If you’ve been sued and are about to file bankruptcy or filed already, you may have come across the term “suggestion of bankruptcy” and wondered what it means.
What is a Suggestion of Bankruptcy?
It’s basically a notice of bankruptcy, or a document letting a state court know that you’ve filed for bankruptcy protection. It’s not clear why it’s called a “suggestion,” the automatic stay immediately puts a halt to almost all state court proceedings, but it is what it is.
Do I need to file one?
If there’s a lawsuit pending against you in state court, you don’t need to file one, but the sooner you let the court know about your bankruptcy the better. Your best bet to find out whether you need to file it is calling the state court clerk (not the bankruptcy court clerk) to see how they want you to handle this.
How do I get one or create one?
If the state court insists that you file a suggestion of bankruptcy, see if there’s a local form or a sample you can use as a template. If not, find out if you can file a simple notice instead.
Is there something I can do instead?
Form 309A from the bankruptcy court is a “notice of bankruptcy filing” that you can use to notify the court of your case. If you set up a PACER account to monitor your bankruptcy case, you can also pull a “Notice of Bankruptcy Case Filing” from PACER:
Clicking on “Notice of Bankruptcy Case Filing” will bring you to a screen that looks like this:
Just make sure that whatever you submit to the state court to notify them of your pending bankruptcy case has your full name and the state court case number, in addition to the bankruptcy case number. That way, the clerk’s office knows which case it’s for.
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