Estimated time to complete the entire form is 30 to 40 minutes. Most of these questions can be answered without the need of your financial documents, but some will require a little more detailed information. Step three deals with income so is a little more complicated, but very important.
Filling out this information and talking with me is not a commitment to filing a bankruptcy, nor is it intended to create an attorney-client relationship. I am not your attorney until you sign a retainer agreement.
IN ORDER FOR THE FORM TO MOVE TO THE NEXT PAGE IT IS VERY IMPORTANT YOU FILL IN ANY QUESTION WITH AN * (asterisk) NEXT TO THE QUESTION - EVEN IF YOU NEED TO PUT "NONE" OR "1).
**It is your responsibility to confirm the trustee sale date and at all times to keep track of that date and any postponements; including the entire time your bankruptcy is pending. This office will not monitor the date of sale for you, but we be happy to answer your questions regarding the trustee sale process.
If you are behind on your house payments: here is a link to the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP):
http://www.justice.gov/ust/eo/public_affairs/consumer_info/docs/HAMP_Fact_Sheet.pdf (Link opens in new tab)
You can also go to: Making Home Affordable at www.makinghomeaffordable.gov (federal web site). (Link opens in new tab)
Please proceed to the final step of this financial Information and we will have all we need to schedule your free consultation.
WARNING: TO AVOID LOSING YOUR INFORMATION DO NOT TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER OR LEAVE THIS SITE UNTIL THE FORM IS SUBMITTED (YOU WILL RECEIVE A CONFIRMATION WHEN IT IS SUBMITTED). PLEASE NOTE - WE DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO ANY INFORMATION UNTIL THE FORM IS SUBMITTED.
This form details how much you spend each month for basic living expenses. Be sure to include the MONTHLY (not yearly) amount for these expenses. In Arizona your utility bill is probably higher in the summer than the winter. Therefore take an average covering the last 12-month period. If you are married and your spouse does not reside with you please make a spreadsheet of their expenses and send them to our office. Make sure to include your name on the spreadsheet.
This test comes from the 2005 changes to the bankruptcy law. Neither you nor I like going through this analysis, but it is the law (somewhat like taking nasty tasting medicine).
Please read the directions below because this is the most complicated area we will be discussing, but it is extremely important. If you provide me with accurate information I can give you good legal advice. Please call if you have any questions.
Thanks in advance for your understanding and patience.
List income from each employer separately.
List all income in the month it was received, not the month it was due.
Include tips and bonuses in the month they were received.
If you receive a commission, list the amount earned in the month it was received.
If income is earned as a sole proprietor - list all income in the month received.
If you receive a salary from your own company list that income in the month you receive it, not when the business received it.
Include retirement income.
Include disability income ; BUT MAKE SURE TO IDENTIFY IF IT IS SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY
Include Social Security, BUT MAKE SURE TO IDENTIFY IT AS SOCIAL SECURITY
Include all monies received from any source, including cashing in retirement accounts, sales of large items and tax refunds,
etc. Identify the source.
RENTS: include money from rents (after deducting amount paid for mortgage/HOA/utilities, etc).
If someone is living with you - include their net income even if they do not give it to you. To calculate net income deduct their own expenses such as: taxes, insurance, expenses related to vehicles, medical, credit cards, student loans, other housing, business debts, etc.
Include all monies regularly received from gifts or loans from friends or relatives.
The income must be for a full month; therefore use the last full 6 months, do not include the current month.
It is better to list everything and then we can remove what does not apply to your situation.
Finish the following page ONLY if your average gross income (ANNUAL income before taxes and other deductions) exceeds the amount permitted for the number of people that live in your home. Normally that means the number of people you deduct on your tax returns, but there are always exceptions. The more accurate job you do here the more accurate legal advice I can give you.
For now include income for everyone who lives in your home. Prepare an explanation if your family has unusual income. Do not include anyone’s social security income as part of the following calculation.
IMPORTANT: The following expenses are monthly, not annual and not per pay check.
These questions pertain NOT to what you were actually paid or received over the last six months. Instead, these are for expenses you will spend or should spend in the future. In other words, unlike income this is a forward looking review of your expenses.
(e.g.: what is the correct amount you should be deducting from your paycheck(s). Or, if you want but do not have life insurance, disability insurance, or health savings plan, etc. Make sure you talk to Diane about this.
Include all expenses, those deducted from your paychecks AND those that you pay directly in cash or by check.
TAXES: If your income fluctuates then add all taxes for the 6 months above, including anticipated taxes on 1099 income then divide by 6.
Are you paid the same amount every week? If so, multiply the taxes from one paycheck by 52 and divide by 12 to determine your monthly taxes.
Are you paid the same amount every two weeks? If so, multiply the taxes from one paycheck by 26 and divide by 12 to determine your monthly taxes.
I REALLY APPRECIATE YOUR COMMITMENT TO PROVIDING ACCURATE INFORMATION WHICH WILL ALLOW ME TO GIVE YOU LEGAL ADVICE TAILORED TO YOUR UNIQUE SITUATION. I LOOK FORWARD TO TALKING WITH YOU. PLEASE CALL IF YOU DO NOT HEAR FROM US WITHIN 24 HOURS AFTER SENDING YOUR FORM. YOU ARE VERY IMPORTANT TO US AND WE DO NOT WANT YOU TO FEEL UNNECESSARY STRESS JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE WAITING TO HEAR FROM US. WE ARE REALLY HERE TO HELP YOU.
REMEMBER: FILLING OUT THIS INFORMATION AND HAVING THE PHONE DISCUSSION IS NOT A COMMITMENT TO FILING BANKRUPTCY AND IT DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP. I AM NOT YOUR ATTORNEY UNTIL YOU SIGN A RETAINER AGREEMENT.
1. Services Available from Credit Counseling Agencies
With limited exceptions, § 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. The clerk of the bankruptcy court has a list that you may consult of the approved budget and credit counseling agencies.
In addition, after filing a bankruptcy case, an individual debtor generally must complete a financial management instructional course before he or she can
receive a discharge. The clerk also has a list of approved financial management instructional courses.
2. The Four Chapters of the Bankruptcy Code Available to Individual Consumer Debtors
Chapter 7: Liquidation
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 some cases, creditors have the right to file a motion requesting that the
court dismiss your case under § 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 the 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 non-dischargeable 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
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 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
Chapter 11 is designed for the reorganization of a business but 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 with an attorney.
Chapter 12: Family Farmer or Fisherman
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
3. 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.
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.