Bankruptcy Information Center

According to the Administrative Office of the US Courts, there were nearly 1.8 million bankruptcies filed in the year ending March 31, 2006, up from just over 1.3 million in the year ending March 31, 2001. To help sort your way through the complicated maze of overcrowded bankruptcy courts, you need the assistance of knowledgeable legal advocates, with years of experience and demonstrated trustworthiness.

Fred E. Walker is a Board Certified bankruptcy attorney in Austin, Texas, who has more than 24 years of experience in consumer bankruptcy. Mr. Walker helps many people who are told by other lawyers that they do not qualify due to the means test.

Bankruptcy – An Overview

Bankruptcy is a legal vehicle that provides relief to individuals and businesses in serious financial trouble, and protects their creditors to the extent possible. Generally, the bankruptcy process assesses the debtor’s assets and liabilities, and provides a structure within which the debtor is allowed to keep some property and ordered to satisfy as many eligible debts as possible, according to an order of priority established by law. Remaining debts are discharged, except those of certain types, like domestic support orders, debt obtained by fraud, and most tax debt.

The traditional stigma of bankruptcy has faded and been replaced by the view that it is a fresh start after a time of trouble. Most bankruptcy debtors experience unexpected and extreme financial shock, such as that caused by sudden events such as job loss, business failure, death, divorce, or illness.

In such cases, filing bankruptcy may be the right answer. If you are facing serious financial challenges, it is very important to seek the counsel of an experienced bankruptcy attorney, such as one from Fred Walker in Austin, Texas, to help you to assess your legal options.

Consumer Bankruptcy

When an individual falls desperately behind in his or her debt payments, one option may be to declare bankruptcy, a legal proceeding in a federal bankruptcy court that allows the debtor to be relieved of some or all of his or her debts. Although in many ways bankruptcy can give a person a fresh start, it is important to remember that bankruptcy can also negatively affect his or her credit rating and make it hard to obtain credit in the future. The experienced lawyers at Fred Walker in Austin, Texas can advise you as to whether bankruptcy may be the right move for you.

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Commercial Bankruptcy

Like a consumer, a business sometimes finds itself in the uncomfortable position of being unable to pay its debts. One solution is to file for bankruptcy, a legal process in federal bankruptcy court that releases the business from the obligation to pay all or some of its debts. Although bankruptcy provides a fresh start, bankruptcy can also have harmful credit consequences. Sometimes the bankrupt business even ceases to exist at the end of the court proceedings. A lawyer experienced in bankruptcy can advise business owners about whether bankruptcy is right for them.

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Credit Counseling Requirement in Bankruptcy

In 2005, Congress passed and the president signed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA), a bankruptcy reform law. One of the new requirements BAPCPA imposes on a new bankruptcy debtor is to receive credit counseling from an approved credit counseling agency before the bankruptcy filing. A lawyer experienced in consumer credit and bankruptcy law can help educate debtors about these new counseling requirements.

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Surviving the Emotional Effects of Bankruptcy

No matter what circumstances ultimately led to filing bankruptcy, both the practical and the emotional impact on the debtor will be enormous. Confronting the emotional and psychological issues surrounding bankruptcy and reaching an understanding and acceptance of the situation are essential to rebuilding and maintaining a successful financial life. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can guide a debtor through the complicated legal, financial, and emotional maze of bankruptcy and steer him or her in the right direction for the future.

Read More on Effect of Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy Resource Links

American Bankruptcy Institute Consumer Corner
General information regarding consumer debt and bankruptcy.

Legal Information Institute
A bankruptcy overview, along with state, federal, and other sources from Cornell Law School.

FindLaw Guide – U.S. Bankruptcy Courts
Links to US Bankruptcy Court Web sites.

American Bankruptcy Institute Consumer Corner
General information regarding consumer debt and bankruptcy.

Legal Information Institute
A bankruptcy overview, along with state, federal, and other sources from Cornell Law School.

FindLaw Guide – U.S. Bankruptcy Courts
Links to US Bankruptcy Court Web sites.

Official Bankruptcy Forms
From the Administrative Office of the US Courts.

AnnualCreditReport.com®
Official Web site where consumers can obtain free credit reports from the three national credit reporting companies.

Federal Citizen Information Center (FCIC) – Money
Features articles on money and credit.

TransUnion®
Features consumer information on credit reports, identity theft, and fraud.

The Myvesta Foundation
Features self-help publications on debt management and financial trouble.

National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®)
Features credit facts, budget calculators, debt management information, and more.