1. LIST YOUR DEBTS
Start by listing everything that is claimed
that you owe, not what you believe you owe. If you dispute any debt, provide proof of your reason for disputing the debt.
2. LIST YOUR ASSETS
When giving the current or market value of the property, use the price the item would bring at a yard sale or an auction, and not the replacement cost. If you think you are “under water,” you can pick up a bankruptcy packet from our office. YOU
MUST ALSO PROVIDE THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS for Austin Law Office to file your case:
1. Copies of documents for any debts you owe, including, but not limited to: mortgage, car loan, bank loans, prior bankruptcy filings, court judgments, divorce decrees, child support orders and loans secured by other property.
2. A photo ID. (Driver’s license, passport or BMV identification card)
3. Proof of your Social Security Number: either your Social Security card (not a copy), a W-2 form (Not a tax return or 1040) or a health insurance card, which has your SSN on it.
4. Your past two pay stubs, showing income year-to-date, or other proof of your income for the past 6 months from all sources, including unemployment, Social Security and Social Security Disability payments. If you do not have them, obtain copies from your employer without fail.
5. Your tax return for the current year and the previous 3 years. If you have not already done so, you must file your tax return for this year before you can file for bankruptcy. If you do not have copies of your tax returns, we can help you get your IRS transcripts for FREE.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call us at 812-572-4881 or send us an e-mail. We are here to help you and will respond as soon as we are able.
If you feel like you are drowning in personal debt, you are not alone. Millions of Americans have become overextended; many as a result of easy credit, unexpected (and uninsured) medical bills and job loss.
Prominent Americans such as Walt Disney - and even Abraham Lincoln - have been forced to take bankruptcy.
If you find yourself drowning in debt, there are some common pitfalls to avoid:
1. Beware of just paying the minimum payments on your debts. This will result in your overall debt actually growing and your problems will only become worse.
2. Beware of relying on friends and family, as it could damage relationships with the most important people in your life.
3. Beware of unscrupulous credit counselors that demand cash up front or high fees for help they promise, but don't deliver.
4. Avoid taking out a new high-interest loan to pay off lower interest rate loans. It may be easier to just have one payment, but it will actually increase the amount you have to pay back.
5. Declaring bankruptcy when debt settlement may work for you.
Finding it hard for Debt Settlement or facing Bankruptcy?
Two common solutions people turn to are debt settlement
and bankruptcy. Generally, if you are struggling with a financial hardship and are behind or falling behind on your minimum payments, then debt settlement may be right for you. Austin Law Office can help you negotiate with creditors if you are able to pay a lump sum debt settlement. In such cases, you can usually settle debts for considerably less than the total amount the creditor is claiming for.
If you are unable to make any kind of lump sum payment, then you may consider bankruptcy. A "Chapter 7" bankruptcy
is a straight discharge of all debts (except child support, most student loans and any judgments for injuries to others). There are limits to the amount of assets you can retain, but you can usually keep your home, auto and personal belongings.
A “Chapter 13" bankruptcy
(“Wage Earner Plan”) allows debtors who are working and have regular income to make a set payment to the bankruptcy court over a period of 5 years to settle all debts included in the plan, and the creditor is required to accept the amount of debt the bankruptcy court allows to them (“cram down”), even if it is much less than the amount the creditor is claiming. We can help you decide which form of bankruptcy is best for you.
As soon as you file either form of bankruptcy, your creditors are barred, under Federal law, from taking any
further action to enforce their debts, regardless of what stage the debt is in (even if they have already obtained a judgment and a garnishment order).
Either form of bankruptcy will remain on your credit record for 10 years, the same as a judgment for debt against you.