Don’t Let The New Bankruptcy Law Scare You
On October 17, 2005 the world of bankruptcy law changed for the worse. Or did it? Is it really that much harder to file bankruptcy under the new bankruptcy law?
In the run up to the effective date of the new law, bankruptcy filings increased to record numbers in virtually every bankruptcy court district in the United States. Scary terms like “means test” and “bankruptcy credit counseling” seemed to drive people out of the wood work to beat the deadline.
After the law changed, many lawyers who used to file bankruptcy under the old law simply gave up filing bankruptcies because of a perception that the new bankruptcy law is overly complicated and time consuming.
Filing bankruptcy under the new bankruptcy is a bit more complicated and is certainly more time consuming, but with effective bankruptcy counsel, successfully restructuring your debt is still possible.
One of the most feared provisions of the new law is the bankruptcy means test. The bankruptcy means test is a calculation used to determine what type of bankruptcy a debtor might file. To simplify things, the bankruptcy means test requires a debtor considering bankruptcy to be matched against the median state income of the debtor’s state of filing.
Debtors who are over the median state income may have a more difficult time filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy and might have to file a chapter 13 bankruptcy which requires a monthly repayment to the bankruptcy court. The bankruptcy means test will not prevent a debtor from filing a bankruptcy; it will only help determine what type of bankruptcy must be filed.
Most bankruptcy attorneys are finding out that the majority of people considering bankruptcy seem to be under the median state income initially and mostly unaffected by the bankruptcy means test.
Another requirement that seemed to strike fear in the hearts of debtors and attorneys everywhere is “bankruptcy credit counseling”. The new bankruptcy law requires every debtor considering bankruptcy to complete bankruptcy credit counseling within the six months preceding the filing of the bankruptcy.
Most bankruptcy attorneys are finding that the counseling requirement has not been much of an issue. Most debtors choose to do a brief telephone counseling session and the maximum cost to the debtor is set by law and cannot exceed $50.00. For a list of available bankruptcy credit counselors, check BankruptcyCreditCounselors.com (www.bankruptcycreditcounselors.com).
Don’t let the new bankruptcy law scare you. If you need help, get help. Consult with an expert bankruptcy attorney in your area that offers free consultations to explore all of your bankruptcy options.