The information contained in this website is based on the general application of bankruptcy law. Although bankruptcy law is controlled by Congress, it is not interpreted and applied the same way in every jurisdiction. The information contained herein is for educational purposes only -- it is not to be interpreted or construed as legal advice. Nothing in this website creates, or is intended to create, any attorney-client relationship between the viewer and the Mid-Missouri Bankruptcy Center. Viewers who like an in-depth analysis of the law as it applies to their particular situation are advised to seek help from a bankruptcy attorney who practes in their jurisdiction.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is what most people think of as bankruptcy -- a legal method for people to get rid of debt that they cannot pay. It is not a way for people to get out debt that they just don't want to pay. Only debtors who cannot repay any part of their debt are eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The test for determining who qualifies is called the "means test." It is discussed on our FAQs page. Despite what your creditors may say, most people are still eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a debt reorganization and repayment plan for people who can pay all or part of their debts in installments over a period of time. Under current bankruptcy law, if your income exceeds the median for a family of your size in your state, you may be required to file a chapter 13 case, even though you might otherwise be eligible for a chapter 7.
In Chapter 13 you would file a repayment plan with the court. This plan is based on many factors, including the types of debt you have, your current income and your current expenses. Payments into the plan last for three to five years, during which you cannot use credit or sell certain property without permission of the court.
If you complete the chapter 13 plan successfully, your obligation to repay any debts not paid through the bankruptcy payment plan is, in most cases, discharged. Exceptions to the discharge of your obligation to pay includes debts for child support and alimony; most student loans; certain taxes; most criminal fines and restitution obligations; certain debts which are not properly listed in your bankruptcy papers; certain debts for acts that caused death or personal injury; and certain long term secured obligations.
Free Initial consultation! Your situation analyzed by an experienced bankruptcy lawyer.
Flat Fee based on your situation! You dont pay for legal services that you dont need. You never receive a bill for letters or telephone calls. You dont come out of bankruptcy owing a new bill for legal services.
Payment plans that are flexible and keep your budget in mind!
Unlimited phone calls and contacts! You never pay for phone calls, e-mails, letters or faxes to or from us office.
Support staff dedicated to customer service! Always ready, willing and able to answer your non-legal questions. Always available to help you get your paperwork in order and done right.
We represent you if a creditor sues you before your case is filed! When you hire us, we will represent you in any debt collection lawsuit filed by a creditor before your bankruptcy case is filed. We keep you OUT of court you never miss work or appear before the judge.
We deal with your creditors! They call us instead of you.
Free credit report review after bankruptcy! Six months after your bankruptcy is over, we meet with you to go over your credit report. We help you update your credit report and dispute incorrect reports.
Free support after bankruptcy! Were here to help you with issues that come up regarding your case no matter how long ago we handled your case.
Ms. Long is a graduate of Misouri State University. She received her law degree in 1991 from the University of Missouri, Columbia. She has practiced bankruptcy law since 1995, taking two years out to serve as a full-time county attorney. Since 2002, the focus of her practice has been municipal and consumer bankruptcy, which she now practices exclusively. She is a member of the Missouri Bar Association, The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, the National Association of Consumer Advocates and the American Bankruptcy Institute. She was admitted to federal practice in 1991.
In July 2007, Ms. Long was a speaker in the Missouri Bar Association's continuing legal education course "Bankruptcy Basics." She prepared written materials and spoke to on these subjects: Basic Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Credit and Budget Counseling Requirements in Bankruptcy, Essential Bankruptcy Documents, and Bankruptcy Trustees.
Attorney at Law
Legal Assistant & Office Manager
Ivan Chagas started his career as a paralegal in 1987, in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil. He first worked for Gueiros Bernardes, a well-known firm in the field of Brazilian labor law. While working for Bernardes, Mr. Chagas became familiar with the Labor Court, a special segment of the judiciary that exclusively regulates workers' rights.
From 1992 to 2001 Mr. Chagas worked in Brasilia's Labor Court Professional Training Center, where he developed and delivered training to 1600 employees. His work focused on the creative process, on team-oriented partnerships, and on paradigm change in public organizations. In 2001, Mr. Chagas moved to the United States. He completed his Masters Degree at the University of Missouri at Kansas Ctiy in 2006.
Bankruptcy may be right for you if you answer yes to most of these questions:
-Pay only the minimum payments on your credit cards?
-Cut back on food or medicine?
-Robbed your minor children's piggy banks or bank accounts?
-Cashed in a 401k or other retirement account?
-Borrowed from friends or relatives?
-Often skip credit card payments?
-Use credit cars or cash advances to pay for necessities -- groceries, gas, presriptions, etc.?
-Tried to get a debt consolidation loan, or second mortgage?
-Decide which bills get paid, and which wait for next month?
-Worry about losing telephone or utility services for non-payment?
-Taken out payday loans or pawned items?
-Lose sleep because you're thinking about bills and money?
-Written bad checks?
-Take cash advances from one card to pay another card or bill?
-Taken a second or third job?
-Argue about money?
Have you done any of these things to pay debt
Don't be embarrassed -- we know that most people want to pay their debts, and will go to extraordinary lenghts to do so! But why prolong your misery? Filing bankruptcy is not shameful and it is not the deadbeat's way out. Bankruptcy is relief from the misery and harassment caused by debt. Yes, you got yourself into it -- but your greedy creditors helped. And, how many times have you repaid what you originally borrowed?
Don't waste another day. Don't put off the decision that will bring you relief and a fresh start. Make today the first day of your debt-free life!