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It is vital that you seek legal advice from a qualified attorney on your individual situation. It will almost certainly cost you less to seek advice before acting than it will to repair your mistakes.

BANKRUPTCY

Bankruptcy is a complex interaction of numerous laws (federal and state) that should not be attempted without competent legal counsel. Do not use document preparers or attorneys who do not devote their entire practice to bankruptcy law. The majority of consumer bankruptcy attorneys provide free or low-cost initial consultations.

portrait of James Madison, Jr.

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 SHOULD YOU WORK WITH DIANE?

Because Jay and I are devoted to treating you with respect and are here for you.

At this office, you are more than a number and a paycheck. Instead, you are a one-of-a-kind person with one-of-a-kind requirements. During this difficult time in your life, we are committed to assisting you in helping yourself and getting your fresh start.

You may be wondering why I chose bankruptcy as my primary practice area.

It’s simple: this area of law reminds me of why I went to law school in the first place: to help others in need. My goal is to be a savvy guide for my clients. Help them bridge the gap between their needs, the law, and the bankruptcy process. I don’t tell my clients what to do; rather, I educate them on legal and practical issues so they can make informed decisions.

As law professor, used to explain to my students how bankruptcy laws are comparable to magic.

When a bankruptcy is filed, the debtor and their property are protected by a “magical” umbrella known as the automatic stay. This umbrella is so strong that it stops practically everyone – including the IRS – in their tracks. A mortgage company, bill collector, or creditor cannot interfere with the debtor or any of the debtor’s property unless a court orders otherwise. There is relief at the conclusion of a well-planned bankruptcy, but it will take dedication to the process — accuracy and thoroughness.

Golden Bridge, Thien Thai garden, Hands holding up the bridge

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

“Let this be your peace bridge.” During this trying time, I’d like to be your guide.”

– Diane Drain

INSTEAD OF BUYING A CAN OF SPAGHETTI SAUCE, FILING FOR BANKRUPTCY IS LIKE GETTING A NEW PET.

jar of spaghetti sauce

You may think I’m insane right now, but I’ve got your attention. You may buy the cheapest jar of the same brand of sauce from numerous retailers because you know it’s the same recipe in each jar. Consider getting a new pet in the same way. The puppies in the litter all have the same appearance. You have no way of knowing which one will bite you, rip everything in your house apart, or attack your children or neighbors.

A bankruptcy is similar to getting a new pet.

vicious dog, teeth barred and lunging at you

The bankruptcy will go off without a hitch if you get good guidance, plan beforehand, and have a little luck. But if you don’t have all of them, you’re in for a nightmare. You lose your tax refunds, your friends or family members are sued for money you paid them, and so on. As a result, meticulous planning is essential.

SEARCHING FOR SOMEONE WHO CARES ABOUT BANKRUPTCY ADVICE AND HELP?

Shopping for bankruptcy assistance simply on the basis of price will lead to disastrous outcomes, such as the loss of tax returns. Instead, shop for bankruptcy assistance with the same dedication you put into major purchases like a car or a house.

Take your time and find an attorney who is conscientious, experienced, compassionate, and with whom you have a strong working relationship.

◙ 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