Why Bankruptcy Petition Preparers Aren’t Worth The Cost
When filing for bankruptcy pro se, many individuals choose to hire a bankruptcy petition preparer, also known as a BPP. Unfortunately, bankruptcy petition preparers don’t improve your bankruptcy filing success.
BPPs are not lawyers. In fact, theyre not even paralegals. Theyre simply typists who are supposed to prepare your forms and are not allowed to give legal advice. What may seem like a cheap form of assistance can often cause much more trouble than it is worth.
Take A Personal Financial Management Instruction Course
Finally, you must complete a post-filing Personal Financial Management Instruction Course within 45 days of your meeting of creditors. Take a look at the U.S. Trustee Program’s site to find an approved course near you. After you’ve completed the course, the last step is to wait to hear from the bankruptcy court whether your debts have been discharged.
What Does Close Adversary Case Mean
An adversary proceeding is a separate lawsuit related to a bankruptcy case. … Adversary proceedings are usually filed while a case is open, and most creditors cannot file one after a case closes. However, in some cases, a trustee may file an adversary proceeding if new information comes to light after a case closes.
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Because Bankruptcy May Not Be Your Only Option
There are definite pros and cons to filing for bankruptcy, and for some people, its the best or only choice available. But you may not be aware of all your options.
An experienced bankruptcy lawyer can assess your situation and consult with you regarding alternatives to bankruptcy that you may not have considered.
The Three Most Common Types Of Bankruptcy
Chapter 7: You can only file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you qualify financially. To qualify, your income should be below the median for a household of your size in your state. There is some elasticity in these calculations, but if the court decides you make enough disposable income to pay a reasonable amount of your debts, you may not be allowed to choose this option.
Under Chapter 7, a court-appointed trustee oversees the sale of anything you own that is not exempt from being taken and the proceeds are used to pay off your debts. But for most people, the most or all of their assets are exempt from being taken. Remaining debt is forgiven, mostly. Some types of debt, such as tax debt and student loans, cannot be discharged at all, or only in limited circumstances.
A lawyer can be of immense help if you are filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. For instance, while you do have to sell assets off to pay your debts, an attorney can help you determine which assets are exempt from being taken and which arent. This will be important in trying to keep your car, your house, or your retirement fund.
Chapter 11: You dont have to qualify to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Both individuals and various kinds of companies can file, and you dont have to meet a certain income requirement.
If youre considering this type of bankruptcy, an experienced bankruptcy lawyer can be invaluable in helping you navigate this complex process.
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Attend A Financial Management Course
The list of approved debt education courses is available at the Department of Justice website. InCharge Debt Solutions is an approved agency with our own online bankruptcy course. The course must be completed within 45 days of meeting with your trustee and creditors.
Lieberman said anyone considering bankruptcy should take the important first step of using an internet search engine to find the bankruptcy court for their area. Each site has a plethora of information for consumers and filers.
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Pro Se Only Applies To Individual Filings
As long as you are making an individual filing, you can file for bankruptcy on your own without a lawyer or a law degree yourself. This includes both types of personal bankruptcy filings as well as business filings as long as the business is not a partnership or incorporated entity.
You can NOT represent yourself in a partnership because you cant legally represent someone else without being a licensed attorney. Incorporated businesses cant be represented by the owner, so you must hire an attorney.
Of course, just because you can do something it doesnt mean that you should. Even on the official website for United States Courts it states:
While individuals can file a bankruptcy case without an attorney or pro se, it is extremely difficult to do it successfully.
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It Does Not Mean You Lose Everything
Many people are under the misconception that if they declare personal bankruptcy they will not be able to keep anything they own and that they will lose everything in a bankruptcy.
Fortunately, this simply is not true.
Each province sets a list of assets that you are allowed to keep when going bankrupt and in fact most debtors filing for personal bankruptcy are able to keep all of their assets.
Bankrupt debtors can even keep their car and house when .
Why Hiring A North Carolina Bankruptcy Attorney Is Probably Better Than Filing On Your Own
Hiring a qualified lawyer guarantees that your bankruptcy filing is done correctly, and you may even save money as a result. The US federal court website published a list of all the ways a bankruptcy lawyer can help you .
Our lawyers at Sasser Law Firm will give you a crucial benefit that you lack: experience. Weve handled thousands of cases for both individuals and businesses.
Since weve done it so many times before, we know what errors cause problems and seek to avoid them in our clients filings. Weve undertaken Chapter 7, 11, and 13 cases, so well be able to tell which bankruptcy is the right one for you.
When you file bankruptcy on your own, youll have to read legal jargon and apply it to your situation. That can be difficult, but years of practice have made us efficient and our goal is to advise you quickly.
You may have pressing financial obligations that you need to resolve quickly, like an impending foreclosure. We can figure out if theres a way to avoid the most serious consequences and maintain your life at a sustainable level. We know it is unpleasant to file bankruptcy, so well do our best to be the steady expert you need in this difficult time.
Finally, we may tell you that bankruptcy isnt your best bet. Our goal is to give you the best possible advice and help you resolve your debt issues in the best way possible If you should wait to file or avoid bankruptcy, well tell you that.
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How Many Times Can You File Personal Bankruptcy
You may seek bankruptcy relief as many times as you need in order to there is absolutely no maximum, however, there are day constraints between if you possibly could file for bankruptcy. The new time clock initiate for the big date your registered a previous bankruptcy petition. Enough time limitations end folks from harming the device.
What Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy & Should I File
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In a Nutshell
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a common legal process to clear your debt, but itâs not right for everyone. Letâs take a look at some bankruptcy basics to help you learn about it and decide whether it’s right for you.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a powerful legal tool in the United States that allows you to totally erase many debts, including credit card debt, medical debt, car loans, and payday loans. Experts estimate that over 39 million Americans have filed for bankruptcy. Itâs more common than most people think.
One good question to ask yourself if youâre considering Chapter 7 bankruptcy: Do I have more debt than Iâll ever be able to pay back, given my current income and property? If the answer is “yes,” then Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be the right option.
Why Are Bankruptcy Attorneys Recommended
Bankruptcy law is complicated and specific. A bankruptcy filing has many steps, strict deadlines and requires lots of documentation, including dozens of forms to fill out. The court expects individuals who file bankruptcy to be familiar with U.S. Bankruptcy Code, federal rules and any local rules that apply you dont get a pass simply because you are handling it yourself.
There are also long-term financial consequences to bankruptcy that make it vital that your case is handled in your best interests.
The federal judiciarys U.S. Courts website warns, Filing personal bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 takes careful preparation and understanding of legal issues. It stresses that misunderstanding the law or making mistakes may affect your case. Court employees and bankruptcy judges are prohibited by law from offering legal advice.
If you dont handle your case well, it may not go forward, and youll be back at square one. It can also end up costing you more money than it would have to hire an attorney in the first place.
Bankruptcy is a complicated matter, said Lyle Solomon, principal of Californias Oak View Law Group, who has been handling bankruptcy cases for 20 years. There is a lot of paperwork, things need to be filed in a timely and complete manner. I have had people come to me several months later after trying to do it themselves. Had they come to me right away, I could have saved them time and money.
S In A Bankruptcy Filing
The bankruptcy process can be confusing and it can be hard to understand the benefits and advantages of bankruptcy when you are unsure of how the process can work.
We have extensive knowledge in guiding people through their personal bankruptcy case.
We have helped thousands of people just like you get the relief from debt you need, deserve, and are entitled too under the bankruptcy laws of Canada.
The Licensed trustee in bankruptcy of Bankruptcy Canada can explain the steps in a bankruptcy during your initial consultation meeting.
Our trustee will guide you through the entire bankruptcy process, from the first consultation to your discharge.
We will make sure that you have the guidance that you need to successfully complete your bankruptcy in a timely manner.
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What Is Chapter 11
There are other types of bankruptcy filings that are less common and more costly for small businesses, such as Chapter 11. This type of bankruptcy is for businesses with $2.5 million or more in debt, or for businesses owned by LLCs or partnerships. A Chapter 11 bankruptcy is similar to Chapter 13 but is usually only for businesses.
This type of bankruptcy:
- Involves a creditors’ committee appointed by an independent trustee
- Reorganizes the company according to a plan that creditors vote on
- Sets up a payment plan for the company to repay its debts
The Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 made Chapter 11 less costly for small businesses, allowing them more flexibility to negotiate terms of the bankruptcy with creditors. But this is still much less common than Chapter 13. You may want to speak with a lawyer if you feel like a Chapter 11 bankruptcy is right for your company.
Using A Bankruptcy Petition Preparer Does Not Mean Your Case Will Be Filed Online
Even though you may be able to work with a bankruptcy petition preparer through an online portal, that doesnât mean youâll be able to file your bankruptcy case online. A petition preparer is any non-lawyer who prepares a bankruptcy petition for you and charges a fee for doing it.
The Bankruptcy Code requires that these bankruptcy petition preparers are heavily regulated. Different courts have different rules limiting the amount a bankruptcy petition preparer can charge. The maximum fees are usually less than $250.00.
Bankruptcy petition preparers may not offer legal advice under any condition. The law restricts these petition preparers to being little more than typists. Youâre still the one that has to submit the paperwork to the court.
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Bankruptcy Exemptions On Prince Edward Island
- No limit on clothing for you and your family
- No limit on medical or health aids
- Any motor vehicle needed for transportation to work up to $6,500, or up to $3,000 if not used for work
- Household furniture, utensils, equipment, food and fuel up to $5,000
- Tools used by you in your business or trade, up to $2,000
What Your Creditors Do When You File For Bankruptcy
While your debts are frozen:
- The IRS cannot attempt to garnish your wages
- The bank cannot repossess your secured assets
- Other aspects of your property will be protected
Your debts will continue to be frozen until your bankruptcy case reaches its conclusion.
These responses from creditors are only a few of the outcomes of filing bankruptcyand the process is not as simple as it sounds. A bankruptcy lawyer with our firm can help you better understand the road ahead of you.
To consult with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer today, call
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What Does Bankruptcy Cost
In a straightforward bankruptcy, the government regulates trustee fees, filing fees, and counselling fees.
In the simplest cases this amounts to $1,800.
Many trustees have payment plans that allow you to pay the costs over the nine months of the bankruptcy.
Our Bankruptcy Calculator will tell you the exact cost of your bankruptcy and how long you will be in bankruptcy.
The other administration fees are taken from excess income payments.
If there is no excess income, the bankrupt will usually make these payments monthly so that they are paid in full before the nine month discharge date.
How Excess Income Payments are Calculated
The trustee calculates the amount that the bankrupt person must pay into the bankruptcy estate each month while in bankruptcy, based on the Superintendent of Bankruptcy’s standards.
Let’s look at an example.
Mike is a single person with a monthly take home pay of $2,462 .
Because he is in bankruptcy, he does not have to make payments on any debt.
The Superintendent‘s standards say that Mike needs $2062 to live on.
This leaves an excess of $400.
Fifty percent percent of the excess must be paid into the bankruptcy estate monthly.
This amount is known as the surplus income payment.
The excess income calculations are adjusted for things such as:
Pros & Cons Of Going Bankrupt
Bankruptcy is a legal process that you have the right to take advantage of if you are insolvent, and for many people it is their best chance at a fresh start.
While there are certainly many benefits of bankruptcy it must be stated that there are also certain drawbacks to bankruptcy.
For most people declaring bankruptcy, however, most of these disadvantages do not exist or are minimized.
Your trustee will be honest and straightforward with you, as this is a requirement of our professional ethics code.
You will always receive the best advice of your trustee, so no matter what you are told by your trustee, you can feel comfortable following their advice.
Since the trustee is also required to tell you how you can avoid bankruptcy if possible, you have nothing to worry about when speaking with a trustee about making the decision to claim bankruptcy.
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Because You May Not Know Which Type Of Bankruptcy You Need
Theres more than one way to go bankrupt. In fact, there are six different kinds of bankruptcy. The one thats right for you depends on a lot of factors including the type of debt you have, your income and assets, and your goals.
A knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney can help you choose the type of bankruptcy thats the right fit, and guide you through the process of filing.
Chapter 7 And Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Require A Means Test
While the decision to file for bankruptcy is ultimately a personal one, in certain types of bankruptcy, the court will ask you to take a means test. This test is given to understand your income and expenses.
The means test:
- Is required for filers whose income is higher than the state median
- Will assess and measure your expenses and disposable income
- Measures your ability to pay the money owed to your creditors
The lawyer who represents you will assist you with the documents and calculations associated with the means test. He will also explain its importance and what happens when the test is complete.
When You Definitely Should Not File On Your Own
Chapter 13 bankruptcy
You most likely need an attorney when filing Chapter 13, since it involves complex processes that are really difficult to navigate on your own. Declaring Chapter 13 involves creating a plan of how you will pay back the money you owe the debtors which the court will then approve. Its very time-consuming to make this plan unless you have expensive financial software that many attorneys own to make creating this payment plan much faster and easier.
Chapter 13 cases filed without an attorney often get dismissed by the court. Chapter 13 cases are so difficult to file properly that the court may not even look at filings that were not prepared by a lawyer. Many attorneys avoid taking on Chapter 13 cases as the laws and procedures are so nuanced and challenging to apply. Be sure to check your attorneys track record in Chapter 13 cases to determine whether theyll help get your case discharged. Therefore, paying for a qualified attorney can help you get out of debt in these complex scenarios by actually ensuring your case gets discharged.