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It is very important that you obtain legal advice from an experienced attorney regarding your particular situation. Consultation before you take action will certainly cost you less than it will cost to fix your unintentional errors.

BANKRUPTCY

Bankruptcy is a very complicated interplay of several laws (both federal and state) and should not be undertaken without adequate representation. Do not use document preparers or attorneys who do not practice bankruptcy law full time. Most bankruptcy lawyers offer free or very low cost initial consultations.

bankruptcy

James Madison, Jr. oil on canvas, Bradley Stevens (after Charles Willson Peale), 2002, Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives

“There is not a more important and fundamental principle in legislation, than that the ways and means ought always to face the public engagements; that our appropriations should ever go hand in hand with our promises. To say that the United States should be answerable for twenty-five millions of dollars without knowing whether the ways and means can be provided, and without knowing whether those who are to succeed us will think with us on the subject, would be rash and unjustifiable. Sir, in my opinion, it would be hazarding the public faith in a manner contrary to every idea of prudence.”

– James Madison

WHY HIRE DIANE?

Diane L. Drain

Diane L. Drain, bankruptcy attorney, retired law professor, mentor and community spokesperson.

Because Jay and I are here for you and committed to treat you with respect.

In this office you are not just a number and a paycheck. Instead, you are a unique person with unique needs. We are dedicated to help you help yourself at a very difficult time in your life.

You may wonder why I decided to concentrate on bankruptcy as my primary area of practice.

It’s simple – this is an area of law that reminds me of why I went to law school – to help others in their time of need. My goal is to be an experienced guide for my clients. Help them to traverse the crevasses between their needs, the law and the bankruptcy system. I don’t tell my clients what to do; I explain the legal and practical issues in order for them to make informed decisions.

As a law professor I shared with my students how bankruptcy laws resemble magic.

When a bankruptcy is filed a “magical” umbrella, called the automatic stay, protects the debtor and their property. This umbrella is so powerful that it stops almost everyone in their tracks – even the IRS.  Unless a court orders otherwise a mortgage company, bill collector or creditor cannot meddle with the debtor or any property of the debtor.  There is light at the end of a properly planned bankruptcy, but it requires commitment to the process – being accurate and thorough.

BANKRUPTCY

Golden Bridge, Thien Thai garden, Ba Na Hills (Da Nang)

“Let this be your bridge to peace.  I would like to be your guide during this challenging time.”

– Diane Drain

FILING A BANKRUPTCY IS NOT LIKE BUYING A CAN OF SPAGHETTI SAUCE; INSTEAD IT IS LIKE GETTING A NEW PET.

bankruptcyNow you think I am crazy, but I have your attention. You can shop the same brand of sauce in several stores and buy the cheapest one because you are assured that the same recipe is in each jar. Use that same analogy to getting a new pet. All the puppies in the litter look similar. You have no way of knowing which one will become a biter or continually shred everything in your home or attack your children or neighbors.

A bankruptcy is like that new pet.

bankruptcyWith great advice, proper planning and a little luck the bankruptcy will go through without a hiccup. But without all of those you will face a nightmare.  You lose your tax refunds, your friends or family are sued to return money you paid them; the list goes on and on.  Which is why proper planning is absolutely necessary.

SHOPPING FOR BANKRUPTCY ADVICE AND HELP FROM SOMEONE WHO CARES?

Shopping for bankruptcy help based on solely on price will also have in dreadful results; like losing your tax refunds. Instead, shop for bankruptcy assistance with the same commitment you used in making important decisions, such as buying a car or house.

Take your time and choose an attorney who is conscientious, experienced, caring and with whom you have good rapport.

◙ Fair Debt Collection Practices (link to article at www.azlawhelp.org)
◙ Predatory Lending – the Arizona Attorney General’s Office
◙ Consumer Protection Laws
◙ Usury – Past and Present
◙ Basic Rules Governing Debt Collectors
◙ Student Loans
◙ Bankruptcy History and Religion
◙ What is a Credit Score and How to get a Copy of my Credit Reports
◙ Secret History of the Credit Card, Frontline interview with Elizabeth Warren, Prof. Harvard University, expert in bankruptcy
◙ The Credit Card Game: Frontline 12-09 (streaming video -therefore it takes time to load) As credit card companies face rising public anger, new regulation from Washington and staggering new rates of default and bankruptcy, FRONTLINE correspondent Lowell Bergman investigates the future of the massive consumer loan industry and its impact on our fragile national economy.
◙ IRS – Collection Standards (what is allowed by the IRS)
◙ IRS – link to your account, refund status, make payments, etc.
◙ Eliminating Taxes in Bankruptcy (article by Howard Levy, former trial attorney for the IRS)
◙ How to get Information from the IRS. Includes how to obtain transcripts. See article below.

WHAT IS BANKRUPTCY, BESIDES BEING REALLY SCARY?

SOME BASICS:

CHAPTER 7:

CHAPTER 13:

HIRING SOMEONE TO HELP ME FILE BANKRUPTCY:

FORECLOSURES AND BANKRUPTCY:

BANKRUPTCY AND RELIGION:

BANKRUPTCY FOR A BUSINESS:

BANKRUPTCY FOR A CREDITOR:

BANKRUPTCY LINKS AND RESOURCES:

◙ Index of Resources for lawyers and others

Click here for steps to your free bankruptcy consultation