power of the automatic stay by reading Can a Creditor Continue to Contact Me After I've Filed for Bankruptcy?)
Go to the main bankruptcy FAQ page.