Molleur Law Office
strives to provide our clients with the latest information and resources regarding both debt relief and bankruptcy
in the State of Maine. Most importantly, we want to help you understand that Bankruptcy remains a viable option for Maine debtors. You still have opportunities to find relief and start a new life, debt-free.
What is a new Debt Relief Agency?
Debt Relief Agency (DRA): an attorney or petition preparer offering "bankruptcy services" to an "assisted Person". This includes:
- Representing individual debtors
- Representing "Mom & Pop" small business with consumer debts
- Representing consumer creditor
- Representing non-debtor spouse
- Providing advice or representation outside a bankruptcy case
Assisted Person: one who has primarily consumer debts and nonexempt assets less than $150,000.
Bankruptcy Services: providing information, advice, counsel, documentation, preparation or filing, attendance at creditors meeting or appearance in case/proceeding, or providing legal representation.
Who May Need a Debt Relief Agency?
You should seek-out a debt relief agency if you find yourself under the crushing weight of consumer debt, and risk the following:
- Credit Defaults
- Mortgage Foreclosures
Inability to Pay Your Consumer Debt
If you are like many Maine individuals and face these consequences, now may be the right time to consider a Debt Relief Agency and bankruptcy protection.
Changes to the Bankruptcy Filing Process
Note: The following is a summary of legislation adopted by Congress in 2005, after intense lobbying by the credit industry. In our opinion these regulations are designed to intimidate people who need debt relief under the Bankruptcy Code, and are based on the erroneous assumption that debtors are dishonest. So long as you are honest and meet the requirements set out under the law, you are entitled to debt relief. We can guide you through all the requirement of filing bankruptcy, so long as you provide us accurate and complete information.
1. Understanding Your Debt Relief Options
There are a number of possible ways to handle your debt problems. The new bankruptcy regulations ensure that your lawyer discuss these options with you. Bankruptcy may be the best option, but you should be aware of the restrictions and consequences of bankruptcy when compared to other forms of debt relief.
2. Truth & Full Disclosure
The new laws very specifically require accurate filing from the very start of the bankruptcy process. As long as your personal information, assets and liabilities are recorded accurately, you have nothing new to worry about.
3. Providing Tax Returns & Income
You may have to provide tax returns from the past few years- up to 4 years before you file and proof of income for the last six months.
4. Debt Relief Counseling Requirement
You must now attend an individual or group briefing from a non-profit budget and counseling agency before completing the bankruptcy process. They will help ensure that you understand your responsibilities and opportunities regarding debt relief. *Joint debtors must each attend the course, but may attend the same session.
Approved Maine non-profit Budget and Counseling Agencies include:
- Money Management International
- Institute for Financial Literacy
Cases may be randomly audited for accuracy of personal information, income & debt disclosure, etc. We encourage you to provide complete and accurate information, or you risk both a dismissal of your case and possible criminal charges.
6. Financial Management Instruction
Similar to attending a Consumer Credit Agency briefing, this final requirement asks that you attend one more educational seminar, at least two hours long, which will include:
- Institute for Financial Literacy
If you feel that a Debt Relief Agency could help you overcome your debt crisis, please schedule an appointment to meet with us. We have been filing Chapter 13 bankruptcies in Maine for over 30 years, creating new financial futures for consumers and businesses.