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WELCOME BACK. THIS NEXT STAGE WILL TAKE YOU THROUGH ENTERING DATA (ON-LINE), MEETING WITH ME (TWICE – VIRTUALLY USING ZOOM OR IN-PERSON) AND PREPARING FOR FILING YOUR BANKRUPTCY.
Each client receives individualized attention because our firm is not a bankruptcy “mill”.
We believe you deserve better than to be treated like cattle headed down a chute. I customize my legal advice in order to respect your unique history, needs and wants.
Taking time to plan a bankruptcy is an absolute necessity; that is the only way to avoid unnecessary surprises.
No one should ever file a bankruptcy without looking at the big picture. There is far too much is at stake – like losing your tax refunds, surrendering a vehicle you need or asking mom to give back the money you just repaid her. Sometimes our clients need to move forward quickly due to a foreclosure or garnishment. We try to accommodate those needs, but all of these issues must be balanced in such way that you understand possible consequences.
The information you provide us will help to paint an accurate and detailed picture of your unique situation. Make list of any questions. You will have several opportunities to ask questions or make corrections.
Always remember you are not alone; we are here as your guide. But also remember a guide does not carry you up the path or walk it for you. A guide’s job is to help you traverse this rocky mountain called “bankruptcy”.
IN ORDER FOR DIANE TO MEET WITH YOU PLEASE COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING FOUR STEPS
Obtain credit reports from all 3 reporting agencies. If you are married obtain credit reports for each spouse. Here is a link to your free annual credit reports at Annual Credit Report. Why free? – The federal law requires that every Arizona resident be able to obtain a free annual credit report from each of the three credit reporting companies.
Do your best to obtain these credit reports (all three for each spouse) in order to fill out the Online Asset and Debtor Information (see below) completely.
The law requires that you list every creditor address on every piece of mail received in the last 90 days before filing a bankruptcy. There are creditor addresses on both the front and back of each statement/bill. These credit reports are intended to supplement, not replace the demands and statements you recently received from your creditors/collection companies.
Note – just because we had the free telephone consultation does not mean I agreed to take you as a client or that you agreed to hire my office to help with bankruptcy. Assuming we agreed to work together, one of two options happened:
- I either sent you an invitation to enter data to a secure on-line portal: www.MyCaseInfo.com, or
- I suggested you contact me if you wanted to move forward.
Please call us if you cannot find that invitation. MyCaseInfo is a secure site and only our firm will receive your financial information.
STOP AND READ:
When your bankruptcy is filed you will be asked to swear under oath that the information in your documents is complete and accurate.
I want you to be very comfortable with this affirmation. Now you can see why it is very important to commit the time and effort now in order to avoid serious complications later.
IN ORDER TO MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER PLEASE PRINT THESE INSTRUCTIONS FOR FILLING OUT THE ON-LINE FORM:
( Instructions-for-MyCaseInfo) ← click on this to download a PDF of instructions.
If after reading these instructions and those on MyCaseInfo you have questions – please call Jay (602-246-7106).
The law requires that you take a credit counseling class before filing bankruptcy. If you are married and filing together then both of you must take on-line course. The law requires the provider to offer the courses for free if you financially qualify.
1) Abacus Counseling – http://www.abacuscc.org/
2) Start Fresh Today: https://www.startfreshtoday.com (10/11/17 – client complained she was left on hold for more than one hour after completing the required information.)
3) Access Counseling – www.accesscounselinginc.org
4) Dollar Learning Foundation https://bothcourses.com/
Other options for providers are: CINgroup, GreenPath, DebtHelper and DECAF.
Note from Diane: Please let me know immediately if you have any problems with the providers I suggested. Always confirm the provider is approved by the US Trustee’s Office. Several non-approved providers are preying on naive folks charging for unapproved services.
NOTE: The credit counseling course certificate is good for only 6 months so please do not take it until you are ready to meet with me and ready to file your bankruptcy.
Beware of offers from fraudulent educational services. They must be approved by the US Trustee’s Office.
Diane will call to schedule your first meeting (which will be using Zoom – free and easy to install) and email a list of items to provide us for your meeting. If you are anxious to schedule the meeting feel free to call at 602.246.7106 to confirm we received notice that you completed the MyCaseInfo form.
The following is an advanced look at some of the items on the list Diane will send confirming your first meeting:
- Half of the retainer fee. You can pay the fee by check, cash, cashier’s check or on-line using your debit card, or a friend or family member can use their credit card at: https://secure.lawpay.com/pages/lawofficedldrain/operating. The balance, plus the court filing fee, is to be paid at your next meeting (when we will be preparing to to file your bankruptcy).
- Your driver’s license and social security cards. – Lost your social security card? Complete an application (www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber) or call 1-800-772-1213.
- Last 7 months of all pay stubs and/or proof of income (if self-employed).
- Credit Counseling Certificate(s).
- Bank statements for last 12 months for all bank accounts (open and closed), including business (if any). Make sure to obtain these statements BEFORE closing the accounts, otherwise the bank may charge for the statements.
- Tax returns for last 3 years
- Copies of all vehicle titles or registrations.
- Copies of law suits, if any.
- If you owe back child support or alimony – calculate how much you owe.
- If you are behind on house payments and plan on saving your home, then bring a statement from lender indicating the amount necessary to bring the loan current, plus a copy of the Notice of Trustee’s Sale, if any.
- If you owe back federal taxes – obtain a literal transcript – IRS form 4506T-EZ from the IRS for the last 4 years.
NOTE: IRS Information about taxes.
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION MIGHT BE OF INTEREST, BUT NOT REQUIRED FOR OUR MEETING:
Gift for you – Starting-Over-Dave-Ramseys-Survival-Guide.pdf (299 downloads)
Some other materials from Dave Ramsey:
- www.EveryDollar.com (premier budgeting site and app);
- www.DaveRamsey.com (good financial advice site- numerous tools);
- Thriving After Bankruptcy webinar and live video Diane’s note – Dave Ramsey tries to persuade folks not to take on any debt (that is fine is you are a millionaire like Ramsey, but not for the rest of us). Don’t take what his people say as gospel. Learn to find your own path by learning from others. Trust yourself.
Our goal is to help you find peace of mind and a bright future. We can only do this with your help
We really care about our clients (you are not a cash register as you are for so many other law firms). But, in exchange for us having the time to help you, we expect that:
- You will help yourself by using common sense.
- You will be responsible for your own choices, after all this is your bankruptcy.
- That you will follow instructions and ask questions before doing something that will hurt you in the long run.
- If you want to spend money on something more than the basic necessities, think how your creditors would perceive that choice? For instance, no one is going to fault you for paying rent/mortgage, insurance, vehicle payments, food, utilities, health needs or for legal advice (what we call ‘basic necessities’). What will get you in trouble is paying back friends or family, transferring valuable assets for less than their fair market value, installing new floors or remodeling your kitchen.
Please let us help you avoid the serious and disastrous consequences of bankruptcy fraud.