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    Archived pages: 111 . Archive date: 2013-11.

  • Title: NACBA > News > NACBA Awards
    Descriptive info: The 2013 Hammes-Shulman Award.. Richard H.. Nemeth.. The 2013 K.. Colleen Nunnelly Award.. Carol and Rob Colliersmith.. The 2013 Champion of Consumer Rights Award.. California State Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski.. 2013 Distinguished Service Award.. Ray Schimmel.. O.. Max Gardner.. NACBA frequently recognizes the contributions of its members and key allies who go above and beyond the call of duty in helping NACBA realize its goals.. The Champion of Consumer Rights.. In recognition of and appreciation for extraordinary service in protecting American Consumers and, in particular, the recipient s critical role in preserving the rights of consumer debtors in need of bankruptcy relief.. The Distinguished Service Award.. In recognition of and appreciation for extraordinary contributions to the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys and the recipient s many years of invaluable service to our organization.. The Hammes-Shulman Award.. In recognition of the leadership and commitment demonstrated by Norma Hammes and Ike Shulman, the Hammes-Shulman honor significant legislative and advocacy contributions made by a NACBA member.. The K.. In October 2011, NACBA lost a wonderful colleague and long-term NACBA Member, K.. Colleen Nunnelly.. Ever a strong supporter of NACBA s mission, always a positive voice within NACBA and an outstanding State Chair, Colleen will be greatly missed.. In recognition of her contributions to NACBA, we have created the K.. Colleen Nunnelly Award to honor a NACBA member whose collegiality and support for NACBA s mission embodies Colleen s spirit, quiet leadership, enthusiasm, and positive contributions to NACBA.. 21st Annual Convention (San Diego, CA 2013).. Keynote Speaker: Nora Raum.. AWARDS:.. Hammes-Shulman Award:.. Colleen Nunnelly Memorial Award:.. The Champion of Consumer Rights Award:.. U.. S.. Representative Steve Cohen (TN).. Distinguished Service Award:.. Professor Jean Braucher (AZ).. M.. Erik Clark (CA).. Trisha Connors (NJ).. Jenny Doling (CA).. Max Gardner (NC).. Ray Schimmel (CA).. 20th Annual Convention (San Antonio, TX 2012).. Keynote Speaker: Katherine Porter, Esq.. AWARDS:.. Rachel Lynn Foley, Esq.. Hon.. William Houston Brown.. Katherine Porter, Esq.. Joseph A.. Smith, Jr.. , Esq.. Kathy Cruz, Esq.. Brian Flick, Esq.. Jonathan Frutkin, Esq.. Felix Zeno Gloro, Esq.. Joel  ...   Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law.. Champion of Consumer Rights: Hon Linda Sanchez, Chairwoman, U.. House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law.. 15th Annual Convention (Philadelphia, PA 2007).. Thomas F.. Waldron, US Bankruptcy Judge, Dayton, OH.. Champion of Consumer Rights:.. John Conyers, Chairman, U.. House of Representatives Committee on Judiciary.. Marilyn Morgan, US Bankruptcy Judge, San Jose, CA.. Waldron, US Bankruptcy Judge, Dayton, OH.. Craig Goldblatt, Esq.. 14th Annual Convention (New Orleans, LA 2006).. David W.. Houston, III, U.. Bankruptcy Judge, Aberdeen, MS.. Champion of Consumer Rights: Tara Twomey, Esq.. Distinguished Service Award: D.. Jean Ryan, Esq.. 13th Annual Convention (San Diego, CA 2005).. Keynote Speaker: Richard Levin, Esq.. Russell Feingold, U.. Senate.. Travis Plunkett, Consumer Federation of America.. Max Gardner, III, Esq.. 12th Annual Convention (Boston, MA 2004).. Keynote Speaker: Travis Plunkett, Consumer Federation of America.. Extraordinary Service Award: James "Ike" Shulman, Esq.. 11th Annual Convention (New Orleans, LA 2003).. Keynote Speaker: Prof.. Bruce H.. Mann, Univ.. of Pennsylvania Law School.. Morgan King, Esq.. Mark Segal, Esq.. 10th Annual Convention (Las Vegas, NV 2002).. Zoe Lofgren, Member, U.. 9th Annual Convention (Philadelphia, PA 2001).. Elizabeth Warren, Harvard Law School.. Champion of Consumer Rights: Prof.. Elizabeth Warren, Harvard Law School.. 8th Annual Convention (San Antonio, TX 2000).. Jay L.. Westbrook, University of Texas School of Law.. 7th Annual Convention (San Francisco, CA 1999).. Kenneth N.. Klee, Esq.. , UCLA School of Law.. 6th Annual Convention (Miami, FL 1998).. Jerrold Nadler, Ranking Member, U.. 5th Annual Convention (San Diego, CA 1997).. Keynote Speaker: Brady Williamson, Esq.. , Chair, National Bankruptcy Review Commission.. 4th Annual Convention (San Antonio, TX 1996).. Robert E.. Ginsberg, U.. Bankruptcy Judge, Chicago, IL.. 3rd Annual Convention (Boston, MA 1995).. Keynote Speaker: Jerry Patchen, Director, Executive Office for the United States Trustee.. Distinguished Service Award: Henry J.. Sommer.. 2nd Annual Convention (San Francisco, CA 1994).. Quentin Kopp, CA State Senate.. 1st Annual Convention (Ashville, NC 1993).. Ralph H.. Kelly, U.. Bankruptcy Judge, Chattanooga, TN.. Online Resources.. Attorney Finder.. Consumer Tips.. Amicus Assistance.. Links and Articles..

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  • Title: EVENTS
    Descriptive info: Programs.. An integral part of NACBA's mission is enhancing the ability of its members to represent their clients effectively by holding educational programs that provide learning opportunities and collegial forums.. NACBA's.. Annual Conventions.. , held each spring, is the educational seminar of choice for consumer bankruptcy attorneys nationwide.. Judges and nationally recognized speakers provide case law updates, practical tips on effective representation of clients, information on emerging trends nationwide, and in-depth discussions of topical issues.. Over a thousand consumer bankruptcy attorneys each year improve their knowledge and skills and still have time  ...   fall, provide the opportunity for in-depth learning on selected topics of interest to our Members.. Each Workshop offers a choice of several full-day Tracks, both for the new practitioner and for the experienced debtor s attorney.. Learn more!.. Past Programs.. Annual Awards.. Each year, at its Annual Convention, NACBA takes the opportunity to recognize those outstanding individuals who have shown extraordinary commitment and leadership in protecting the rights of debtors as well as those who have demonstrated extraordinary committed to helping NACBA achieve its goals.. We applaud those listed on the awards page..

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  • Title: NACBA > Events > Upcoming Programs
    Original link path: /Events/UpcomingPrograms.aspx
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  • Title: NACBA > Events > Past Programs
    Descriptive info: 19th Annual Convention and Capitol Hill Meeting: Washington, DC 2011.. For the first time in its history, NACBA combined its annual Convention with the annual Capitol Hill Meeting.. More than 20 different sessions were presented, with material critical for both the new consumer bankruptcy attorney and non-attorney staff as well as experienced attorneys.. On Friday evening, immediately following our fabulous evening reception, attendeed and their guests were treated to a private performance by the famed.. Capitol Steps.. The Annual Convention followed NACBA's 2011 Capitol Hill Meeting.. 18th Annual Convention: San Francisco, CA.. Close to 1,600 attendees joined in San Francisco for NACBA s 18th Annual Convention in April 2010.. Featuring six Plenary sessions and twelve Breakout options, plus a full-day Paralegal Training session, this Convention offered participants a wide range of sessions on topics critical to the consumer bankruptcy attorney.. The Convention wasn t just about academics, however.. Around 140 attendees participated in NACBA s first-ever Winery Tour to the Mondavi and Trefethen wineries in Napa Valley, and over 200 participated in our Baseball Outing to San Francisco s famed AT T Park to watch the Giants defeat the Colorado Rockies.. The keynote speaker at Friday s luncheon was the Honorable Zoe Lofgren, a Member of the U.. House of Representatives from California s 16th District since 1994 and the 2002 recipient of our Champion of Consumer Rights Award.. NACBA President Carey Ebert announced this year s recipients of our Champion of Consumer Rights award, which was established in 1993 and is given annually to recognize and honor those individuals who have distinguished themselves through leadership, scholarship, or legal advocacy by giving voice to American families facing financial crisis.. This year s recipients were:.. Representative Steve Cohen (TN-9);.. Representative Bill Delahunt (MA-10);.. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18); and.. Professor Ingrid Michelsen Hillinger, Boston College Law School;.. Assistant Professor Alan White, Valparaiso University School of Law;.. 2010 Capitol Hill Meeting and United States Supreme Court Swearing In.. On Monday, January 26, 2010, twenty-five members of NACBA were admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States in conjunction with NACBA s first-ever group admission ceremony.. Chief Justice Roberts approved the nomination of each  ...   Convention Wrap-Up: Chicago, IL.. NACBA's 17th Annual Convention was a record-sell out; the first NACBA Convention ever to sell out.. There were other "firsts" as well as our first-ever Convention golf tournament, our first "overflow" rooms to accommodate additional attendees, a record number of sponsors and exhibitors (49), a first-ever session for paralegals, and two Convention entertainment sponsors, which brought us a show by the famed Second City Comedy troupe and a reception and boat rides down on the banks of the Chicago River.. Our Convention offered attendees nineteen different sessions, including: Secured Claims: Limitations And Opportunities; Profitably Combating Privacy Discharge Violations; Advanced Taxes; Foreclosure Defense Other Alternatives To Bankruptcy; Your First Peek At Chapter 7 13; Practice Do's And Don'ts: Preventing Fires Before They Start; and an FDCPA Bootcamp.. We also had a record number of Raffle give-aways.. Here are a few of the prizes:.. Tucson 2009 Members-Only Workshop registration plus one night's stay at the JW Starr Pass.. 18th Annual Convention San Francisco Convention 2009 registration plus one night's stay:.. 9 Different Member-designed slogan t-shirts.. Cubs Tickets.. Hot-off-the presses copy of Bankruptcies and Money Disasters of the Rich and Famous (formerly known as They Went Broke).. NACBA's Educational Programs:.. 1993 - 1st Annual Convention: Asheville.. 1994 - 2nd Annual Convention: San Francisco.. 1995 - 3rd Annual Convention: Boston.. 1996 - 4th Annual Convention: San Antonio.. 1997 - 5th Annual Convention: San Diego.. 1998 - 6th Annual Convention: Miami Beach.. 1999 - 7th Annual Convention: San Francisco.. 2000 - 8th Annual Convention: San Antonio.. 2001 - 9th Annual Convention: Philadelphia.. 2002 - 10th Annual Convention: Las Vegas.. 2003 - 11th Annual Convention: New Orleans.. 2004 - 12th Annual Convention: Boston.. 2005 - Members-Only Workshop: Chicago.. 2005 - Members-Only Workshop: Orlando.. 2005 - 13th Annual Convention: San Diego.. 2006 - 14th Annual Convention: New Orleans.. 2007 - 15th Annual Convention: Philadelphia.. 2007 - Members-Only Workshop: Las Vegas.. 2008 - 16th Annual Convention: Hollywood.. 2008 - Members-Only Workshop: Hilton Head, SC.. 2009 - 17th Annual Convention: Chicago.. 2010 - 18th Annual Convention: San Francisco.. 2010 Members-Only Workshop: Puerto Rico.. 2011 19th Annual Convention and Capitol Hill Meeting: Washington, DC.. 2011 - Members-Only Workshop: Colorado Springs, CO..

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  • Title: CONSUMERS
    Descriptive info: Consumer Guide.. Should I file for bankruptcy?.. Before a bankruptcy case can be filed, the debtor must decide whether bankruptcy is, in fact, the best vehicle for dealing with the problems that the debtor faces.. In a typical consumer bankruptcy case, most of the attorney's analysis involves comparing bankruptcy with other possible avenues of handling financial problems.. A necessary prerequisite to such comparison is a knowledge of all the relevant facts.. Although it may sometimes be possible to rule out bankruptcy based on knowledge of only a few facts (for example, that a debtor does not wish to lose certain property that cannot be saved in bankruptcy), it is never possible to decide safely to pursue bankruptcy without a thorough knowledge of the facts.. Without such knowledge, unknown property (such as the right to a tax refund) may be lost in bankruptcy; major debts may turn out to be unaffected because they cannot be discharged or because there are liens on property; or property might be incorrectly valued and, as a result, lost to creditors.. To assess whether bankruptcy will help, take the following steps:.. Learn the advantages and disadvantages of bankruptcy.. It is important to know the benefits and pitfalls of bankruptcy.. While the benefits can be great--discharge of most debts and an automatic stay against creditors--there are disadvantages, particularly the possibility of losing property.. Determine whether bankruptcy will get rid of your debts.. Bankruptcy doesn't eliminate all debts.. If you have many secured debts or debts that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, bankruptcy may not be the best option for you.. Debts that cannot be discharged include taxes, alimony  ...   fall further into debt? For some the answer is no; their debts arose before they lost a job because of layoff, disability or retirement.. For many, though, there is the prospect of medical bills or other continuing financial problems that will result in greater debt.. There is also a slight possibility of a motor vehicle accident or other incident creating a large liability.. Some debtors have only a few debts and have strong defenses against them.. For those debtors, the best avenue might be either litigation or settlement outside of bankruptcy court.. This decision may also depend on whether resources are available to make the alternative of vigorous litigation a possibility.. In all of these cases, a debtor should bear in mind that the same relief in bankruptcy will probably be available later but that filing a bankruptcy case now will impair the right to file another in years to come.. Thus, unless a judgment-proof debtor expects to acquire nonexempt property soon, he or she may wish to wait.. Ultimately, the debtor must make a decision.. Do the advantages of bankruptcy outweigh the disadvantages? Will bankruptcy have a positive effect on the debtor's life? For many consumers who face real threats that can be dealt with in bankruptcy, the answer is yes.. But even those who are not in danger of sustaining a tangible loss may value the peace of mind that comes from having their burden of debt lifted.. Whether debtors hope to someday make it out of a life of poverty or simply seek relief from the constant pressure to pay what is owed, these feelings should not be discounted..

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  • Title: Find Your Attorney
    Descriptive info: Find a Bankruptcy Attorney.. The attorneys listed here are members of NACBA who meet your search criteria.. This is a member referral service.. NACBA is not able to assess the qualifications of individual attorneys and makes no representation with regard to the services provided by the attorneys listed.. Using this service to market products or services to NACBA member attorneys is expressly prohibited.. Your browser does not support inline frames.. Site Map.. Your trial has expired on www.. nacba.. org.. Please select Licensing from the module menu for more details..

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  • Title: NACBA > Consumers > Pros and Cons
    Descriptive info: The advantages of bankruptcy.. The key benefit of bankruptcy is the discharge of debts, which enables a debtor to start over with a clean slate.. However, there are many other advantages, including protection of property and an automatic stay.. Discharge of most debts.. The principal goal of most bankruptcies is to have most unsecured debts discharged.. The bankruptcy discharge totally eliminates any personal obligation to pay many types of debts.. (A few types of debts are not dischargeable.. Also, if a creditor has a lien on property taken as collateral, the debt owed to that creditor may still have to be dealt with after bankruptcy because the lien will, in some cases, survive.. ) For most debtors, bankruptcy is a relatively quick and easy way to end the creditor harassment, hardship, anxiety and marital stress normally associated with debt overload.. Protection of property and income from unsecured creditors.. Bankruptcy is often the only sure way to protect a debtor's property from unsecured creditors (those who did not take a lien on property as collateral at the time of the transaction).. Bankruptcy may provide total protection for a home, car or other vital property.. The amount of property that debtors can protect from creditors through exemptions in bankruptcy is, in many states, far greater than the amount that they can protect under the state law execution processes through which creditors attempt to seize debtors' property or income.. Even where state execution exemptions are similar to or better than the federal bankruptcy exemptions or where the federal exemptions are not available, bankruptcy allows the debtor to avoid having to assert the exemptions repeatedly in response to the execution attempts of different creditors.. Normally, bankruptcy also serves to prevent any garnishment (attachment or seizure) of wages or other income after the petition is filed.. This, in turn, may protect an individual's job if the employer does not favor multiple wage garnishments.. Even attempts to reduce Social Security or other public benefit payments to get back previous overpayments should be preventable by a timely bankruptcy petition.. Tools for eliminating or modifying secured debts.. A bankruptcy discharge does not, by itself, eliminate the liens on a debtor's property that secured creditors have obtained before bankruptcy.. However, other provisions in the Bankruptcy Code do give debtors mechanisms to deal with most secured creditors.. Many types of liens may be eliminated or reduced, either because they impair exemptions or because they are on property that is worth less than the liens.. In a Chapter 13 case, payments on most other secured debts can be lowered, and a reasonable time can be gained to cure almost any defaulted secured debt.. Often, one or more of these aspects of bankruptcy enable a debtor to retain a home, car or furniture that would otherwise be lost.. Automatic stay.. The most valuable feature of a bankruptcy is sometimes the automatic stay, which the debtor gains instantaneously on filing a petition.. The stay is an automatic court order that prohibits all sorts of collection attempts by creditors, allowing the bankruptcy to proceed in an orderly fashion.. It forces an abrupt halt of most creditor actions against the debtor, including repossessions, garnishments or attachments, utility shutoffs, foreclosures and evictions.. Many of these can thereafter be permanently prevented.. The stay is also an effective way (though hardly the only way) to end creditor collection efforts.. Creditors who violate the stay risk contempt of court, money damages and attorneys' fees.. Beyond all this, the stay gives the debtor a breathing spell, time to sort things out.. Other protections available through bankruptcy.. Bankruptcy may offer the only possible way for an individual to keep or regain a driver's license that is subject to revocation because of an unpaid debt arising from a motor vehicle accident.. This, in turn, may mean employment and income for the individual's family.. In some cases, bankruptcy may mean freedom for a debtor who might otherwise be incarcerated for failure to pay support obligations or as a result of a contempt proceeding involving some other debt.. The Bankruptcy Code also protects the debtor from many types of discriminatory actions by government bodies and private employers on the basis of unpaid debts discharged in bankruptcy.. The disadvantages of bankruptcy.. Despite all of the advantages that bankruptcy may provide, there are many valid reasons for choosing not to file a petition.. Some of these concern problems in the cases of particular debtors; others  ...   refuse new credit or other services if the refusal is properly based on other considerations.. The law regarding discrimination by other private entities, such as creditors who provide essential services, is not as clear.. It should be pointed out that this type of discrimination is extremely rare, especially in urban areas where many providers of goods and services are available.. It would be most likely to occur in a small town, where only one merchant offered a particular product or service.. In that case, if it could be shown that later discrimination was a prohibited attempt to coerce payment of the debt, the debtor could go to court to seek damages because the creditor violated the bankruptcy laws.. Again, the situation can best be assessed locally, on a case-by-case basis.. Discrimination against debtors who have filed bankruptcy cases is normally not a problem, but if a debtor is in doubt, he or she should consult an experienced bankruptcy attorney.. Cost of filing a petition.. Besides any attorneys' fee, which will be hundreds of dollars, bankruptcy carries an out-of-pocket cost of at least $284-$299 for the court fees and fees for a prebankruptcy credit counseling briefing and a credit education course requierd after the case is filed.. Some of these fees may be waived for people too poor to pay them.. Other fees may raise this figure somewhat.. In a Chapter 13 case, for example, the trustee is usually entitled to a commission of up to 10 percent of the payments made through the plan.. In some cases, various utilities may require security deposits to ensure continued service.. These costs, like the less tangible costs, must be weighed when deciding whether to file a bankruptcy case.. Where the debts are not large or troublesome, it may simply not be worthwhile to spend the amount necessary to eliminate them.. Failure to solve the underlying problem.. In some cases, bankruptcy is simply the wrong tool to use, and none of the advantages will be realized.. One such situation is that of the debtor whose debts are fully secured by security interests or other liens on property that cannot be impaired through bankruptcy and who does not have sufficient income to remedy a default even with all of the help bankruptcy provides.. Unless there is some advantage to litigating in bankruptcy court, bankruptcy will not solve this debtor's basic problems.. At most, it may discharge the debtor's personal liability for the debts and gain the advantage of the automatic stay for a month or more.. Although in some cases this could be worthwhile, in most it will not ultimately benefit the debtor.. The problem of debtors in this predicament is often that their current expenses exceed their income.. Because bankruptcy (except for Chapter 13's ability to stretch out or reduce certain types of short-term expenses) basically deals with assets and liabilities, it does not address this problem directly in most cases.. The opposite situation can also sometimes cause problems.. If a debtor has substantial and valuable nonliened property that cannot be exempted, a premature bankruptcy will generally hasten property loss rather than prevent it.. Because unsecured creditors must sue the debtor to obtain judgment liens or levies on the debtor's property, loss of the property outside bankruptcy may be quite slow.. On the other hand, liquidation of nonexempt property generally occurs quickly in the bankruptcy process.. And, because unsecured creditors are entitled to the present value of nonexempt property in Chapter 13, a case under that chapter would be quite costly.. In this situation, the best option is probably to wait at least until execution on the property appears imminent, unless the debtor can afford the necessary Chapter 13 case.. Some debtors may be barred altogether from filing a bankruptcy for some period of time.. An individual cannot file if he or she had a previous bankruptcy case dismissed in the past 180 days and the dismissal was (1) for willful failure to abide by court orders or to appear in court in proper prosecution of the case or (2) a voluntary dismissal following a request for relief from the automatic stay of section 362 of the Code.. Finally, some debtors may stand to gain little from a Chapter 7 bankruptcy because they cannot receive a discharge due to a prior bankruptcy.. For these people, the prospect is somewhat brighter.. In most cases, a Chapter 13 case can still provide significant relief.. Member Resources..

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  • Title: NACBA > Consumers > Eliminate My Debts
    Descriptive info: Will bankruptcy get rid of my debts?.. Before deciding to file for bankruptcy, you must understand what bankruptcy will and will not do for you.. Bankruptcy won't solve every problem or get rid of every debt.. Types of debts.. Whether bankruptcy is the right choice depends in large part on the type of debt you have.. There are two main types of debts: secured and unsecured.. Bankruptcy will discharge most unsecured debts,  ...   bankruptcy will remedy.. Bankruptcy won't get rid of all debts, but it will remedy many common problems including credit cards and utility bills, and wage garnishments.. Other debts, such as mortgages and car loans, can be paid down through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.. The debts bankruptcy will not eliminate.. Some debts cannot be discharged through bankruptcy.. These include alimony and child support, student loans and taxes as well as debts incurred through fraud..

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  • Title: NACBA > Consumers > Budget Analysis
    Descriptive info: Analyzing Your Budget To Determine If Bankruptcy Will Help.. A final ingredient in the financial picture of a family or individual is a complete analysis of ongoing expenses and income.. Only with this information in hand can the likely outcome of a bankruptcy be projected, for the family will continue to have its usual expenses, even if most or all debts are discharged, and will have to pay them with the anticipated available income.. A family or individual that is considering bankruptcy must therefore put together a budget of ongoing anticipated expenses and income.. Once this is done, it may become apparent that bankruptcy by itself will do little to solve the financial problem because, even with the elimination of most or all debts, ongoing expenses still significantly exceed anticipated income.. In such cases, at least part of the  ...   Smaller savings can be made by conserving energy, cutting out extra phone service options, reducing or eliminating cable television bills, and cost-conscious shopping at thrift stores, garage sales and supermarkets.. The alternative, of course, is to increase income.. This can sometimes be achieved by a spouse working outside the home, though these gains may be offset by expenses for child care and transportation.. A lower income family may be eligible for government benefits such as food stamps, energy assistance payments or public assistance.. In any case, budget information is important for analyzing whether bankruptcy makes sense.. It is also critical for determining whether a Chapter 13 case is feasible, and it is required on the schedules filed in every bankruptcy case.. Creditors and the court are permitted to examine this information if they wish, though usually they do not..

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  • Title: NACBA > Consumers > Bankruptcy Alternatives
    Descriptive info: Some alternatives to bankruptcy.. Although bankruptcy is often a solution to a debtor's problems, bankruptcy is not always the best solution.. Although bankruptcy is almost always available, it may not always be needed.. Disputed debts.. One alternative is to fight disputed debts.. If a creditor sues you for a payment on a debt you don't believe is justified, you may be able to defend against the creditor's action.. There may sometimes be a real dispute about whether a debt is owed.. For example, a home improvement contractor may arrange a mortgage loan to pay for the job but then do shoddy work or not complete the job.. Similarly, there may be misrepresentations in a transaction to buy a car or to finance some other major purchase.. In such cases, the solution may be to fight the debt in court.. Of course, unless free legal counsel is available, the costs of such a lawsuit may be considerable.. If the debt is large enough, though, it  ...   Working out informal payment agreements with creditors.. If your debts are relatively small, you may be able to enter into agreements with your creditors and avoid a bankruptcy proceeding.. Nonprofit credit counseling agencies can usually assist in working out such arrangements.. Refinancing debts.. A debtor may be able to arrange a debt consolidation loan that will allow him or her to pay bills as they fall due.. Although a debt consolidation loan does not eliminate any of your debt, the new loan may have a longer maturity and be at a lower interest rate than the individual debts.. However, debtors should be very wary of consolidating unsecured debts such as credit card debts into a mortgage loan, because in doing so they will usually transform debts that can be eliminated in bankruptcy into debts that cannot be eliminated.. Financial assistance under state law.. Often states have programs that will help you with utility or mortgage bills.. Before filing for bankruptcy, you should investigate these programs..

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  • Title: NACBA > Consumers > Finding a Lawyer
    Descriptive info: How to Find a Good Bankruptcy Lawyer.. Just as there are good doctors and bad doctors, good teachers and bad teachers, good auto mechanics and bad auto mechanics, so too there are good lawyers and bad lawyers.. Indeed, some attorneys are barely competent or even downright incompetent.. Just as there is no simple, guaranteed way of finding a good doctor, there is no simple, guaranteed way to find a good lawyer.. Here are some things to look for:.. Experience.. It would seem obvious that an attorney who has been practicing for 25 years should know more than an attorney with only 10 years experience.. However, that is not always the case.. There are some attorneys who have practiced bankruptcy law for many years, but have never really mastered the subject.. There are other attorneys who have pursued a general practice, filing a case now and then.. If they have been practicing for 25 years without much in-depth experience in bankruptcy, that does not translate to the expertise you need.. Tip #1:.. Look for an attorney with many years experience in consumer and small business bankruptcy law, who enjoys the respect of other bankruptcy attorneys, the trustees, and the judges.. Training Competence..  ...   that is devoted to training attorneys who represent debtors the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA).. NACBA held two-day workshops in Chicago (July 2005) and Orlando (September 2005) to teach attorneys how to practice under the new law.. More than 3,000 attorneys crunched numbers, filled out worksheets, and learned the new concepts necessary to practice under the new law.. Tip #2:.. Is the attorney a member of NACBA? Did the attorney attend NACBA educational events?.. Someone Who Will Listen to You.. An attorney who tells you what you should do before s/he even listens to the facts of your situation is not the right attorney.. Unfortunately, some attorneys have a "cookie cutter" approach to legal advice which completely ignores the true difficulties or opportunities that your case may present.. Tip #3:.. You want an attorney who will listen to your facts and ask the right questions so s/he will truly understand your case.. Someone Who Will Give You Specific Advice About Your Situation.. Tip #4:.. Your attorney should listen to you and then consider your specific facts in the context of the law.. Only by doing that will s/he be able to give you the advice you deserve - good advice..

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    Archived pages: 111