Goossen Law Office

116 E Broadway

PO Box 725

Newton KS 67114

 PHONE 316-283-3627

FAX 316-283-3635

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We are a debt relief agency.

We help you file for bankruptcy relief under the bankruptcy code.


Here are some of the changes in the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (effective October 17, 2005) which may affect you:


Before filing either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, debtors must attend a counseling session with an approved credit counseling agency.


In addition, all Chapter 7 and 13 debtors will be required to complete an accredited personal financial management course before discharge will be granted.


In order to file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, debtors are subject to a "means test."  If your income is below the median income for your state, you will most likely be eligible to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  If your income is near or above the median, you may be forced to file a Chapter 13 instead.


If you are required to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy because your income is more than the state median income, the plan must be for 5 years.


Debtors will be required to provide their most recent tax return.  If you have not filed your taxes, you will be required to do so before you can file your bankruptcy, unless you can prove that the failure to file was clearly due to circumstances beyond your control.


Debtors will also be required to show proof of current income, such as a pay record from their employer.


Some collections processes, including eviction, are no longer automatically stopped by filing bankruptcy.


The time between filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcies has increased from 6 years to 8 years.

This is not a comprehensive list of the changes.  This list is not meant to be legal advice or a legal opinion, and should not be taken as such.

If you feel that bankruptcy may be your only way out of debt, please call 316-283-3627 for an appointment.

NOTE: due to changes in the bankruptcy law, we will no longer be able to do telephone consultations regarding bankruptcy.  You will need to make an appointment, and a consultation fee may be charged.

Bankruptcy is a last resort used when you are unable to pay your creditors.  The advantage of bankruptcy is that, generally, once the bankruptcy is discharged, you are free from those dischargeable debts forever.  The disadvantage is that bankruptcy damages your credit rating, making it difficult to borrow money in the future.

There are four kinds of bankruptcy:


 Chapter 7

Individual consumers (and couples filing jointly) may use Chapter 7 for a total liquidation of assets.  A trustee, appointed by the Bankruptcy Court, turns any property of any value into money to pay your creditors.  Some property is exempt; these laws vary from state to state, but generally you will be able to keep your house, most of your personal possessions, and at least one car.  Everything else may be sold to pay your creditors.


 Chapter 13

Individuals (or couples) who have a regular income, can file for bankruptcy under Chapter 13.  Generally, you get to keep your property.  You make a plan, which is approved by the Court, that will allow you to pay off your creditors over time.  A trustee is appointed by the Court who collects the payments from you, pays your creditors and makes sure you live up to the terms of your repayment plan.


 Chapter 11

Chapter 11 is usually used to reorganize a business.  Chapter 11 allows the debtor business to continue operating under a Plan of Reorganization, which must be approved by the Court.  Sometimes the Court may also appoint a trustee to operate the business during the reorganization.

The reason for reorganization rather than liquidation is that the business is considered to be more valuable as an ongoing concern than it would be if its assets were sold.  Reorganization also saves jobs.


 Chapter 12

Chapter 12 is used to reorganize family farms.  The primary purpose of Chapter 12 is to allow family farmers to reorganize their finances without being forced to sell the farm.  Farmers with sufficiently stable income, even if that income is seasonal, are able to make payments toward their debts under a Chapter 12 reorganization.

One of the reasons people file bankruptcy is to get a "discharge."  A discharge is a Court order stating that you do not have to pay off most of your debts.  However, you should be aware that some debts cannot be discharged.  For example, you cannot discharge:



most taxes;


child support;


alimony; and


most student loans.

The discharge applies only to debts you accumulated before the date you filed. 

It is important that you list all your property and debts in your bankruptcy papers.  If you do not list a debt, for example, it is possible that the debt will not be discharged.

The judge can also deny your discharge if you do something dishonest in connection with your bankruptcy case, such as destroy or hide property, falsify records, or lie.

You may receive a Chapter 7 discharge once every eight years.


 This page was last updated on 9/3/08

Nothing provided in the web site should be considered legal advice or legal opinion.  Under no circumstances should you construe any interaction with the web site as creating an attorney-client relationship.

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