Personal Bankruptcy Laws for Dummies

ISBN-10: 0471773808
ISBN-13: 9780471773801
Authors: James P. Caher, John M. Caher
List price: $19.99

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Binding: Paperback Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated Number of pages: 384 Dimensions: 7.50" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall Weight: 1.694 lbs.

Table of contents

Introduction
About This Book
Conventions Used in This Book
What You're Not to Read
Foolish Assumptions
How This Book Is Organized
Icons Used in This Book
Where to Go from Here
Bankruptcy: The Big Picture
Considering Bankruptcy
Viewing Bankruptcy in a Historical Context
Debunking Bankruptcy Myths
Understanding What You Can Gain Through Bankruptcy
Knowing What You Can Lose in Bankruptcy
Considering Alternatives to Bankruptcy
Introducing the Different Types of Personal Bankruptcy
Weighing the Consequences of Not Filing Bankruptcy
Using the Statute of Limitations
Stopping the Bleeding
Realizing You're Not Alone
Preventing Further Damage Now
Comparing Your Income with Your Spending
Assessing Your Spending Habits
Getting a Handle on What You Own
Figuring Out How Much You Owe
Meeting the Players
Finding Professional Help
Getting to Know the Players
Deciding Which Type of Bankruptcy Is Best for You
Deciding Whether to Fly Solo or As a Married Couple
Looking at Your Probable Bankruptcy Choices
Deciding Between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13
Considering Other Types of Bankruptcy
Changing Your Mind
Confronting the Means Test
Putting the Means Test in Perspective
Taking the Median Test
Deducting Your Expenses and Taking the Means Test
Figuring Out How Much of Your Debts You Can Pay
Passing the Means Test by Showing "Special Circumstances"
Considering Ways around the Means Test
Getting Kicked Out of Chapter 7 for Abuse
Getting from Here to There: The Bankruptcy Process
Navigating the BARF Maze
Getting Organized Before Talking to a Lawyer
Meeting Your Lawyer for the First Time
Arranging for Credit Counseling
Completing the Paperwork
Filing Your Bankruptcy Case
Using the Automatic Stay
Receiving Notice of the Creditors' Meeting
Supplying Copies of Tax Returns
Attending the 341 Meeting
Signing Up for Your Financial Management Course
Working Your Way through Chapter 7
Working Your Way through Chapter 13
Comparing the Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Process
Avoiding Bankruptcy
Considering Alternatives to Bankruptcy
Appreciating the Negative Consequences of Bankruptcy
Looking at Remedies Other Than Bankruptcy
Choosing Which Bills to Pay First (If at All)
Negotiating with Your Creditors
Considering Credit Counseling Services
Simply Ignoring Creditors
Handling Bill Collectors
Taming the Toothless Tiger: The Bill Collector
Invoking Federal Law
Tapping State Laws
Keeping Your Dukes Up
Negotiating with the IRS
Looking at the Tax Collection Process
Making Nice with the Touchy-Feely IRS
Submitting an Offer in Compromise
Getting Help from a Taxpayer Advocate
Keeping Your Stuff
Understanding Which Assets Are Off Limits to Creditors
Grasping the Legal Concepts
Determining the Value of Your Stuff
Understanding How the Courts View Certain Assets
Creating Exemptions
Dealing with Secured Debts
Getting the Lowdown on Liens
Identifying Different Kinds of Liens
Dealing with Liens in Bankruptcy
Using the Special Powers Afforded Chapter 13 Filers
Dealing with Rent-to-Own Contracts
Banging the Gavel on Judgment Liens
Saving Your Home
Your Home, Your Castle - and Sometimes Your Hassle
Dealing with Jointly Owned Property
Understanding How Foreclosures Work
Heading off the Homewreckers
Using Truth-in-Lending Laws
Coping When Your Dream Home Becomes a Nightmare
Getting Rid of (Most of) Your Debt
Lingering Obligations
Recognizing (Possibly) Indelible Debts
Nondischargeable Debts in Chapter 7 versus Chapter 13
Sweating Out the 60-Day Bar Date
Avoiding the Urge to Borrow to Pay Nondischargeable Debts
Understanding Reaffirmation Agreements
Having Your Discharge Denied or Revoked
A House of Cards: Wiping Out Credit-Card Debts
Playing the Credit-Card Game
Seeing What Judges See
Examining Your Mind Set When You Incurred the Debt
Forcing the Credit-Card Company to Prove Its Case
Explaining Presumptively Fraudulent Charges
Defending Against False Financial Statement Allegations
Using Credit-Card Advances for Gambling
Bullying the Credit-Card Bullies
Transferring Credit-Card Balances
Give unto Caesar: Using Bankruptcy to Deal with Tax Debts
Getting a Handle on What Happens to Taxes in Bankruptcy
Wiping Out Dischargeable Income Taxes
Paying Nondischargeable Priority Income Taxes
Coping with Nondischargeable Nonpriority Income Taxes
Confronting Unfiled Tax Returns
Coping with Interest and Penalties
Managing Federal Tax Liens
Making the Trustee Pay Your Taxes
Keeping on Top of Postpetition Taxes in Chapter 13
Paying Taxes Before Bankruptcy
Using the Statute of Limitations to Escape Taxes
Facing the Consequences if You're a "Tax Protestor"
Dealing with the State Tax Man
Addressing Taxes Other Than Income Taxes
Obtaining Loans to Pay Your Taxes
The Devil Made Me Do It: Fines, Fraud, and Other Foibles
Dealing with Debts Resulting from Fraud
Willful and Malicious Behavior
Covering Fines, Penalties, and Restitution Orders
Accepting Responsibility for Drunken-Driving Injuries
Till Debt Due Us Part: Bankruptcy and Divorce
Introducing Key Points
Planning Your Strategy
Understanding How Support Obligations Are Treated in Bankruptcy
Understanding How Property Divisions Are Treated in Bankruptcy
Other Grounds for Bankruptcy-Proof Marital Debts
Student Loans and Other Mind Games
Understanding the Student-Loan Industry
Tracing Your Loans
Knowing What They Can Do If You Don't Pay
Managing Student Loans with Bankruptcy
Managing Student Loans without Bankruptcy
Strategies for a Successful Bankruptcy
Avoiding Troubles with Your Trustee
Playing by the Rules and Telling the Truth
Accurately Listing Your Assets
Appreciating the Trustee's Ability to Recover Assets
Protecting Your Discharge
Living on the Edge in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Creating a Realistic Plan
Keeping Your Lawyer in the Loop
Blowing It... Again? Not!
Tackling Car and Mortgage Payments Outside the Plan
Addressing Debts Incurred After You File
Sinking Your Ship before It Arrives
Tying Things Together
Enjoying Your Fresh Start
Repairing Your Credit
Realizing that You've Already Taken the First Step by Filing Bankruptcy
Using the Fair Credit Reporting Act to Your Advantage
Getting Your Credit Reports after Bankruptcy
Obtaining New Credit
Watching Our for Credit-Repair Scams
Establishing Good Credit When You're Married
Staying Out of Financial Trouble
Addressing Compulsive Spending
Building a Consensus with Loved Ones
Using a Budget
Avoiding Temptation
Making a Few Lifestyle Changes
Recognizing Danger Signs
The Part of Tens
Ten Common Bankruptcy Mistakes
Borrowing Money from Relatives
Repaying Money Owed to Relatives
Chipping Away at Debts with a Home-Equity Loan
Draining Retirement Accounts to Pay Debts
Neglecting to Accurately List All Creditors
Concealing Your Assets
Transferring Assets to Keep Them Away from Creditors
Making Payments that You Can't Afford to Make
Thinking that Bankruptcy Is Your Last Resort
Filing Bankruptcy Too Soon
Ten Things You Can Do Right Now to Ease Your Financial Woes
Stop Feeling Guilty
Cut Up Your Credit Cards
Order Your Credit Reports
Keep Track of Everything You Buy
Get Your Name off Any Joint Accounts
Stop Making Partial Payments on Credit-Card Bills
Call a Lawyer Now If You're Being Sued or Foreclosure Is Underway
Find Out How Much Your Home and Car Are Worth
Empty Accounts in Banks Where You Own Money
Sharpen Your Pencil and Start Filling Out the Worksheets in Chapter 2
Ten Common Questions about Bankruptcy
Will Bankruptcy Damage My Credit Rating?
Will Bankruptcy Affect My Job?
Will I Lose My Home?
Will I Lose My Personal Belongings?
Will I Ever Be Able to Buy a House?
Does My Spouse Have to File Bankruptcy, Too?
Can I Keep Some Debts Off My Bankruptcy and Deal with Them Separately?
Can I Cancel My Bankruptcy If I Change My Mind?
Is Filing Bankruptcy a Long, Protracted Process?
Does It Cost a Bundle to File?
Will BARF Make it More Painful to File Bankruptcy?
Homestead Exemption Laws
Choosing between Federal and State Exemptions
Identifying the Federal Homestead Exemption
Surveying State Homestead Exemptions
Index