ANY INFORMATION ON THIS SITE SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVISE WITHOUT SEEKING AND RETAINING THE SERVICES OF AN ATTORNEY. THIS SITE DOES INCLUDE LEGAL INFORMATION ABOUT BANKRUPTCY, HOWEVER IT IS NOT INTENDED TO SERVE AS LEGAL ADVICE. MATERIALS AND INFORMATION ON THE SITE ARE PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL USE ONLY, AND MAY NOT BE UP-TO-DATE, COMPREHENSIVE OR ACCURATE. ANY MENTION OF LEGAL SERVICES ON THIS SITE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A RECOMMENDATION AND IS SOLELY AN ADVERTISEMENT.
Prior results may not result in a similar outcome.
Disclosures required under section 527 and 342 of the bankruptcy consumer protection act of 2005 and abuse prevention.
We hereby confirm that we are a debt relief agency and disclosures and notices included in these documents are being made available to you pursuant to section 527 of the Bankruptcy Code. These notices and disclosures serve the purpose of
- Making you aware of the different debt relief strategies that may be available to you;
- Making you aware you aware of the responsibilities and duties that are required of individuals who file bankruptcy cases;
- Making you aware of the different types of bankruptcy codes that may be available to you;
- Making you aware of all costs and fees (including attorneys’ fees) that will be charged should you decide to file a bankruptcy case.
In compliance with Section 342(b) of the Bankruptcy Code, this notice:
- Briefly describes the services provided by credit counseling services;
- Describes briefly the benefits, purposes and costs of the four types of bankruptcy codes that you may qualify for;
- Provides information of bankruptcy crimes and notifies you that the United States Attorney General has the authority to analyze all information you provide in connection with a bankruptcy case. You are cautioned that bankruptcy law is extremely complicated and cannot be described easily. As such, it is highly recommended you may wish to seek the advice of an experienced bankruptcy attorney to get more informed of your rights and responsibilities if you decide to file a bankruptcy case. Under no circumstances may Court employees give you legal advice.
Services Provided By Credit Counseling Agencies
With very few exceptions, Section 109(h) of the Bankruptcy Code requires that all individual debtors who file bankruptcy attend a course that provides guidelines of the available opportunities for credit counseling and provides assistance in performing a budget analysis. The course must be taken within 180 days before filing the bankruptcy case. The filer may take the course individually or in a group (including briefings conducted by telephone or on the Internet) approved by the United States trustee or bankruptcy administrator and provided by a nonprofit budget and credit counseling agency. A list of the approved budget and credit counseling agencies can be found by contacting the clerk of the bankruptcy court and is available to you.
In addition, after filing a bankruptcy case, most individual debtors must complete a financial management instructional course before he or she can receive a bankruptcy discharge. The clerk has a list of approved financial management instructional courses and this list is available to you.
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy caters for individuals who have extraordinary financial difficulty and who do not have the ability to pay their existing debts. Debtors who owe primarily consumer have to take a “means test” which determines if the debtor is eligible to file under a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If your income is higher than the median income for the state in which you reside, creditors may request that your case be dismissed as an abuse of chapter 7. The court to decides whether the case should be dismissed or not.
- Under chapter 7, bankruptcy laws make provision for you to protect assets up to a certain value. A trustee may have the authority to claim possession of and sell any remaining property that is not exempt and use the proceeds of the sale to pay your creditors and other expenses.
- The goal of filing a chapter 7 case is to be granted a discharge of your existing debts. If the Court finds that you have committed certain kinds of improper conduct as per the Bankruptcy Code, the court may not grant your discharge and, if it does not, the purpose for which you filed the bankruptcy case will be defeated.
- Even if you are granted a chapter 7 discharge, some debts are by law may not be discharged. As such, after the case you will still be liable for student loan debts, tax debts, alimony, child support, most fines and penalties most tax debts and student loan debts; debts incurred to pay non dischargeable taxes; Also, if a creditor can prove that a debt arose from breach of fiduciary duty, fraud or theft, or from a willful and malicious injury, may not grant a discharge on that debt.
- Chapter 13 bankruptcy is for those filers with a “regular source of income” who would like to pay some or all of their debt over a three to five year period. In order to file for a Chapter 13 your debts cannot exceed the amounts as per the Bankruptcy Code.
- Under chapter 13, you have to propose a payment plan with the court indicating to them how you plan on repaying your creditors with future income. The Court allows a period of three to five years to repay your debt. The plan has to be approved by the Court before it can take effect.
- Once you complete the payments under your plan, most of your unsecured debts will be discharged, other than debts incurred for child support and alimony; most student loans; some taxes; most criminal and restitution fines; debts which are not listed properly in your bankruptcy papers; debts for acts that caused personal injury; and long term debts that are secured by valid liens or mortgages.
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
Chapter 11 bankruptcy is designed for the reorganization of a business finances but may also be available to consumer debtors. Its provisions are complicated, and should you decide to file a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, an attorney should review the petition.
Chapter 12 Bankruptcy
Chapter 12 bankruptcy is made available to family farmers and fishermen to repay their debts over a specified time period based on future earnings and is similar to chapter 13 bankruptcy. The eligibility requirements for the Chapter 11 bankruptcy are restrictive and can only be used for those filers whose income arises primarily from a commercial fishing operation or a family-owned farm.
Bankruptcy Crimes and Availability of Bankruptcy Papers to Law Enforcement Officials
Any individual who knowingly and fraudulently hides assets or provides false information under oath or statement under penalty of perjury in relation to a bankruptcy case , either in writing or orally will be subject to imprisonment, a fine, or both. All information provided by a debtor in relation to a bankruptcy case is subject to examination by the United States Attorney General acting through the Office of the United States Trustee, the Office of the United States Attorney, and other components and employees of the Department of Justice.
WARNING: Section 521(a)(1) of the Bankruptcy Code requires that you promptly file detailed information regarding your assets, liabilities, assets, creditors, income, expenses and general financial information. If this information is not filed with the court within the time deadlines set by the Bankruptcy Code, the Bankruptcy Rules, and the local rules of the court, your bankruptcy case may be dismissed.
What Are You Responsible For?
- You are responsible for providing complete, accurate and truthful information for the purpose of putting together your bankruptcy petition.
- Any information that you may provide after the filing of the bankruptcy case must also be complete, accurate and truthful.
- All of your assets and liabilities must be accurately and completely listed in the documents that are filed in your bankruptcy case. The replacement value of each asset must be listed in the documents and you must make a reasonable effort to establish the replacement value of your assets.
- All current monthly expenses, including your allowed monthly expenses must be accurately stated in your bankruptcy petition and you must make a reasonable effort and inquiry to determine their correctness. In a chapter 13 bankruptcy case your disposable monthly income must also be specified after reasonable inquiry.
- Any information that you provide during the bankruptcy case may be subject to an audit and a failure to provide the required information may result in the dismissal of your bankruptcy case or other sanctions, including criminal charges.
BANKRUPTCY ASSISTANCE SERVICES FROM A BANKRUPTCY PETITIONER OR AN ATTORNEY
If you decide to file bankruptcy, you are permitted to represent yourself, you may hire an attorney to represent you, or you can get from a bankruptcy petition preparer who is not an attorney. THE LAW REQUIRES AN ATTORNEY OR BANKRUPTCY PETITION PREPARER TO GIVE YOU A WRITTEN CONTRACT SPECIFYING WHAT THE ATTORNEY OR BANKRUPTCY PREPARER WILL DO FOR YOU AND HOW MUCH IT WILL COST. Before you hire either a bankruptcy or petitioner, ask to see the contract before you hire anyone.
The following information is intended to provide you with guidelines and help you understand what is required in a routine bankruptcy case and to help you evaluate whether or not you require legal services or much of legal service you need. Some bankruptcy cases can be complex and difficult to understand, whereas cases are routine and relatively simple.
Before filing a bankruptcy case, either you or your attorney should analyze your eligibility for the different forms of bankruptcies’ that are available under the Bankruptcy Code and which code of relief is likely to be most beneficial for you. It is important to understand the type of relief that you can obtain as well as its limitations. Documents called a Petition, Schedules, a Statement of Financial Affairs, a Statement of Current Monthly Income, and in most chapter 7 bankruptcy Statement of Intention must be correctly prepared and filed with the bankruptcy court. If you do not qualify for a waiver of the filing fee, you will have to pay a filing fee to the bankruptcy court. Once your case begins, you will have to attend the required first meeting of creditors where you may be an attorney appointed by the court to oversee your case called a “trustee.” Any of your creditors may also attend the 341 meeting.
If you choose to file a chapter 7 case, you may be requested by a creditor to reaffirm a debt. You may want to seek out help in deciding whether to reaffirm a debt. A creditor is not allowed to pressure you into reaffirming a debt.
If you file a chapter 13 bankruptcy case in which you repay your creditors what you can afford over a 3-to-5 year period future earning, you may also want help with preparing your chapter 13 payment plan and with the confirmation hearing on your plan which will be held before a bankruptcy judge.
If you select a type of relief under the Bankruptcy Code other than chapter 7 or chapter 13, it is recommended to find out what should be done from someone experienced with that type of bankruptcy code.
Your bankruptcy case may also involve a litigation process. Generally, you are permitted to represent yourself in litigation in bankruptcy court, however only attorneys, not bankruptcy petition preparers, can provide you with legal advice.
HOW TO OBTAIN THE INFORMATION REQUIRED TO FULFILL YOUR DUTIES IN A BANKRUPTCY CASE
- HOW TO DETERMINE THE REPLACEMENT VALUE OF YOUR PERSONAL PROPERTY.When your bankruptcy case is filed, you will need to know the replacement value of any personal property that you own irrespective of whether the property is mortgaged, pledged, or otherwise subject to a lien. The replacement value of property that you calculated for a personal, family or household purpose is the amount that a retail merchant would charge for property of that kind, given the age and condition of the property at the time of the bankruptcy filing. The value of personal property that is under a valid mortgage or lien is the replacement value of the property as per the date of the bankruptcy filing without deducting any costs incurred for of selling or marketing the property.
- HOW TO DETERMINE YOUR CURRENT MONTHLY INCOME.In order to file a bankruptcy fee, your current monthly income must be determined. In a chapter 7 bankruptcy case, your current monthly income is used for means testing purposes and determines your eligibility to file under chapter 7 bankruptcy. In a chapter 13 bankruptcy case, your current monthly income is needed to determine how much you will be able to afford to pay to your creditors under a chapter 13 plan. Your current monthly income is calculated by combining all of income sources for both you and your spouse (even if your spouse is not filing) for the six calendar months immediately preceding the filing of your bankruptcy case and dividing that number by six. If you are not married or if you and your spouse living in separate households or are legally separated, then only your income is taken into consideration. Income from all sources, irrespective of whether the income is taxable, must be included. Exclusions include that payments received as a victim of war crimes, crimes against humanity, social security benefits, or as a victim of international or domestic terrorism is not counted. Unemployment compensation is not included to the extent that it is funded the Federal Government under the Social Security Act funds it. Income from the following sources must be counted:
- Pension and retirement income (other than Social Security income).Child or spousal support from a former spouse if received regularly.
- Gross income from salary, wages, tips, bonuses, overtime, and commissions. Net income from the operation of a business, profession or farm.
- Rent and other income from real property, less ordinary and necessary operating expenses. Dividends, interest and loyalties.
- INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO DETERMINE YOUR ALLOWED MONTHLY EXPENSES AND YOUR MONTHLY DISPOSABLE INCOME.If the amount of your current monthly income multiplied by 12 does not exceed the median annual family income for your state and household size, as per the U.S. Census Bureau, then you will not be required undergo further parts of the means testing, and neither will you be required to calculate your monthly disposable income. However, if the amount of your current monthly income multiplied by 12 is more the median annual family income for your state and household size, then you will be required to calculate the deductions from your current monthly income in order to calculate your disposable monthly income. This will then be used to determine your eligibility to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy case or what your monthly payments will be in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy payment plan. Many of these deductions may not be the amounts that you actually spend each month, but determined by the Internal Revenue Service (the IRS) as being the standard allowable monthly living expenses for your household size and income. These standard expenses include expenses for food, clothing, household supplies, personal care and similar expenses, housing and utility expenses, mortgage or rent expenses, transportation expenses, and other necessary expenses such as taxes, payroll deductions, life insurance, child or spousal support payments, education, childcare, healthcare, and telecommunications. These standard expenses can be found on a Government website. In addition to the IRS standard expenses described in the paragraph above, you are allowed to deduct from your current monthly income, the average monthly amounts that you actually spend each month for
- (1) health insurance, disability insurance, and a health savings account,
- (2) the reasonable and necessary care and support of an elderly, chronically ill, or disabled member of your household or of your immediate family who is unable to pay for such services,
- (3) protection against family violence, and
- (4) for regular charitable contributions that your will continue to make after the bankruptcy case is filed.
- Furthermore, if you can prove that your average monthly home energy costs is more amount specified in the IRS standards, then you may deduct the amount by which your monthly average exceeds the IRS standard. If you can demonstrate that your average monthly expenses for food and clothing exceed the combined allowances for food and clothing according to IRS standards, then you may deduct the amount by which your monthly expenses exceed the combined IRS standards for food and clothes, however your deduction may not exceed 5% of the combined IRS standards. If you can prove that the expenses are reasonable and necessary and not already accounted for in the IRS standard expenses, you may deduct the average monthly amount, not to be more than $147.92 per child, that you spend for the educational expenses of your dependent children who are younger than 18 years of age. In order to be able to deduct the actual expenses described in this paragraph you have to prove to the Trustee that you actually incur these expenses and spend these amounts by providing supporting documents. Statements, receipts or bills from utility companies, food and clothing providers, and educational providers should be obtained so that they can be given to the bankruptcy trustee. As indicated above, the total of all of your standard and permitted actual monthly expenses will be subtracted from your current monthly income to determine your monthly disposable income.
- HOW TO MAKE A LIST OF YOUR CREDITORS AND HOW TO DETERMINE THE AMOUNT THAT IS OWED TO EACH CREDITOR.When a bankruptcy petition is filed, you are also required to file a complete lists of the names and addresses of all of your secured creditors and unsecured creditors. You will need to provide the name, address and account number (if one exists) of each of your secured and unsecured creditors. The names, addresses and account numbers of your commercial creditors may be obtained from the statements or bills that they send to you. Commercial creditors include banks, credit card companies, loan companies, stores, and other persons or companies that have extended commercial credit to you and which are still outstanding. The address that should be listed for each creditor should be the same as the address to which payments to the creditor are sent. If the account has been handed to a collection agent, the name and address of the collection agent should also be included. The names and addresses creditors who are not commercial creditors must also be provided. Non commercial creditors are relatives or business associates, child or spousal support creditors, and persons who may have claims against you for any reason, including automobile accidents, contract or rent disputes, and business disputes. The Trustee has to also be informed as to whether each debt is unsecured or secured. If you are filing a joint bankruptcy case, you must state your intention as to whether each debt was incurred by either husband, the wife, or jointly by both husband and wife. The Trustee must also be informed of the current amount owed to each creditor. The amount owed to commercial creditors can be obtained from the most recent statement or bill.
- HOW TO DETERMINE WHAT PROPERTY IS EXEMPT AND HOW TO KNOW THE VALUE OF YOUR EXEMPT PROPERTY.When a bankruptcy petition is filed, a complete list of your real property and personal property must be filed as well. A complete list of your exempt property must also be filed. In addition, you must provide a description of each item of personal and real property that you own as well as the value of each item of property. This will be determined by comparing your property with the property that is exempt under the State and Federal bankruptcy laws that apply to you. The value of your exempt personal property should be determined as described in paragraph number 1 above in these instructions.
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