Below are links to some online resources that may assist you as you seek information about bankruptcy or foreclosure of a home. Norman E. Rouse, Esq. and Collins, Webster & Rouse, P.C. hopes these resources are useful to you.
Bankruptcy Legal Information
If you need bankruptcy help in Joplin, these resources should provide you with an introduction, and in some cases, in-depth review, of what to expect in bankruptcy proceedings.
- The Money Guide — a 30-page guide from the Missouri Bar covering topics such as personal bankruptcy
- Business Law Resource Guide — a 28-page guide from the Missouri Bar covering topics such as business bankruptcy
- “Straight” Bankruptcy: Chapter 7 — Questions and Answers — from the American Bar Association
- U.S. Bankruptcy Code — made available by the U.S. House of Representatives
- Chapter 7 — liquidation and straight bankruptcy
- Chapter 11 — business reorganization
- Chapter 12 — farming bankruptcy
- Chapter 13 — debt adjustment and wage earners’ plans
- Bankruptcy Courts
- The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Missouri is the court that handles bankruptcy for Joplin and the surrounding area.
- The court website provides a 30-minute video on topics such as bankruptcy filing timelines, forms, bankruptcy terminology and credit counseling.
- The federal rules for filing a bankruptcy petition and other rules of bankruptcy courts are given in Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure.
- U.S. Trustee Program — a component of the U.S. Department of Justice responsible for overseeing the administration of bankruptcy cases and private trustees
Credit and Debt Resources
If you are trying to resolve debt issues without using a bankruptcy proceeding, these resources provide you with some of the rules of the road.
- The Money Guide — the same guide mentioned above, also covers topics such as credit reports, credit card rules and how to deal with creditors and debt collectors
- Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) — the federal law governing creditor harassment and the behavior of bill collectors
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC) — enforces the FDCPA, and has consumer information about debt collection
- National Foundation for Credit Counseling — a nationwide network of credit counselors and information about how to select a credit counselor
- Free Credit Report
- Under federal law, you can get one free copy of your credit report each year from the three main consumer credit reporting agencies (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax).
- Don’t be fooled by ads for free credit reports from companies that actually want you to purchase other services from them.
- The official free site for obtaining credit reports is AnnualCreditReport.com.
- Because you can get one credit report per year from each company, you could get them all at the same time, or request one every four months from a different company. To do the latter, just mark your calendar, keep track of which agency you’ll contact each time, and go to the above website every four months.
- If you find any old or inaccurate information in your credit report and have difficulty getting the credit reporting agency to remove it, contact our law firm using the information below.
- Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act of 2009 (CARD Act) — sets standards for how credit card companies disclose their interest rates and other terms on your bill and in other information they send to you. A summary of the CARD Act is made available by the Federal Reserve.
Foreclosure Law Information
If you are facing a foreclosure of your home, these pamphlets should give you a basic understanding of the process and how to get documents you may need.
- Steps You Can Take to Avoid Foreclosure — a pamphlet from the Missouri Bar
- Mortgage Foreclosure Tool Box — from the Missouri Attorney General
Contact Our Joplin Bankruptcy Attorneys for Assistance
For additional information about bankruptcy, credit issues and foreclosure, and for legal advice tailored to your individual circumstances, contact Norman E. Rouse, Esq. and Collins, Webster & Rouse, P.C. Call us for a free consultation at 417.782.2222, or fill out a contact form.