I feel like the fool on the hill shouting and no one can hear me.

I love our country and its social programs, and I wish we could pay for them.

If our country were like a family, it would have an income of $22K/yr and expenses of $38K/yr. If we cut out the wars, we’re still in the hole because before we started borrowing the $16K/yr difference from China we were already borrowing from our retirement funds, (or social security trust funds).

Have you known anyone who borrowed from their 401k to save their house? I see it almost daily. And the wars cost our family less than the $16K/yr so we’d still be negative.

Here’s the kicker, our little family has $140K in credit card debt to the bank of China, and several other major banks around the world.

If it was a client of mine I’d say file bankruptcy; but only after you have found a way to cut your budget so that your expenses are less than your income first.

Once you file a bankruptcy what happens to your credit, no one will lend to you anymore. That’s about to happen. We can’t file as a country but our creditors have noticed we’re printing play money to pay the debts. That causes the value of the money we make our payments with to drop. If our hypothetical family printed counterfeit money as their “income from home”, then they’d all go to federal prison. Our president does it and people want to reelect him?

In any case, creditors are figuring out our country’s diabolical plan and they’re now moving to charge us more interest and in a short time, they’ll cut us off. Like a bartender kicking a drunk out the door.

The extra printed money means that if our family’s creditors expected to receive a $100/mo payment, well guess what, now they’re getting $89/mo. But we’re telling our creditors to look at the paper the money’s printed on and that the paper says $100. But they know better. Meanwhile the value of the money is still dropping because we keep printing more.

A country’s currency has a fixed value based on imports/exports/GDP and the like, but it’s relatively fixed. It’s like having a bowl of peanuts. The bowlful is worth $100 no matter how many nuts are in the bowl. 100 peanuts and each is worth a dollar. Add 100 more peanuts and the value of each drops down to 50cents. We’re constantly adding more peanuts.

Eventually they’re going to treat us as though we’ve filed a bankruptcy and stop lending us any money.

Then the reserve currency status is going to go away. Basically it means that when a country buys oil it must first buy dollars and then use the dollars to buy oil. We just print more in the US. But when we have to turn around and buy Euros or Yuan to buy our oil, our price for gas in the US is going to equalize to European prices or something like about $6 to $8/gallon.

Buy Gold

A lot of people say buy gold, but if you do and anything like what I’ve described happens, then the US government will do something like what it did in 1933, historical fact I’m not making this up; the US Gov made it illegal to own more than 5 oz of gold. They didn’t buy it from you they just took it. They literally went bank to banks and emptied out safe deposit boxes.

This is coming my friend. It’s happening all around us right now.

The US Gov’s credit rating is already slipping, it’s already been downgraded. We couldn’t pay off all that debt if we wanted to. When China stops lending us money, even if the wars are over, we won’t have the money to pay for most of the social services that the government is paying for. Anyone whose parents are on social security is going to be moving in with them because it’s going to be cut, maybe by a 4th, half?

They didn’t kick 4% of the prison population out for good behavior, they just can’t afford to house those prisoners anymore.

The least bad thing that will happen, and perhaps the best we can hope for, is that they will start charging us a much higher interest rate which will drastically increase our government’s monthly/weekly operating expenses.

Have you had any friends whose mortgages adjusted up 1% or 2% ? Their mortgage payments went up from $1200 to $1400 or $1600 or even up to $1800/mo. In my experience my client’s monthly payments we up an average of about $300/mo.

If the government’s monthly expenses went up by 10% then automatically 10% of our government services would be cut that month. Some more than others. Of course we could try to borrow even more money, but I don’t think the lenders would approve the credit increase.

The Bankruptcy Minute

I met a new client today for the first time who was single and made nearly $12,000 over the median income. After putting in all of the client’s weekly pay checks into the computer and doing the 8 page analysis, I was able to determine that this client did indeed pass the means test.

By the time I was done with all the data entry and analysis of the various means test rules, the free consultation turned out to be a bit 2 hours long. Thankfully most don’t take as long to complete and come to a conclusion one way or the other. That was a bankruptcy-120-minutes plus.

Murrieta Bankruptcy Attorney

I don’t know if The Bankruptcy Minute might give a free consultation that long, or spend that much time for free on the means test for you. Call her and ask. She’s another bankruptcy attorney in Murrieta, CA who has a great radio ad running.

It’s just that minute thing that got me to thinking. I don’t know about Attorney Mies, but so many bankruptcy attorneys will bring you in for a free consultation for a half hour. If your income is above the median income then that means test takes a long time to complete and it suddenly isn’t such a free consultation anymore. Again, I don’t know if Ms. Mies does that or not, I’ve never heard that she does. Call her and ask how long her consultations are.

I heard from Attorney Lorene Mies who runs the Bankruptcy Minute ads.  She was unequivocal that she spends as much time as she needs to with you in your consultations.  I want to add that here.  A little while ago, an attorney who knows her well, Bankruptcy Attorney Michael Gouveia, just out of the blue expressed to me that he has great respect for her and her professionalism and her practice.  Rather than change this post, I’ve decided to add these two paragraphs. 

I believe that if you are considering Ms Mies as your attorney, then you should go for it.  I am adding my recommendation to that of Bankruptcy Attorney Mike Gouveia who stated that she’s professional and very good at what she does.  What I noticed recently about her is that she shows up to her own hearings.  A great many attorneys will never go the hearing with you and will hire another attorney to go to your hearing for you.  Sometimes we have to, but there are some attorneys who do it for every hearing just as a matter of routine.  I don’t think that’s fair to the client and clearly she doesn’t think so either.  Not only that, she was way early.  That day she didn’t beat me to the court house but she was dressed better.  To sum up, I apologize to Ms. Mies who didn’t like the way this post sounded without these two paragraphs. If you’ve already decided to use Ms. Mies, then be assured, you’ll be well taken care of.

Because I like her radio commercials, and the sound of her voice, I have put her here so you can ask her yourself.

If my client had been required as many firms do, to pay for the 2nd hour of his consultation, then that client would not have been able to afford to find out what protections are available. What if the client were you and you decided you didn’t like the attorney or the attorney’s price. There goes a couple hundred dollars and you can bet almost all of the other bankruptcy attorneys out there are going to charge for that 2nd hour of consultation or even subsequent half hours.

Many bankruptcy attorneys charge you a bunch just to do the means test for you at all.

Now, starting from 2 hours, I’m going to charge you, but if you have a means test issue and if I can get it figured out in 2 hours, which most of the time is the case, then you’re not penalized just because you’ve worked harder and smarter than the average bear. I know that most of the time you have nothing left at the end of the month.

I’m here to help.

Bankruptcy and Tax Refunds

Tax Refunds and Bankruptcy

Soon you’ll have your tax refunds. Many of you have expressed an interest in paying me with your tax refunds once you get them. That’s great. I’m all for it. However, keep in mind who has sued you? Sometimes a remedy that your creditors have is to attach your tax refunds before you even get them. For instance if you owe a tax from a prior year or if you owe a social security overpayment or a student loan on which you have defaulted.

Bankruptcy Estate

In a chapter 7, keep in mind also that a tax refund is part of the bankruptcy estate until you have proven that you have an exemption statute that protects it for you. Things that are exempt are the things that you get to keep. If you cannot protect/exempt it, then you will lose it. Most of the time you probably can protect it and keep it. Anything that you cannot protect or exempt for yourself is part of the bankruptcy estate. The Bankruptcy Trustee’s job is to administer that estate and sell that portion of your property off to pay your creditors. Most of the time, there is nothing for the Bankruptcy Trustee to sell.

If you get it before you file your case and you spend it, then you already got to keep it. However, if you’re going to have any of it left over when you file or if you’re going to receive it after you file, you MUST tell me about it, and it must be listed as an asset in your bankruptcy petition.

Federal Prison

If you don’t tell me about any asset that you own, or have a right to, even if you don’t have possession of it right now, that’s called concealing an asset. Assets also include things you might get, or you might not, such as winning a lawsuit that you’ve filed against your neighbor because his tree busted up your driveway. You might get a few thousand dollars or you might lose and get nothing but a ticked off neighbor.

Fill out the Questionnaire carefully and when you get to the question about tax refunds, don’t just forget about it or pretend it will be forgotten. It won’t. The bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case will remember to ask you if you will get one or if you have recently gotten one.

Penalty of Perjury

You must answer the questions put to you at the hearing under the penalty of perjury and you must be honest. If not, you could be facing up to 5 years in the Federal Prison or up to $500,000 in fines. Usually what happens is they confiscate the object you’ve hidden, or forgotten about accidentally on purpose and then fine you a few thousand and put you away for a couple to a few months. So, there’s no tax refund big enough to make that worth it, and as I said, almost all of the time you can keep it.

Tax Refunds and Chapter 13

You will lose your tax refunds in chapter 13. Maybe you can time the filing of the chapter 13 in order to collect the next one coming but you must in most cases, pledge all of the subsequent tax refunds to your bankruptcy payment plan for the duration of the plan which will be 3 to 5 years. Your Bankruptcy Trustee assigned to your case to use them to pay your creditors.

I can’t pay my bills

I think it would be beneficial for people who are serious about strategies for getting out of debt and who are able to pay a substantial portion of their debts to consider alternatives to bankruptcy.

When not able to do that, I’m here. Call me 9512003613 in California to get out of debt.

Bankruptcy is not for everyone. If you owe only a little debt then it’s like taking a shot gun to kill a fly. But if your debt is a tiger that’s about to eat you, you need a shot gun.

People say, well they can’t squeeze blood from a turnip. I’ve got news for you, they can eat the turnip. A little sauce from the courts and the sheriff and it goes down okay.

Don’t hide away and do nothing about your debts. Either you find a solution with or contact me.

If you want to total your bankruptcy

From their website:

“PAID ATTORNEY ADVERTISEMENT: THIS WEB SITE IS A GROUP ADVERTISEMENT AND THE PARTICIPATING ATTORNEYS ARE INCLUDED BECAUSE THEY PAY AN ADVERTISING FEE. It is not a lawyer referral service or prepaid legal services plan. Total Bankruptcy is not a law firm. Total Bankruptcy does not endorse or recommend any lawyer or law firm who participates in the network.”

I’d call it an enough said moment.

But I still have this to add, at the bottom of their website it says that you can “connect with a local attorney, it’s free.” How can it possibly be free if it’s advertising? It ain’t. They charge the attorneys in their network per lead. The attorney pays for the leads even if you file with someone else. That’s a lot of advertising. It’s expensive too.

And who pays for advertising? The clients do, you do.

LoanMart-Car Title Loans |


Keep Your Car, if you pay the usurious interest rates on time foreverDo you need some quick money fast? If you’re robbing Peter to pay Paul, don’t bother. You don’t create debt to pay debt. It doesn’t work. Never works. Just ask anyone who was refinancing houses to buy houses in the last 10 years. How did that work out? Well it didn’t.

You see, it’s like this, for some reason people think that bankruptcy is bad. But if you’re willing to go to LoanMart and get a Car Title Loan against a car that’s already paid for, you’re already bankrupt and you just don’t know it yet. It bugs me to no end how many people will spend all their savings, then their CDs, then their IRAs to try to keep a home when the home is upside down by half and if somehow they could figure out how to pay the payments long term, they’ll never have any equity in their lifetimes again. Why do it?

You can file a bankruptcy and keep your IRA, keep your 401k, and probably keep most of your savings!

A friend of mine did this in the early 90s, her home had been worth $500K and was down to 250K. She let it go. A while later, she was able to buy another house again. Almost the same model, she picked a house in the same neighborhood for $270K. It was about 2 years later and prices were going back up.

Short time later she met an old friend, he’d been her next door neighbor to the house that she had short sold. Thankfully he’d been able to “save” his house and still owned it. Yes, he’d weathered through the short recession, however, he still had a mortgage of $500K. My friend’s house now had a mortgage $270K.

Car Title Loans

The best thing about a car title loan if you have to get one, you can bankrupt it later if your circumstances don’t improve. Your interest rates will be usurious by any standards and frankly it would serve them right. But there is a problem with it, you’d have to give them the car or make a deal with them to pay the loan off through a Reaffirmation Agreement. Interest rates, principals and legnth of contract can all be renegotiated at that time, but only if the lender agrees to it. What if they don’t? You lose your car.

Pre-Bankruptcy Credit Counseling

Before you can file your case, you must submit yourself to credit counseling. It’s called Pre-Bankruptcy Credit Counseling or Pre-Filing Credit Counseling.  Most people do it online. I’ve seen companies that charge $75 per couple or $50 per person.  However, these are my current favorites.



For only $16 per case Urgent Credit Counseling which is also reliable and quick. This outfit doesn’t use law firm codes but instead wants you to enter my email and my fax 858 228 9763.

This one is only $5 but is clunky to navigate and takes a long time to complete. Pre-Filing Bankruptcy Credit Counseling for $5 or possibly as low as $0ONLY If you have some extra time before your case is filed, can you use this one.


After you File Your Case you MUST also do a Debtor Education Course, If you filed individually then (CLICK HERE FOR THE $15 COURSE) use code 357892 and it MUST be done prior to the hearing date.

If you filed a joint bankruptcy case, use Urgent Credit Counseling for the $24 course which covers the two of you or $12 each.

Cheap Pre-Bankruptcy Credit Counseling

Pre-Bankruptcy Credit Counseling

Before you can file your case, you must submit yourself to credit counseling. It’s called Pre-Bankruptcy Credit Counseling or Pre-Filing Credit Counseling.

Most people do it online. I’ve seen companies that charge $75 per couple or $50 per person and then recently I saw these two. They’re my current favorites.

For only $25 per case where your advantage is that you can get someone on the phone or chat if you need to. The turn around is quick and reliable. My law firm code is 35789234.

For only $16 per case Urgent Credit Counseling which is also reliable and quick. This outfit doesn’t use law firm codes but instead wants you to enter my email and my fax 858 228 9763.

This one is only $5 but I haven’t had a client who used them yet.
Pre-Filing Bankruptcy Credit Counseling for $5 or possibly as low as $0.
ONLY If you have some extra time before your case is filed, use this one.

How to get Credit Reports


If you walk in with 3 credit reports that are a mile long each, I’m going to get your credit reports from my service, download them directly into my software and charge you for it. For a married couple for 3 a source report it is $53 and single $33 at this writing.

But don’t worry about that because my attorney’s fees are downright affordable compared to everyone else.

Free Credit Report

A great way to know how many creditors you have is to go to to get your free annual credit reports. Make sure that you check mark all three credit reports on the page that asks which ones you want. Last I saw if you tried to check one at a time, it wouldn’t let you go back again unless you cleared your cookies first.

Also is a good place to go. They charge for a credit rating monitoring service but then allow you to get a free credit report with all three merged reports, once you have that, go back immediately and cancel the service before they charge you. You may have noticed that their link doesn’t work, they recently wrote to me and asked me to delink this post, I guess they didn’t like it that I was telling people to cancel their worthless service. 

Having your credit report is a great tool for assisting your bankruptcy attorney to process your bankruptcy petition whether in chapter 7 bankruptcy or chapter 13 bankruptcy. However, it doesn’t end there, you may have received collection letters, or letters from attorneys, or even a summons and complaint. Make sure that you bring those to your attorney because he or she doesn’t know about them unless you tell him. And if you verbally tell him and don’t provide it in writing, you may be wasting your breath.

Documentation Beats Conversation Every Time.

Not sure if you’ve been sued? But have you been delinquent on your debt payments for a while? Have you moved or had your house foreclosed?

You’d better Check the Courts and County Recorder’s Offices:

Check the County Recorder’s Offices to see if a creditor has recorded a judgment lien against you:


Call for a FREE Consultation 951-200-3613
(c) 2013 All Rights Reserved

$100 Starts

Bankruptcy $100 Starts

You may have read this before. But what does it really start? You think you’re getting a cheap bankruptcy or an affordable bankruptcy, but what are you getting really?

Your chapter 7 case will not be filed until you have paid the attorney’s fees, plus the filing fee, plus the credit counseling in full and completed the credit counseling. Period. This is true whether you come to me or anyone else.

Some of the $100 Starts guys (definitely not all) might file your case for you for $100 but only if you pay the $281 filing fee for a chapter 13 bankruptcy which is a bankruptcy with a payment plan for 3 to 5 years. Do you want a bankruptcy with a payment plan for 3 to 5 years just so you can afford to pay your attorney to file the case?

$50 Starts

$100 or $50 starts you making your payment plan against your attorney’s fees to your attorney, and that’s all. In my case it starts me taking your creditor phone calls when they start coming in which is usually the following day. Many attorneys won’t even do that. They say they’ll take the calls but then don’t do it until you’ve paid in at least half of your attorney’s fees. Or they’ll straight up tell you that they won’t take any calls until you’ve paid in half of the attorney’s fees.

For $100 will they send letters or make phone calls to your creditors for you? Of course not, neither will I . . . well, maybe one if it’s urgent. But it sounds like that’s what you’re getting doesn’t it? Immediately a bunch of phone calls and letters going out from the attorney’s office to beat down the bad guys. But all you get for it is a payment plan.

What I will do is this; once you have made the down payment to me, I’ll take your creditor phone calls for you. You must start taking your own calls again and when the collection agents call, tell them that you’re going to file for bankruptcy and that your attorney’s name is David Nelson and ask them to call me and verify it at 951 200 3613. Of course, don’t do this until we have met, signed retainers and you have paid me at least a down payment. 98% of your creditors will never call you back directly once you do that. They call me and verify it then leave you alone. Every now and again, one of them gets overzealous and then I write that one a letter. Once they receive the letter they leave you alone.

Affordable Bankruptcy

But even if all you did was start your payment plan, how much of a dent have you made if the attorney charges you $2000 for your affordable bankruptcy? Nada mucho. My prices generally start from $700 for widows, orphans and cancer patients or disabled folks plus the filing fee, up to My usual range which is $1000 to $1500 in attorney’s fees plus the filing fee for most cases and of course if you have several houses or a ton of cars or a lot of income, it can go up steeply from there.

But even so, I’ve had clients with a half a dozen houses and even those cases were only $2100 in attorney’s fees. So, still a strong affordable price compared to most. Normally, I don’t charge for extra creditors or extra collection agencies. Most people don’t have more than about 50 anyway. So, it’s not that much extra work from 20 or 25 to get to 50 data entries in a keyboard.

Of course, If you have a garbage bag full of unsorted collection agents, it’s going to cost you a bit more if you want me to pick through it, sort the duplicates and type up more than that range. Just bring me one statement from each account. IF you bring me your credit report make sure it has the addresses of the creditors on it so that I don’t have to search the web for them. IF it doesn’t, make sure you seach the web for those addresses and put them on the credit report or make sure you bring extra money to pay me to do it.

A great way to know how many creditors you have is to go to to get your free annual credit reports. Make sure that you check mark all three credit reports on the page that asks which ones you want. Last I saw if you tried to check one at a time, it wouldn’t let you go back again. Also is a good place to go. They charge for a credit rating monitoring service but then allow you to get a free credit report with all three merged reports, once you have that, go back immediately and cancel the service before they charge you.

So what makes more sense to you? $100 starts you on a payment plan to pay off $1500 or $2000 in attorney’s fees or $100 starts you on a payment plan to pay off $700 (if you’re disabled or a widow or sick) to $1200 .

Bankruptcy Documentation

Supporting Documentation To properly evaluate your case I require the following:
(If you can’t get it all together prior to our initial free consultation, show up anyway with whatever you can find)

60 days of pay stubs or pay advices from all sources provided you have a lower income (ask me if you don’t know).
7 months of pay stubs or pay advices from all sources if you have a higher income. You must include your disability, social security, retirement, worker’s comp, unemployment, general relief, spousal and child support which you receive as well. I must have all sources of income.
Self-Employed, then I require a completed Profit & Loss for the 6 months prior to the filing date of your case.

Car Registrations
Car Insurance Policy Declarations Page
Car Statements showing the pay offs
Print Outs from the Kelly Blue Book showing the trade in value of the vehicles.

Statements showing the balances on the loans for all loans for all houses.
Statements from the HOAs showing the monthly payments.
Statements (usually shows in the impounds) showing how much the home owner’s insurance and property taxes are.
Recent Comparable Sales or a recent appraisal on the real estate. If you have equity, then probably an appraisal will be helpful if there is a substantial amount. However, if you are interested in a chapter 13 where you can strip the 2nd mortgage lien off of your house, then an appraisal is a must. Call my friend Bruce Adams 858-442-4666 for an appraisal. Do not discuss the mortgages or liens on the property with him.
Grant Deed – If your real estate is co-owned with someone to whom you are not married, then I also need the grant deed proving the joint ownership, unless there is no equity in which case, it doesn’t matter.

The most recently required to be filed tax returns. If you own a corporation, then we must turn those in as well. If you are doing a chapter 7 then I only need the most recent tax returns which were required to be filed, and if you are doing a chapter 13, then I need the most recent two years.

If you do not have the returns – “You can obtain a free transcript on the Website ( by clicking Order a Transcript under the Online Services option, or by calling 800-908-9946 and following the prompts in the recorded message, or by completing and mailing a request for a transcript to the address listed in the instructions.

The IRS has created a new Form IRS Form F4506 Tax Transcripts EZ Form, it is Short Form Request for Individual Tax Return Transcript, to order a transcript of a Form 1040 series return. The IRS created this streamlined form to help those taxpayers trying to obtain, modify or refinance a home mortgage.”

The attached instruction page indicates where to fax the form to the Fresno Office of the IRS.

The most recent 60 days worth of bank statements for any and all bank accounts.

Statements or administrative documentation stating what kind of retirement account you have, whether it’s an IRA or a 401k or something else.

Must be provided with filed stamps from the County Recorder’s if it applies. If you don’t know what it is, probably it doesn’t apply.

Insurances – If you own a business, then proof of all the insurances required in the industry for that business, such as premises liability insurance, general liability, errors and omissions, worker’s compensation, etc.
Shares – Proof of the percentage of ownership or numbers of shares and who are the other share holders.
Corporate Taxes – The most recently required to be filed tax returns.
Corporate Assets – If the corporation owns anything, a list of what it owns, and all the applicable stuff above if the corp owns any of those types of items.
Corporate Debts – A list of all the corporation’s debts. How much and to whom owed, and any evidence of those debts such as bank statements, credit card statements, contracts and so on.

One statement from each account that you owe money or property to. I only need one from each company, but also include the collection agencies, collection attorneys, law suits, judgments, wage garnishments, bank levies, notices of trustee sale, notices of default, and foreclosure and eviction information too.
Taxes – not just one statement, bring me the whole box of every statement or letter ever received from the taxing authority in question for as many years as you have on the subject.
Support, child, spousal or family – bring a copy of the support order or judgment or divorce decree showing how much and for how long you have to pay. will give you all three of your credit reports for free once per year if you haven’t already gotten free credit reports so far this year. However, when you get to the page that have the three options for each of the three credit reports, Equifax, Experian and Trans Union, make sure that you check each of them off the first time that you get there. You can only do one credit report at a time, but if you only check one off that first time that you’re there, they will assume that you only wanted one of them and won’t let you apply for the others anymore. requires that you sign up a service that will monitor your credit ratings and reports for you. I believe it still costs $60, but it gives you your credit reports for free. Once you have immediately downloaded your credit reports, (all three in one merged file), because the monitoring service is free the first month, you go back and cancel the service before they have a chance to charge you for it.

Your church or your favorite charity probably give you at least annually a statement which shows how much you have paid to them. Bring that with you too. It may show on your tax returns. However, if your circumstances have changed and your income has gone up or down, it may not reflect correctly in your last years tax return so you’ll want to bring the statement from your church, pastor or favorite charity.

If this is not a make or break issue for your Means Test, for instance, if you only pay $20 or $40/mo, then it’s going to be less critical that you are able to provide the documentation. If your tax returns are close to what you currently pay, then it’s going to be less critical that you get something from your church. However, if you do pay 10% or more to your church, you’re probably going to have to prove it even if your income is already below the Median Income.

If anyone has died and left you any money or property that you haven’t yet received, bring all the documentation that you have on it with you.

For instance, if you received a life insurance payment, how much is it, where is it, and was it already given to you or is it being administered by some sort of annuity plan etc?

If an estate is in probate, you must tell me about it.

If someone has died and left you a trust, bring the trust with you. I require access to the trustee to find out exactly how the money or property is held and how much you expect to get and when.

If someone is in ill health and might die and leave you any money or property, let me know.

Bring all of the documentation of your claim with you. This possible lawsuit is one of your assets, whether you want to press it forward in court or not, and once you file the bankruptcy, it no longer belongs to you, it belongs to your bankruptcy trustee unless you can protect it and keep it. That may be possible. It may also be possible that the Trustee will decline to pursue it in which case it will revert back to you, but you must give him or her the choice, if you do not and you later change your mind and sue and win, you can be fined or even jailed for stealing from the bankruptcy trustee.

Remember to Fill Out My Online Questionnaire
To make a Payment go Here. However, do not make any payments until you have signed your retainers.

Before you can file your case, you must submit yourself to credit counseling. It’s called Pre-Bankruptcy Credit Counseling or Pre-Filing Credit Counseling.

Most people do it online. I’ve seen companies that charge $75 per couple or $50 per person and then recently I saw these two. They’re my current favorites.

For only $25 per case where your advantage is that you can get someone on the phone or chat if you need to. The turn around is quick and reliable. My law firm code is 35789234.

For only $16 per case Urgent Credit Counseling which is also reliable and quick. This outfit doesn’t use law firm codes but instead wants you to enter my email and my fax 858 228 9763.

This one is only $5 but I haven’t had a client who used them yet.
Pre-Filing Bankruptcy Credit Counseling for $5 or possibly as low as $0.
ONLY If you have some extra time before your case is filed, use this one.

Which Chapter in Bankruptcy is Right For Me?

Chapter 7 vs Chapter 13

I will endeavor to be brief.

The moment that you file your case, whether in chapter 7 or chapter 13, a temporary restraining order is issued by the bankruptcy court prohibiting collections of any type with a few exceptions. Exceptions include things like child and spousal support and certain types of government debts.

A chapter 7 bankruptcy, also called a straight bankruptcy, and also called a liquidation bankruptcy is the one that most people are thinking of and talking about when they discuss bankruptcy. Over in about 4 months, this is it’s primary advantage, you’re in and you’re out again.

In a chapter 7, you’re allowed to keep only so much property. Whatever you own over and above what you get to keep, the bankruptcy trustee takes away from you, liquidates or sells it, and uses the proceeds to pay your creditors a pro rata or proportional share of the funds based on the percentages of the total debt that’s owing from you to your creditors. Suffice it so say that if you owe $100,000 and the Trustee is able to collect $25,000 from your property, then your creditors will get about 25% of the debts that you owe them.

Most of you will keep everything you own and your creditors will get nothing.

Any portion of the debt left over after the trustee administers your case, whether it’s 95% of the balance or 100% of the balance that’s unpaid, that portion is discharged by the bankruptcy.

So in a small nutshell a Chapter 7 is a bankruptcy where the bankruptcy trustee may take property away from you (if there’s any to take) and when it’s over, your consumer debts are discharged or in other words, you receive a court order, called a discharge order, which is a permanent injunction prohibiting collections.

Remember that there are exceptions to the discharge. Certain kinds of debts are exempt from the discharge and will remain a personal obligation for you to have to pay once your case is over. Child Support, Spousal Support, Student Loans, Recent Income Taxes, and a number of things which are similar in nature are not discharged. You will still have to pay your mortgage if you want to keep your house, you will have to pay for your car if you want to keep your car as well. For more details (but only if you’re in California) and to discuss specific debts, call me 858 452 4500.

You must qualify for a chapter 7 by showing that your income is sufficiently low or that certain expenses are sufficiently high or both. This test is called the Means Test.

With Chapter 13 you get to keep everything. If you would have lost it in the chapter 7, you can still keep it in the chapter 13 as long as you pay the bankruptcy trustee for it instead of giving it to him and letting him sell it. A chapter 13 case is a bankruptcy with a payment plan. Payment plans last from 3 to 5 years.

The payment is determined by your income and expenses. If you don’t qualify for a chapter 7, then your payment is determined by what the means test states you have to pay.

There are other reasons you might file a chapter 13 instead of a chapter 7, in a chapter 13, you are able to propose a payment plan that allows you to catch up unpaid payments on your home and thus at the end of the payment plan, you are current on your first mortgage again. If you have a 2nd mortgage and your home’s value is lower than the balance on the first mortgage, then you may qualify to have the 2nd mortgage removed from your home.

If your vehicle is more than 910 past the purchase date, you can cram down or reduce the balance on the car to the car’s value. Arguably, that might not be much of a reduction after 910 days have gone by but I have seen it be as much as $5000 in principal and a reduction in the interest rate of about 5%.

Volker Pispers bespricht Schulden

If you don’t understand about debt, trust me, it’s not because you don’t speak German, it’s because you grew up in a world where debt is a drug and we’re all addicted.

Volker Pispers über Schulden (19.11.2011)

So we have a debt crisis, and how do we get out of it, with growth. And how do we support the growth? With Debt. Do you know the song, “there’s a hole in the bucket?”

$799 Bankruptcy

Sometimes you can find it.

Most of the time however, like what I’ve encountered here in Southern Riverside area of California, usually, it’s a bait and switch. They claim that you’ll get a cheap bankruptcy and when you get there, or when you call, it turns out that it gets you the most minimal bankruptcy ever, and probably you won’t even meet an attorney. When I occasionally charge only $700 plus the filing fee, it’s because the client is a widow or a cancer patient and when I do charge so little, guess what? You won’t meet a paralegal, I still go to the hearing with you, and unless I’m sick or on vacation, I’ll be the attorney at your hearing, and you’ll meet me when you get to the office, and I will be the one who types your bankruptcy.

Before we get started, Disclaimer: Nothing in this article may be mistaken as legal advice. Attorney David Nelson, is licensed only in California, and this article is intended only for readers in California. This article is for entertainment, educational, extra-curricular, and medical purposes only. If you decide to rely on this, heaven help you.

I’ve called similar cheap ads before, and other bankruptcy attorneys I know have called similar ads. Here’s what we’ve found:

Most of the cheap bankruptcy guys don’t go to the hearing with you unless you pay them more. Even then they probably don’t go themselves but hire a pinch hitter attorney to go for them and that guy won’t have read your file, and doesn’t know you or your case. At least in Riverside the pinch hitters are good attorneys who take good notes, but they can’t fight for you on the spot because they have so little knowledge of the case, the file or you. In fact, often you’ll find that the first phone call you’ve made was to a paralegal and he has an attorney who “supervises” him. If that’s the case, run the other direction. In that situation, if you want to meet with an attorney, you can, but only if you pay them more. If your income approaches the median income for your jurisdiction, it will cost you more. If they have to do the whole means test calculation for you at the consultation, it will cost you a lot more. If you have a house, it will cost you more. If you owe any taxes even property taxes, it will cost you more. If you have more than 10 or 15 creditors/accounts/collection agents/attorneys who must be listed in your bankruptcy petition, it will cost you more. If there is a judgment against you, and your bank accounts have been levied, it will cost you more. If your wages are about to be garnished or are being garnished, it will cost you more. If you have a car or a refrigerator that must or might need to be reaffirmed, it will cost you more. If the attorney or his paralegal fart while you’re in the office, that’s a value added perk and it will cost you more.

Most of us who have called this or similar ads have found that by the time the average bankruptcy client’s consultation is over, it will cost the retail price of $2000 or more to go bankrupt, plus the filing fee. Incidentally, the filing fee currently for a chapter 7 bankruptcy is $306 at this writing.

Even worse, many unscrupulous or lazy attorneys (and I haven’t heard or seen that the $ guys do this) will try to

upsell a chapter 13 bankruptcy

to you with a payment plan where the attorney makes at least $3500 to $4500 per case. Lovely isn’t it?

Bankruptcy attorneys who don’t do the careful analysis will advise a chapter 13 because your income is “too high.”

You require a careful analysis of your income and expenses in order to know if you really qualify for a chapter 7 or not. There are a lot of frequently overlooked factors or factors that require a lot of documentation. Some attorneys just don’t know what they are, especially if they were doing divorces a year ago and decided to get into the bankruptcy boom. I’ve been doing bankruptcy since 1994. Some attorneys are just too lazy to amass the required documentation in order to prove your case for you. Of course, some just want more money per case.

Will everyone do this? Of course not, will the cheap bankruptcy guys do this to you? I haven’t head that they do and I believe that most won’t based on what I’ve heard and the calls I’ve made, just that by the time you get done, they’re charging you retail for your discounted bankruptcy. Possibly some of them have changed their ways since I and my colleagues telephoned to ask about prices, I don’t know. In fact, I’m writing in the hope that it will spawn a reformation in the practice of the bait and switch statewide.

The firms that will more likely try to get you into a chapter 13 are the big ones. Several names on the door that sort of thing. Trust me, if you go in for a bankruptcy consultation to a Victorian building on the outside of downtown and the lawyer(s) have several support staff and a few new Mercedes in the lot, guess who’s paying for all that? Are they better at bankruptcy than me? Nope. Better looking, yes, and they’ll charge you more for that too. They are better at marketing, their websites cost them mega-bucks per year in upkeep and they pay huge rents and payrolls and their personal expenses are more than many of you make in a month or a quarter.

Don’t get me wrong, if you make a good bit more money than the average bear, then you have a higher than average probability of having to do a chapter 13. That’s what it’s for, if your income is significantly above the median, you might not be able to avoid a 13, but I’ve also seen cases where the income was a good bit over the median which qualified for a chapter 7. Did they qualify because I’m some bankruptcy wizard or a debt vampire who suck the vacuum of your finances away? No. Those clients qualified because once the analysis was done and the documentation gathered to prove the analysis, they did in fact qualify for a chapter 7.

Congress hasn’t left any wiggle room in the Means Test.

Means Test

Either you have passed your means test and you qualify for a chapter 7 or you didn’t. What the right attorney brings to the table is the analysis, not a way to fudge the numbers and make you qualify but the proper analysis based on the right reasons that show that you do qualify when you in fact already do.

Because every case is different, you must get the right consultation. Yes, even at chez moi it will cost you more than the average 7 but it will still be less than a firm with several names on the door. Possibly less than the guys with the cheap bankruptcy advertising.

Discharging Taxes

When discharging taxes, the right attorney can make all the difference. Especially if you call early. See this article. If you owe a lot of taxes, and I’m not talking about property taxes, but the board of equalization taxes, federal income taxes, self employment taxes and the like. And if you do, expect to pay more if you want your attorney to tell you that you have a high probability of discharging them in a bankruptcy.