You may ask yourself, what is that beautiful house?
You may ask yourself, where does that highway lead to?
You may ask yourself, am I right, am I wrong?
You may say to yourself, my god, what have I done?
– Talking Heads, Once in a Lifetime (1981)
There is usually a great sense of relief after filing bankruptcy. Creditors stop calling; threats of litigation, foreclosure, or repossession cease; garnishments end. You have a competent bankruptcy attorney handling your case, you have a solid plan to reorganize your finances, and you have provided complete and honest information; what is there left to worry about?
Then you receive a document in the mail entitled something like, “Entry of Appearance and Request for Notices,” and you start worrying again. What does it mean?
A notice or entry of appearance is a very common and innocuous document. It is merely a notice filed in the bankruptcy court by an interested party, usually by the attorney representing a creditor in your bankruptcy case. For instance, a notice of appearance is commonly filed by a secured creditor with an interest in following your case, like the bank that has your car loan. The notice of appearance contains contact information for the attorney and creditor, and copies of all future documents filed in the case are sent to this attorney.
In a Chapter 13 case, a notice of appearance is often filed with a proof of claim. In a Chapter 7 case, the creditor may file a notice of appearance concurrently with a motion for relief from stay. A creditor may also file this document when offering the debtor a reaffirmation agreement. The notice of appearance is not always an indication of the creditor’s intent to actively participate in or contest your bankruptcy case. Many times it is simple a desire to be added to the mailing list.
A notice of appearance does not require any action on the part of the debtor. It is not a time for worry or stress. To again quote the Talking Heads, it is same as it ever was. Your attorney will notify you if there is any action you need to take in your bankruptcy case.