Topeka Bankruptcy Attorneys Named 2009 Super Lawyers

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Mark Neis

Our attorneys at the Bankruptcy Law Office, Mark Neis and Jill Michaux, have been chosen for inclusion on the 2009 Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers list.  Only five per cent of Missouri and Kansas attorneys are chosen each year.

Jill Michaux

Jill Michaux

The Super Lawyers selection process includes a statewide survey of lawyers, peer nominations based on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement, a blue ribbon panel review by practice area, independent research to identify outstanding lawyers, and a discipline check of candidates.

Mark and Jill were two of four Kansas lawyers selected as 2009 Super Lawyers in the consumer bankruptcy law category.  They are two of three Topeka lawyers selected as 2009 Super Lawyers in the bankruptcy and creditors rights law category.

Mark and Jill are the only consumer bankruptcy law specialists in Topeka and two of 10 in Kansas.  They are board certified by the American Board of Certification in consumer bankruptcy law.

Video: Do I Need a Lawyer to File Bankruptcy?

You need a lawyer to file bankruptcy.  Without an attorney, you may lose your property and may not get your debts discharged by the bankruptcy.

You need a bankruptcy attorney to advise you:

  1. whether to file bankruptcy,
  2. what chapter to file,
  3. what exemptions to claim.

You expect a board certified specialist for your doctor.  Expect it for your lawyer, too.  Meet our attorneys.  Mark Neis and Jill Michaux are the only board certified consumer bankruptcy law specialists in Topeka and two of ten in Kansas.

Finding a Bankruptcy Attorney Outside Kansas

DIY Means Test Like Doing Your Own Surgery

Video: What is the Bankruptcy Discharge?

Bankruptcy Won’t Discharge These Debts

Will I Lose My Bankruptcy Case?

Bankruptcy Crimes

Video: What Happens at Bankruptcy Court Hearings?

Video: What are Bankruptcy Crimes?

Examples of bankruptcy crimes:

Fraudulent transfer of assets

Hiding property from the bankruptcy trustee

Making false statements in bankruptcy

Disobeying a bankruptcy court order

Video: What Happens at My Bankruptcy Hearing?

Watch what happens at a bankruptcy meeeting of creditors, also known as your 341 hearing.

What will they ask me at my bankruptcy meeting?

Retired, Broke, Bankrupt

The over-55 crowd is the mostly likely age group to declare bankruptcy, the AARP says.  This group is carrying mortgages, home equity loans and credit card balances.

According to an AARP study, over half of this group spends most of their income paying down debt.  A quarter of these folks pay over 75% of their income reducing debt.

Video: How Do I File for Bankruptcy?

How to Get Started Filing for Bankruptcy

How to Get Your Bankruptcy Certificate from a Credit Counselor

Documents to Gather for Your Bankruptcy Attorney

Video: Bankruptcy Won't Help With These Debts

What Is NOT Discharged in Bankruptcy  Video:  Running Time 4:34

Child support, alimony

Student loans

Most federal and state income taxes

Employer payroll taxes and sales taxes

Loans obtained by fraud or false pretenses

Liens on property such as homes and cars

Video: What are the Types of Bankruptcy?

Types of Bankruptcy

There are three main types of bankruptcy cases for individuals, the most common of which are chapter 7 and chapter 13.

Running Time: (3:55)

Video: Bankruptcy Basics Overview

Introduction to Bankruptcy

Running Time (2:38)

Bankruptcy Income Guidelines Changing

Will you qualify for chapter 7 bankruptcy after Halloween?

Bankruptcy income guidelines will change effective with cases filed on or after November 1, 2009. For one, two and three person households, the amount increases slightly. For four person households the amount decreases.

Here are the new Kansas figures:

  1. one earner household $41,357 (up $353)
  2. two person household $57,767 (up $1621)
  3. three person household $63,438 (up $193)
  4. four person household $72,610 (down $2016)
  5. add $6900 for each individual in the household in excess of four.

The figures are updated by the U.S. Trustee Program using data from the U.S. Census Bureau for median income based upon family size.

Means Test Changes Delayed

The U.S. Census Bureau is delaying release of its updated numbers for family median income which are used to the bankruptcy means test. The new figures are now expected to be released on posted to the U.S. Trustee Program website by October 9, 2009, and will apply to bankruptcy petitions filed on or after November 1, 2009.

Will I Lose My House If I File Bankruptcy?

I am frequently asked by people who are thinking of filing bankruptcy, “Will I lose my house if I file bankruptcy?” The fear of losing everything in bankruptcy is very real.

Fortunately, in Kansas the protection our law has for your home is in our state constitution and statutes. That is quite different from other states, Missouri, for example.

If you are entitled to claim the Kansas homestead exemption, it is unlikely you will lose your home for filing bankruptcy. Most of my clients who lose their homes, do so because they can’t afford to pay the mortgage payments and real estate taxes. Bankruptcy is not what causes people to lose their homes in Kansas usually.

There are some situations, which are rare, fortunately, when the bankruptcy trustee might be able to attack your homestead–the reasons are too complicated for a general information blog. Discuss the history of your home ownership with your attorney to put your mind at ease. Your attorney can analyze your circumstances and advise you of your rights so you can quit worrying.

Interpreters for Bankruptcy 341 Hearings

The United States Trustee’s office is now providing free interpreters by telephone at bankruptcy meetings of creditors (341 hearings) for limited English proficient debtors.

For more information, go to web site for the Executive Office of the U.S. Trustee:  http://www.usdoj.gov/ust/eo/public_affairs/lep/index.htm

Persons wishing to use the interpreter service should contact the case trustee in advance of the meeting to make arrangements.

Bankruptcy Help for Farmers

Chapter 12 is a provision of the Bankruptcy Code that permits financially distressed family farmers to reorganize debts in a simple and efficient manner and save their farms.  It is limited to debtors who qualify as a family farmer with debts under the allowed limits.  Kansas, not surprisingly, has more chapter 12 bankruptcy cases filed than most states.  Attorneys who represent family farmers in chapter 12 bankruptcies in Kansas include:

  • Tom Barnes of Topeka
  • Bob Baer of Topeka
  • JB King of Topeka
  • Dan Forker of Hutchinson
  • David R. Klaassen of Marquette
  • Bill Zimmerman of Wichita
  • Eric Rajala of Overland Park and Ed Nazar of Wichita serve as the chapter 12 bankruptcy trustees in Kansas.  The attorneys at the Bankruptcy Law Office represent people who have farm debt from time to time in chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy cases, but we do not file chapter 12 bankruptcy cases for family farmers.