Health Inequalities From Economics And Race

Health Inequalities From Economics And Race
Individuals have lengthy recognized that well being inside the U.S. just isn’t an equal thing. But now, as a result of a brand new report from your Facilities for Disease Manage (CDC), you will discover figures to show it.

The first-ever “Health Disparites and Inequalities Report” shows startling variations in things like countrywide mortality rates, behavioral danger elements and use of wellness treatment throughout numerous economic and racial teams within the U.S. Based on the CDC, the objective would be to now utilize the compiled data as benchmark for long term progress. Additionally, by quantifying and highlighting main well being disparities, the CDC hopes to inspire motion and “facilitate accountability.”

A number of the starkest findings from the report middle around the dramatic disparities amongst high- and low-income People in the usa. Low-income residents report as much as 11 fewer “healthy” days monthly than their high-income counterparts. Also notable: Preventable hospitilzation charges increase significantly as income decreases.

If there had been no disparities during this region, the CDC estimates the U.S. would help save $ billion in wellness care expenses each year.

Other parts of the analyze concentrated on cataloging health results and access to well being care based on race. Hypertension, for instance, is additional prevalent in non-Hispanic blacks (42 %) than whites (28.eight percent). Non-Hispanic blacks also hold the highest prevalence of obesity, although whites have greater prices of suicide. African-American infants are as much as three instances a lot more likely to die than infants born to girls of other ethnicities

The brand new Economics of Bankruptcy Law

The brand new Economics of Bankruptcy Law
The brand new Economics

(Bankruptcy Alternatives)

Considering that 2007, the dynamics with the monetary planet, as we realize it, have improved significantly.

Wall Street dominates main road, financial establishments appear to get more prospective pull than our politicians, along with the center class is slowly disappearing as a result of the plague of foreclosure and unemployment quickly spreading around our nation.

These activities have lots of causes.

The story starts using the introduction of the sub-prime home loan: A lending product with colossal defects based on the deadly monetary assumption that home values would continue to rise (15% or a lot more) each and every year for an indefinite interval. This item was then resold to investors as a “mortgage derivative” and to bank and financial establishments, all around the globe, all assuming a permanent appreciation in house values.

In 2007 and 2008, when it became obvious that real estate values had not just peaked but had been falling, financial establishments started failing 1 by one. A killer virus, the sub-prime loan and its derivatives, was toppling the mighty Wall Street giants. The banking institutions and financial institutions, betting to the sub-prime item, had produced a deadly miscalculation. The “Great Recession” had begun in earnest eliminating a when vibrant real estate, development and manufacturing industry in our country.

At that time, seeing the desperation inside the financial program, the administration managed to create a “white knight”, the $750 billion bailout. Our tax dollars, provided to the financial institutions, postponed the banks failures, and they rose from their monetary “death bed”.

As these funds stabilized the publications from the financial institution that hadn’t currently failed, for the time becoming, a curious pattern began to produce. Banking institutions were frightened to lend to borrowers desperate to conserve their homes, and companies. This began the cruel hoax known as the mortgage modification applications. The financial institutions and financial institutions who developed the sub-prime disaster, after being revived by an unprecedented infusion of our tax bucks, left the middle class struggling, and also the house owner dangling, Fifteen million foreclosures later, the middle course has needed to beg for its bailout.Being a bankruptcy attorney for your last 29 a long time, I’ve seen the numerous upturns and down turns with the economy. Recessions in early 80’s, and also the early and late 90’s developed some influence in different sectors with the economy. Rich and bad arrived into my office for guidance. In most circumstances we had been in a position to the client to financial recovery along with the economic system marched on.

Now there is a distinctive and troubling set of clients with urgent and deeply scarred monetary and individual psyches. They’re the betrayed middle course.

Because they march into my workplace 6 days every week, they’re mistrusting. They have been beaten down by a system which has worked for them all their lives. They have lost their retirements, their jobs, and typically exhausted all money to maintain a property they have possibly already misplaced or are in the verge of dropping.

They’re angry at a $750 billion bailout bundle that served only the monetary institutions. They’re angry at a home loan modification method that continues to be bumbling and inept since its inception. Their stories of lost paperwork, incorrect advice, damaged guarantees, and intense concern and frustration, have induced numerous to get physical and emotional troubles. Many demand health care for prescriptions and counseling – all straight connected to their monetary stress that has no resolution.

Numerous blame on their own for his or her monetary issues. This is exactly where the more experienced bankruptcy attorneys move in. The customers all want to know the hundreds of thousands of folks who are trying to conserve their property or or else keep fiscally afloat, are heading by way of the same embarrassing, disrespectful, stress inducing expertise. There’s no self blame right here, only economic blunders in the greatest level which have now ricocheted down for the center course, with devastating effects (Document bankruptcy filings and record foreclosures in 2010).Bankruptcy will be the final alternative for many people. Nevertheless, as I mentioned, the physics of the monetary planet have transformed. Chapter seven (easy bankruptcy) and Chapter 13 (reorganization) are now equipment of safety and preservation for that middle course. These Chapters are Federal Law and designed to assist you keep your house and company and eradicate credit card, healthcare costs, specific taxes and foreclosure financial debt.

The stigma or embarrassment of submitting bankruptcy evaporated when the monetary institutions (your creditors) lined as much as obtain their bailout money to stay afloat in 2008. Financial institutions, home loan companies as well as other monetary establishments have both been bailed out by your tax dollar, filed their own bankruptcies, or in several instances are under investigation or indicted for unlawful lending procedures. Goldman Sachs, who allegedly created money off of these traders, also wagered privately the sub-prime loans would shed worth. Goldman Sachs compensated a $500 million settlement towards the authorities for allegedly taking part in both sides and profiting. But, regardless of this selfish habits by collectors, borrowers are still reluctant to search for advice from a bankruptcy professional. They regularly fall victim to the scam modifiers and so-called repayment programs in epidemic numbers.

The bankruptcy stigma has disappeared together with our retirement accounts and foreclosed homes. For those who determine with any with the angry, disillusioned, economically struggling individuals or households earlier described, arrive into my workplace to get a absolutely free interview. Discover in regards to the protection from collectors offered from the federal courts. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones.

JPMorgan On “The Energy Of No Return On Cash” Plus the End Of Constructive Economic Surprises

JPMorgan On “The Energy Of No Return On Cash” Plus the End Of Constructive Economic Surprises
In light from the slow begin for the week, we thought we’d provide you the latest JPMorgan View, which offers a nice top-down look at the market and also the economy.

This stands out:

Rather, our conversations with traders reveal that they’re acquiring risky assets primarily since the option of secure bonds and cash is so dramatically unappealing. Our measure of international cash earns only 1.5%, plus the broadest bond index yields only 3%. The trailing earnings yield to the MSCI AC World is 6.25% rather, to which we can include an anticipated international inflation of say two.five – 3.0% to appear up with the expected nominal return of 9%. Our outstandings-based measure reveals that international equity holdings have only just returned to their two-decade average (see chart), so the globe isn’t lengthy equities, but.

When it comes to marketplace threats, 1 factor to observe out for is that it is going to become get much tougher for the data to exceed expectations, which continues to be a marketplace driver:

A 5-month long operate of regular financial surprises continues to be a key driver of this rally. Our Financial Exercise Shock Index, which actions the stability among positive and damaging economic surprises in US exercise indicators more than a rolling 6-week period, continues to be in constructive territory more than the past five months, echoing the 7-month long run observed in Q2/Q3 2009 (see center chart). But with expectations possessing been adjusted upwards more than the past months, the bar has risen for that economic information to go on to shock around the upside. From a tactical viewpoint, this is among the important indicators to observe. A possible move with the US EASI into negative territory will make equity markets
much more susceptible to some near-term correction offered that almost all technical indicators are already in overbought territory.

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Financial debt Relief

Underneath the Bankruptcy Code, companies such as companies, sole proprietors and partnerships are provided the choice of Chapter eleven, due to its expense and complexity. These three courses of debtor face distinctly different methods. Individuals and partners are obliged to look for credit counseling. Below Chapter 11, the personal assets of corporations are not concerned, other than stocks. Having said that, sole proprietors are likely to face rulings affecting both their individual and enterprise property and partnerships may possibly also have to cope with this. Circumstances with debts of reduced than $2.2 million and no creditors’ committee might be designated ‘small business’, permitting to get a faster tempo and less in the means of official demands.

There are actually two techniques in which chapter eleven may be filed, either through the selection on the debtor or involuntarily, filed by collectors. The filing requires the debtor spend charges in excessive of $1000 and present a repayment or liquidation plan. They ought to also supply the court with statements that fully disclose all debts and property, with some variation according to the kind of debtor.

Under a voluntary chapter 11 submitting, the debtor turns into a ‘debtor in possession’, remaining in handle on the business enterprise. Even so, they’re accountable for managing and moving the situation along, with considerable repercussions for tardiness. The operation of your enterprise is closely supervised by a US trustee, plus the debtor ought to report on running costs and revenue, as well as other company activities. If your debtor in placement is failing to file these reports or being slow on proceedings, the situation may be converted. The debtor is responsible for having to pay the trustee.

The Chapter 11 petitions may perhaps consist of supplementary officials within the complex on-goings, achievable a case trustee or an accompanying examiner. Unsecured collectors might type the committees, and with the court’s discretion, probably hire other professionals to function with all the debtor in possession.

You’ll find numerous requirements below Chapter 11. A repayment plan must be place with each other. This, together with a disclosure assertion, ought to display what varieties of claims need to be dealt with and how, with enough particulars for creditors to properly judge the strategy. As creditors can not generally depend on total repayment beneath a provided strategy, they’re given an opportunity to both vote about the strategy and provide options.

The submitting leads to an automated keep time period, during which creditors are not allowed to consider action. The exception is certain secured creditors, who may well request permission from your court to foreclose. That is typically restricted to special conditions, including single asset actual estate debtors. The conformation of a strategy or commencement of repayment, at least of interest, can forestall any motions or steps associated to stays.

Subsequent the specifics of a confirmed plan typically will lead to the discharge of debts gained before confirmation. Nonetheless, beneath chapter eleven, an individual will only be granted discharge using the confirmation of a liquidation plan.

Bankruptcy in Canada

The Canadian bankruptcy process begins and ends at a licensed Trustee in Bankruptcy. If you are thinking about to file for bankruptcy in Canada, you must meet using the trustee who will assess your financial scenario too as provide you with an guidance on your selections. If he/she considers that you will find better possibilities than bankruptcy you may be suggested to explore other selections 1st but when he/she evaluates that there isn’t any greater solution for your debt issues than filing for bankruptcy, he/she will be certain that you simply understand how the bankruptcy procedure in Canada works, what you should do, and what are your responsibilities and responsibilities in the course of the bankruptcy procedure.

If you make the final choice – to file for bankruptcy in Canada, the trustee will inquire you to signal a authorized paper referred to as Assignment in Bankruptcy which is handed more than towards the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB). Once the latter receives the talked about paper together with your signature on it that reveals that your have filed for bankruptcy voluntarily, it is going to appoint your trustee because the administrator of the estate. When the trustee receives the Certificate of Appointment, you are formally bankrupt and at that point, the mobile phone calls of one’s creditors quit. Possibly not inside the pretty identical day but shortly sufficient.

Your “job” is far from over when turning into legally bankrupt. To be able to obtain the discharge from bankruptcy, you should complete all of your duties and duties during the bankruptcy procedure. These incorporate sending the trustee a report of your month-to-month revenue, aiding the trustee within the disposition of the assets, meeting with all the trustee for credit counselling and spending your monthly payment for that bankruptcy which is decided based on the provisions in the OSB. In the event you fulfil all of your tasks and duties, and if nobody objects you will be immediately discharged from bankruptcy right after 9 months. This suggests that you don’t need to file any papers nor remind your trustee the 9 month period is over. You will immediately obtain the discharge document from the court exactly after 9 months.

As soon as you obtain the discharge from bankruptcy in Canada, you are absolutely free of all of your debts with few exceptions including college student loans, youngster support, etc. On the other hand, in case you have failed to total all your obligations and duties throughout these 9 months, your bankruptcy interval could prolonged for another yr. So, you far better ensure that fully cooperate with your trustee and that you comply with the “rules” due to the fact once discharged, you no lengthier have any debts nor have any bankruptcy-related tasks which usually means that at that stage, you can commence all over again.

Beginning Fresh With Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is a way for companies and people to start more than clean in terms of credit score and debt. With bankruptcy in Albuquerque you’ll find lots of techniques to do this inside a very simple and successful way that is beneficial to the person.

Different forms and sorts are out there to select from when deciding to go with this. You will discover also unique legal guidelines in different states concerning this matter. It really is important to know what to select from when perusing internet sites for information.

Essentially the most typical type of declared bankruptcy is individual, frequently deriving from debit or credit card charges, parking tickets, and other costs including cellular phone or utilities. Because of the nature of some individuals, these forms of debt can develop into too significantly to bear immediately after a lengthy time period has handed, so picking to develop into debt-free is generally the only way out.

The Chapter 13 declaration helps persons outline their property which are tied to issues like properties, and sets up payment options or programs. These last from 3 to 5 many years in size. This offers the individual sufficient time to re-access the situation and help themselves get back on the right track.

Skillful attorneys are helpful in helping someone decide which sort of answer is finest for them, and in addition what type is necessary within their client’s scenario. As there are numerous different techniques to go about doing so, it might be useful to possess an individual who is knowledgeable in regards to the laws and laws governing the declaration.

When this has long been accomplished, credit score scores may well begin to improve. Generally, those that declare don’t have outstanding credit score, and uncover that soon after their decision has become created that their scores step by step rise with time. This can mean a contemporary begin to having to pay debts that could have accumulated because of neglect or other reasons.

Bankruptcy: Who is to Blame?

Bankruptcy: Who is to Blame?
If you are considering bankruptcy as a solution to your financial problems, you are not alone. Bankruptcy is on the rise in this country as consumer debt piles higher and higher. Some people blame the creditors, making it too easy for most consumers to obtain credit. But creditors would argue that consumers have no sense of self control, taking on debt that they arent sure they can repay. In reality, there are many different reasons that people file for bankruptcy.

Unemployment often results in bankruptcy. People tend to spend more when they make more and most peoples lifestyles are centered around the amount of money they make. If that steady paycheck is suddenly ripped from your grasp, bankruptcy can be a harsh reminder that you should have planned for a rainy day. Most of the time, unemployment is no fault of your own, but often bankruptcy is. Too many people live beyond their means or without thinking about what they would do in a situation like unemployment. Bankruptcy is an all to easy answer for many of these people.

Another common reason for turning to bankruptcy for debt relief is medical expenses. Too many Americans are without health insurance or underinsured. When the unthinkable happens and you are left with thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands, in medical bills, there is often no answer other than bankruptcy.

Whatever your reason for considering bankruptcy, you know if it could have been prevented or not. Some situations are simply out of our control and bankruptcy is there to help you for that reason. Other situations are directly related to mishandling your finances. Bankruptcy is there to help you as well, but learn from your mistakes. Dont file for bankruptcy just because you can, make sure that you really need bankruptcy relief and that you cant handle it on your own before taking that drastic, often life changing, step to freedom from debt.

Bankruptcy: Which Chapter Do I File?

Bankruptcy: Which Chapter Do I File?
There is more than one kind of bankruptcy. You should understand your options before deciding which chapter of bankruptcy you are going to file for, or if you are going to file for bankruptcy at all. Often the consequences of bankruptcy outweigh the benefits so it really is a very individualized decision and should be considered carefully. Bankruptcy should not be a rash decision.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be described as a liquidation proceeding. There is a certain amount of property that is exempt, but the rest of your property would be turned over to the bankruptcy trustee to be sold and divided amongst your creditors. There are some debts that can not be discharged but you will be free of all dischargeable debts within a few months after filing for bankruptcy. This provides for a fresh start and can be a great relief for those heavily burdened with debt that they just cant manage any longer.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is more for people who want to reorganize their debt, but still pay it over a longer period of time. Generally you are going to be able to keep your non-exempt property when you file for chapter 13 bankruptcy instead of chapter 7 bankruptcy. You only want to file for chapter 13 bankruptcy if your income is such that you can afford your expenses as well as devote a portion of it to paying off the debt covered by your chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Make an informed decision about bankruptcy before you start talking with an attorney. There is plenty of information readily available about bankruptcy and by exploring all avenues you may come across information that causes you to reconsider exactly what you are doing with your bankruptcy. The information can be overwhelming and you should definitely consult an attorney about bankruptcy before making a final decision

Bankruptcy, Is It A Way Out

Bankruptcy, Is It A Way Out

Negotiations with creditors have failed. Repossession is imminent and foreclosure proceedings have begun. Your income is simply not sufficient to pay your bills, no matter how low the payments are. It may be time to consider bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy law evolved as a reaction to the abuses surrounding debtors prison. Before the nineteenth century a prison system existed for those who didn’t pay their bills. If a merchant filed a claim, the debtor was incarcerated until his debts were paid. (Women were not found in debtor’s prison, not because of chivalry but because they did riot have the ability to borrow). The lender was legally responsible for the expenses of the prison stay, including food, but seldom paid. After all, a debtor would have to sue in order to enforce this law, and it was rather difficult to sue when in prison. As a result, many borrowers languished in prison for years, surviving on what their family could bring to them or, in many cases, simply starving to death. Although some lenders would doubtless not object to the renewal of debtor’s prison, fortunately we live in more enlightened times. Bankruptcy was created to provide a second chance (or third, or fourth) to those hopelessly in debt It provides a mechanism to wipe the slate clean and begin anew. As times have changed, though, so has the bankruptcy code. Not all debts can be wiped out. The proceedings can be easily disqualified in the event of improper procedures. There are many things a debtor should know before resorting to bankruptcy.

The Bankruptcy Decision

There are two kinds of individual bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 bankruptcy, named for the chapter number in the bankruptcy code, requires a full liquidation of all debts and cancels all no-exempt debts. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is essentially a court-mandated payment plan that sets up affordable monthly payments to your creditors,

The decision to declare bankruptcy is not an easy one. Unfortunately, many bankruptcy attorneys recommend bankruptcy to just about anyone they consult with. All too often frightened consumers are advised to declare bankruptcy just to avoid a few debts. This is a mistake. Bankruptcy should truly be a last resort as the legal system meant it to be. A bankruptcy appears on your credit for ten years, and although lending criteria are slowly changing, many lenders will not even consider an applicant who has had a bankruptcy. What’s more, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can cost you most of your property. Before making a decision to declare bankruptcy, estimate how bad your situation really is. On a piece of paper, make a list of all your assets and the approximate value they could be sold for. On the other side, add up all of your debts. If the debts exceed the assets by a large percentage, you may wish to consider bankruptcy. On the other hand, if it seems that your situation may improve (you may get a new job or a second income), or if your assets are of greater value or close in value to your debts, a different approach may be appropriate.

Negotiate with your creditors

Explain your situation and ask for more time to pay. If the creditors refuse and continue to threaten garnishment tell them such action would force you into bankruptcy. No creditor wants to hear the “B” word. Using bankruptcy as a threat is a very powerful negotiating tool, confronting creditors with a choice between getting a little each month or probably getting nothing through bankruptcy. Don’t try this tactic on secured creditors. They may decide to repossess your property to avoid having to go through court.

Contact Consumer Credit Counseling

As mentioned earlier in the book, Consumer Credit Counseling is a non-profit group funded by creditors to help consumers negotiate repayment plans. It is often able to negotiate payment arrangements better than the individual because of its constant contact with a variety of creditors. If you can’t negotiate a satisfactory arrangement, give these people a try. Remember, the fact that you are using credit counseling may appear on your credit record.

Consider Chapter 13 bankruptcy

This kind of filing allows you to repay your debts in a court-mandated fashion and will appear on your credit record for only seven years, If negotiations fail or there simply isn’t enough money to make ends meet Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be your only option. Bankruptcy does not necessarily discharge all debts. If your debts are exempt from bankruptcy, filing will do very little to improve your situation. If a co-signer was used, the debt would then be owed by the co-signer, unless that person also declared bankruptcy. In community property states a spouse’s assets and debts would also be included in the bankruptcy, assuming they are community property. Consider all very carefully before deciding to file.

Non-Dischargable Debts – Bills You Have To Pay In Spite Of Bankruptcy

Certain kinds of debt cannot be automatically eliminated by bankruptcy filing. They must meet certain requirements before being eliminated by bankruptcy. If most of your debts are non-dischargeable, bankruptcy may not solve your financial dilemma. The only ways a non-dischargeable debt can be eliminated through bankruptcy are through an exception being granted by the court, a certain period of time transpiring since the debt was due, or because the creditor does not object to the discharging of the debt. Certain debts can only be discharged by an exception. They are:

Recent Student loans

This applies to student loans that became due within the last five years. Any extension of repayment would be added to this time period. Some courts, furthermore, will only discharge payments that are more than five years past due. So if the student loan was due seven years ago and the payments were originally to be made over a five-year period, you would still be responsible for the last three years of payments. The court may also grant an exception to a student loan if it would produce an “undue hardship” for you to pay it. This is rarely granted.


Federal, state, and local taxes are not dischargeable for at least three years after you file your tax return. Even if you’ve been tied up in tax court for more than three years, any tax assessed within 240 days of filing for bankruptcy is non-dischargeable. Property taxes are dischargeable if they are over one year late, but the lien against your property is not. The bottom fine is that you can count on the government collecting its tax money eventually.

Child Support and alimony

These can only be discharged in special circumstances, which generally include agreements that have not been court-ordered. If one spouse has agreed to assume more than half of marital debts in exchange for lower support payments, the court may not discharge all debts held by the spouse for bankruptcy. Consult an attorney if this situation applies.


Neither fines from a court, judge, or government agency nor surcharges, penalties, and restitution, as a general rule, can be discharged in a bankruptcy. The same is true of debts incurred as a result of damage or liability from driving while intoxicated. The debt incurred from intoxicated driving must be established in court and a judgment must be issued by a higher court. Small-claims, traffic, and municipal judgments for intoxicated driving are all dischargeable. Once again, consult an attorney.

Debts not discharged in a previous bankruptcy

If debts from a previous bankruptcy have been found non-dischargeable, they cannot be discharged in a later bankruptcy.

Debts not listed on your bankruptcy petition

If you do not include a debt on your petition, it will not be discharged. Many people filing bankruptcy keep one or more credit lines with small balances or no balance out of the bankruptcy proceeding to preserve part of their credit resources. Another strategy is to reaffirm debts on the condition that credit continues to be offered. The creditor, confronted with a choice between collecting nothing and maintaining your credit, will sometimes choose the latter. Be very careful when reaffirming debt. You are not obligated to and you should have a new written agreement spelling out all of the new conditions.

Other kinds of non-dischargeable debts can be discharged immediately if the creditor does not object If the creditor objects, these debts will be judged by the court to be either dischargeable or non-dischargeable. The creditor can ask that the debts not be discharged if they claim the following conditions existed:

The debt was acquired by Intentionally fraudulent behavior

Fraud in this case is any dishonest act used to obtain credit. Claiming to be someone you are not, or borrowing money when you have no means or intention of repaying it, would be clear-cut examples of fraud. Not disclosing certain relevant facts could also be construed as fraud. If you make a promise and intend to keep it and believe you will be able to keep it, that is not fraud. Creditors tend to be paranoid and believe everyone is defrauding them, so this excuse for non-discharge is often used by creditor’s attorneys.

Debts Incurred as a Result of False Written Statements

A blatantly false credit application would qualify. The inaccurate statement must be an important fact and one that the creditor relied on in order for the debt to be judged non-dischargeable. A misspelled name or minor error would not render a debt non-dischargeable. Drastically overstating income or misrepresent a job title would be considered fraudulent.

Fraudulent usage

If you charge “luxury goods or services” in an amount over $500 within 40 days before filing bankruptcy, the debt is likely to be deemed non-dischargeable. The same is true if cash advances are obtained fewer than twenty days before declaring bankruptcy. A lot of small charges, made to avoid pre-clearance, would also be considered fraudulent if you were over your credit limit or obviously unable to pay.

Debts resulting from illegal or malicious acts, embezzlement, larceny, or breach of fiduciary Responsibility

Any money owed because of illegal acts such as embezzlement (taking property left in your safekeeping), larceny (theft), or the failure to fulfill your duties as a trustee can be non-dischargeable. The court will usually de a definition of fiduciary responsibility.

Once you’ve examined your debts and determined what is dischargeable and what is not, you can determine whether bankruptcy would enhance your current financial situation. There are several other things you should know before you decide whether to file.

Exempt Assets

A common misconception about bankruptcy is that you lose everything you own to satisfy your debts. In fact, the court will allow you to keep many things essential to your well being, and perhaps even a little bit more. Although there is a federal exemption law, only in states and the District of Columbia allow you to use it These states let you choose between the state and federal exemption laws. The in states are:

New Jersey
New Mexico
Rhode Island

The other states require a person declaring bankruptcy to use state exemptions.

Here are some examples of things that may be exempt, depending on the state in which the petition is filed.

· Personal effects
· Furniture
· Cars (up to a certain amount of equity)
· Tools of a trade
· Equity m a residence (sometimes the entire residence)
· Clothes
· Household goods
· Books
· Jewelry

One very interesting exemption is the homestead exemption. When John Connally, the former governor of Texas, declared bankruptcy a few years ago, many people were surprised that he was allowed to keep his huge mansion, valued at several million dollars. Texas has a homestead exemption that allows anyone petitioning bankruptcy to keep up to one acre in an urban area or 100 acres in a rural area, regardless of value. The ex-governor may have had a very good attorney, but many other states also offer homestead exemptions.

One bankruptcy strategy is to sell non-exempt property before bankruptcy and convert it into exempt property. For example, a Texas resident might sell non-exempt assets and use the proceeds to pay off the home mortgage on her homesteaded property. You would almost certainly want to consult an attorney before attempting this kind of transfer of assets, however, since the court could very easily view such action as an abuse of the bankruptcy laws.

Even if a certain amount of equity is exempt, your creditors can often sell the asset to recover any excess equity you may have. If you own a car worth $10,000, for example, and you only owe $5,000 on it and your state exemption is $1,200, the creditor can sell the car and give you $1,200. Some states allow ‘Wildcard” exemptions that can be used to cover the difference.

Knowing which debts are dischargeable and what the law allows a petitioner to keep, a rational decision can be made whether to file for bankruptcy. If you do choose to file, there are several ways of going about it-as well as several pitfalls to avoid.

Taking Action

When you’ve decided to take action you can begin the filing process. If creditors are knocking on the door and repossession, foreclosure, or garnishment is just around the comer, it may be wise to consider using an emergency filing to obtain an automatic stay. An automatic stay stops creditors from taking any further action until the case goes before a bankruptcy judge. Unlike a bankruptcy filing, which usually contains several pages of information an emergency filing is only one page long and contains a list of your creditors. The rest of the petition has to be filed within fourteen days or the case is dropped. The court will send notices of the pending bankruptcy to the creditors listed, who must cease all further collection action. If they do not cease, send them copies of the automatic stay and request that all further collection action cease. A creditor can ask that the automatic stay be lifted, allowing him to continue collection action. Only a landlord trying to evict you from a rented dwelling will usually prevail, unless there is a long-term lease involved. If you are renting on a long-term lease, which could be considered an asset, the landlord may have to wait for a formal @g in order to evict YOU.

Once the wolves are at bay, another decision will need to be made: whether to hire a bankruptcy attorney. Attorneys, as we all know, are expensive. In the case of a complicated bankruptcy, however, they can be invaluable. If you have quite a bit of property or valuables, if you are trying to move money from non-exempt to exempt assets, if your creditors try to make your debts non-dischargeable because of fraud, or if there are any other complications, you may wish to hire an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Shop around. Don’t be afraid to negotiate. Ask a lot of questions and talk to several attorneys before you make your decision.

If you have a very simple bankruptcy or can’t afford an attorney, invest $15 in a good do-it-yourself bankruptcy book. It will give in-depth information not covered in this chapter. Typing services am also available to type up bankruptcy forms. They are reasonably priced and, in the case of a very simple bankruptcy, can take the place of an attorney. If your case is complicated and you can’t afford an attorney, do your own research. Read a consumer bankruptcy manual first and then consult a good legal library. There are several legal guides devoted strictly to bankruptcy. Once you or your attorney have prepared your case, you’re ready for formal work.

The Filing Process

All the appropriate papers can be obtained from your local bankruptcy court. Consult the yellow pages under Government Services (usually in the beginning of the book) for an address and phone number. The court allows you fourteen days from the date of an emergency filing to complete the formal process. If Chapter 7 bankruptcy is being filed, you will need to send in the following forms after you have received them from the court:

· Statement of Financial Affairs.

· Schedule of Current Income and Current Expenditures.

· A schedule describing your debts.

· A schedule describing your property.

· A schedule listing exempt property.

· A summary of the above schedules.

· Statement of Intention in regard to your secured property and what you intend to do with it

· Statement of Executory Contracts describing contract that will need to be fulfilled, such as auto leases.

· Bankruptcy Petition cover sheet.

· Mailing addresses of all creditors.

· Any required local forms.

A fee will also be assessed, usually $90, due at the time of filing. The court will usually accept installments of a four-month period. An application for installments must accompany the petition.

After your petition is filed, a meeting of the creditors will be arranged. The court appoints a trustee to preside over the meeting and to be responsible for the liquidation of assets. With most smaller bankruptcies, only the person filing and the trustee will attend. The trustee, who is usually a local attorney, will ask several questions about the information on the bankruptcy documents. Call and ask the court clerk what papers you will need to bring (usually financial statements or sometimes even tax returns). If a lot of property is involved, especially if it is nonexempt, property, your creditors may show up to protest any exemptions. They may also attempt to grill you about your intent to pay the bill or about lying on your application. Answer truthfully and there shouldn’t be a problem.

If the creditors’ attorneys become abusive, demand a hearing before the bankruptcy judge before the proceeding goes any further. If the creditors object to any of your exemptions, they have 30 days after the creditor’s meeting to file an objection with the court. The court will schedule a hearing and you will be given the opportunity to respond, although you don’t have to. A creditor may also try to claim a debt as non-dischargeable because of fraudulent acts, a @ or malicious act, or embezzlement or theft. He can only accomplish this if he successfully raises the objection within sixty days of the creditors’ meeting. To defend yourself, you or your attorney will have to file a written response and be prepared to argue your case in court.

Once all the requirements have been met and your intentions have been made clear, the court can declare the bankruptcy discharged. No formal hearing will be held unless you have chosen to reaffirm your debt in which case the judge will want to be sure that you understand what you are doing. After this time, provided the creditors do not raise any objections, the dischargeable debts are erased.

Picking Up The Pieces

Bankruptcy was once the lowest disgrace that could befall someone. Today, however, it is commonplace. Corporations declare bankruptcy to get out of contracts or avoid legal judgments. Individuals rely on it to protect them from a society that extends credit too quickly.

Bankruptcy does not mean that you will automatically be denied all credit for ten years. In fact, many firms look at bankruptcy as a responsible way of discharging debts when there is no other way out. Creditors fear bankruptcy, but they also realize that if they lend to someone who has declared bankruptcy, they need not worry about another bankruptcy for seven more years (you can only file once every seven years). If you happen to have a good explanation for the bankruptcy, such as medical bills, divorce, or some other catastrophic event, a creditor may be willing to overlook it and extend credit. Ask potential creditors about their policy toward bankruptcies. Their responses may be surprising.

Bankruptcy Reform

Bankruptcy Reform
There are some new bankruptcy laws going into effect before long and many think they are much needed. Of course, that depends on which side of the bankruptcy you are a part of. Creditors are going to be the ones to benefit from the new laws, but there may be some helpful regulations for those filing for bankruptcy as well.

The new bankruptcy code requires certain filing procedures that do seem beneficial for the consumer. For instance under the new bankruptcy code, a consumer is required to take a financial counseling course within the 6 months prior to filing for bankruptcy. Financial counseling may lend to a person deciding that bankruptcy is not actually the best option for them. Most people dont even take this step before heading straight for the bankruptcy lawyer. This requirement may save many consumers from making a rash decision.

If your current monthly income is more than the median in your state then there are other factors to consider before you can file for bankruptcy. By multiplying your current monthly income, minus expenses, by 60, you get what is referred to as the result. If the result is less than $6000 or 25% or less of your unsecured debt amount, then you can file for chapter 7 bankruptcy. If it is 25% or more of your unsecured debt, or $10,000 or more, then you are required to file for chapter 13 bankruptcy.

A financial management course is required after you have filed for bankruptcy and prior to the bankruptcy discharge. There are financial management tools that can help you to avoid landing yourself in bankruptcy court a second time.

Obviously, bankruptcy reform is intended to cut down on the number of bankruptcies. This is a realistic goal when you put these factors into play. It may not make for very happy consumers, but the creditors are certainly going to be in a much better position.