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1. It is helpful to look at every bankruptcy case as having three parts: assets, liabilities and income. Note that your assets will remain assets of the bankruptcy estate until: a) creditors with liens seek and obtain a court order modifying the automatic stay provisions of 11 U.S.C. § 362(a) and proceed to foreclose or repossess their collateral, b) if Chapter 7, your Chapter 7 trustee sells such assets with Bankruptcy Court authority after filing an appropriate motion with notice to all creditors and opportunity to object pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 363, c) your trustee abandons such assets back to you after filing an appropriate motion with notice to all creditors and opportunity to object pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 554, or d) the estate is closed by the clerk of the Bankruptcy Court. You should not dispose of assets during the pendency of the bankruptcy case without discussing the matter with us.

2. Only those obligations that arose prior to the date of the filing of your bankruptcy petition will be eligible for discharge in your bankruptcy. In addition, there are certain types of obligations that are automatically non-dischargeable and are therefore unaffected by a bankruptcy discharge, e.g., fiduciary taxes, income taxes less than three years old, student loans, regardless of whether you are the student or the guarantor, and regardless of whether they are government loans or private loans, alimony, maintenance, child support, and even division of community obligations arising out of a marital dissolution, fines and penalties, liability created in a driving under the influence incident, court sanctions, and criminal restitution obligations.

In addition, creditors, including credit card companies, have the right to come into your bankruptcy case within a defined time window — approximately the first 90 days of your case — and challenge your right to discharge their debt if they feel you have defrauded them such as by charging substantially on their account within the last several months prior to the filing of the bankruptcy petition, or submitting false financial information in order to obtain their credit card or loan.

3. If you own real estate and are in interested in seeking to have your mortgage or mortgages modified, here is who we suggest you contact:

Mr. Troy Freeman
GBA Educators
4607 Lakeview Canyon Road
Unit 152
Westlake Village, California 91361
[email protected]

4. If you owe more to your mortgage lenders than the property is worth and are considering short selling your property, here is who we suggest you contact:

Mr. Paul E. Stansen
26500 West Agoura Road
Unit 545
Calabasas, California 91302
[email protected]

5. Chapter 7 generally discharges you of your debts but has no impact upon consensual liens such as the one held by an auto lender. In other words, although your bankruptcy normally results in you discharging your debt to your auto lender, it still has a lien against your vehicle. The Bankruptcy Code requires that in your bankruptcy papers, you tell lenders holding consensual liens what you intend to do with their collateral.

a. Your choices are:

1. Surrender the collateral to the lienholder and discharge any remaining debt to the lienholder that breaching the contract causes.

2. Redeem the collateral by paying the lienholder the fair market value of the collateral in one lump-sum payment and discharging the difference between the balance of the obligation and the fair market value of the collateral. Few debtors ever elect to redeem the collateral because coming up with the fair market value of the collateral in cash is usually problematic, especially for those having financial difficulties so severe that filing bankruptcy proved necessary.

3. Reaffirm the obligation, i.e., enter into a new contractual agreement with the lienholder on terms proposed by the lienholder, almost always on the identical terms contained in the pre-bankruptcy contract, and waive your right to discharge any remaining deficiency should you default at any time in the future, lose the collateral to the lienholder's repossession, and the sale of the collateral by the lienholder fails to satisfy the remaining obligation. It would be as if you never filed bankruptcy with respect to that one obligation, i.e., it would be putting the lienholder in precisely the same position it was in immediately prior to the filing of the bankruptcy petition. The lienholder would have the right to repossess the collateral if you fall behind on your payments, and could pursue a deficiency claim in the somewhat likely event that the resulting auction sale fails to retire the debt.

4. There is a fourth "unofficial" option: Retain possession of the collateral, make payments to the lienholder pursuant to the original contract terms, but don't execute a reaffirmation agreement. In other words, some lienholders will be happy receiving monthly payments and will not insist on a reaffirmation agreement.

5. There is a fifth "unofficial" option: Retain possession of the collateral, don't make payments to the lienholder, don't execute a reaffirmation agreement, and wait for the lienholder to take action to regain its collateral. In other words, in some instances such as where the collateral is virtually worthless home furnishings, the lienholder might possibly take no further action whatsoever, in which case you get to keep the collateral and never have to pay anything more.

2. The primary purpose of filing a bankruptcy petition is to take advantage of the "fresh start" policy contained in the discharge provisions of Section 524(a) of the Bankruptcy Code. As a general rule, we encourage our clients to take advantage of their discharge and not reaffirm the very same pre-bankruptcy obligations that may have contributed to the financial instability that resulted in the filing of the bankruptcy petition.

a. Advantages/positives of reaffirming pre-bankruptcy secured obligations:

1. It is possible — not exactly likely but possible — that you can negotiate better terms in the reaffirmation agreement than existed prior to bankruptcy. In other words, some lienholders might be willing to capitalize arrearages, reduce principal, reduce the interest rate, lock in a fixed interest rate, lower monthly payments, extend the maturity date, etc.

2. Pursuant to the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention And Consumer Protection Act Of 2005, failure to formally reaffirm the obligation within the 45-day period following your meeting of creditors entitles your lienholder to declare a default "ipso facto," i.e., even if you are current on your payments, failure to reaffirm the obligation during the course of your bankruptcy case entitles the lienholder to declare that you are in breach of the contract and it may repossess its collateral without need for Bankruptcy Court order or approval. Note that only a few lienholders out there — Chrysler Financial, Ford Motor Credit and Mercedes-Benz Financial — consistently declare such a default and repossess their collateral despite current payments. Most other lenders are happy receiving monthly payments provided you are continuing to insure their collateral and provide them evidence of insurance when requested. If you are uncomfortable with the risk that your lienholder may declare a default and repossess its collateral despite current payments, then reaffirming the obligation and making all of your payments will negate that risk.

a. Note, however, that the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention And Consumer Prevention Act Of 2005 only requires that the debtor SEEK approval of the reaffirmation agreement. Many maintain that if the agreement is submitted to the court but rejected, the lienholder has no right to possession of the collateral so long as the debtor remains current on the payments and has furnished the lienholder with evidence that the collateral is insured. One might therefore argue that the ideal strategy is to enter into a reaffirmation agreement and then when the judge sets it for hearing and questions you about whether you really wish to reaffirm the debt, you back out of the proposed reaffirmation agreement. Provided you remain current on your monthly payments, regardless of whether you're receiving a monthly statement, and have provided the lienholder with evidence that the collateral is insured, you should not lose the collateral to repossession.

3. If you reaffirm an obligation, fall behind and lose the collateral to repossession, the lienholder is more likely to give you an opportunity to reinstate/cure and get the collateral back. If you have not reaffirmed the obligation and then fall behind on your payments, most lenders will insist on a payoff of the entire balance as a condition for returning to you the collateral.

4. Reaffirming a pre-bankruptcy obligation may give your credit history — your credit report — a bit of a positive bump especially when it comes time to leasing or financing similar items. For example, say you need to finance a vehicle purchase two years from now. Your prospective lender will run your credit report and see that you filed bankruptcy. If you reaffirmed your pre-bankruptcy auto loan and then proceeded to make all of your required payments timely, your prospective lender will be more likely to approve the lease or finance. If you elected to not reaffirm the obligation and instead just make voluntary payments, the prospective lender will still view the pre-bankruptcy auto loan as discharged, and therefore a credit ding, even if you proceeded to make all of your payments timely. Note that although reaffirming a pre-bankruptcy obligation may give your credit history a bump, there are other less drastic alternative ways of accomplishing the same objective. For example, incurring non-revolving debt and paying that debt in a timely manner may boost your credit as well.

5. If you enter into a reaffirmation agreement, the lienholder will resume sending you monthly statements. If you do not reaffirm the obligation but elect instead to make voluntary payments without reaffirming the obligation, the lienholder will not likely be willing to send you monthly statements, thereby making it a more difficult to keep track of your payments and your balance.

b. Disadvantages/negatives of reaffirming pre-bankruptcy secured obligations:

1. In case it isn't clear, the primary effect of reaffirming a pre-bankruptcy obligation is that you are agreeing to pay back the obligation, and should you fail to make any of the payments required by the reaffirmation agreement, the lienholder has the right to not only repossess its collateral and sell it at auction, but then pursue you for the remaining balance at the time of the default. It would be as if you had never filed bankruptcy with respect to this one obligation. The lienholder's pursuit, should there be a default at any time in the future, and the subsequent repossession and sale of the collateral at auction fails to fully satisfy the obligation, can include the filing of a lawsuit, the obtaining of a judgment against you, liening your home or other real estate you own wherever located, garnishing your wages, levying your bank accounts, and the conducting of one or more "debtor examinations," the purpose of which is to find out what assets you own and where those assets are located.

3. If you reaffirm the obligation, you can change your mind by canceling and rescinding the reaffirmation agreement and reinstating the dischargeability of the claim at any time within the 60-day period following the filing of the agreement with the court, or the date of discharge, whichever occurs first. To rescind the reaffirmation agreement within the time frame allowed, you would need to notify the lienholder, preferably by certified return receipt mail, that your reaffirmation agreement is rescinded (canceled). If you reaffirm an obligation and then later change your mind and rescind, please send us a copy of your rescission letter to the lienholder.

4. If you elect to reaffirm the obligation, you will need to appear before your bankruptcy judge.

a. Bankruptcy judges review all reaffirmation agreements to be certain that:

1. You understand the primary ramification of reaffirming an obligation is that if you fail to make your payments and lose the collateral to the lienholder's repossession and the resulting auction sale fails to satisfy the obligation, the lienholder can then pursue you for the difference and that reaffirming the obligation acts as a waiver of your discharge as to that obligation.

2. You understand that other options were available to you, including returning the collateral to the lienholder and in many cases, making voluntary payments without formally reaffirming.

3. The lienholder did not apply undue pressure on you to execute the agreement.

b. The judge will likely ask you why you wish to reaffirm. We suggest telling him or her:

1. Like everyone else in Southern California, I need a vehicle.

2. I am very confident I'll be able to make the required payment despite my upside-down monthly budget.

3. I am uncomfortable with the risk that, absent reaffirmation, the lienholder may be able to repossess the collateral without warning despite my being current on my payments.

4. (If true, it's okay to state as well that) There is some equity in the collateral (and/or) that the interest rate is relatively favorable and therefore I deem it to be a good deal.

5. (If true, it's okay to state as well that) A family member or friend or two have indicated that they will assist me in making the payments to the lienholder if for any reason I am unable to do so. Such gratuitous promises by family members or friends are not legally enforceable, but are intended to assure the judge that the likelihood of a future deficiency claim against you by the lienholder is low.

6. With trashed credit, no other replacement strategies are feasible.

The odds are strong that the judge will approve the reaffirmation.

c. There is no dress code per se for non-attorneys, but you probably want to wear something relatively presentable so as to not offend the judge.

d. Note that there will probably be a dozen or two other similar reaffirmation hearings scheduled for the same date and time, so you'll have plenty of company and can watch how the others are being handled.

e. There will be no resulting paperwork for you to handle; the judge will issue the order approving or rejecting the agreement.

5. It is our recommendation that you only agree to reaffirm the obligation if you:

a. Feel the strong need to retain the collateral.

b. Cannot replace the collateral for less than the amount proposed to be reaffirmed, i.e., you feel that there are no more financially viable options available to you.

c. Feel that you need to rebuild credit relatively quickly and see reaffirming the obligation as an important step in that process.

d. Are certain that you will be able to make the payments so that the risk of defaulting and being held responsible for a deficiency is relatively small.

e. You are concerned that the lienholder will in fact exercise its right to repossess the collateral if you have not reaffirmed the obligation, even if you are current on your payments.

6. Should you continue to pay your credit card companies between now and the date you file your bankruptcy case? I suggest separating your credit card companies into two categories: a) high risk, i.e., those credit card companies on whose cards you've charged more than say $2,500.00 in the past six months, and b) low risk, i.e., those credit card companies on whose cards you've charged less than $2,500.00 in the past six months. We suggest against paying the low-risk creditors anything further. You might, however, want to continue paying the high-risk creditors, whether it be minimum monthly payments or something even less, in order to demonstrate good faith and reduce the risk that such creditors will challenge your attempt to discharge their obligations in your bankruptcy case.

7. Is it acceptable to omit a creditor, say a credit card, when filing bankruptcy so that you can continue to keep the credit card? When you file bankruptcy, it is safe to assume that all of your credit cards will be terminated by the credit card companies. The same is true even for those credit cards that may have had a zero balance at the time the case was filed. Most of the credit card companies have very sophisticated monitoring techniques, and they will know you have filed even if they have not been included in the bankruptcy papers, some immediately, and some within weeks. So, there's really no point in omitting any of your creditors since they will know anyway. If you are paying any of your monthly expenses with automatic charges to your credit cards such as life insurance, dry cleaning, etc., you will almost certainly need to find alternative ways of having those monthly expenses paid.

8. When you file bankruptcy, your mortgage lenders, auto lenders and others, if applicable, will likely discontinue any automatic pay arrangements set up with your bank, and they will likely discontinue sending you monthly statements. Assuming you wish to keep your home, vehicles and other secured items, you will need to start making payments to your mortgage lenders, auto lenders and others, if applicable, directly. Some lenders will agree to resume sending you monthly statements if you request it, others will not under any circumstances agree to send you monthly statements.

9. Among the changes made to the Bankruptcy Code in 2005 is the implementation of a credit counseling requirement, sort of the bankruptcy equivalent of traffic school. There are two "courses" or "programs" that must be completed: a) the "credit counseling" program, which must without exception be completed prior to the filing of the bankruptcy case, and b) the "debtor education," also referred to as "financial management" program, to be completed after the filing of the bankruptcy petition but prior to the issuance of the discharge. Both programs are primarily online programs, therefore completed from home, and both should take you approximately two hours. At the appropriate time, we will sign you up for the two programs and provide you instructions for how to log on and complete them. The cost of both programs is absorbed by us, i.e., paid by us out of what you pay us.

10. In every bankruptcy case, you will need to appear at a "meeting of creditors" pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 341(a). Instructions will be provided to you immediately after the bankruptcy case is filed about where your meeting is, when it is, how to get there, where to park, what to bring, how to dress, etc.

a. You are required to attend the meeting, and absent complications, the meeting of creditors will be your only formal appearance in your bankruptcy case. If you fail to attend the meeting of creditors, the trustee will continue the meeting one time to a date approximately two to four weeks forward. Accordingly, if you know in advance that you will be unable to attend the initial meeting, please advise us so that we don't waste a trip to your meeting. Failure to attend both the initial meeting and the continued meeting will likely result in the automatic dismissal of your case.

b. As a crackdown against identity theft, you will be required to present both of the following forms of identification at your meeting of creditors:

1. Photographic identification: a driver's license is preferable, but a passport or California identification card will also suffice. Note that the identification must be currently valid; an expired driver's license, passport or identification card is insufficient.

2. Evidence of your Social Security number: your Social Security card is preferable, but other official forms such as a prior year's W-2 or 1099, a paystub, or a health benefit identification card reflecting your full Social Security number will suffice. Note that only an original version of the above will suffice; a photocopy is insufficient. Note that the document must be produced by someone other than yourself. Accordingly, a tax return is insufficient. Note also that the full Social Security number must appear on the face of the document, not just the last four digits.

c. The clerk schedules between 20 and 30 meetings every hour, so unless we have advised you to the contrary, you can expect your meeting to last only a couple of minutes. However, your trustee might possibly be running behind schedule, and you may have to wait over an hour to have your case called. Budget your time accordingly.

d. Although creditors are invited to attend the meeting and ask questions of you under oath, they only occasionally do so.

e. Keep in mind that the trustee's job is to determine whether you own assets with sufficient value or equity that, upon liquidation, can partially or fully pay the claims of your creditors. In the majority of cases, the trustee's questions are limited to a few basic ones designed to help the trustee make such a determination such as:

1. Have you scheduled all of your assets?

2. Have you scheduled all of your debts?

3. Do you owe any domestic support obligations (alimony or child support)?

4. If you are married but filing bankruptcy alone, have you scheduled all assets and liabilities of the marital community, regardless of whose name they are in or whose possession they are in?

5. Have you ever filed bankruptcy before?

6. Did you read the green information pamphlet available inside the meeting room?

7. Have you transferred more than say $5,000 of cash or property to anyone within the past four years?

You can expect additional questions if you own real estate, have owned real estate within the past four years, own or operate a business, have owned or operated a business within the past four years, have been divorced within the past four years, are suing someone, owe in excess of $100,000 of debt, have transferred substantial assets in recent years, or owe a significant amount of income taxes.

f. There are two ways the meeting of creditors can be concluded: a) the trustee adjourns the meeting without complications, which typically means that the trustee has concluded that there are no assets worthy of liquidation, or b) the trustee continues the meeting and asks that in between the initial meeting and the continued meeting, additional documents be provided or amended papers be filed with the court. As long as the additional documents are provided or amended papers filed within the period of time requested by the trustee, a second examination by the trustee is very rare.

11. Please keep copies of every document and communication we send to you, physical or electronic. Please read thoroughly everything we send to you. Please also keep copies of all paystubs that you receive between the initiation of the process and the date of the bankruptcy filing.

12. If you have one or more judgments against you, or anticipate having a judgment against you prior to the bankruptcy, or have a federal or state tax lien against you, or anticipate having a federal or state tax lien against you prior to the bankruptcy, then we suggest you keep all of your bank account balances at all banking institutions at a minimum at least until the bankruptcy petition is filed.

13. We suggest you move all monies you have on deposit out of banks or credit unions to whom you owe money. In other words, if you have your checking account (business or personal) at Citibank, and you owe Citibank on a loan, secured or unsecured, take at least most of your money out of the bank, whether you leave your account open or not.

14. We suggest that if you have bank accounts at Wells Fargo Bank, you have no greater than $2,500.00 in ALL of your Wells Fargo Bank accounts, COMBINED, personal and business, on the date of the bankruptcy petition, regardless of whether you owe Wells Fargo Bank anything. Why Wells Fargo Bank? Because Wells Fargo Bank has taken the position in cases in the past that it is a "custodian" of bankruptcy estate funds and owes a duty to the estate to freeze accounts and release them only upon approval and instruction of the bankruptcy trustee. That process could take weeks. Wells Fargo Bank will know when you file your bankruptcy petition; it has very sophisticated tracking techniques. You don't want your bank accounts frozen.

15. If you have debts that are in your name and some third party's name as well, perhaps in the name of your corporation or limited liability company, or a friend or relative, bankruptcy will only get you out of your debts, it will not get co-obligors off of their own hook.

16. Please note that some creditors, credit unions in particular, occasionally take the position that an asset that serves as collateral for one of their loans serves as collateral for ALL of their loans. For example, say you are financing a car purchase with your credit union, but also have a signature loan or credit card with the same credit union. The credit union may take the position that the vehicle serves as collateral for repayment of all obligations owed it and it will refuse to surrender the pink slip to you unless and until ALL of its loans are satisfied in full. If you are financing the purchase of an asset other than real estate with a lender to whom you have other obligations, you may want to contact your lender to determine whether the asset cross-collateralizes other obligations and if so, whether the lender will work something out with you. If the lender refuses to do so, you may want to give strong consideration to surrendering the asset to the creditor as part of your bankruptcy case. You don't want to pay the auto loan for several more years only to find out that the lender will not release to you the title because other obligations to the lender remain outstanding.

17. If you have a corporation or a limited liability company but it has stopped operating or in the future stops operating its business and you are considering dissolving it, seek the advice of others before doing so. Generally, when a corporation or limited liability company is dissolved, the shareholder or member becomes personally responsible for the corporation's or limited liability company's unpaid debt. If you dissolve a corporation or limited liability company after your bankruptcy is filed, an argument could be made that you have assumed financial responsibility for such unpaid debt, and since the act of dissolution was initiated post-filing, the bankruptcy discharge no longer protects you against such creditors. It is therefore our general recommendation that you NOT dissolve a defunct corporation or limited liability company unless you're certain that it has no debt whatsoever. If the corporation or limited liability company has debt, we usually suggest you just let it get suspended by the California Franchise Tax Board for nonpayment of the state income taxes and/or corporation franchise fees.

18. It is important to note that debts and liens are completely different animals. Debts, with some exceptions noted above, are discharged in bankruptcy. Liens, however, pass through bankruptcy unaffected.

a. If you are financing the purchase of your home, vehicle, refrigerator or similar item, you must continue to make payments to voluntary lienholders during and after bankruptcy to avoid the lender foreclosing upon its lien or repossessing its collateral. If you are behind on such payments, you will want to catch up as soon as possible to minimize the risk that the lender will seek an order of the Bankruptcy Court modifying the automatic stay provisions of 11 U.S.C. § 362(a) to permit foreclosure or repossession or will foreclose or repossess its collateral at the conclusion of the bankruptcy case when a court order is no longer required.

b. Payments to voluntary lienholders should be maintained regardless of whether you continue receiving monthly statements from such lenders, and in fact, it is likely that you will stop receiving monthly statements.

c. Note, however, that Bankruptcy Code Section 522(f) permits a debtor to avoid and remove involuntary liens (i.e., judgment liens) against property if such liens impair an exemption, whether it be the homestead exemption or the wildcard exemption, that you will be claiming to protect your property in your case.

d. Involuntary liens appear to expire as soon as the underlying judgment becomes 10 years of age, but with the exception of the automatic stay provisions of 11 U.S.C. § 362(a), which evaporate at the conclusion of the case, there is no prohibition against the judgment lienholder enforcing its lien during that ten year period, thereby entitling the judgment lienholder to payment in the event of a sale or refinance, or, even worse, taking your home away by state court-ordered marshal or sheriff foreclosure sale despite the discharge of the underlying debt in bankruptcy.

e. Removal of judgment liens that impair your homestead exemption is handled by motion. Our fees to handle your bankruptcy proceeding do not include prosecuting such a motion to avoid involuntary judicial liens.

f. If you own a home that you wish to keep and continue paying for during and after bankruptcy and you believe there is a possibility that you have been sued at some point in the past resulting in a judgment against you and, in turn, a judgment lien or abstract of judgment recorded by the judgment creditor in the county in which you live, it is not a bad idea to purchase a preliminary title report or obtain a property profile of your home in order to determine whether filing a motion to avoid and remove an involuntary lien will be advisable and necessary.

g. The right to avoid and remove involuntary judicial liens is purely a bankruptcy tool, available only during bankruptcy. If the bankruptcy case is concluded and you realize months or years later that there was a judgment lien against your home, often discovered during a potential sale or refinancing, you can seek to have the bankruptcy court reopen the proceeding so that a motion to avoid an involuntary judicial lien can be filed and prosecuted, but it may take 60 days or more to obtain the bankruptcy court order, and there is no guarantee that the bankruptcy judge will grant the motion to reopen the case.

h. It is your responsibility to alert us to the presence of judgment liens against your property so that an appropriate motion can be prepared and filed. It is not up to us to determine whether there are judgment liens against your property.

i. Unless you expressly reaffirm an obligation during your bankruptcy proceeding, should you at some point in the future default on your payments to such a creditor, and the lender repossesses or forecloses upon its collateral, the lender is not entitled to seek to enforce any resulting deficiency, i.e., difference between the balance owing to the lender pursuant to its lien, and the proceeds generated by the lender's auction sale of the collateral.

19. If your property has a homeowners association and you are behind on the payment of homeowners association fees and dues, bankruptcy will only discharge of you those fees and dues that were owing on the date of the bankruptcy filing. Bankruptcy will not discharge you of those fees and dues that accrue after the date of the filing of the bankruptcy petition. Note as well that homeowners associations often lien the property, and if your homeowners association has already recorded a lien prior to the date of bankruptcy, that lien cannot be removed, as noted in a preceding paragraph.

20. If you believe that any of your creditors have violated the law by, for example, recording conversations without giving you a proper warning that they are doing so, such conduct might be actionable, i.e., you may be able to take action against such creditors. If you believe your creditors may have exceeded the boundaries of the law, 1) you should advise us accordingly, and 2) you may want to contact the following attorney who specialized in pursuing such matters:

The Wentz Law Firm
Richard B. Wentz, Esq.
2955 East Hillcrest Drive
Unit 123
Thousand Oaks, California 91362
Fax: 888-855-8124
[email protected]

21. We strongly recommend that you work closely with your tax preparer. You may receive some 1099s from creditors whose debts you have discharged or will be discharging in your bankruptcy case. Although the general rule is that forgiveness or cancellation of debt gives rise to taxable ordinary income, insolvency, which is presumed in a bankruptcy, is an exception to that rule. In addition, if you lose property to foreclosure during your bankruptcy case, the resulting taxes for which you might otherwise have been responsible might instead be the responsibility of your bankruptcy estate. Make certain that your tax preparer is aware of your bankruptcy filing so that you are not taxed unnecessarily.

22. The fact that you filed a bankruptcy will likely remain on your credit report for 10 or more years. Note, however, that other derogatory credit references such as foreclosures, charge-offs and judgments do not necessarily get removed solely because such debts were discharged in the bankruptcy. It is our recommendation that after your bankruptcy is concluded, you strongly consider having your credit "repaired" by attempting to have such items removed. At the conclusion of the case, we will be providing you some names of some companies that handle credit repair.