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Bankruptcy Basics for Low-Income Clients

Thursday September 26

  • By: Practising Law Institute
  • Time: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Time Zone: Pacific Time (US & Canada)
  • CLE Credit
  • Location:
    PLI San Francisco Conference Center & Via Live Webcast
    685 Market Street, Suite 100
    San Francisco, CA
  • Contact:
    Practising Law Institute
  • Website:
  • Source: California

Bankruptcy Basics for Low-Income Clients

September 26, 2013
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
PLI San Francisco Conference Center & Via Live Webcast

To Register:

Why You Should Attend
Although the recession is beginning to even out and foreclosures in many parts of the country are in the decline, the recession continues to affect financially marginalized people in disproportionate numbers. Many debtors are unrepresented and bankruptcy clinics are still in great demand. There is a critical need for pro bono attorneys to assist low-income clients at all levels. The practice of bankruptcy law changed dramatically with the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA). The implications of BAPCPA continue to develop in the Courts, all the way up to the Supreme Court. In the meantime the practice is ever changing and can be quite complicated with even the simplest form of bankruptcy, Chapter 7. This program was developed for brand new practitioners and those who are either not familiar with the practice or have not practiced bankruptcy law since the passage of BAPCPA. The program will focus on Chapter 7 bankruptcy, from the day a new client walks into your office to the day you receive notice that they have successfully received a discharge and their case is closed.

What You Will Learn
• An overview of Chapter 7 bankruptcy including legal sources, jurisdiction, venue, eligibility and the parties
• Your duties as a bankruptcy attorney and debt relief agency, how to evaluate and interview a client, how to choose between a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, and your responsibilities of investigation (due diligence)
• How the discharge works and the effectiveness of the automatic stay
• How to protect the debtor's property through exemptions
• An in depth overview of the means test
• How to prepare the schedules in a Chapter 7 and prepare your client for the meeting of creditors

Who Should Attend
This program was designed for the practitioner, paralegal and legal assistant who is new to bankruptcy or new to BAPCPA. It is a basic "How to File a Chapter 7" program. If you want to volunteer in pro bono clinics, develop bankruptcy as one of your practice areas or are a new attorney who wants to develop a bankruptcy practice, this program will give you the tools you need to get started.

Program Schedule

Program Overview and Introductions
Sally J. Elkington

Overview - Chapter 7
• Sources of bankruptcy law
• Jurisdiction
• Venue
• Eligibility
• The parties
Sally J. Elkington

Duties of the Attorney
• Debt relief agency
• Evaluating the client
• Interviewing the client
• Alternatives to filing for bankruptcy
• Evaluating the bankruptcy process: Chapter 7 vs. Chapter
• Due diligence
Sally J. Elkington

Networking Break

Discharge of Debts and the Automatic Stay
• Debts not generally discharged
• Debts that may be challenged by the creditor
• §707 actions by the trustee or creditor
• Violation of the automatic stay
• Automatic stay denied to persistent filers
• Automatic stay not applicable in certain actions
Sarah Lampi Little


Bankruptcy Estate and Exemptions
• Property of the bankruptcy estate
• Transfers that the trustee may avoid
• California exemptions - System 1 and 2
• Homestead exemptions
• Domiciliary requirements
• Dealing with collateral
Carl R. Gustafson

Section 707(b) - Means Test Overview
• Who must take the means test?
• Calculating Debtor's Current Monthly Income (CMI)
• Application of §707(b) (7) exclusion
• Presumption of abuse
Sarah Lampi Little

Networking Break

Filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case
• Preparing to file a Chapter 7 petition
• Credit Counseling Certificate
• Preparing for 341(a) hearing
• Financial Management Certificate
• Amending the Chapter 7 schedules
• Discharge
Carl R. Gustafson



Thanks to PBN Sponsors:

  • Intelliteach
Pro Bono and legal aid attorney resources - Pro Bono Net

Volunteer Profile

Kate Powers is an associate in the litigation department at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. She holds a J.D. from Cornell Law School where she served as a Notes Editor of the Cornell International Law Journal. She currently volunteers with Her Justice in New York. Read More

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