PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING TERMS OF SERVICES & LEGAL NOTICES (“THIS AGREEMENT”) CAREFULLY BEFORE USING THE bankruptcyez.com WEBSITE (the “Site” or “bankruptcyez.com”). These terms explain your (and our) rights under this Agreement, and make certain disclosures required by the law. By using the Site, you give your assent to the terms of this Agreement. If you do not agree to these terms, you may not use the Site. bankruptcyez.com (“bankruptcyez.com”,” “We” or “Our”) has the right, in our sole discretion, to modify, add, or remove any terms or conditions of this Agreement without giving individual notice to you, by posting the changes on the Site. Your continuing use of the Site signifies your acceptance of any such changes.
1. A bankruptcy petition preparer may only type forms. When a bankruptcy petition preparer
provides services that go beyond typing forms, those services can constitute the unauthorized “practice of law.”
2. A bankruptcy petition preparer has an obligation to disclose all amounts received from the debtor, or on behalf of the debtor, in the year prior to the filing of the bankruptcy case, and the source of any fee paid. This disclosure should also include all amount owing to the preparer. Under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (“BAPCPA”), such disclosure shall be made on the date the petition is filed with the Bankruptcy Court.
3. A bankruptcy petition preparer has an obligation to disclose all amounts received from the debtor, or on behalf of the debtor, in the year prior to the filing of the bankruptcy case, and the source of any fee paid. This disclosure should
also include all amount owing to the preparer. Under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (“BAPCPA”), such disclosure shall be made on the date the petition is filed with the Bankruptcy Court.
4. The charge typically allowed in this district for a bankruptcy petition preparer’s services is no more than $200, including, but not limited to, any and all expenses such as photocopying, costs of credit reports, gas, messenger, courier
charges, postage and telephone charges. This fee does not include the court filing fee. The United States Trustee may object to any fee above $200. A lower fee ceiling may apply to an incomplete bankruptcy filing, if the documents shows
limited typing, or where a preparer acts incompetently or illegally. If the reasonableness of a bankruptcy petition preparer’s fee is challenged, the burden of showing that the fee is reasonable belongs to the preparer. The Bankruptcy Court determines what fee is reasonable.
5. The Bankruptcy Code provides that the Bankruptcy Court may disallow all fees in
instances where a petition preparer violates any provision of 11 U.S.C. § 110.
6. Debtors have the right to file their bankruptcy documents in person at the Bankruptcy Court or by mailing them to the court, consistent with the court’s procedure. A preparer who files, assists with the physical filing of a petition with the
court, or charges a debtor for messenger or courier costs, may be subject to fines under 11 U.S.C. § 110(g) for handling the court filing fee. This prohibition includes a preparer’s handling of a money order payable to the “U.S. Bankruptcy Court.”
7. A petition preparer may not charge or accept monies from a debtor for the credit counseling or debtor education classes, unless the petition preparer has been approved as a provider by the United States Trustee.
8. Under BAPCPA, a bankruptcy petition preparer is required to sign, give a copy to the debtor, and file with the Bankruptcy Court the Declaration and Signature of Non-Attorney Bankruptcy Petition Preparer (Official Form 19). Form 19 is to be
completed and signed before preparing a bankruptcy petition, schedules and statements (or the first of any other paper if the bankruptcy petition preparer has not prepared the petition), and before accepting any money from the debtor(s).
9. A bankruptcy petition preparer should use the Official Court Forms to prepare documents. These forms are available for no cost on the Bankruptcy Court’s website. Some providers of attorney software, for example, do not include petition preparer signature blocks on certain documents, that are included on the Official Forms.
10. A bankruptcy petition preparer is not an attorney and is not authorized to practice law. As defined by statute and case law, the activities that constitute the practice of law in the bankruptcy court include, but are not limited to, the following:
A. Determining when to file bankruptcy or whether to file a bankruptcy petition;
B. Explaining the difference between chapters or determining under which chapter of the Bankruptcy Code to file a voluntary petition;
C. Explaining information necessary to complete the bankruptcy petition;
D. Advising debtors regarding the claiming of exemptions;
E. Explaining or determining which debts are priority, secured, or unsecured;
F. Suggesting or determining where items belong on the petition, based on information provided by a debtor;
G. Preparing any pleadings other than filling out official forms promulgated by the United States Supreme Court or by the United States Bankruptcy Court of the Central District of California;
H. Explaining or discussing the impact that a bankruptcy filing may have on an eviction or foreclosure proceeding;
I. Explaining or discussing the impact that a bankruptcy filing may have on the dischargeability of debts, including
outstanding student loans or taxes, or whether a debt will be discharged;
J. Explaining, discussing, or assisting a debtor with a reaffirmation agreement;
K. Assisting or appearing with the debtor or on a debtor’s behalf at the § 341(a) Meeting of Creditors;
L. Discussing or assisting a debtor with determining whether a certain debt should be reaffirmed or
M. Providing advice or guidance to a debtor regarding the actions that may or may not be taken by a creditor,
United States Bankruptcy Trustee, United States Bankruptcy Court, United States Bankruptcy Judge, or another third party.
11. Translating documents may not necessarily be considered the practice of law. However, translation services provided to a debtor should not include services listed in paragraph 10 above.
12. Before typing any document whatsoever and before accepting any money from the debtor(s), the bankruptcy petition preparer must provide a copy of these Guidelines to the debtor(s), which must be signed and dated by the debtor(s)and
the bankruptcy petition preparer as provided below. The original signed copy of the Guidelines must be attached to any petition, pleading or other document filed with the court. If these Guidelines are filed with the bankruptcy
petition, the U.S. Trustee suggests that it be placed in front of the mailing matrix.
13. If a bankruptcy petition preparer communicates with a debtor primarily in a language other than English, the petition preparer shall provide a copy of these Guidelines to the debtor(s) in that language.
14. A petition preparer should keep a copy of the Guidelines signed by the debtor for a period of two years from the date of signature.
15. Anyone, including a debtor, who believes that a bankruptcy petition preparer has violated 11 U.S.C. § 110 or has given legal advice should advise the United States Trustee in writing of the circumstances.
16. These guidelines replace the Guidelines that were effective on March 1, 2003.
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