(1) to make you aware of the various debt relief options that may be available to you;
(2) to make you aware of the duties and obligations that are required of persons who file bankruptcy cases;
(3) to make you aware of the various types of bankruptcy cases that may be available to you; and
(4) to make you aware of the costs and fees (including attorneys’ fees) that will be incurred should you decide to file a bankruptcy case.
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 are restrictive, limiting its use to those whose income arises primarily from a family-owned farm or commercial fishing operation.
The briefing must be given within 180 days before the bankruptcy case is filed. The briefing may be provided individually or in a group (including briefings conducted by telephone or on 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 of the approved budget and credit counseling agencies and this list is available to you.
In addition, after filing a bankruptcy case, most individual debtors must complete a financial management instructional course before he or she can receive a bankruptcy discharge. The clerk has a list of approved financial management instructional courses and this list is available to you.
(1) Describes briefly the services available from credit counseling services;
(2) Describes briefly the purposes, benefits and costs of the four types of bankruptcy proceedings that may be available to you; and
(3) Informs you about bankruptcy crimes and notifies you that the United States Attorney General may examine all information you supply in connection with a bankruptcy case. You are cautioned that bankruptcy law is complicated and not easily described. Thus, you may wish to seek the advice of an attorney to learn of your rights and responsibilities should you decide to file a bankruptcy case. Court employees are not permitted to give you legal advice.
Chapter 13 is designed for individuals with regular income who would like to pay all or part of their debts in installments over a 3 to 5 year period. To be eligible for chapter 13 your debts must not exceed the 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 that you owe them, using your future earnings. The period allowed by the court to repay your debts may be three years or as long as five years, depending upon your income and other factors. The court must approve your plan before it can take effect.
After completing the payments under your plan, all of your debts will be discharged except debts for domestic support obligations; most student loans; certain taxes; most criminal fines and restitution obligations; debts which are not properly listed in your bankruptcy papers; debts for acts that caused death or personal injury; and long term debts that are secured by valid mortgages or liens.
Chapter 11 is designed for the reorganization of a business but is also available to consumer debtors. Its provisions are quite complicated, and any decision by an individual to file a chapter 11 petition should be reviewed with an attorney.
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