Bankruptcy’s Mission: Debt Relief
The concept of Bankruptcy was enshrined in the United States Constitution, which provides that Congress shall make laws regarding Bankruptcy. The Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978 stated its purpose was to provide a fresh start to debtors. The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 made it more onerous to pursue a petition in bankruptcy, but it is a process that millions of Americans have gone through successfully. The key is to have the information regarding what is required, to provide that information, and to follow all required steps to obtain a discharge of debt.
Information on bankruptcy is readily available
Lawyers providing bankruptcy services serve as a debt liquidation agency. There are multiple tasks required before a person can file bankruptcy. An excellent starting point for this information is provided by the U. S. Courts Administrative Office at www.uscourts.gov/bankruptcycourts/bankruptcybasics.html
Chapter 7—Sometimes referred to as "straight bankruptcy," Chapter 7 involves the elimination of dischargeable debt.
Chapter 11—Also known as "business bankruptcy," Chapter 11 allows business bankruptcy reorganizations.
Chapter 13—Under Chapter 13, individuals can create a three- to five-year payment plan for their debt.
Two required steps in any bankruptcy case are obtaining a certificate of credit counseling and thereafter, a certificate of completion of a financial management course. Our office normally uses a credit counseling service that provides these services through its website or by its toll-free telephone number. That service is Abacus Credit Counseling and can be accessed at www.abacuscc.org or at 800-516-3834.
Our office has represented clients in the federal and bankruptcy courts in Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Maryland, although the bulk of these cases have been in the Alexandria Division of the Eastern District of Virginia. We have also represented creditors seeking to protect their rights under the Bankruptcy Code and we have represented standing Chapter 7 trustees, which gives a unique spectrum of practice.