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a guide for the pro se creditor in a bankruptcy case - District of ...

a guide for the pro se creditor in a bankruptcy case - District of ...

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5 the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, the attorney must be a member of the bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. To determine whether a person is an attorney licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, visit the Board of Bar Overseers webpage: www.massbbo.org. To determine whether a person is an member in good standing of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, visit the Court’s website at www.mad.uscourts.gov and look under “Attorneys > Admission > MA – Federal Bar Search.” Remember, Court personnel are prohibited from giving you legal advice. Only a licensed attorney can: Explain the meaning of a statutory provision or rule; Provide an interpretation of case law; Explain the result of taking or not taking action in a case; Help you complete forms or advise you regarding what is legally required when a form requires you to provide information; Advise whether jurisdiction is proper in a case; Advise whether a complaint properly presents a claim; Advise on the best procedure or strategy to accomplish a particular goal; Advise who should receive proper notice or service of papers. PRO SE If you plan to represent yourself pro se in a bankruptcy case (i.e., without the assistance of an attorney), the first step in the process is to obtain the proper forms. The official forms, authorized by the Judicial Conference of the United States, are available online at www.mab.uscourts.gov. They are available for free. Links to the United States Bankruptcy Code as well as the rules are also found on the Bankruptcy Court’s website. It will be your responsibility to know and understand them. Corporations, partnerships and LLCs may not file papers in a bankruptcy case pro se however, there are certain documents that a non‐attorney representative (such as a member, officer or employee) may file pro se that do not rise to the level of practicing law. They include: Request for Notice under Fed. R. Bankr. P. 2002(i) Proof of Claim (Official Form B10) Withdrawal of a Proof of Claim Notice of Transfer of Claim Other than for Security Application for Search of Bankruptcy Records Request to Recover Unclaimed Funds Reaffirmation Agreement and Proposed Order Ballot for Voting on the election of a trustee

6 Ballot voting on a proposed plan in a chapter 11 case (the plan proponent is responsible for mailing the ballot to the creditor to cast a vote). If you are encountering difficulty locating a form, or have questions about a form you should contact the Pro Se Law Clerk. The Bankruptcy Code allows non attorney representatives of corporations, partnerships and LLCs to be present and to participate in the Meeting of Creditors. If an action or proceeding is brought by or against the corporations, partnerships or LLCs, it must retain an attorney. For example, a corporation, partnership or LLC may not, without an attorney appearing on its behalf: File a motion for relief from stay Defend against a proceeding against it 3 Defend an objection to its proof of claim 4 PRO SE LAW CLERK The Court has a Pro se Law Clerk who maintains office hours in all three Divisions: Boston (Eastern), Springfield (Western) and Worcester (Central). The Pro se Law Clerk cannot give you legal advice but may be able to provide you guidance on process and procedure. Here are some examples of some basic questions that the Pro se Law Clerk may be able to answer for you: “What sort of bankruptcy case has the debtor filed?” “What do I need to file to object to the bankruptcy?” “What do I need to file to respond to a motion?” “How do I get notices in the case?” “How do I serve a summons?” “When is the Meeting of Creditors?” (The Section 341 meeting) “What are the deadlines I need to be aware of?” “Can I get free legal assistance?” While the Pro se Law Clerk is an attorney, the Pro se Law Clerk may not practice law. Legal advice can only be obtained from an attorney. The Pro se Law Clerk may be able to direct you to an appropriate lawyer referral agency for legal advice and/or representation. 3 This does not prohibit a non‐attorney representative from contacting the opposing party’s attorney to discuss a settlement of the dispute. 4 This does not prohibit a creditor from amending its proof of claim pro se to cure a defect that was subject to the objection to the proof of claim.

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