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1 week 23 hours ago

Are you considering filing bankruptcy under Chapter 7? Straight bankruptcy, also known as liquidation bankruptcy, is a bankruptcy case wherein the court wipes out most of your debts. A bankruptcy filing is a straightforward process that takes about four to six months. Here’s an overview of things you need to consider regarding qualifications, proceedings, and filings before your meeting with creditors. 
Debtors like you are qualified to file for bankruptcy except in cases where you have already received a bankruptcy discharge in the last six to eight months; or you could complete a Chapter 13 repayment plan based on your current income, debt burden, and expenses.
Consult with a bankruptcy lawyer if you are unsure whether you qualify for filing bankruptcy.
Starting Your Bankruptcy Application
If you qualify, you must first complete the mandatory credit counseling, whether by phone or online, with an agency that is approved by the United States Trustee before you file bankruptcy.
Begin the bankruptcy process by filling out the official bankruptcy court forms. The files for bankruptcy include a bankruptcy petition, which provides information about you and your case, as well as a series of schedules detailing your financial situation, among various other forms. These forms will ask you to describe information regarding:

  • your current income and monthly living expenses;
  • your debts;
  • your property;
  • any property you claim to be exempt;
  • any property you owned and money you spent in the past two years; and
  • any property you sold or gave away in the past two years.

Creditors MeetingAfter submitting the completed forms to the bankruptcy court, a bankruptcy trustee is assigned to handle your case and ensure that your papers are complete. Trustees are also tasked with finding the nonexempt property to sell for the benefit of lenders, which entails examining a borrower’s financial transactions in the previous years to see if it is possible to free up assets. 
You are required to mail a copy of your most recently filed income tax returns, and other documents asked of the debtor, to the trustee.
Once you have filed your bankruptcy forms, an injunction called the “automatic stay” is put into effect. The stay prevents most creditors from trying to collect your debt so that your wages or properties cannot be legally grabbed or taken from you.
However, when you declare bankruptcy under Chapter 7, you are legally placing your debts and properties in the hands of the bankruptcy court. As such, you are unable to pay off your pre-filing debts and transfer or sell your properties without the consent of the court.
Note that it is possible for the stay to be lifted in cases regarding secured debt. Loans with property pledged as collateral, and recorded liens against your property, are both considered secured debt. Creditors can ask for the stay to be lifted in order to foreclose or repossess on the property if you are behind on your payments. If not, you may continue making payments as before, except in the case where there is enough equity in the property to justify its sale by the trustee.
During Your Scheduled Creditors Meeting
A few weeks after filing, you will receive a notice about a scheduled meeting with creditors. The meeting is usually held in a small hearing room and is commonly the only courthouse appearance required of you. During the appointment, you are required under oath to answer questions about the forms you filed, or provide the trustee with additional information relevant to your case.
If the trustee deems some of your property to be nonexempt, you may be required to either turn over the property or pay-back its equivalent value in cash. However, you can keep the property if the trustee “abandons” it because it isn’t worth very much or is too cumbersome to sell. Property exemptions vary depending on your state’s bankruptcy laws. Check your state’s bankruptcy exemptions or consult with a bankruptcy attorney.
Receiving Your Bankruptcy Discharge Notice
After bankruptcy proceedings, your debts are discharged by the court, except for those that automatically survive bankruptcy, such as child support, tax debts, and student-loan, unless the court rules otherwise, or those declared nondischargeable due to the creditor’s objection.
If you are considering declaring bankruptcy in Oregon or Washington, contact Northwest Debt Relief Law Firm for a free consultation today.
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The post What You Need to Know About Bankruptcy Before the Creditors Meeting appeared first on Vancouver Bankruptcy Attorney | Northwest Debt Relief Law Firm.


1 week 20 hours ago

five-star“Filing for bankruptcy can be a stressful life event” R.A.
Filing for bankruptcy can be a stressful life event, and selecting the right attorney can add to this stress. Diane and Jay were a pleasure to work with, and it is obvious that they are passionate about helping people get their life back on track. I would highly recommend them if you need a bankruptcy attorney.
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The post Filing for bankruptcy can be a stressful life event appeared first on Diane L. Drain - Phoenix Arizona Bankruptcy Attorney.


1 week 4 days ago

 A New Student Loan Discharge Case allowing the Discharge of $200,000 in Student Loans The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in McDaniel v. Navient, has issued a ruling allowing the discharge  of  a debtor/borrower’s $200,000 in private student loan debt, in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.An article about the case can be found at https://www.forbes.com/sites/adamminsky/2020/09/02/court-allows-bankrupt...In this email, we will review the facts of the case, the ruling and its applicability to individuals filing for bankruptcy in the SDNY and the EDNY.It is estimated that the amount of student loan debt in the United States is presently $1.5 trillion. In McDaniel v. Navient, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit affirmed a  bankruptcy court’s decision that $200,000 of a Debtor’s private student loan debt could be discharged.What are private student loans? Monies borrowed from a private bank without a government guaranty, rather than money borrowed from a government agency or subject to a government guaranty.Generally, to discharge student loan debt, a borrower files for chapter 7 bankruptcy and then commences an “adversary proceeding” (a lawsuit within the context of a bankruptcy case) seeking to discharge the student loans based on a concept known as “undue hardship”. The “undue hardship test” resulted from a bankruptcy case involving a debtor named  Brunner and the case held that in order to show undue hardship to discharge a student loan, the debtor would need to show three factors:1. That if the Debtor were required to repay the student loan, the borrower would not be able to maintain a minimal standard of living?2. That  the borrowers financial difficulties (that  prevent the borrower  from repaying the student loan)  are expected to continue into the future? and 3. The borrower  made efforts to repay the   student loan prior to  filing for bankruptcy, but were unable to do so?While the Brunner Test is  easy  to explain on paper, in practice the cost to commence and pursue this litigation is expensive and many debtor’s with student loan debt do not attempt to discharge their student loans in a chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. In the McDaniel case the  Debtor had  $120,000 in private student loans and she said  that Navient would not work with her to create  an affordable repayment schedule. Ms. McDaniel’s filed for  bankruptcy (she did not attempt to discharge her student loans) and after her case ended, Navient added additional interest and fees to her balance. She then made a motion to reopen her   bankruptcy case to have the Bankruptcy Court rule as to whether her  private student loans were dischargeable in bankruptcy.The Bankruptcy Court then ruled that the monies sought to be discharged  were not “an obligation to repay funds received as an educational benefit” because the amount borrowed exceeded the cost of attendance at school. As a result the monies were not a student loan and the undue hardship did not apply and the student loans were dischargeable as regular debt in the chapter 7 bankruptcy case.Navient appealed, and the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower bankruptcy court’s decision. What is the take aware for student loan borrowers in this district?First, the decision only applies to Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming (10th Circuit). However, since the decision was from a Court of Appeals, bankruptcy courts in this district may affirm or adopt the Court’s  ruling and reasoning. Second,  the ruling may only affect the dischargeability of private student loans, not public student loans and the vast majority of student loans are public.Third, the ruling may only apply to private student loans that exceed the cost of attendance at a school,  rather than all private student loans.Fourth, bankruptcy is a court of equity and bankruptcy judges are aware of the amount of student loan debt outstanding and the hardship that it causes borrowers and their families and they are sympathetic to debtor’s attempting to discharge their student loans to get the “fresh start” in bankruptcy. Fifth, the Brunner Test dates back to 1987 and its holding and applicability to 2020 have been challenged by many bankruptcy experts. Sixth, student loan debtors with the right fact patterns should consider filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy and attempting to discharge their student loans.  Jim Shenwick 


2 weeks 14 hours ago

“She‘s definitely a keeper and you’ll be well taken care of.” Jacque Rambo
Although I’ve only known Diane short time, I’ve learned: her ethics are impeccable, she’s highly competent, she cares about her clients, she’s committed the legal community and to helping people, she perseveres, she’s approachable, and she’ll go the extra mile. She’s been very supportive and helpful in helping me acclimate into a new legal community, for no other reason than – just because. She’s definitely a keeper and you’ll be well taken care of.
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The post ATTORNEY REVIEWS – She‘s definitely a keeper and you’ll be well taken care of appeared first on Diane L. Drain - Phoenix Arizona Bankruptcy Attorney.


2 weeks 14 hours ago

“Looks at their situation with a lens focused on real life solutions and consequences” Brian Petersen
Diane is a great asset to the legal community. She is wonderful mentor, professor and someone who I believe genuinely cares about her clients and looks at their situation with a lens focused on real life solutions and consequences.
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2 weeks 14 hours ago

“Diane is a leader in the legal community” Judy Zimet
Diane is a leader in the legal community who creates time to advise and mentor other attorneys, thereby raising the level of the profession.
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The post ATTORNEY REVIEWS – Diane is a leader in the legal community appeared first on Diane L. Drain - Phoenix Arizona Bankruptcy Attorney.


2 weeks 14 hours ago

“She is a lawyer who cares deeply” Elizabeth Kamper
Diane is an excellent mentor for young bankruptcy lawyers and I have personally benefited greatly from the experience of being one of her mentees. She is a lawyer who cares deeply not only about her clients but about the legal community.
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The post ATTORNEY REVIEWS – She is a lawyer who cares deeply appeared first on Diane L. Drain - Phoenix Arizona Bankruptcy Attorney.


2 weeks 14 hours ago

“Her abilities and compassion are unmatched” David Glynn
I endorse Diane without reservation or hesitation! She is as dedicated to her clients as she is to the local legal community and you will not find a more caring or committed professional. Her abilities and compassion are unmatched.
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The post ATTORNEY REVIEWS – Her abilities and compassion are unmatched appeared first on Diane L. Drain - Phoenix Arizona Bankruptcy Attorney.


2 weeks 14 hours ago

“She represents her clients with excellence and integrity” Mae Innabi
Diane is a great bankruptcy attorney and I have no hesitation in referring potential clients to her. I know she will represent them with excellence and integrity.
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The post ATTORNEY REVIEWS – She represents her clients with excellence and integrity appeared first on Diane L. Drain - Phoenix Arizona Bankruptcy Attorney.


2 weeks 14 hours ago

“Diane is very personable.” Danielle Graham
I endorse this lawyer. Diane is incredibly knowledgeable about the bankruptcy process and very personable too.
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