Cover image for The bankruptcy solution : how to eliminate debt and rebuild your life
The bankruptcy solution : how to eliminate debt and rebuild your life
Palms, Peggy.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Avon, Mass. : Adams Media Corp., [2003]

Physical Description:
xvi, 224 pages ; 22 cm
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HG3761 .P35 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
HG3761 .P35 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Unlike other books on this topic, which take a dry, mechanical approach, The Bankruptcy Solution helps readers get past the shame around debt and make the law their ally when faced with financial hardships.

Author Notes

Peggy Palms, a resident of Boone, North Carolina, is a certified mediator and arbitrator and an attorney specializing in bankruptcy

Table of Contents

Forewordp. x
Introductionp. xiii
Who Should Read This Bookp. xiv
How This Book Is Organizedp. xiv
A Note about Bankruptcy Reformp. xv
Part I Assessing the Situationp. 1
Chapter 1 How Bad Is It?p. 3
You Are Not Alone--Some Amazing Statisticsp. 4
No More Stigma--Some Famous Bankruptcy Filersp. 5
Uncle Sam to the Rescuep. 7
Chapter 2 Understanding How You Got Herep. 9
Medical Expensesp. 9
Divorcep. 11
Pushy Credit Card Companiesp. 12
The New Car Ambushp. 14
Your Small Businessp. 15
Chapter 3 Is Debt a Four-Letter Word?p. 18
Justifiable Debtsp. 19
The Home Mortgagep. 19
The Car Loanp. 22
Student Loansp. 24
Unnecessary Debtsp. 26
Secured vs. Unsecured Debtsp. 26
Chapter 4 What Can They Do to Me?p. 28
Bill Collectorsp. 28
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act--The Big Stickp. 30
Can They Send Me to Jail?p. 34
Can They Sue Me?p. 35
Wage and Tax Garnishmentp. 36
Will They Really Take My Stuff?p. 37
Part II Considering Your Optionsp. 41
Chapter 5 Is Bankruptcy the Only Way Out?p. 43
Are You Judgment-Proof?p. 44
What Happens If I Do Nothing?p. 45
Credit Counseling Services--Sleeping with the Enemyp. 46
Home Equity Consolidation Loansp. 51
A Mortgage Workoutp. 52
IRS Debtsp. 54
Chapter 6 Isn't It Wrong Not to Pay My Bills?p. 56
The Moral Dilemmap. 56
Usuryp. 58
Modern-Day Money-changers/Loan Sharksp. 59
Legal vs. Moral Obligation to Payp. 60
Small Business Debtsp. 61
Debts to Family Membersp. 62
Chapter 7 What to Do Right Now: Prioritize and Protect Yourselfp. 64
Which Bills You Should Pay Firstp. 64
Family Necessitiesp. 64
Secured Debtsp. 65
Utilitiesp. 65
Child Supportp. 66
Income Taxesp. 67
Unsecured Debtsp. 68
Take Actionp. 68
Don't Take These Actionsp. 70
Bankruptcy Planning vs. Bankruptcy Fraudp. 72
Intentional Concealment, Transfer, or Destruction of Propertyp. 72
Fraudulent Transfersp. 75
Credit Card Fraudp. 77
Dischargeability Complaintsp. 79
Preferential Transfersp. 80
Exemption Planningp. 81
Part III The Bankruptcy Windfallp. 85
Chapter 8 Bankruptcy Exemptionsp. 86
Federal Exemptionsp. 86
State Exemptionsp. 87
Pensions and Retirement Accountsp. 89
Chapter 9 What Kind of Bankruptcy Is Right for Me?p. 90
The Big Twop. 91
Three for Special Circumstancesp. 94
Chapter 10 Do I Have to Hire a Lawyer?p. 97
Lawyers in Generalp. 97
Bankruptcy Lawyersp. 98
Do I Need a Lawyer?p. 99
Nonattorney Petition Preparersp. 100
Going It Alone (Pro Se)p. 102
Choosing a Bankruptcy Lawyerp. 103
Before Meeting with a Lawyer for the First Timep. 103
The Initial Consultationp. 105
But I'm Broke, How Can I Afford a Lawyer?p. 106
Chapter 11 What Do I Have to Do?p. 108
The Lawyer's Worksheetp. 108
Finding Out Who All Your Creditors Arep. 109
Does My Spouse Have to File?p. 113
Do I Have to Go to Court?p. 114
The Bankruptcy Trusteep. 115
Waiting for the Dischargep. 117
The Discharge Hearingp. 118
About the Discharge Orderp. 118
Chapter 12 The Automatic Stay: The Really Big Stickp. 119
What Can the Automatic Stay Do for Me?p. 120
Criminal Prosecutionsp. 126
Child Support and Alimony Paymentsp. 126
Government Regulatory Actionsp. 126
Emergency Filingp. 127
Chapter 13 Debts That Won't Go Awayp. 130
Taxesp. 130
Student Loansp. 132
Alimony and Child Support Obligationsp. 133
Unlisted Debtsp. 134
Penalties, Fines, and Restitutionp. 135
Drunk Driving Liabilityp. 135
Lawsuits During Your Bankruptcy Casep. 135
Debts Incurred Through Fraud or False Pretensesp. 136
Willful and Malicious Injuryp. 138
Marital Property Settlementsp. 138
Any Chance My Bankruptcy Won't Go Through?p. 139
Denial of Dischargep. 140
Chapter 14 Dealing with Secured Debtsp. 141
Voluntary Liensp. 141
Mortgages and Home Equity Loansp. 142
Car Loansp. 142
Store Credit Cardsp. 143
Secured Credit Cardsp. 143
Consumer Finance Company Loansp. 144
Involuntary Liensp. 145
Perfected and Unperfected Liensp. 146
Get Rid of Those Liensp. 147
Nonpurchase Money Security Interestsp. 148
Say Goodbye to Judgment Liensp. 149
Think about Surrenderp. 150
Chapter 15 The Chapter 7 Advantagep. 151
Quick and Painlessp. 151
Are You a Candidate?p. 152
Security Interests in Chapter 7 Bankruptcyp. 153
Pick Your Prioritiesp. 155
Chapter 16 Chapter 13, If You Mustp. 157
Chapter 13 Filing Eligibilityp. 157
Advantages of Chapter 13 Bankruptcyp. 158
The Chapter 13 "Cramdown"p. 160
Disadvantages of Chapter 13 Bankruptcyp. 162
Payment Problems and Solutionsp. 166
Missed Paymentsp. 166
If Things Get Really Badp. 167
Part IV Life After Debt--What to Do After Bankruptcyp. 171
Chapter 17 The Bankruptcy Dischargep. 173
You Mean the Automatic Stay Is Gone?p. 173
The Discharge Injunctionp. 173
Discharge Injunction Violationsp. 174
How Your Discharge Affects Cosignersp. 177
Beware of Bank Setoffsp. 178
Discrimination and Your Rightsp. 180
Chapter 18 Change Your Relationship with Moneyp. 182
Taking It Easyp. 182
Deal with Your Remaining Debtsp. 183
Your Debt-Reducing Strategyp. 185
Credit Repairp. 186
Cleaning Up Your Credit Reportsp. 186
The Fair Credit Reporting Actp. 186
Steps to Increase Lender Confidence in Your Creditworthinessp. 188
Disclosures After Bankruptcyp. 189
The Future of the Bankruptcy Codep. 190
Part V Should I File Now or Later? A Look at the New Bankruptcy Lawsp. 191
Chapter 19 Legalized Bribery in Congressp. 193
How Could This Happen?p. 195
What This Means for Youp. 195
Chapter 20 Some Highlights of Bankruptcy Reformp. 196
Means Testing Is Meanp. 196
Taking Food off the Tablep. 197
Longer Chapter 13 Repayment Plansp. 199
The Credit Counseling Scam and Other Delaysp. 199
Whittling Away at the Big Stickp. 200
More Nondischargeable Debtsp. 201
Other Unpleasant Features of the New Billp. 202
Chapter 21 So, What Can I Expect?p. 204
How We Got Herep. 204
Keeping Up with the Situationp. 205
What You Need to Do Now!p. 206
Glossaryp. 207
Indexp. 219
About the Authorp. 224