Terms & Conditions
PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING TERMS OF SERVICES & LEGAL NOTICES (hereinafter “Agreement”) CAREFULLY BEFORE USING THIS WEBSITE (the “Site” or “”). Any person accessing this Site to utilize any of the services it provides, including finding a professional, posting information or otherwise utilizing any of the features on this Site (collectively known as “Services”) must accept the Terms and Conditions of this “Agreement” without change. These terms explain your (and our) rights under this Agreement and make disclosures as required by law. By using the Site, you give your assent to the terms of this Agreement.
If you do not agree to these terms, you may not use this Site. Hollins Bankruptcy Law Office, PLLC in some states (hereinafter referred to as “UL”, “We”, or “Our”), a debt relief agency helping people file for bankruptcy under the bankruptcy code, has the right, in our sole discretion, to modify, add or remove any terms or conditions of this Agreement without giving individual notice to you, by posting the changes on the Site. Your continuing use of the Site constitutes your acceptance of any such changes. Nothing in this website is to be construed as an offer for legal services. Legal services are only offered once a UL attorney has had an opportunity to review the specific facts of a case at a consultation and specifically indicates a willingness to take on the representation.
DISCLOSURES REQUIRED UNDER 11 U.S.C. §§ 527 AND 342
NOTICE #1: Notice Mandated by 11 U.S.C. §§342(b)(1) and 527(a)(1)
PURPOSE, BENEFITS AND COSTS OF BANKRUPTCY
Bankruptcy is a federal court proceeding that provides relief to people and businesses that are having financial difficulty. The relief comes in the form of an “automatic stay” which generally stops most collection proceedings and harassment from creditors. The cost of filing a bankruptcy consists of a filing fee which varies depending on the type of case you are filing (see below) and if you choose to hire a lawyer to represent you, the lawyer will likely charge you a fee for the representation. Additionally, there may be costs to obtain necessary information and documentation required by the bankruptcy code, bankruptcy rules and local rules.
The discussion here is meant only as a brief overview and no one should base their decision as to whether to file or not to file bankruptcy solely on this information. Bankruptcy is complex and a number of factors and considerations must be taken into account in making a determination to file or not. Anyone considering bankruptcy is encouraged to seek the advice and assistance of experienced counsel who practices bankruptcy law.
What Bankruptcy Can and Can’t Do
Bankruptcy may be able to help financially distressed people to:
Discharge (eliminate) liability for most or all of their debts and a get a fresh start. When the debt is discharged, the debtor no longer has any legal obligation to pay it.
Stop foreclosure proceedings! The automatic stay in bankruptcy can freeze a foreclosure proceeding and provide an opportunity to catch up on missed payments.
Prevent repossession of a car or other property! The automatic stay can prevent a finance company from exercising its repossession rights, or might even be able to force a creditor to return a vehicle that has already been repossessed.
Prevent utility shut-offs! The automatic stay in bankruptcy can prevent a utility company from terminating service because of non-payment and can even force the company to reconnect service that has already been terminated.
Stop wage garnishments and creditor harassment! The automatic stay in bankruptcy can suspend wage deduction proceedings and other types of debt collection efforts.
Lower monthly payments! The automatic stay in bankruptcy can alter your contractual relationships with your creditors by lowering or eliminating interest and can allow payments to creditors for less than the outstanding balance.
Can provide an opportunity for debtors to challenge then claims of certain creditors who might be seeking to collect more than they are entitled.
Bankruptcy, however, may not be the cure-all for every financial problem. There are limitations. For instance, a debtor usually can not:
Eliminate certain liens of secured creditors. Although it is possible to force secured creditors to take payments over time and although it is possible to modify the terms of payments in some cases, a debtor usually can not keep the collateral unless the debtor continues to pay the debt.
Discharge types of debts identified in the bankruptcy code. The most common exceptions to discharge are domestic support orders (child support, maintenance, or alimony), most student loans, criminal fines, and most taxes.
Discharge debts incurred after the bankruptcy is filed. Bankruptcy only helps with debts already existing at the time of filing; it doesn’t provide relief for future debts.
Protect co-signors. If someone co-signed for you, the co-signor is usually going to be liable to pay the creditor whatever part of the loan you don’t pay or that isn’t paid through a bankruptcy case.
The Four Types of Bankruptcy Available to Individual Consumer Debtors
The Bankruptcy Code is divided into four chapters. The most commonly used chapters by consumer debtors are chapter 7, known as a “fresh start” or “straight” bankruptcy and chapter 13 which is a voluntary court approved, court supervised affordable repayment plan.
The main benefit of filing for bankruptcy under all chapters is the automatic stay. The automatic stay is a court order that automatically applies once a bankruptcy case is filed (with rare exceptions that apply to some repetitive case filings). The automatic stay stops most lawsuits, repossessions, foreclosures, garnishments, utility shut-offs, and debt collection harassment. It offers debtors relief and enables debtors and a case trustee to review the facts and develop an appropriate solution to the debt problems.
Chapter 7: Liquidation (court filing fee, not including attorney fees or costs = $335)
Chapter 7 is designed for debtors in financial difficulty who do not have the ability to pay their existing debts. Debtors whose debts are primarily consumer debts are subject to a “means test” designed to determine whether the case should be permitted to proceed under chapter 7. If your income is greater than the median income for your state of residence and family size, in some cases, creditors have the right to file a motion requesting the court dismiss your case as an abuse under 707(b) of the United States Bankruptcy Code. It is up to the court to decide whether the case should be dismissed.
Under chapter 7, you may claim certain property exempt under applicable law. Some states force debtors in the state to only claim property exempt pursuant to state law, while other states allow debtors to choose to claim property exempt under either state or federal law. A trustee can take possession and sell any non-exempt property and use the sale proceeds to pay your creditors.
The purpose of filing a chapter 7 case is to obtain a discharge of the debts existing as of the date you file a case. However, not all debts are dischargeable. If you have committed certain kinds of improper conduct described in the Bankruptcy Code, the court may deny you a discharge and, if it does, the purpose for which you filed the bankruptcy petition will be defeated.
Even if you receive a general discharge, some particular debts are not discharged under the law. Therefore, you may be responsible to pay for most taxes and student loans; debts incurred to pay no dischargeable taxes; domestic support and property settlement obligations; most fines, penalties, forfeitures, and criminal restitution obligations; certain debts which are not properly listed in your paperwork; and debts for death or personal injury caused by operation of a motor vehicle, vessel, or aircraft while intoxicated from alcohol or drugs. Also, if a creditor can prove that a debt arose from fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, or theft, or from a willful or malicious injury, the bankruptcy court may determine that the debt is not discharged.
Chapter 13: Repayment of All or Part of the Debts of an Individual with Regular Income (court filing fee, not including attorney fees or costs = $310).
Chapter 13 is designed for individuals with regular income who would like to pay all or part of their debts in installments over a period of time. You are only eligible for chapter 13 if your debts do not exceed certain dollar amounts set forth in the Bankruptcy Code.
Under chapter 13, you must file with the court a plan to repay your creditors all or part of the money you owe them from your future earnings. The period allowed by the court to repay your debts may be three or five years, depending upon your income and other factors. The court must approve your plan of repayment before it can take effect.
After completing the payments under your plan, your debts are generally discharged except for domestic support obligations; most student loans; certain taxes; most criminal fines and restitution obligations; certain debts which are not properly listed in your bankruptcy papers; certain debts for acts that caused death or personal injury; and certain long term secured obligations (like mortgages).
Chapter 11: Reorganization (court filing fee, not including attorney fees or costs = $1,717)
Chapter 11 is designed for the reorganization of a business but is also available to individual consumer debtors. Its provisions are quite complicated and any decision by an individual to file a chapter 11 petition should be reviewed by an attorney. Further information about chapter 11 cases, since chapter 11 usually does not pertain to individuals with primarily consumer debts can be found at the following website: www.uscourts.gov/bankruptcycourts.html. Or, you can obtain information about chapter 11 by obtaining a copy of the brochure published in June, 2000 and titled “A Bankruptcy Basics” prepared by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.
Chapter 12: Family Farmer or Fisherman (court filing fee, not including attorney fees or costs = $275)
Chapter 12 is designed to permit family farmers and fishermen to repay their debts over a period of time from future earnings and is similar to chapter 13. The eligibility requirements, however, are restrictive, limiting its use to those whose income arises primarily from a family-owned farm or commercial fishing operation. Chapter 12, therefore, is usually not available to consumers whose debts are primarily consumer debts. The brochure and website mentioned above also provides more detailed information regarding chapter 12.
SERVICES AVAILABLE FROM CREDIT COUNSELING AGENCIES
With limited exceptions, §109(h) of the Bankruptcy Code requires that all individual debtors who file for bankruptcy relief on or after October 17, 2005, receive a briefing that outlines the available opportunities for credit counseling and provides assistance in performing a budget analysis. The briefing must be given within 180 days before the bankruptcy filing. The briefing may be provided individually or in a group (including briefings conducted by telephone or over the Internet) and must be provided by a nonprofit budget and credit counseling agency approved by the United States Trustee or bankruptcy administrator. The clerk of the bankruptcy court has a list that you may consult of the approved budget and credit counseling agencies in your jurisdiction.
BANKRUPTCY CRIMES AND AVAILABILITY OF BANKRUPTCY PAPERS TO LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS
A person who knowingly and fraudulently conceals assets or makes a false oath or statement under penalty of perjury, either orally or in writing, in connection with a bankruptcy case is subject to a fine, imprisonment, or both. All information supplied by a debtor in connection with a bankruptcy case is subject to examination by the Attorney General acting through the Office of the United States Trustee, the Office of the United States Attorney, and other components and employees of the Department of Justice.
11 U.S.C. §521(a)(1) of the Bankruptcy Code requires that you promptly file detailed information regarding your creditors, assets, liabilities, income, expenses and general financial condition. Your bankruptcy case may be dismissed if this information is not filed with the court within the time deadlines set by the Bankruptcy Code, the Bankruptcy Rules, and the local rules of the court.
NOTICE #2: Notice Mandated by 11 U.S.C. §§342(b)(2)
FRAUD & CONCEALMENT PROHIBITED
It is important that you understand the following:
Some or all of the information you provide in connection with your bankruptcy case will be filed with the United States Bankruptcy Court in the appropriate jurisdiction on forms or documents that you will be required to sign and declare as true under penalty of perjury.
A person who knowingly and fraudulently conceal assets or makes false oaths or statements under penalty of perjury in connection with a bankruptcy case shall be subject to fine, imprisonment, or both.
All information you provide in connection with your bankruptcy case is subject to examination and audit by the Attorney General of the United States.
NOTICE #3: Notice Mandated by 11 U.S.C. §§527(a)(2)
MANDATORY DISCLOSURE TO CONSUMERS WHO ARE CONTEMPLATING FILING FOR BANKRUPTCY
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE THAT:
All information that you are required to provide with the filing of your case and thereafter, while your case is pending, must be COMPLETE, ACCURATE, and TRUTHFUL.
You must disclose ALL of your assets and liabilities! Further, you must identify the replacement value of each asset (as defined in the Bankruptcy Code, 506) must be stated in documents where requested after reasonable inquiry to establish the value. For most property used and acquired for personal, family, or household purposes, replacement value means the amount retail merchant would charge for “used” property similar to what you own considering the age and condition of the property. Replacement cost does NOT mean the amount you would have to pay a retail merchant for a “new” item. For many cases involving used clothing, furniture, computers, replacement cost may be “yard sale” value, or what the used item might sell for on eBay. With regard to antiques, jewelry or collectibles, replacement value might be the retail value. For motor vehicles, replacement value would be the third party purchase value. For real estate, replacement value would be what the property would sell for at current market value. For cash and bank accounts it is the actual amount on deposit. For stocks and bonds, it is their market value as of the date your case is filed and the value is the cash value of what the stock could sell for in the market, or the amount a bond could be redeemed for at the time of filing.
Before you file a case, you are subject to a “means test.” The “means test” is a statutory test designed to determine whether or not you qualify to file a case under chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code, and if not, how much you need to pay to your unsecured creditors in a chapter 13 case. You must therefore state, after reasonable inquiry, your current monthly income, the amount of all expenses as specified in 707(b)(2), and, in a case under chapter 13 of this title, disposable income (determined in accordance with 707(b)(2), are required to be stated after reasonable inquiry.
Any information you provide during the case may be audited pursuant to Title 11 of the United States Code and failure to provide information may result in dismissal of the case or other sanction, including criminal sanctions!
NOTICE #4: Notice Mandated by 11 U.S.C. §§527(b)
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT BANKRUPTCY ASSISTANCE SERVICES FROM AN ATTORNEY OR BANKRUPTCY
If you decide to seek bankruptcy relief, you can represent yourself, you can hire an attorney to represent you, or you can get help in some localities from a bankruptcy petition preparer who is not an attorney. THE LAW REQUIRES AN ATTORNEY OR BANKRUPTCY PETITION PREPARER TO GIVE YOU A WRITTEN CONTRACT SPECIFYING WHAT THE ATTORNEY OR BANKRUPTCY PETITION PREPARER WILL DO FOR YOU AND HOW MUCH IT WILL COST. Ask to see the contract before you hire anyone.
The following information helps you understand what must be done in a routine bankruptcy case to help you evaluate how much service you need. Although bankruptcy can be complex, many cases are routine.
Before filing a bankruptcy case, either you or your attorney should analyze your eligibility for different forms of debt relief available under the Bankruptcy Code and which form of relief is most likely to be beneficial for you. Be sure you understand the relief you can obtain and its limitations. To file a bankruptcy case, documents called a Petition, Schedules and Statement of Financial Affairs, as well as in some cases a Statement of Intention need to be prepared correctly and filed with the bankruptcy court. You will have to pay a filing fee to the bankruptcy court. Once your case starts, you will have to attend the required first meeting of creditors where you may be questioned by a court official called a ‘trustee’ and by creditors.
If you choose to file a chapter 7 case, you may be asked by a creditor to reaffirm a debt. You may want help deciding whether to do so. A creditor is not permitted to coerce you into reaffirming your debts.
If you choose to file a chapter 13 case in which you repay your creditors what you can afford over 3 to 5 years, you may also want help with preparing your chapter 13 plan and with the confirmation hearing on your plan which will be before a bankruptcy judge. If you select another type of relief under the Bankruptcy Code other than chapter 7 or chapter 13, you will want to find out what should be done from someone familiar with that type of relief.
Your bankruptcy case may also involve litigation. You are generally permitted to represent yourself in litigation in bankruptcy court, but only attorneys, not bankruptcy petition preparers, can give you legal advice.
[Statement contained in and required by 11 USC 527(b).]
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF RECEIPT
By using this Site and/or otherwise accepting this Agreement, user acknowledges that user received a copy or has been provided access to all of the following notices:
Notice Mandated by 11 U.S.C. §§342(b)(1) and 527(a)(1)
Notice Mandated by 11 U.S.C. §§342(b)(2)
Notice Mandated by 11 U.S.C. §§527(a)(2)
Notice Mandated by 11 U.S.C. §§527 (b)
This Site is maintained by Hollins Bankruptcy Law Office, PLLC, a law firm and debt relief agency. In addition, attorneys and/or law firms promoted through this web site are Debt Relief Agencies. They also help people file for relief under the Bankruptcy Code. The Site is maintained by the law firm for three purposes. First, the Site is intended as a resource for clients. It is also meant to provide information to the public about bankruptcy, financial management and debt relief. Third, in addition to providing service to UL clients and educating the general public, the Site also provides users with the ability to submit information about their specific financial situation and request contact from either a UL attorney to discuss specifics of user’s case and to possibly hire the attorney to represent user.
The materials and information provided on this Site are for informational purposes only and may not reflect current legal developments or variations in the law of different jurisdictions. Nothing on this Site should be construed as legal advice or used as a substitute for legal advice. UL only provides legal advice to clients who actually meet with one of its attorneys in a consultation. The information on this Site does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the attorneys or law firms, their partners, clients or affiliates. The information on the Site is not guaranteed to be correct, complete or up to date. The Site is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship between you and UL nor between you and any of the unaffiliated partners, employees, agents, or affiliates, or any other attorney associated with this Site. In addition, receipt of an e-mail from or a “post” to the Site does not create an attorney-client relationship.
YOU SHOULD NOT ACT OR RELY ON THE BASIS OF ANY INFORMATION ON THE SITE AS THE INFORMATION CONTAINED ON THIS SITE IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE FROM AN ATTORNEY. YOU SHOULD SEEK AND RETAIN AN ATTORNEY AND GET SPECIFIC ADVICE ABOUT YOUR SITUATION!
3. Submission of Information
If UL does not agree in writing to create an attorney-client relationship, none will exist. You are once again encouraged to seek and retain the advice of a duly licensed attorney in your state so as to meet all applicable deadlines that govern your bankruptcy case.
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8. Limited License and Permitted Use
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9. Restrictions on Use
10. Modifications to the Site
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19. Exclusions and Limitations
SOME JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OF CERTAIN WARRANTIES OR THE LIMITATION OR EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES. THEREFORE, SOME OF THE ABOVE LIMITATIONS OF SECTIONS 17 AND 18 MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU.
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21. Attorney Advertising Disclosures
This Site may be considered to be an ADVERTISEMENT or may contain ADVERTISING MATERIAL or LAWYER ADVERTISEMENTS. Some state court jurisdictions may consider this Site itself to be a form of advertising for legal services. Advertising for legal services in some states may require specific disclosures. User agrees that user has read the following disclosures carefully, especially the disclosures that apply to user’s state of residence.
THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT. Hiring a lawyer is an important process that should not be based solely on any advertisement. Anyone considering a lawyer should independently investigate the lawyer’s credentials and ability and should not rely upon advertisements or self-proclaimed expertise. UL provides biographical statements about its own attorneys with the aim of aiding the user in gathering factual data the user can use to investigate UL’s lawyers’ credentials.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST
Before user decides to hire any of UL’s attorneys, user should ask attorneys to provide free written information about their qualifications and experience. Additional information about particular attorneys is also available by contacting the Bar Association in the State in which the lawyer or law firm is licensed. UL provides background information on its attorneys within the Content on this Site including bar admissions, experience, and personal background information. Additional information may be available upon request.
User understands and acknowledges that attorneys from time to time make career choices and change employment and user understands that UL cannot be held liable for any damages or inconvenience if a particular attorney is not employed by the law firm at a given time. UL will take reasonable measures to insure the accuracy of its attorney listings and update Content on the Site to remove biographical information about attorneys who are no longer with the firm as well as provide biographical information about new attorneys. However, user agrees that UL has no liability whatsoever, as stated in paragraph 13, for any errors or corrections as to attorney information provided on this Site. UL agrees to verify the current employment status of any attorney identified as a UL employee at any given time upon request.
UL makes no representation that the quality of the legal services performed by UL attorneys is greater than the quality of the legal services performed by other lawyers. User understands that memberships and offices in legal fraternities and legal societies, technical and professional licenses, and memberships in scientific, technical or professional associations and societies of law or fields of practice do not mean the lawyer is a specialist, expert, or authority or is certified in a particular field of law, nor do such memberships or licenses mean that such a lawyer is more expert or competent than any other lawyer.
User should understand that any indication of a limitation of practice does not mean that any agency or board has certified the lawyer as a specialist, expert, or authority in an indicated field of law practice, nor does it mean that such lawyer is more expert or competent than any other lawyer. UL urges all users to make an independent investigation and evaluation of any lawyer user is considering hiring for any legal matter.
Except where specifically indicated, no attorney of UL are certified by the Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education, the Texas Board of Legal Specialization (“Not Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization”), or any other entity or body. The fact that certain attorneys or firms restrict their practices to a particular field of law is not meant to imply that they have gained any specific type of certification or specialization in the area of law they are concentrating their practice. Many states, including Illinois, do not recognize certifications or specialties in the practice of law and explicit state that any such certificate, award or recognition is not a requirement to practice law in those fields or in the state.
Within this Site, UL may include descriptions of successful outcomes of litigation or lawsuits handled by UL, or other attorneys not affiliated with UL or the Site. Any such descriptions are not meant to create unjustified expectations that similar results can be obtained for others. Each case is different and has its own unique set of facts and legal circumstances. No attorney can guarantee the success of a case. Even past successes in very similar cases does not indicate success in a subsequent case is guaranteed or even likely. Past successes in similar matters cannot be an assurance of future successes because every case must be decided on its own merits. Results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each fact situation.
The material on this Site is not intended to and does not include any advertisements for legal services that contain testimonials, dramatizations, or endorsements. The Site is intended to provide useful information presented in a non-sensational, objective, and understandable manner. Images and pictures on this Site, other than where indicated (i.e. attorney photographs), are not meant to depict or represent actual people or events, but are used for illustrative purposes only.
This Site is not intended to advertise legal services to be performed in a particular state solely by UL, unless the lawyer or law firm is specifically licensed to practice in the State.
UL does not wish to and will not knowingly accept legal representation based on or resulting from the use of this Site from a person within a particular jurisdiction to the extent the Site does not comply with the laws and regulations of any jurisdiction in which it may be received. UL will not knowingly accept representation based on or resulting from use of this Site from a person located out of the United States of America.
22. Entire Agreement
These Terms and Conditions constitute the entire agreement between UL and User and govern the use of this Site superseding any prior agreements between User and UL. User may also be subject to additional terms and conditions that may apply when User uses or purchases certain other services, affiliate services, third-party content, third-party software or materials found on any “hyperlinks.”
23. Choice of Forum
Any disputes arising out of or related to use of this Site, this agreement, and/or the relationship between User and UL shall be submitted for resolution to arbitration in Nashville, TN in accordance with the rules and procedures of the American Arbitration Association.
24. Statute of Limitations
User agrees that regardless of any statute or law to the contrary, any claim or cause of action, or dispute arising out of or related to the use of this Site, this agreement and/or the relationship between User and UL must be filed within one (1) year after such claim, cause of action, or dispute arose or such claim, dispute or cause of action shall be forever barred.
25. Waiver and Severability of Terms
Should UL fail to enforce or exercise any of its rights or provisions of this Terms and Conditions shall not constitute a waiver of such rights or provisions. If any provision of this Terms and Conditions is found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, the parties nevertheless agree that the court should endeavor to give effect to the parties’ intentions as reflected in the provision and the other provisions of this Terms and Conditions shall remain in full force and effect.
26. Attorney Ethics Notice
If User is an Attorney, you acknowledge that rules of professional conduct apply to all aspects of your participation and that you will abide by such rules. The rules include, but are not limited to, the rules relating to advertising, solicitation of clients, unauthorized practice of law, misrepresentations of fact, and due diligence. UL disclaims any and all responsibility for attorney’s compliance with these rules. The section titles and headings in this Terms and Conditions are for convenience and organizational purposes only and have no legal or contractual effect.