The Bankruptcy Abuse and Consumer Protection Act "BAPCPA" was enacted into law in October of 2005.  This act made numerous changes to bankruptcy law resulting in a belief among the general public that bankruptcy is not an option any longer.  This couldn't be farther from the truth.  BAPCPA has changed the bankruptcy process and rules in many ways; however, bankruptcy exists and is a must for many individuals in today's downward economy.

To learn more and speak to an experienced bankruptcy attorney, complete the free evaluation or call Mr. Yehl at 716-573-4980.

Below is a list of some pertinent changes and documents needed in order to file for bankruptcy:

1.  CREDIT COUNSELING: Each debtor must undergo credit counseling through an approved provider designated by the United States Trustee for the District within which one files for bankruptcy protection.  Unfortunately, the providers charge a fee, typically $50.00 or less, which makes filing more expensive.  This requirement is commonly referred to as "the ticket into bankruptcy."

2.  FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT: After the bankruptcy is filed, each debtor must undergo a financial management course, also known as debtor education, through an approved provider designated by the United States Trustee for the District within which one files for bankruptcy protection.  Again, there is a fee for this service, typically $50.00 or less.  This requirement is commonly referred to as the "ticket out of bankruptcy."  The financial management course must be completed within a specified time period, 45 days after the first scheduled 341a meeting of creditors, in order for a debtor to receive a discharge.

3.  PAYMENT ADVICES: Debtors are now required to provide 60 days of pay stubs or other form of income to file for bankruptcy.  The 60 days of pay stubs begin 60 days preceeding the date the case is filed and must be filed with the Court.

4.  TAX RETURNS: Additionally, a debtor is required to either file or provide the Trustee with a copy of the most recent filed tax return.  Some jurisdictions, require the most recent two years of tax returns.

5.  The "MEANS TEST":  BAPCPA created a new form, FORM 22, that must be completed and filed which incorporates a debtor's gross income for the 6 months prior to the filing date.  The 6 month period ends on the last day of the month preceeding the date of filing for protection.  The test utilizes numerous IRS guidelines in an attempt to determine if any abuse exists.

6.  OTHER DOCUMENTS:  Please note that additional documents may be required prior to at the 341a meeting of creditors.  They include Real Estate Valuations, Mortgage pay-off statements, copies of title to automobiles, to name a few.  There may be additional requirements depending on your jurisdiction and local rules.

Begin gathering the above-referenced documents and complete the free evaluation form or call 716-573-4980.