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you did a SMASHING job of reading what I wrote and turning it into this very organized and beautifully written petition--Thank You

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  • Did You Know?

    • Back Taxes that are 3 or more years old are usually dischargeable?

    • Did you know that MOST people qualify for a full Chapter 7 discharge.

    • Virtually all Judgments are wiped out with your discharge.

    • Being Sued? Legal Proceedings IMMEDIATELY STOP upon filing.

    • Wage Garnishments are stopped, IMMEDIATELY!

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BANKRUPTCY FAQs

Bankruptcy Frequently asked Questions

  • What is Bankruptcy?

  • Do I need an Attorney to represent me for the filing of a Bankruptcy?

  • What types of Bankruptcy are available to me as an individual?

  • What is the difference between a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

  • What types of debt are dischargeable in Bankruptcy?

  • What is the difference between a secured creditor and an unsecured creditor?

  • What types of debts are not dischargeable?

  • The balance on one or more of my accounts may be different now than originally reported to my Attorney, does that matter?

  • May I keep assets despite filing Bankruptcy?

  • May I transfer / sell assets prior to filing Bankruptcy?

  • May I keep certain credit cards out of the Bankruptcy?

  • Should I continue to pay my debts until my Bankruptcy case has started?

  • How does my Bankruptcy case commence?

  • When does the Section 341 Meeting take place?

  • What should I bring to the Section 341 Meeting?

  • Will my attorney be present with me at the Section 341 Meeting?

  • Will I have to attend any other meetings?

  • When will I receive my discharge from the Bankruptcy court?

  • Will I be able to establish new credit after filing Bankruptcy?

  • What is the best way to establish and rebuild credit after filing Bankruptcy?

  • How long will a Bankruptcy show up on my credit report?

  • What are the consequences of filing Bankruptcy?

  • Is there Life after Bankruptcy?


Q. What Is Bankruptcy?
A. People who are having trouble paying their debts sometimes consider bankruptcy as a remedy for this situation. An individual debtor usually files bankruptcy to obtain a discharge, which will wipe out his or her debts so that they will not have to be paid. Creditors cannot try to collect discharged debts from the bankruptcy debtor or sue the debtor and obtain a valid judgment. With a few exceptions, the creditors have no claim on the debtor's future income or future assets.


Q. Do I need an Attorney to represent me for the filing of a Bankruptcy?
A. You are not required to have an Attorney represent you for the filing of a Bankruptcy, but, if you have substantial assets, or a large estate, or feel that there have been financial circumstances that could reasonably be considered as attempts to give inaccurate information to creditors in the acquiring of debt or the hiding of assets, consulting an attorney would be a good idea. However, in the vast majority of simple consumer bankruptcies the use of an attorney is not necessary.  For a free bankruptcy manual and access to free bankruptcy forms please click here.  Or for immediate assistance 877 604 6636. 


Q. What types of Bankruptcy are available to me as an individual?
A. An individual consumer may file one of two types of bankruptcies, a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13.


Q. What is the difference between a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
A. A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is called a "liquidation" whereas a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is called a "reorganization." Each is generally discussed below.

In a Chapter 7 Liquidation, the debtor assembles all assets, sets aside exempt assets, and decides what to do with secured assets. If there are any non-exempt assets left, the Trustee seizes such assets, liquidates them, divides the proceeds of the sale, and distributes the proceeds, pro-rata, to the debtor's unsecured creditors, satisfying as much of the outstanding balances as possible. Any remaining debts owed are then discharged.

As mentioned above, for the average consumer, most assets are found to fall into the exempt category and thus are not susceptible to seizure by the trustee.

In a Chapter 13 Reorganization, the debtor generally keeps all assets that he or she wishes to while reorganizing his or her debts in a manner that reduces the principal amounts of the debt that is due, stops interest, late-payments and over-the-limit-charges on the remaining balances, and establishes a monthly payment that must be made to the Trustee to satisfy all debts through the court approved re-payment plan.

Details of both types of consumer bankruptcies briefly described above should be discussed in detail with an Attorney, specifically addressing the facts and circumstances of your individual case.


Q. What types of debts are dischargeable in Bankruptcy?
A. Certain types of debts, such as child support, alimony, some federal income taxes, (income taxes are generally, dischargeable provided that they have been owed for at least three years and filed, at least, two years ago—the general idea is that the government has to be given a reasonable amount of time to recover taxes that it is owed), and all employer withholding taxes are not discharged in bankruptcy. Generally, federally guaranteed student loans cannot be discharged, unless the Debtor has experienced a severe, undue hardship preventing them from altogether using their education for any gainful purpose. The debtor's wrongful conduct may make some debts non-dischargeable in a liquidation bankruptcy, such as incurring credit card charges when the debtor had no intent or ability to repay, obtaining loans using false financial information, or debts for harm caused while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.


Q. What is the difference between a secured creditor and an unsecured creditor?
A. Generally speaking, a Secured Creditor is a creditor that has not only your promise to pay, but has a lien in the property that you possess. An Unsecured Creditor only has your "naked" promise to pay - if you are unable to make payment, the unsecured creditor does not possess a lien and therefore does not have the ability to seek possession of any specific asset, without court assistance.


Q. What types of debts are not dischargeable?
A. Priority debts are not dischargeable in a Bankruptcy. Specifically, debts such as child support, alimony, some federal income taxes, and all employer withholding taxes are not discharged in bankruptcy.

Q. Can Student Loans be Discharged in Bankruptcy?

A.  Generally speaking, student loans cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy, however, this an undue hardship exception.

Student Loan Hardship Discharge

Student loans are no longer dischargeable in bankruptcy just because they have been in pay status for a given period of time.  The only way the loan can be discharged is by proving that repayment of the loan will create an undue hardship on the debtor/borrower and his family. 

 

This standard is generally interpreted to mean that the debtor cannot maintain a minimally adequate standard of living and repay the loan.   It usually requires a showing that the conditions that make repayment a hardship are unlikely to improve substantially over time.  

 

Courts in some circuits will permit the judge to find that the debtor can repay a portion of the loan without hardship, and to discharge the balance of the loan.

The debtor's wrongful conduct may make some debts non-dischargeable in a Chapter 7 Liquidation, such as incurring credit card charges when the debtor had no intent or ability to repay, or obtaining loans using false financial information.


Q. The balance on one or more of my accounts may be different now than originally reported to my Bankruptcy Preparer or Attorney , does that matter?
A. Not really. If there are large differences please let us know, but your creditors have an opportunity to file a Proof of Claim in which they will tell the court the exact figure and the amount of the claim. The claim will then work its way through the court system.


Q. May I keep assets despite filing Bankruptcy?
A. Yes. The Bankruptcy Code and each state has exemptions that are laws that protect certain assets and keep them out of the reach of your creditors despite the fact that you are filing Bankruptcy. Assets that are exempt in most states include, but are not limited to:

  • Homestead exemption

    • Equity in Home owned generally from $50,000 to $125,000 often doubled if married.

  • Automobile exemption - $1,000 to about $7,000 in equity.

  • Personal Property exemption - $1,000 to unlimited

  • IRS Approved Retirement Instruments (i.e., 401(k); IRA, etc.) - unlimited $ amount in most states

  • Life Insurance Policies - unlimited $ amount in most states

  • Social Security Income / Disability - reasonable $ amount

  • Head of Household Wages

You may also keep secured assets, despite the fact that you are filing Bankruptcy, if you chose to re-affirm the debt that is secured by the asset. For example, if you own a home, you may keep the home provided that you continue to make your mortgage payments and arrange, to re-affirm your obligation to the mortgage lender after the Bankruptcy has been filed.


Q. May I transfer / sell assets prior to filing Bankruptcy?
A. It depends. Generally speaking, transfers of assets prior to the filing of a Bankruptcy are heavily scrutinized by the court, and, in some circumstances, may be reversed.

If you are contemplating both the filing of a Bankruptcy and the sale or transfer of assets, it is best that your first discuss whether such transactions are allowable. Otherwise, transferring assets may jeopardize your case and prevent the discharge of your debts.


Q. May I keep certain credit cards out of the Bankruptcy?
A. It depends. Legally, you may not "keep out" certain credit cards from the filing of your Bankruptcy. The law requires that you list all of your creditors in your Voluntary Petition of Bankruptcy. You do, however, in some circumstances, have the option of re-affirming a debt if, it is determined that it would be in your best interest to do so.


Q. Should I continue to pay my debts until my Bankruptcy case has started?
A. It depends. If you have a positive payment history with your unsecured creditors, it may be worthwhile for you to continue to pay minimum payments to your unsecured creditors right up until your Bankruptcy case commences.

If, however, you do not have a positive payment history with your unsecured creditors, then paying them will not preserve a good payment history, as it is already blemished.


Q. How does my Bankruptcy case commence?
A. Your Bankruptcy cases commences with the filing of your Voluntary Petition of Bankruptcy with the court.  We will prepare your petition based upon the facts and information that you provide to us within the Bankruptcy Package that we will email to you.


Q. When does the Section 341 Meeting take place?
A. The Section 341 Meeting takes place approximately 3 to 4 weeks after filing your Bankruptcy Petition with the court. You will receive notice of the Address, Date, Time and Room Number for your meeting directly from the Bankruptcy Court via the U.S. mail, or at the time of filing.


Q. What should I bring to the Section 341 Meeting?
A. Some type of photo ID (i.e. a valid Driver's License) and a document verifying your Social Security Number (i.e., Social Security Card, pay stub or Health Insurance card, etc.)


Q. Should I have an attorney present with me at the Section 341 Meeting?
A. In the vast majority of cases an attorney is not necessary. It is you, the debtor, who is sworn in and will testify as to the accuracy of the facts represented in your petition.  It usually consists of little more than “do you swear that the information presented in the petition is correct?”, you say yes and it’s done.


Q. Will I have to attend any other meetings?
A. If your are filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you will not typically need to attend another meeting or hearing before receiving your discharge order from the court.

If you are filing a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, you will not typically need to attend another meeting. Your attorney, however, will attend your Plan Confirmation Hearing for you.

You will have to attend an additional meeting or hearing only if the Court determines that an additional adversary proceeding or a final evidentiary hearing is necessary to resolve unique issues in your case.  But again, absent unusual circumstances this is rare.


Q. When will I receive my discharge from the Bankruptcy court?
A. You will receive your discharge from the U.S. Bankruptcy court approximately 2 to 3 months after attending your Section 341 Meeting.


Q. Will I be able to establish new credit after filing Bankruptcy?
A. Yes. It is possible to re-establish your credit after filing a Bankruptcy. In fact, for many debtors, Bankruptcy is the first and most important step in re-establishing your credit.  As part of our compete services we also provide, after your bankruptcy discharge, comprehensive credit improvement manuals and guides for re-establishing your credit.

Click Here for Free Credit Repair Manuals


Q. What is the best way to establish and rebuild credit after filing Bankruptcy?
A. Bankruptcy is a blemish on your credit report. Its affect, however, may be mitigated by showing a positive payment history on credit accounts after filing the Bankruptcy. This may be done in one of two ways.

First, continue to make timely payments on secured assets, such as your home or your car. This will demonstrate your ability to make responsible payments to your creditors.

Second, apply for a secured credit card. After you have obtained the card, make purchases on the card up to the pre-set limit. After your purchases, re-deposit an amount of money equal to the amount of your purchases. After you have done this for a few months, you will have established a responsible payment pattern, and your credit card limit will likely be increased. Soon thereafter, provided you continue to show responsible use of the card, you will likely be give an usecured card. Continue to use it responsibly and you are well on your way to re-establishing your credit.


Q. How long will a Bankruptcy show up on my credit report?
A. Federal law permits creditors to report credit activity for up to seven years. Bankruptcies, however, are permitted to be reported for up to ten years.


Q. What are the consequences of filing Bankruptcy?
A. While Bankruptcy is a blemish on your credit profile, many times, depending upon a client's particular facts and circumstances, the filing of a Bankruptcy may be the first, most important step toward rebuilding one's finances. In the end, if an individual has incurred enough debt and does not have enough disposable income to direct toward credit card payments, many times there are two choices: continue to be a slave to your creditors or address the problem head on a take the steps necessary to rebuilding your financial future: manage your debt through the filing of a bankruptcy.


Q. Is there Life After Bankruptcy?
A. Yes. We have spent over a decade helping people first manage and discharge their debt and then rebuild their financial future. After your Bankruptcy has been filed and you have received your discharge, there are additional steps we may take to further assist you on your road to financial recovery. Specifically, comprehensive credit restoration services and guidance and Home purchase assistance.

WHAT IS A DISCHARGE?

The filing of a chapter 7 petition is designed to result in a discharge of most of the debts you listed on your bankruptcy schedules. A discharge is a court order that says you do not have to repay your debts, but there are a number of exceptions. Debts which may not be discharged in your chapter 7 case include, for example, most taxes, child support, alimony, and student loans; court ordered fines and restitution; debts obtained through fraud or deception; and personal injury debts caused by driving while intoxicated or taking drugs. Your discharge may be denied entirely if you, for example, destroy or conceal property; destroy, conceal or falsify records; or make a false oath. Creditors cannot ask you to pay any debts which have been discharged. Once you receive a chapter 7 discharge, you may not file another chapter 7 case for a period of eight (8) years.

WHAT ARE THE POTENTIAL EFFECTS OF A DISCHARGE?

The fact that you filed bankruptcy may appear on your credit report for up to 10 years. Thus, filing a bankruptcy petition may affect your ability to obtain credit in the future. However, if you follow our credit restoration program, you will quickly begin receiving offers of credit and even a mortgage! It is not uncommon for our clients to obtain a mortgage within six months to two years of receiving a discharge.

WHAT IS AN EXEMPTION

Bankruptcy laws explain exemption as the bankruptcy code that allows you to "exempt" (or keep) from your creditors a large amount of value in your personal and real property. For example, in most jurisdictions a debtor is allowed to keep his or her car if the equity in the car does not exceed $1,000 to $7,000.

Before you decide to file chapter 7, you must fully analyze your financial situation to determine whether a chapter 13 filing would be beneficial. Chapter 13 is for an individual debtor with stable income, who can file a Repayment Plan to pay a percentage of their general unsecured debts over the course of the Plan term, usually 36 to 60 months. An additional benefit could be retention of all assets and the opportunity to cure arrears due secured creditors, such as home mortgage(s), car loans, etc.

HOW CHAPTER 7 WORKS

A chapter 7 case begins with the filing of a petition with the bankruptcy court. In addition to the petition, you are also required to file with the court several schedules of assets and liabilities, a schedule of current income and expenditures, a statement of financial affairs, and a schedule of executory contracts and co-debtors.  A husband and wife may file a joint petition or individual petitions.

The filing of a petition under chapter 7 “automatically stays" most actions against the debtor or the debtor's property. This stay arises by operation of law and requires no judicial action. As long as the stay is in effect, creditors generally cannot initiate or continue any lawsuits, wage garnishments, or even telephone calls demanding payments. Creditors normally receive notice of the filing of the petition from the court clerk.

One of the schedules of assets and liabilities which will be filed by the individual debtor is a schedule of "exempt" property.  Bankruptcy law provides that an individual debtor can protect some property from the claims of creditors either because it is exempt under the laws of the state or residence.

According to bankruptcy laws, a "meeting of creditors" or a "341 meeting" is usually held 20 to 40 days after the petition is filed. The debtor must attend this meeting, at which creditors may appear and ask questions regarding the debtor’s financial affairs and property. However, as noted above, usually it consists of little more than the trustee’s question “is the information contained in the petition true and correct”…

If a husband and wife have filed a joint petition, they both must attend the creditors' meeting.

ROLE OF THE BANKRUPTCY CASE TRUSTEE

Upon filing of the chapter 7 petition, an impartial Bankruptcy case trustee is appointed by the United States Trustee to administer the case and liquidate the debtor's nonexempt assets. If, as is often the case, all of the debtor’s assets are exempt or subject to valid liens, there will be no distribution to creditors. Typically, most chapter 7 cases involving individual debtors are "no asset" cases.

DISCHARGE

As a general rule, excluding cases which are dismissed or converted, individual debtors are discharged in more than 99 percent of chapter 7 cases. In most cases, the discharge will be granted to a chapter 7 debtor relatively early in the case, that is, 60 to 90 days after the date first set for the meeting of creditors.

The grounds for denying an individual debtor a discharge in a chapter 7 case are very narrow and are construed against a creditor or trustee seeking to deny the debtor a chapter 7 discharge. Among the grounds for denying a discharge to a chapter 7 debtor are that the debtor failed to explain satisfactorily any loss of assets; the debtor committed a bankruptcy crime such as perjury; the debtor failed to obey a lawful order of the bankruptcy court; or the debtor fraudulently transferred, concealed, or destroyed property that would have become property of the estate.

While the information about Federal bankruptcy laws presented in this fact sheet is accurate as of the date of publication, it should not be cited or relied upon as legal authority. It should not be used as a substitute for reference to the United States Bankruptcy Code and the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, both of which may be reviewed at local law libraries, and any local rules or practices adopted and disseminated by each bankruptcy court.

 

Note: If you are in danger of losing your home, please see our Mortgage Renegotiation Services.

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The decision as to how to use this information is left to you.

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I can't believe how amazing you are-- this is nightmare paperwork --I would've NEVER been able to do this-- Thank You again so very much!

From Vivian in CA

Last Tuesday, I went for my appointment with the Creditors. After waiting for  approximately 35 minutes, the interview took only about 5 minutes. The Judge was very cordial. None of the Creditors were present. It was not stressful, as I had anticipated. There were many people there for the same reason as me, so that gave me a level of comfort to know that I am not alone in this critical financial situation. 

From Clarence in FL

My first and last meeting with the creditors went great!  (August 5, 2011). No creditors showed up to question me and my discharge papers are already on the way.  Having this out of the way and done is such a great feeling. Thanks, to all who helped.

From Roger in MI

you did a SMASHING job of reading what I wrote and turning it into this very organized and beautifully written petition--Thank You

From Chrissy in OH

You rock!! Thanks so much for your help. I wasn't sure what to expect doing this myself but you have been great!!!

Have questions or need assistance?

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Free Forms and Manual

Our goal is to help.  If you have the time to do it on your own, we will provide what you need to it for free.  Please see... Free Bankruptcy Forms

If you choose to have professional assistance, we guarantee to provide you with the

very best service at  the very lowest fees, about one fourth of most attorney's fees.

 

WHAT DOES IT COST TO FILE BANKRUPTCY

The fees to the courts are usually about $299. 

If you qualify for a "Waiver of Court Fees" your court fees would be waived. (As part of our service, we prepare the "application for waiver of fees" free of charge.  If not granted, in most instances the court will allow you to pay their fees in 4 installments.

(for details call 877 604 6636 Ext 3)

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WHAT ARE OUR FEES?

Chapter 7-- 

Most Attorneys charge anywhere from $1,200 to $2,000, for a Chapter 7 (complete discharge of debts). 

 

Our Fees are ONLY  $295 and even that is broken up into 2  separate payments.

 

Why Does Everyone Else Charges So Much?

Because they can...

There is a tendency in business to charge that which the market will bear.  Oil companies do it-- so do attorneys. 

Attorneys not only can charge... but can actually get, those exorbitant fees-- so they do.

 

Why Do We Charge So Little?...

Because We Want to Handle All Your Financial Needs...

We are much more than Bankruptcy Preparers.  We handle a myriad of services and issues, Bankruptcy, Taxes, Wills, Credit Repair, Home Sales, Home Loans, Financial Opportunities, etc... in fact, we are known as the No Down Home Purchase specialists see No Down Purchases helping people all across the US to buy homes with no down regardless of credit, hence our phone number...

America West Homes

Toll Free 877 60 4 No Down

(877 604-6636) Ext 4  When calling, please reference Service Code [PERSONALID]

AS A COMPANY, CHARGING LESS, ACTUALLY CREATES MORE BUSINESS!

We know that by providing premium services at affordable prices in all that we do; we will be your company of choice for all your future business and financial needs.  We don't want you just as a customer for today, we want you and your family, and friends as customers for life.

 

And quite frankly, as pertains to bankruptcy... because, we utilize the most up to date technologies and software, we can accomplish in 5 hours what it might take others 5 days to accomplish.

Remember, it is our goal to provide the options you need to solve your issues. 

If you need our services, we're here to help.  If you prefer to do it on your own, we'll help there, too. 
Free Bankruptcy Help Free Bankruptcy Forms Free Bankruptcy Manual Frequently asked Questions FAQs Bankruptcy Mistakes to Avoid

Have questions or need assistance?

Please call Toll Free

877 604 6636 Extension 3

When calling reference Service Code  [PERSONALID]

Order Services

CLICK HERE FOR 

Affordable Bankruptcy Services

Free Forms and Manual

Our goal is to help.  If you have the time to do it on your own, we will provide what you need to it for free.  Please see... Free Bankruptcy Forms

DO YOU WANT TO  FILE ON YOUR OWN?

We'll still help!  Click below for Free Forms and Bankruptcy Manuals

For Free Bankruptcy forms and manual Click Here.

 

WHAT WE PROVIDE

At The Solutions Network, we do more than prepare your bankruptcy petition.  We help prepare you for Life After Bankruptcy.  The Complete Bankruptcy Package gives you all of this...

  • Complete Bankruptcy Document Preparation so you can get a Financial Fresh Start-- We prepare all schedules, including the Federal Bankruptcy Petition plus, Schedules A, B, C, D, H, J, Statement of Financial Affairs, and the "Petition for Waiver of Fees", etc...

  • Tri-merged credit report-- we help you get a FREE Tri-merged report, so you don't miss creditors.  A complete record of all debts you owe, credit cards, car loans, real estate loans, collections, judgments, tax liens, school loans,  including balances, payment amounts, creditors names and their addresses-- Saves you hours in your debt investigation..  Remember, if they are not listed in your Bankruptcy, you still owe the debt!

  • Do It Your Self Credit Repair Kit-- see credit repair.  By utilizing the techniques that we include in these 2 Creditor Busting Ebooks you will be able to immediately begin to improve your credit rating and credit score, in spite of your bankruptcy.

  • Bankruptcy Information Packet--Comprehensive, but easy to understand information that shows how to maximize the benefits of your bankruptcy by not only eliminating debts, but in some cases, reducing the amount of debt remaining on that car or furniture on which you still owe money but want to keep.  In other words-- keep the car-- but get rid of half the debt.

The Truth is that Bankruptcy has it's Benefits and it's Drawbacks--

but whether it is the right decision for you depends on your particular situation...

For one family, Bankruptcy was the only way to achieve home ownership...  For another family, the failure to file, when truly necessary, almost cost them everything. To see how and why bankruptcy impacted these families' lives see "Scenarios 1 & 2" Below

 

Life After Bankruptcy

 

 In spite of an effective National Campaign by creditors, that fact is...

life after bankruptcy is not as difficult as often imagined or portrayed. 

    Even so, whether or not to file Bankruptcy is one of the most difficult decisions that a person makes in today’s society.  Good decisions require accurate information.  The things that cause people to come to a point in their life where Bankruptcy becomes something to even be considered are many varied.  But at this point, we are not going to talk about how we got to that place, but rather, what to do about it-- and to inform you of the true consequences.  We all know that bankruptcy is not a good thing.  It goes on your credit report and stays there for 10 to 12 years, and yes, for a year or two, if you apply for a loan, you will pay a higher interest rate.  There's no question, bankruptcy is rarely the ideal solution, but it is often the best solution--  and as we'll see, it also is not an economic death sentence.

    Because creditors know that you can't file bankruptcy again for 8 years, they know they have plenty of time to collect any new debts that you may incur.  What this means is you can almost immediately, get the new financing on things that are important i.e. credit cards, auto loans.  You can even get a new FHA home loan, 2 years after your discharge.  Again, it's not ideal but it is in now way as bad as the financial industry would have you believe.

Crucial Bankruptcy Links and Information

Free Bankruptcy Help Free Bankruptcy Forms Free Bankruptcy Manual Frequently asked Questions FAQs Bankruptcy Mistakes to Avoid

     Note: Recently, there has been a lot of discussion about credit improvement services.  Many companies are scams-- some are reputable.  Credit restoration has it's benefits and it's limitations.  Often times the effective dispute of derogatory credit can eliminate the need for bankruptcy and allow you to pursue objectives you may have that are almost impossible with the derogatories still on your credit file or with a recent bankruptcy.  For a comprehensive discussion of the benefits and limitations of credit restoration, click here.

 

Should You File Bankruptcy?

There is no magic formula that tells you whether bankruptcy is the best choice for you-- but here a few facts to consider.

You don't need bankruptcy protection now if...

You have nothing that a creditor with a judgment could take from you, in either assets or income: that is, if everything you have is exempt  under the laws of your state, including your source of income, you have nothing to lose to a creditor and no need for bankruptcy protection now.  However, it's important to realize that just because the creditor has nothing to attach, now, does not mean that the debt can’t come back to haunt you

 

Are your present circumstances a temporary financial glitch?

Will you in the near future be better off?  New job? Extra Income? Will you soon have your finances in place? 

If you file now, (while down in the dumps, so to speak), you will undoubtedly be able to keep everything and  pass the federally mandated means test (Don't worry, we handle that for you)--plus... As long as you don't incur new bad debts, within two years you will be almost blemish free with no outstanding collections, late pays, or judgments.  Your credit worthiness will then be determined by your, then current, income and the credit track record you create after the bankruptcy.  If you keep a clean slate, you will again be considered a good credit risk.

 

 

WHAT IF YOU DON'T FILE?

If you DON'T FILE, and your financial situation improves? Obviously getting back on your feet is great thing, but...  In Two Years you could be faced with this- You've weathered the storm and now have great income, living the American Dream, have newly acquired assets, Great Income, But Now...

Instead of a having two year old discharge, and no existing debts, re-established credit, (your situation if you had  filed),  you still have:

  • Collections and judgments-- but now that you have an income and something to take, your past creditors are coming after you! 

  • And Chapter 7 protection is out of the question because now that you are living the American Dream... You may make too much money to pass the means test!  You would now have to pay back old debts or face garnishments.

  • Want to buy a home?- the existence of the still owed collections and charge offs will in many cases prevent you from getting a home loan until they are paid, and at the very least will necessitate a higher interest rate and down payment.

  • If, on the other hand, you had filed, and your bankruptcy is one to two years old and all debt since then has been paid on time, you will again be considered a good credit risk and qualify for the best home loans available. 

I want to make something clear.  The above the above scenario, nor those that follow are in anyway intended to try to convince you that you should  or should not file bankruptcy.  That decision is absolutely yours and yours alone.  We just want to be certain that any decision you make is based on a complete understanding of facts and actual, rather than imagined consequences.

 

The Truth About Bankruptcy

The decision to file is intensely personal.  It is yours and yours alone.  Whatever, decision you make, be certain that is made with all the facts in hand.

 

What I am going to do here is not necessarily give you advice but rather elaborate on a couple of scenarios that I have had with my clients while dealing with Bankruptcy, and credit related facts-- also, what I suggested that they do and the end result.  Of course, how you proceed and the decisions you make are yours and yours alone.  My goal is to simply help you proceed with a broader view of what bankruptcy is.  Hopefully, this article will give you more relevant, real life facts to help you make a fully informed decision-- See the following true life stories of past clients.

 

Inevitability.  Should You File Now?  or File Later?

Scenario 2

Is doing the Right Thing the Wrong Thing for Your Family?

Do you own a home and are in danger of losing it?  See our article regarding alternatives and possible solutions to Foreclosure  Remember, you rarely have to lose your home.  Even though, Bankruptcy should be a last resort, if all else fails, a Chapter 13 will almost always allow you to save your home.

 

 

SHOULD YOU FILE BANKRUPTCY NOW OR LATER?

I had a close personal friend who came to me wanting to buy a home.  During the loan process we found that he had absolutely impeccable credit. Unfortunately, his income was only slightly more than his outgo, (as in about $100 per month, and this was before food and utilities!), .   My first question to him was how are you managing to make all your payments on time.  I had never seen anyone so overloaded with debt while making their payments so flawlessly.  He informed me that he was effectively borrowing from Peter to pay Paul.  Borrow from one credit card to pay another, then open another credit account to pay the last...

    Under these circumstances, there was no way that he could qualify for a normal loan.  He only wanted around an $80,000 home, but even with the $8,000 down he was getting from a settlement, he could not qualify for a conventional low rate loan.  His expenses vs income was just too high.

    As I explained to him, with his income to debt ratios, he would never be able to buy a house.  At least, not with a fixed rate or reasonable down payment.  We were going to have to get creative.   I then explained to him that with his situation-- Namely,  the fact that every month he was going further and further into debt.   His minimum payments on the credit cards were getting larger and larger-- His income was staying relatively stagnant.  He was unquestionably spiraling into the need for a bankruptcy.  The only real question was would it be now or later?

 

     Here’s what we did.  We used his $8,000 insurance settlement for his down payment.  I persuaded the seller of the property to carry $12,000 for a term of 30 months.  Now, that we only needed a loan for $60,000 on an $80,000 home, We were able to get him a loan  secured by the property.  It was not a good loan, but a loan, nevertheless.  This loan was fixed at 6%, but for only two years.  After that it would adjust to about 12%, thus increasing my friends payment by about $300 per month over the original payment.  Generally, I wouldn’t negotiate this deal for my worst enemy, but we had a strategy that would insure that he would never have to pay that high interest rate.

 

NOTE:  If a person files Bankruptcy and then from the date of discharge, keeps any new or reaffirmed debts paid perfectly, for most lenders, in two years, they will be considered to again be a good credit risk.  We closed the deal, he now owned the home and he then immediately filed Bankruptcy.  So he discharged his unsecured debt, and reaffirmed his home and car loan. (i.e. continued to make payments on home and car).

NOTE: There are now loan programs that will allow you to get a home loan within 6 months after bankruptcy or even one day with a substantial down payment. 

See Home Loans

 

   At the end of two years, he had paid his remaining bills perfectly.  Additionally, because he had all of the unsecured debts discharged, his monthly obligations were reduced by about $600 per month.  He now had good credit and income to debt ratios that were reasonable, so he could now refinance his home and get rid of that first mortgage that was getting ready to go to 12%-- plus, because his home had appreciated, we could even pay off the $12,000 that he still owed the seller.  Because his finances were now in balance I was able to get him approved for a refinance to do the above at a fixed 6% interest rate loan.

Amazingly enough-- this was one of those rare situations in which the only way to

accomplish the goals of home ownership for himself and his family, was by filing Bankruptcy!

***********************************************************************************************************

 

IS DOING THE RIGHT THING, THE WRONG THING FOR YOUR FAMILY?

Doing the right thing is always admirable.  But it has been my experience that sometimes doing the right thing for the creditors is absolutely the wrong thing for your family... 

   

    I was recently contacted by a family that had been struggling with debt for 3 years.  Prior to the beginning of their problems they had both had very good jobs.  As with most of us, good jobs equal good lifestyle and lots of debt.  Their income was such that they were not overloaded in the least.... but then he lost his job, the family income was halved for about six months.  They had some 30 day lates, but nothing too serious.  He finally found other employment-- just about the time that she lost her job!...  Over the next three years, for both of them, employment was sporadic.  In their attempt to do the “right thing” i.e. keep their home, pay their bills, even if late...  they drained not only their savings, but raided their retirement accounts (Which you can almost always keep when you file Bankruptcy),  

 

To make matters worse, dipping into retirement accounts, carried early withdrawal penalties and extra tax liabilities, (we managed to avoid most of the penalties on an amended tax return), but the point is that they were financially drowning.  At all costs, they were determined to avoid bankruptcy.  They wanted to do the right thing and pay their creditors.  They continued their spiral and sporadic employment for three years.

 

    This was admirable and I respect them immensely for their integrity.  But now, they have nothing left.  Even their retirement is gone!  Their home was in foreclosure and to keep the home, for themselves and daughter, they finally decided to file a chapter 13 bankruptcy. 

 

If they had filed two years earlier, when the spiral was obviously out of control... 

They would now have good credit, they would still have their retirement, and they would be stress and debt free.  As it stood, we saved their home, but their retirement is forever lost and good credit is a thing that will elude them for another two years.

 In my opinion, the moral of the story is, if you can fix your finances, by all means, do so.  But please, for your and your families sake, make an honest and objective assessment of your ability to pull out of the financial morass.  If Bankruptcy is inevitable, do it now, not after your retirement is gone.

 

        Bankruptcy Preparation Request

Crucial Bankruptcy Links and Information

Free Bankruptcy Help Free Bankruptcy Forms Free Bankruptcy Manual Frequently asked Questions FAQs Bankruptcy Mistakes to Avoid

If you have any questions, please call Toll Free

877 604 6636 Extension 3

Please when calling reference Service ID [PERSONALID]

 

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Last modified:05/01/2016

 

 


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