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Brian K. Madden, Bankruptcy Attorney
The U.S. Supreme Court has designated me as a "Debt Relief Agency". I help people file bankruptcy using federal law. 11 USC 528. Milavetz v. US, 130 S. Ct. 1324 (2010).
Once I file your case, you are under the protection of the bankruptcy court. The court will issue you a case number and assign a "Trustee" to administer your case. Any active lawsuits, scheduled foreclosures or repossessions will stop immediately. Any active garnishments you have will stop within a pay period or two of the filing date of your case.
A date will be set for a hearing that you must attend with me. This is called a 341 hearing or "meeting of creditors". This hearing usually takes place about 30 days after your case is filed. You and I attend this hearing together in Old Town Alexandria, where the United States Bankruptcy Court is located. The hearing is not held in the courthouse, but in an office building at 115 S. Union St., Alexandria, VA 22314. There is no fighting, no yelling, no arguing. It is a pretty low key event, but you must be there. If you don't show up, then your case will likely be dismissed. Unlike other court dates, for things like a traffic ticket, it's not easy to get these hearings continued.
You must bring some form of government issued photo identification with you, such as your driver's license or passport, as well as proof of your social security number, such as your social security card or a W-2 from work.
About two months after your hearing, you will receive your discharge in the mail from the court. This marks the end of your case and the beginning of much better credit. Be sure to borrow and repay on a small scale immediately after your discharge in order to begin rebuilding your credit.
Once we meet in person and I have been retained, you may give out my phone number and eMail address to any creditors that are calling you. Tell them that you are filing bankruptcy. They will stop calling you and start calling me. They like to verify that I am your lawyer and ask me if I have your case number yet.
In order to prepare your court documents, I will need to sit down with you in person and get detailed financial information about your situation. I do not overwhelm you with forms, I talk with you. I know what to ask. You just need to be there in person to answer my questions truthfully and completely.
I will also need some paperwork from you, like your pay stubs and tax returns, so that I can document your income.
Bills from each of your creditors are helpful, but I am required to obtain your credit report as well. If you don't have bills from everyone that you owe, don't worry. We will still be able to get the information we need.
I can help you prepare a list of personal property that you own, such as financial accounts, vehicles, furniture, etc. We cannot leave anything out, so I will help guide you with this. Lastly, there is a credit-counselling course that the court requires you to complete. It can be done online or by telephone. It's not very demanding or time consuming, but it is required.
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Contact established by visitors to this site, through telephone or e-mail, shall be treated as a general inquiry.
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Bankruptcy is not for everyone. Your situation is unique. A decision to file bankruptcy should be made only after consulting an experienced and knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney about your particular facts and circumstances. Even then, proceed only after careful thought, a complete evaluation and a candid discussion regarding all of the possible consequences and competing considerations.
Brian K. Madden, Attorney At Law ® 10617 Jones Street, Suite 301-B, Fairfax, VA, 22030, (703)383-9700, firstname.lastname@example.org