This text originally began as an attempt to put in one place the answers to the authorís clientís most commonly asked questions. Later the text was expanded to include warnings regarding common problems experienced by bankruptcy clients as well as disclosures to protect the attorney from clients who did not want to remember the information provided to them regarding the consequences of filing bankruptcy (such as losing certain items of property)1 or engaging in certain conduct (such as failing to make post-petition mortgage or car payments).2
Recently Congress enacted major changes in the form of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005. As far as can be determined at this point the new law does very little to prevent abuse or protect consumers. The law is anti-judge, anti-attorney, anti-poor to average consumer, pro-rich, and pro-secured creditor. It includes new restrictions on filing and a great deal of additional paper work. Further, it is internally inconsistent. As a result, it will probably be a number of years before the application of itís new provisions are understood with any decree of confidence. In the following pages an attempt will be made to explain some of the changes this law has brought to bankruptcy practice.
The reader is cautioned that the material in this text represents the authors understanding of the law at the time of writing. Attorneys as well as judges differ in their interpretation of bankruptcy law and procedure. As a result, this text may contain errors and/or information that may have been superceded by recent changes in the law.3 The information contained herein is for informational purposes only.
Finally, anyone attempting to file bankruptcy under the new law must understand that it places greater burdens on debtors to supply information and greater burdens on attorneys to verify that information. Attorneys have been instructed that if their clients do not or cannot supply them with the required information they may not file a bankruptcy for them. Further, the new law prohibits attorneys from giving advice about certain aspects of the law to their clients.