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5 Important Questions You Must Ask A Bankruptcy Lawyer BEFORE You Hire Him/Her To Handle Your Case

Lawyer BEFORE You Hire Him/Her To Handle Your Case Attorney Jack Morrison Law Offices Of John

Attorney Jack Morrison Law Offices Of John P. Morrison, P.C

5/9/2011

DISCLAIMER

Legal Notice:- This digital eBook is for informational purposes only. While every attempt has been made to verify the information provided in this report, the author does not assume any responsibility for errors or omissions. Any slights of people or organizations are unintentional and the development of this eBook is bona fide. The trademarks, screen-shots, website links, products and services mentioned in this eBook are copyrighted by their respective owners. This eBook has been distributed with the understanding that we are not engaged in rendering legal accounting or other professional advice. We do not give any kind of guarantee about the accuracy of information provided. In no event will the author be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential or other loss or damage arising out of the use of the information in this document by any person, regardless of whether or not informed of the possibility of damages in advance. The author may be considered by law to be a debt relief agency, helping people to file for bankruptcy using the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. This may be deemed by state law to be legal advertising.

This EBook is copyright protected © 2011 The Law Offices of John P. Morrison, P.C.

Jack Morrison, Esq.

Law Offices of John P. Morrison, P.C.

27 West Mountain Street Worcester, MA 016060

508.852-7800

Suite B1

of John P. Morrison, P.C. 27 West Mountain Street Worcester, MA 016060 508.852-7800 jack@jackmorrison.com Suite B1

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Table of Contents

Disclaimers

2

Introduction

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Questions:

1. Do I Qualify To File Bankruptcy?

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2. Are There Certain Things That I Don’t Have To Include When

I File Bankruptcy ?

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3. Can I Keep A Credit Card And Not Include It When I File Bankruptcy?

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4. Can I Keep My Car If I File Bankruptcy?

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5. If I’m Behind On My Mortgage, And Can’t Do A Loan Modification, What Can I Do To Keep My Home?

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Special Offer To Readers Of This E‐ Book

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Do A Loan Modification, What Can I Do To Keep My Home? 11 Special Offer To

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Introduction

Families experiencing overwhelming debt and considering

Bankruptcy, should ask these 5 Questions to every Bankruptcy lawyer they intend to interview to handle their matter. It’s tough enough to be in

your situation…You’re vulnerable and looking for help.

quick decision and get locked in with the WRONG Bankruptcy Lawyer.

Don’t make a

These FIVE questions will give you a good basis to determine if

the lawyer you’re interviewing has a basic knowledge of bankruptcy. Also, listen to the answers you get from the various Bankruptcy lawyers

you interview.

looking to get you in the door and sign you up.

Are they looking out for your best interest or just

Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

The more questions you ask tells

the lawyer that you’ve done your homework. You want to pick an experienced attorney to handle your matter.

If you want more information, please contact our office at

(508)852-7800.

Or visit our website at

Look at page 13 for the Special Offer to readers of this EBook.

Or visit our website at Look at page 13 for the Special Offer to readers of

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Question #1

Do I Qualify To File Bankruptcy?

ANSWER:

I get this question a lot. Do I qualify to file Bankruptcy?

Everyone qualifies to file Bankruptcy because it’s not whether you qualify, is more about what you could lose if you file Bankruptcy.

Let me explain. When you file Bankruptcy you don’t lose

everything that you have. those things exemptions.

You get to keep certain things and they call

There are 2 types of exemptions…Federal and State.

The State

exemption is based upon where you live.

when you file. Exemptions are things that you get to keep when you file

Bankruptcy.

and which exemption type provides you more protection for your assets.

You have to select either one

You make the selection based upon what assets you have

I’ll explain it another way.

Think of chairs around a conference

table as exemptions. different categories.

another chair/exemption is equity in a home…another chair/exemption is equity in a car.

Each of the chairs/exemptions is labeled with

One chair/exemption is household furnishings

With each of the chairs/exemptions there are caps or limits on For the Federal Exemption the household goods exemption is

them.

now $ 11,525; the equity in a home is $21,625 and the equity in a car is $3,450. The Federal exemptions change every 3 years.

The Federal exemptions have a “wildcard” that allow assets over the limits to be protected.

The State (Commonwealth of Massachusetts) exemption recently changed on April 7, 2011. It has been a long time since Commonwealth

(Commonwealth of Massachusetts) exemption recently changed on April 7, 2011. It has been a long time

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of Massachusetts exemption statute was changed. The household goods exemption is $15,000, and the equity in a home is up to $500,000 if certain conditions apply and the equity in a car is $7,500, if the debtor is disabled or elderly the exemption is $15,000.

You can see that there are differences between the Federal and

State – Commonwealth of Massachusetts- exemptions.

Generally

speaking, most individuals will select the Federal exemptions unless there is equity in their homes is GREATER THAN $21,625 individually

or $43,250 combined husband and wife).

over $21,625 individually or $43,250 on a joint filing husband and wife,

and you want to keep their home, then the selection of the State - Commonwealth of Massachusetts- exemptions will protect up to $500,000 equity in your home if certain conditions apply.

These are just some of the exemptions an experienced Bankruptcy lawyer has to look at your assets to see if you have too much equity in

any one item.

then you get to keep all of the assets, and there’s no problem.

possessions don’t fit into the exemption or exceed the exemptions, then

you have a problem.

sell it and pay you the value of the exemption.

That’s why I said earlier that anyone can file Bankruptcy. If all of your assets fit into the exemption categories, then you’re OK… you can file Bankruptcy and get rid of your debt without losing any of your property- assets.

If the equity in your home is

If all of your possessions fit into the chairs/exemption,

If your

The Trustee has the right to take that asset and

It’s only if your assets are over the exemption limits that you have to weigh the benefit of filing Bankruptcy verses loosing those assets. Only you can decide if it’s worth it.

you have to weigh the benefit of filing Bankruptcy verses loosing those assets. Only you can

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Questions #2:

Are There Certain Things That I Don’t Have To Include When Filing Bankruptcy? (i.e. I dont want my

house or my car included)

Answer:

No, you must include ALL of your assets and liabilities when you file

Bankruptcy.

those assets. It goes back to questions #1 above, can the exemptions you select “protect” those assets you want to keep.

By doing so, that doesn’t mean that you’re going to lose

Most people have a common misunderstanding when it comes to filing Bankruptcy, you can separate what you want to keep and let go all the rest. Not true, entirely. It has to do with the equity you have in your assets and whether the exemptions you select “protect” those assets.

For example: Your home.

payments and you want to keep your home, and as long as the equity in

your home is protected, (selecting the Federal Exemption or the State (commonwealth of Massachusetts Exemption) you can keep you home. Yes, you have to include the asset, your home- in your schedules when you file Bankruptcy. Your mortgage company will know that you filed

Bankruptcy.

of filing your Bankruptcy petition, your mortgage company CANNOT

TAKE YOUR HOME.

continually paid your mortgage and at the time of filing your Bankruptcy petition, you are current with the mortgage payments, your mortgage company CANNOT TAKE YOUR HOME

If you are current with your mortgage

If you’re current with your mortgage payments at the time

I’ll repeat the last sentence. If you have

your mortgage If you’re current with your mortgage payments at the time I’ll repeat the last

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Question #3

Can I Keep A Credit Card And Not File Bankruptcy Against It?

Answer:

NO, you must include all of your debt when you file bankruptcy. Legally, you have to include all of your debt. By keeping one credit card, you have arbitrarily elected to pay one creditor and not pay all of

your other creditors.

Let me tell you why you don’t want to keep any credit card if you file Bankruptcy. First of all, when your credit card gets notice that you filed Bankruptcy, there’re not supposed to extend or give you other

credit.

realize that you can’t use your card…the company will not extend credit

to you.

include in your Bankruptcy petition and you now owe the money and you can’t use the credit card because the company stopped extending credit.

The Bankruptcy Code does not allow this.

If you kept your card and filed Bankruptcy, you would soon

You’re left with a bad situation…a credit card that you didn’t

You should include ALL of your debt.

You can always start

over financially once you obtained your discharge.

With credit cards, even after you file Bankruptcy and receive a discharge, you will be solicited by credit card companies to use their cards.

after you file Bankruptcy and receive a discharge, you will be solicited by credit card companies

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Question #4

Can I Keep My Car If I File Bankruptcy?

Answer:

It depends.

It depends upon the equity that you have in your

vehicle.

your car. Equity is obtained by getting the market value of the vehicle

and subtracting any loan balance.

You have to get average

retail value. Once you determine the equity you have in your vehicle, you then

have to look at the exemptions for vehicles.

$3,450 as of the date of this report.

vehicle by going to www.kellybluebook.com.

Again, it goes back to question #1 and the equity you have in

You can get a market value of the

The Federal exemption is

In Massachusetts, the exemption

law changed April, 7, 2011 the new exemption is $ 7,500.

Let’s use an example.

Suppose you own a 2003 Ford Explorer

with 80,000 miles.

and find the car has a private sale value of $7,425.

Table 4A

You look up the value on www.kellybluebook.com

Auto Exemptions With No Loan Balance

 

Using Federal Exemption

Using State Exemption

Market Value

$7,425

 

$7,425

 

Loan Balance

$

0.00

$

0.00

Equity

$7,425

 

$7,425

 

Exemption Allowance

$3,450

 

$7,500

 

Amount “unprotected”

$3,975*

 

$

0.00

Exemption Allowance $3,450   $7,500   Amount “unprotected” $3,975 *   $ 0.00 9

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Looking at Table 4A, under the Federal Exemptions, you are

allowed $3,450 equity in a vehicle.

vehicle, there is $3,975 as “unprotected” equity in the car.

Since there is no loan on the

Under the State Exemptions, there is a $7,500 exemption in a vehicle. Since the market value of the car is LESS THAN the State Exemption, the car is exempt – meaning you can keep your car using the State Exemptions.

The fact that you need a car to go to work is NOT the important factor when considering whether you keep a car or not. It’s just the equity that you have in the car.

On the other hand, if you have a car loan and the balance you owe on the loan is MORE than the value of the car, then as long as you keep paying on your auto loan, you can keep the car.

Same numbers as previous: 2003 Ford Explorer, 80,000 miles

market value $7,425.

of approximately $5,800.

the cases, Federal and State, you get to keep your car since there the equity is LESS THAN the exemption amount.

In this case, there is an outstanding loan balance

See the difference in Table 4B. In each of

Table 4B

Auto Exemptions With Loan Balance

 

Using Federal Exemption

Using State Exemption

Market Value

$7,425

$7,425

Loan Balance

$5,800

$5,800

Equity

$1,625

$1,625

Exemption Allowance

$3,450

$7,500

Amount “unprotected”

$

0.00

$

0.00

$1,625 $1,625 Exemption Allowance $3,450 $7,500 Amount “unprotected” $ 0.00 $ 0.00 10

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Question #5

If I Am Behind On My Mortgage And Don’t Qualify For A Loan Modification, What Can I Do To Keep My Home?

Answer:

File a chapter 13 Bankruptcy.

A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is a re-payment plan. How does a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy work?

Suppose that you are 10 payments behind on your mortgage and

That means that you have to pay

$20,000 to get caught up on your mortgage payment. The mortgage

lender tells you that you don’t qualify for a loan modification.

lender wants to foreclose. You want to keep your home. you do?

your monthly payment is $2,000.

Your

What can

Most people don’t have $20,000 lying around to get caught up.

By filing a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, you can get caught up by

paying $20,000 over 3 years or 5 years. per month respectively.

That $555 per month or $333

Once you filed a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case, you would have to

make your normal monthly mortgage payment each month directly to

your mortgage company.

In addition, you would pay into the Chapter

13 Trustee, the monthly amount you owe your mortgage company plus a

10% dividend to the Chapter 13 Trustee.

Again, let’s use the same example as above: A family pays $2,000

per month in mortgage payments and is 10 months behind.

use the same example as above: A family pays $2,000 per month in mortgage payments and

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The family

files a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy on May 9, 2011 with a 5 year Chapter 13 plan what are their payments?

The family has to make their normal monthly mortgage payment

that’s due, June 1, 2011 on time, and in the amount of $2,000 to their mortgage company. Within 30 days after filing, the family has to pay

the Chapter 13 Trustee approximately $370. $333 X 10% = $370).

As long as the mortgage payment and the Chapter 13 Trustee are paid monthly, the family can keep their home.

This is an OVERSIMPLIED example used to illustrate how a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy works. An experienced Bankruptcy Lawyer can analyze your particular situation and provide specific direction to achieve your financial goals.

($20,000 / 60 months =

your particular situation and provide specific direction to achieve your financial goals. ($20,000 / 60 months

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Find Out EXACTLY What You Need To Do To Qualify For Bankruptcy…Without Guessing Or Leaving It To Chance

Experiencing Severe Financial Debt is Humiliating, Depressing, and Overwhelming. There is a lot of information online and published on Bankruptcy…but, it’s not easy to get the answers you need, or solutions to your

specific situation.

What are you to do?

If Only There Was Someone Who Could Tell You EXACTLY What You Need To Do To Qualify For Bankruptcy.

For Massachusetts Residents experiencing Severe Financial Distress and Unable To Pay All their bills, A COMPLIMENTARY Telephone consultation is

offered to discuss your situation. The telephone consultation takes place at a

conveniently scheduled time.

discuss whatever you need to know to resolve your financial situation.

You don’t have to come into my office.

You can

There is no cost of obligation for the telephone consultation.

Contact our office, Law Offices of John P. Morrison, P.C. by telephone

(508)852-7800 and ask for Melanie. situation with Attorney Jack Morrison

Melanie will schedule a time to discuss your

If you are unable to contact Melanie directly, send an email mel@jackmorrison.com to her with a good time for Melanie to contact you, please provide Melanie with a telephone number to call you back.

If you’re experiencing severe financial debt, you’re not living, you just exist. Until you can resolve your debt, you’ll struggle needlessly to achieve the life you

want or the life you deserve. consultation.

Call now (508)852-7800 to get the FREE telephone

to achieve the life you want or the life you deserve. consultation. Call now (508)852-7800 to

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