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Bankruptcy Attorneys - Debt Relief Agency Disclosures

With respect to our Bankruptcy Law practice, Hood & Lay, LLC, an Alabama law firm, is a federally defined "Debt Relief Agency" according to 11 United States Code Sec. 101, which means that we can provide clients with legal advice and can represent clients in filing a Bankruptcy Petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. By filing a petition in Bankruptcy Court, a debtor requests the Court for a discharge of his or her debts (which means that certain debts can be made permanently unenforceable against the debtor). Generally, debts that can be discharged in Bankruptcy include most unsecured debts such as credit card balances, medical bills, and even judgments against the debtor. Certain debts are nondischargeable, however, which means that the debtor will still owe them after the bankruptcy is final. Such nondischargeable debts include most (but not all) back taxes, most (but not all) student loans, child support and spousal support, and court ordered restitutionary damages for drunk driving.

Pursuant to federal Bankruptcy Law, Hood & Lay, LLC makes the following Debt Relief Agency Disclosures to an Assisted Person:

You have contacted Hood & Lay, LLC, 1117 22nd Street South, Birmingham, AL 35205, by visiting this website, www.whlfirm.com, or by calling us at (205) 323-4123, concerning potentially retaining a bankruptcy attorney to advise you about the possibility of filing a bankruptcy case for yourself as an individual, or for yourself and your spouse if you could file jointly.

Our firm's bankruptcy practice is focused on representing individual consumer debtors by offering pre-bankruptcy legal consultation, preparing and filing bankruptcy petitions under both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 for debtors who sign a written agreement with our law firm to hire us as their bankruptcy attorneys. We also represent individual debtors and non-debtor third parties named as defendants in bankruptcy court adversary proceedings, but in such adversary cases, the client must sign a separate written agreement defining the scope of such representation.

We represent client debtors who are eligible to file bankruptcy cases in any of the Divisions of the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts of Alabama.

“Credit Counseling”, “debt management” and other “credit card payment plans” do not provide a debtor the right to seek a discharge of debt. A discharge of debt can only be granted by the federal Bankruptcy Court and only by filing a petition in the Bankruptcy Court can a debtor obtain an order granting discharge of a debt. A discharge in bankruptcy is in effect a permanent injunction against the debtor's creditors which makes it in illegal for them to ever try to collect that debt from the debtor again in the future. A bankruptcy discharge makes credit card debt, back rent, medical bills, and many other types of unsecured debts permanently unenforceable against the debtor. There are some debts, however, for which a debtor cannot obtain a discharge, such debts include: most taxes owed; most student loans (unless the debtor can meet very strictly defined standards of "undue hardship"); alimony and child support obligations; and court-ordered restitution payments for personal injuries resulting from the debtor's drunk driving. In a Chapter 13 case, the debtor must fully pay all non-dischargeable debts during the Chapter 13 repayment plan before completing the plan and obtaining a partial discharge of his or her dischargeable debts.

A debtor who is granted a discharge by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court never has to pay the discharged debts again. The creditors to whom such debts were owed prior to the discharge, are permanently enjoined (or legally forbidden) from calling the debtor, sending him or her bills, notices or letters trying to collect the discharged debts, adding interest to the discharged debts, assigning the discharged debts to a collection agency, suing you for the debts, or trying to seize your property or garnish your wages.

Hood & Lay, LLC will only represent you in preparing and filing a bankruptcy case for you if you enter into a written contract with us to offer you legal representation, advice and related bankruptcy legal services. You must sign our written agreement and pay us the legal fees and costs stated in our contract.

11 U.S.C. Sec. 527 of the United States Bankruptcy Code requires a Debt Relief Agency such Hood & Lay, LLC to provide an assisted person with the following information:

1. A Notice pursuant to 11 U.S.C. Sec. 342(b), which is attached at the end hereof and contains:

(1) a brief description of (A) Chapters 7, 11, 12, and 13 and the general purpose, benefits, and costs of proceeding under each of those chapters; and (B) the types of services available from credit counseling agencies; and (2) statements specifying that (A) a person who knowingly and fraudulently conceals assets or makes a false oath or statement under penalty of perjury in connection with a case under this title shall be subject to fine, imprisonment, or both; and (B) all information supplied by a debtor in connection with a case under this title is subject to examination by the Attorney General.

2. THE FOLLOWING DISCLOSURES ARE REQUIRED BY 11 U.S.C. Sec. 527(a)(2):

(A) all information that the assisted person is required to provide with a petition and thereafter during a case under this title is required to be complete, accurate, and truthful; (B) all assets and all liabilities are required to be completely and accurately disclosed in the documents filed to commence the case, and the replacement value of each asset as defined in Section 506 must be stated in those documents where requested after reasonable inquiry to establish such value; (C) current monthly income, the amounts specified in section 707(b)(2), and, in a case under Chapter 13 of this title, disposable income (determined in accordance with Section 707(b)(2)) are required to be stated after reasonable inquiry; and (D) information that an assisted person provides during his or her case may be audited pursuant to this title, and failure to provide such information may result in dismissal of the case under this title or other sanction, including a criminal sanction. If you have any questions about any of these disclosures, we will be happy to provide further explanation. 3. Certain additional disclosures are required by 11 U.S.C. Sec. 527(b), and are provided to you herewith as a separately captioned document titled “Disclosures Required by 11 U.S.C. Sec. 527(b)” which are contained on the following page. Please click here ( link is http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/11/527) for the Debt Relief Agency Disclosures Required by 11 U.S.C. Sec. 527(b).

Thank you for your careful attention to these legally required disclosures. We are a Debt Relief Agency as defined by federal law.