We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

Please note that the following general information about bankruptcy is not intended to be legal advice. You should contact an attorney before taking any action in this regard.

 Table of contents:

 

1. IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT BANKRUPTCY ASSISTANCE

FROM AN ATTORNEY OR BANKRUPTCY PETITION PREPARER

 

    2. DISCLOSURE TO DEBTOR(S) SEEKING BANKRUPTCY ASSISTANCE

    

                  3.   DEBTS NOT DISCHARGABLE IN BANKRUPTCY

 

                  4. EXAMPLE OF CONTRACT FOR SERVICES INCLUDING FEES

 

 

 

Let’s begin:

 

1.  IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT BANKRUPTCY

     ASSISTANCE FROM AN ATTORNEY OR BANKRUPTCY

     PETITION PREPARER

 

 

            If you decide to seek bankruptcy relief, you can represent yourself, you can hire an attorney to represent you, or you can get help in some localities 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 PETITION PREPARER WILL DO FOR YOU AND HOW MUCH IT WILL COST. Ask to see the Contract before you hire an attorney.

            The following information helps you understand what must be done in a routine bankruptcy case to help you evaluate how much service you need. Although bankruptcy can be complex, many cases are routine.

            Before filing a bankruptcy case, either you or your attorney should analyze your eligibility for different forms of debt relief available under the Bankruptcy Code and which form of relief is most likely to be beneficial for you. Be sure you understand the relief you can obtain and its limitations. To file a bankruptcy case, documents called a Petition, Schedules and Statement of Financial Affairs, as well as in some cases a Statement of Intention need to be prepared correctly and filed with the bankruptcy court. You will have to pay a filing fee to the bankruptcy court. Once your case starts, you will have to attend the required first meeting of creditors where you may be questioned by a court official called a "Trustee” and by creditors.

            If you choose to file a Chapter 7 case, you may be asked by a creditor to reaffirm a debt. You may want help deciding whether to do so. A creditor is not permitted to coerce you into reaffirming your debts.

            If you choose to file a Chapter 13 case in which you repay your creditors what you can afford over 3 to 5 years, you may also want help with preparing your Chapter 13 plan and with the confirmation hearing on your plan which will be before a bankruptcy Judge.

2. DISCLOSURE TO DEBTOR(S) SEEKING BANKRUPTCY

     ASSISTANCE

 

 

            In accordance with 11 U.S.C. Section 527(a)(2) of the Bankruptcy Code, this Disclosure and Notice: (1) Describes briefly services available from credit counseling services; (2) Describes briefly the purposes, benefits and costs of the four types of bankruptcy proceedings you may commence; and (3) Informs you about bankruptcy crimes and notifies you that the Attorney General may examine all information you supply in connection with a bankruptcy case. You are cautioned that bankruptcy law is complicated and not easily described.

1. Services Available from Credit Counseling Agencies

            With limited exceptions, Section 109(h) of the Bankruptcy Code requires that all individual debtors who file for bankruptcy relief on or after October 17, 2005, receive a briefing that outlines the available opportunities for credit counseling and provides assistance in performing a budget analysis.   The briefing must be given within 180 days before the bankruptcy filing. The briefing may be provided individually or in a group (including briefings conducted by telephone or on the internet) and must be provided by a nonprofit budget and credit counseling agency approved by the United States Trustee or bankruptcy administrator.  

            A list of approved budget and debt counseling agencies approved by the Court is attached hereto and made a part of this Disclosure.

            Credit Counseling Agencies offer individual, confidential advice for developing budgets, managing money, using credit wisely and building a savings plan. Advisors will review your current situation and collaborate with you to determine the best possible financial strategies, offering solutions to your current financial problems as well as personalized plans for preventing financial pitfalls in the years to come.

2.   The Four Chapters of the Bankruptcy Code Available to Individual Consumer

       Debtors (Brief Description)

 

CHAPTER 7: Liquidation ($260.00 filing fee, $46.00 administrative fee; Total fee $306.00)

            1. Chapter 7 is designed for debtors in financial difficulty who do not have the ability to pay their existing debts. Debtors whose debts are primarily consumer debts are subject to a “means test” designed to determine whether the case should be permitted to proceed under Chapter 7. If your income is greater than the median income for your state of residence and family size, in come cases, creditors have the right to file a motion requesting that the Court dismiss your case under Section 707(b) of the Code. It is up to the Court to decide whether the case should be dismissed.

            2. Under Chapter 7, you may claim certain of your property as exempt under governing law. A trustee may have he right to take possession of and sell the remaining property that is not exempt and use the sale proceeds to pay your creditors.

            3. The purpose of filing a Chapter 7 case is to obtain a discharge of your existing debts. If, however, you are found to have committed certain kinds of improper conduct described in the Bankruptcy Code, the Court may deny your discharge and, if it does, the purpose for which you filed the bankruptcy petition will be defeated.

            4. Even if you receive a general discharge, some particular debts are not discharged under the law. Therefore, you may still be responsible for most taxes and student loans; debts incurred to pay nondischargeable taxes; domestic support and property settlement obligations, most fines, penalties, forfeitures, and criminal restitution obligations; certain debts which are not properly listed in your bankruptcy papers; and debts for death or personal injury caused by operating a motor vehicle, vessel, or aircraft while intoxicated from alcohol or drugs. Also, if a creditor can prove that a debt arose from fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, or theft, or from a willful and malicious injury, the bankruptcy Court may determine that the debt is not discharged.

CHAPTER 13: Repayment of all or part of the debts of an individual with regular income ($235.00 filing fee, $46.00 administrative fee: Total Fee $281.00)

            1. Chapter 13 is designed for individuals with regular income who would like to pay all or part of their debts in installments over a period of time. You are only eligible for Chapter 13 if your debts do not exceed certain dollar amounts set forth in the Bankruptcy Code.

            2. Under Chapter 13, you must file with the Court a plan to repay your creditors all or part of the money that you owe them, using your future earnings. The period allowed by the court to repay your creditors all or part of the money that you owe them, using your future earnings. The period allowed by the Court to repay your debts may be three years or five years, depending upon your income and other factors. The Court must approve your plan before it can take effect.

            3. After completing the payments under your plan, your debts are generally discharged except for domestic support obligations; most student loans; certain taxes; most criminal fines and restitution obligations; certain debts which are not properly listed in your bankruptcy papers; certain debts for acts that caused death or personal injury; and certain long term secured obligations.

CHAPTER 11: Reorganization ($1,000.00 filing fee, $46.00 administrative fee: Total Fee $1,046.00)

            Chapter 11 is designed for the reorganization of a business is also available to consumer debtors. Its provisions are quite complicated, and any decision by an individual to file a Chapter 11 petition should be reviewed by an attorney.

CHAPTER 12 Family Farmer or Fisherman ($200.00 filing fee, $46.00 administrative fee: Total Fee $246.00)

            Chapter 12 is designed to permit family farmers and fishermen to repay their debts over a period of time from future earnings and is similar to Chapter 13. The eligibility requirements are restrictive, limiting its use to those whose income arises primarily from a family-owned farm or commercial fishing operation.

3. INFORMATION COMPILED AND USED IN FILING BANKRUPTCY

 

            a. You must provide all information necessary to prepare the bankruptcy petition and it must be complete, accurate and truthful;

            b. All of your assets and all liabilities are to be completely and accurately disclosed, the documents filed in the case as well as the replacement value of each asset after reasonable inquiry has been made to establish such value;

            c. You must provide your current monthly income, amounts required by the means testing described in Section 707(b)(2), and the disposable income (for Chapter 13 cases) must be stated after reasonable inquiry;

            d. Information provided with conjunction of this case may be audited and the failure to provide such information may result in dismissal of the case, or that other civil and/or criminal sanctions may be imposed due to the failure to provide such information;

            e. You must provide information concerning how you valued assets and replacement value, and how you determine your currently monthly income, the disposable income (again, in Chapter 13 cases), and the information required for the means test;

            f. You must provide the information concerning your complete list of creditors, the amount owed to each and the address for the creditor;

            g. Certain property may be exempt and such property is to be valued at replacement value;

4.        PERSONAL FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT COURSE

 

            The Debtor(s) shall complete an instructional course concerning personal financial management and shall promptly submit to the debtor’s attorney a signed and completed Certification of Completion of Instruction Course Concerning Personal Financial Management, unless such attendance is excused under 11 U.S.C. Section 1328(f).

5. IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT BANKRUPTCY ASSISTANCE SERVICES FROM AN ATTORNEY OR BANRUPTCY PETITION PREPARER.

 

            If you decide to seek bankruptcy relief, the information contained on the Important Information About Bankruptcy Assistance Services from An Attorney or Bankruptcy Petition Prepare attached hereto and made a part of this Disclosure and Notice is intended to help you understand the bankruptcy process.

6. BANKRUPTCY CRIMES AND AVAILABILITY OF BANKRUPTCY PAPERS TO LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS

 

            A person who knowingly and fraudulently conceals assets or makes a false oath or statement under penalty of perjury, either orally or in writing, in connection with a bankruptcy case is subject to a fine, imprisonment, or both. All information supplied by a debtor in connection with a bankruptcy case is subject to examination by the 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 creditors, assets, liabilities, income, expenses and general financial condition. Your bankruptcy case may be dismissed 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.

            7. 11U.S.C. 527(a)(2) Disclosure

 

            Under 11 U.S.C. 527(a)(2), a debt relief agency is required to provide the following written notice to assisted persons filing bankruptcy, shall know and understand that:

You, as an assisted person filing bankruptcy, shall know and understand that:

a. You must provide all information necessary to prepare the bankruptcy petition and it must be complete, accurate and truthful;

            b. All of your assets and all liabilities are to be completely and accurately disclosed, the documents filed in the case as well as the replacement value of each asset after reasonable inquiry has been made to establish such value;

            c. You must provide your current monthly income, amounts required by the means testing described in Section 707(b)(2), and the disposable income (for Chapter 13 cases) must be stated after reasonable inquiry;

            d. information that an assisted person provides during their case may be audited pursuant to this title, and that failure to provide such information may result in dismissal of the case under this title or other sanction, including criminal sanction.

            8. 11 U.S.C. 527(B) Disclosure IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT BANKRUPTCY ASSISTANCE SERVICES FROM AN ATTORNEY OR BANKRUPTCY PETITION PREPARER.

 

            If you decide to seek bankruptcy relief, you can represent yourself, you can hire an attorney to represent you or you can get help in some localities 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 BANKRUTPCY PETITION PREPARER WILL DO FOR YOU AND HOW MUCH IT WILL COST. Ask to see the contract before you hire anyone.

The following information helps you understand what must be done in a routine bankruptcy case help you evaluate how much service you need. Although bankruptcy can be complex, many cases are routine.

Before filing a bankruptcy case, either you or your attorney should analyze your eligibility for different forms of debt relief available under the Bankruptcy Court and which form of relief is most likely to be beneficial to you. Be sure you understand the relief you can obtain and its limitations. To file a bankruptcy case, documents called a Petition, Schedules and Statement of Financial Affairs, as well as in some cases a Statement of Intention need to be prepared correctly and filed with the bankruptcy court. You will have to pay a filing fee to the bankruptcy court and attend a hearing before an official called a trustee and attended by your creditors.

If you choose to file a Chapter 7 case, you may be asked by a creditor to reaffirm a debt. You may want to help deciding whether to do so. A creditor is not permitted to coerce you into reaffirming your debts.

If you choose to file a chapter 13 case in which you repay your creditors what you can afford over 3 to 5 years, you may also want help with preparing your chapter 13 plan and with the confirmation hearing on you plan which will be before a bankruptcy judge.

If you select another type of relief under the Bankruptcy Code other than chapter 7 or chapter 13, you will want to find out what should be done from someone familiar with that type of relief.

Your bankruptcy case may also involve litigation. You are generally permitted to represent yourself in litigation in bankruptcy court, but only attorneys, not bankruptcy petition preparers, can give you legal advice.

I, David P. Fritch of of the Fritch Law Office hereby certify that I have sent the given the above Disclosure and Notice to Debtor(s) Seeking Bankruptcy Relief to the undersigned.

            In addition, I hereby certify that I am a debt relief agency. I help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

3. DEBTS THAT ARE NOT DISCHARGED IN BANKRUPTCY

 

Some of the common types of debts which are not discharged in a chapter 7 bankruptcy case are:

a. Debts for taxes;

b. Debts that are in the nature of alimony, maintenance or support;

c. Debts for most student loans;

d. Debts for most fines, penalties, forfeitures, or criminal restitution obligations;

e. Debtors for personal injuries or death caused by the debtor’s operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated;

f. Some debts which were not properly listed by the debtor;

g. Debts that the bankruptcy court specifically has decided or will decide in this bankruptcy case are not discharged;

h. Debts for which the debtor has given up the discharge protections by signing a reaffirmation agreement in compliance with the Bankrutpcy Code requirements for reaffirmation of debts.

4. SAMPLE CONTRACT

UNITED STATES BANKRUPCY COURT

SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA

 

 

 

RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF CHAPTER 7 & CHAPTER 13 DEBTORS AND THEIR ATTORNEYS

 

            It is important for debtors who file a bankruptcy case under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 to understand their rights and responsibilities. It is also important for debtors to know what their attorney’s responsibilities are and understand the importance of communicating with their attorney to make the case successful. Debtors should also know that they may expect certain services to be performed by their attorney. In order to assure that debtors and attorneys understand their rights and responsibilities in the bankruptcy process, the following guidelines provided by the Court are hereby agreed to by the debtors and their attorney.

BEFORE THE CASE IS FILED

 

The debtor agrees to:

 

            1. Provide the attorney with complete, accurate and current financial information.

            2. Discuss with the attorney the debtor’s objectives in filing the case.

            3. Disclose any previous bankruptcies filed in the previous 8 years.

            4. Unless excused under 11 U.S.C. Section 109(h), receive a briefing from an approved nonprofit budget and credit counseling agency and provide the attorney with a copy of the certificate from the agency showing such attendance, a well as a copy of the debt repayment plan, if any, developed through the agency.

            5. Disclose to the attorney any and all domestic support obligations.

THE ATTORNEY AGREES TO:

 

            1. Meet with the debtor to review the debtor’s debts, assets, liabilities, income and expenses.

            2. Counsel the debtor regarding the advisability of filing either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case, provide debtor with the notice required under 11 U.S.C. Section 342(b) if applicable, discuss both procedures with the debtor and answer the debtor’s questions.

            3. Explain what payments will be made to creditors directly by the debtor and what payments will be made through the Chapter 13 plan, with particular attention to mortgage and vehicle loan payments, any other debts that accrue interest, domestic support obligations and leases.

            4. Explain to the debtor, how, when and where to make payments, pursuant to the plan, to the Chapter 13 trustee and of the necessity to include the debtor’s case number, name and current address on each payment item.

            5.   Explain to the debtor how the attorney and trustee’s fees are paid and provide an executed copy of this document to the debtor.

            6. Explain to the debtor that the first payment due under Chapter 13 must be made to the trustee within 30 days of filing of the bankruptcy petition.

            7. Advise the debtor of the requirement to attend the Section 341 Meeting of Creditors and instruct the debtor as to the date, time and place of the meeting and of the necessity to bring both picture identification and proof of the debtor’s social security number to the meeting.

            8. Advise the debtor of the necessity of maintaining liability, collision and comprehensive insurance on leased vehicles or those securing loans, and of the obligation to bring copies of the declaration page(s) documenting such insurance to the Meeting of Creditors.

            9. Advise debtors engaged in business of the necessity to maintain liability insurance, workers compensation insurance, if required, and any other insurance coverage required by law.

            10. Timely prepare and file the debtor’s petition, plan, statements, schedules, and any other papers or documents required under the Bankruptcy Code.

AFTER THE CASE IS FILED:

 

THE DEBTOR AGREES TO:

 

            1. Timely make all required payments under Chapter 13 trustee that first become due 30 days after the case is field. Also, if required, turn over any tax refunds, personal injury settlement proceeds or any other property as requested by the trustee.

            2. Timely make all post-petition payments due to mortgage lenders, holders of domestic support obligations, lessors, and any other creditor that debtor agreed or is obligated to pay directly.

            3. Cooperate with the attorney in the preparation of all pleadings and attend all hearings as required.

            4. Keep the trustee, attorney and Court informed of any changes to the debtor’s address and telephone number.

            5. Prepare and file any and all federal, state and local tax returns within 30 days of filing the petition.

            6. Inform the attorney of any wage garnishments or attachments of assets which occur or continue to occur after the filing of the case.

            7. Contact the attorney promptly with any information regarding changes in employment, increases or decreases in income or other financial problems or changes.

            8. Contact the attorney promptly if the debtor acquires any property after the petition is filed. Such property might include, but is not limited to, personal injury proceeds, inheritances, lottery winnings, etc.

            9. Inform the attorney if the debtor is sued during the case.

            10. Inform the attorney if any tax refunds to which the debtors are entitled are seized or not returned to the debtor by the IRS, Indiana Department of Revenue or any other taxing authority.

            11. Contact the attorney to determine whether court approval is required before buying, refinancing or selling property or before entering into any long-term loan agreement.

            12. Pay any filing fees and court costs directly to the attorney.

            13. If the requirements of 11 U.S.C. Section 109(h) were waived by the Court when the case was first filed, the debtor must receive a briefing from an approved nonprofit budget and credit counseling agency within 30 days of the case being filed (unless the Court, for cause, extends such time) and provide counsel with the certificate from the agency stating that the debtor attended such briefing.

            14. Unless such attendance is excused under 11 U.S.C. Section 1328(f), the debtor shall complete an instructional course concerning personal financial management and shall promptly submit to the debtor’s attorney a signed and completed Certification of Completion of Instruction Concerning personal Financial Management.

            15. Cooperate fully with any audit conducted pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 586(a).

THE ATTORNEY AGREES TO PROVIDE THE FOLLOWING LEGAL SERVICES:

 

            1. Appear at the Section 341 Meeting of Creditors with the debtor.

            2. Respond to objections to plan confirmation and, where necessary, prepare an amended plan.

            3. Timely submit properly documented profit and loss statements, tax returns and proof of income when requested by the Trustee.

            4. Prepare, file and serve the necessary modifications to the plan.

            5. Prepare, file and serve the necessary amended statements and schedules in accordance with information provided by the debtor.

            6. Prepare, file and serve necessary motions to buy, sell or refinance property when appropriate.

            7. Object to improper or invalid claims, if necessary, based upon documentation provided by the debtor or trustee.

            8. Represent the debtor in motions for relief from stay and motions to dismiss and/or convert.

            9. Where appropriate, prepare, file, serve and notice motions to avoid liens on real or personal property.

            10. Be available to respond to debtor’s questions throughout the life of the plan.

            11. Negotiate with any creditor holding a claim against the debtor that is potentially nondischargeable to determine if the matter can be resolved prior to litigation. Discuss with debtor the cost and advisability of litigating the dischargeability of the claim. The attorney is not required, however, to represent the debtor in any adversary proceeding to determine the nondischargeability of any debt pursuant to these Rights and Responsibilities.

            12. Represent the debtor with respect to any audit conducted pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 586(a).

            The total fee charged in this Chapter 7 case (not including any audits or hearing for audits or any title examination fees if property is being reaffirmed or filing fees or counseling courses) is $800.00/Single or $875.00/Married which is the total retainer required up front.

            The total fee charged in this Chapter 13 case is $3,200.00.

            The terms of this Contract are contingent on payment of the fees owed to attorney by debtor(s) on or before bankruptcy filing.

            If this fee later proves to be insufficient to compensate the attorney for legal service rendered in the case, the attorney has the right to apply to the court for any additional attorney fees.

            In the case of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, Fees shall be paid through the plan unless otherwise ordered. The attorney may not receive additional fees directly from the debtor other than the initial retainer.

            If an attorney has elected to be compensated pursuant to these guidelines, but the case is dismissed or converted prior to confirmation of the plan, absent contrary order, the trustee shall pay to the attorney, to the extent funds are available, an administrative claim equal to 50% of the unpaid fee balance if properly documented fee claim (for the entire fee balance) has been filed by the attorney and served upon the trustee.

            If the debtor disputes the legal services provided or the fees charged by the attorney, an objection must be field with the court.

Copyright C David P. Fritch, PC 2012 All Rights Reserved

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