NextChapter, the cloud-based bankruptcy platform for lawyers, has launched a new product, an online bankruptcy questionnaire and debtor portal called MyChapter.

The portal allows a bankruptcy client to input all of his or her personal and financial information in advance of meeting with the attorney. The attorney can then review and edit the client’s entries and import all the information into the NextChapter platform.

“This has been our most requested feature of all time,” NextChapter founder and CEO Janine R. Sickmeyer told me yesterday. “Instead of just making it a feature in our application, we built an entirely new application to integrate with NextChapter.”

For now, MyChapter is only for client intake. However, in a future update, MyChapter will add a direct consumer interface where debtors who do not have an attorney can fill out their pertinent information and then be matched with an attorney from the NextChapter network.

When the consumer interface launches, Sickmeyer hopes that attorneys will take bankruptcy cases that come through it at less than their normal fee, because so much of the clerical work will already be done. That interface is targeted to launch in January.

For now, attorneys wishing to use MyChapter in conjunction with NextChapter can purchase it for $500 per year, which allows unlimited cases. Attorneys can customize the interface to add their own welcome message, logo and contact information.

From within NextChapter, the attorney can invite the debtor to MyChapter. The debtor receives an emial with a link to the portal.

For the attorney, the MyChapter interface will include review tools. In the current release, the one review tool is for normalizing capitalization, so if a client used all capital letters or all lowercase, the tool will automatically put the text in proper capitalization. A spell checker will be the next tool added.

Once the attorney has reviewed the client’s input, then a click of the import button brings it all from MyChapter into NextChapter.

Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.