Loading... Please wait...

Our Newsletter



​Removing Your Bankruptcy From Credit Reports

Removing Your Bankruptcy From Credit Reports

The record of your bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for 10 years if you filed under Chapter 7 and for 7 years if you filed under Chapter 13. The anniversary mark is measured from the date of your case filing. Although the bankruptcy should automatically fall from the credit report after this time, often times, it will remain. You can take steps with each credit reporting bureau to remove the record.


Step 1
Access the Equifax website's page covering online disputes. The form at the bottom of this webpage asks for a few different pieces of information, such as your name, address and Social Security number. Fill out this form, skipping the credit report number field if you don't have one, and click "Submit."

Step 2
Answer the multiple choice questions asked. These questions confirm you are who you say you are, preventing other people from accessing your report. Click "Submit."

Step 3
Click the bankruptcy’s account name link. Click "Dispute this item." Choose the dispute option stating the account is too old to report. Click the "Add Dispute" option.


Step 1
Go to Experian's dispute homepage on its website. Order a credit report from Experian, go to to request a free credit report or use a credit report requested more recently than 90 days ago. Click "Yes, I have a credit report number." Experian requires customers to have a recent credit report before requesting a dispute.

Step 2
Enter the number from the first page of the credit report in the form field. Enter your personal identification information in the other fields and click "Submit."

Step 3
Click the "Dispute this item" link next to the bankruptcy listing. Choose too old to report for your dispute reason. Click "Submit your dispute."


Step 1
Go to the TransUnion webpage dealing with disputes in Resources. Click "First Time? Click Here" and fill out the short registration form if you have not used a TransUnion service in the past. Goback to the main dispute page and click "Returning User" to log in to your account.

Step 2
Click the "Credit Report" option in the navigation bar. Click the "Report Inaccuracy" link that appears once you switch to the Credit Report tab. Click "Submit Dispute" to start your dispute with TransUnion.

Step 3
Scroll down this page and click "Request Investigation" next to your bankruptcy listing. Provide the too old reason to dispute and click "Submit."


-The 713 Training

Bankruptcy Petition Drafting Tip

Bankruptcy Petition Drafting Tip 1

There are TWO things you should find out from the attorney (or ask the debtor in the client intake interview) before you start drafting a bankruptcy petition. These two questions are:

1. Have you completed the credit counseling requirement?
2. Have you ever filed bankruptcy? If so when?

As a virtual bankruptcy assistant working for bankruptcy attorneys, we have encountered several problems when not asking these questions before drafting the petition. After the attorney has the client fill out the Client Intake Forms and sends them to us, we assume the attorney has already qualified these debtors. But as amazing as it sounds we have spent many hours inputting information into the bankruptcy petition only to find out the client has not completed the credit counseling requirement.

At this stage we have no choice but to immediately stop drafting the bankruptcy petition and notify the attorney at once. Unless the debtor can go online and obtain his or her credit counseling certificate within a few days, the figures we entered into the bankruptcy software will need to be changed. Therefore, we will stop the process. Then, when the client obtains the credit counseling certificate, we will go back and update the Means Test as well as any additional income information on Schedules I and J and year-to-date totals under Item #1 or #2 of the Statement of Affairs.

But if you want to eliminate the possibility of this situation occurring altogether, do not input a bankruptcy petition until you have verified the debtor has completed the credit counseling requirement. This information should be provided by the attorney you are working for or a member of the law staff. But in our experience, we obtained this information from the debtor during the client intake interview.

The same thing holds true regarding prior bankruptcy filings. If you discover a debtor has filed bankruptcy within the past 2 years, you will want to use the information below to determine if the debtor's are eligible to file.

Under the new bankruptcy law:

1. If someone files a Chapter 7, they cannot file another Chapter 7 for 8 years.

2. If someone files a Chapter 7, they cannot file a Chapter 13 for 4 years.

3. If someone files a Chapter 13, they cannot file a Chapter 7 for 6 years.

4. If someone files a Chapter 13, they cannot file another Chapter 13 for 2 years.

Completing this step before drafting the bankruptcy petition will save you, your attorney and the law firm a great deal of time and expense.

Selling Assets When Considering Bankruptcy

Selling Assets When Considering Bankruptcy

When looking into different options to get out from under a pile of debt there are some things that need to be considered. Selling assets, returning assets to creditors, and bankruptcy are some of the ways that this may be accomplished.

If considering selling assets and possibly bankruptcy, there are some important things to know. When meeting with a bankruptcy attorney they will most likely ask about assets in a debtor’s possession, any payments they’ve made to creditors, and if they have sold any assets recently. The reason the attorney will ask about any assets sold recently is because the bankruptcy trustee will look into any sales made by the debtor before filing bankruptcy. The trustee is looking for any proceeds from the sales and where the proceeds went.

The trustee wants to see if un-exempt property was sold to avoid it being liquidated, or to see if creditors were paid with the proceeds. If the property was sold to avoid liquidation the trustee may seize the money to pay back creditors. If the proceeds were used to pay a creditor, that could also be considered favoring one creditor over another. In this case the trustee will probably try to recover the money from the creditor and divide it among all the creditors. If proceeds were from un-exempt property, and then used to purchase exempt property, the trustee will probably not allow the exemption for the newly purchased property.

The attorneys job is to show that proceeds from any sales were used properly and not to defraud creditors. Many times the trustee will allow payments if the proceeds were used for non-dischargeable debts such as; student loans, child support, or alimony.

As Virtual Bankruptcy Assistants, when preparing bankruptcy petitions for attorneys it’s important that we know what to look for, and what questions to ask. If we can alert the attorney, we are working for, to possible problems with sales of assets, our services will bring a lot of value to the attorney. Any extra value that we bring will end up helping our businesses and keep our relationship going with the attorneys. Being educated on all the ins and outs of bankruptcy will allow us to deliver a thorough and correct bankruptcy petition to the attorneys that we partner with.

For more information on receiving the training needed to become a Virtual Bankruptcy Assistant visit At 713 Training we offer complete chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy training to allow you to run your own virtual assistant business, be able to set your own schedule, and make the kind of money you want.

-The 713 Training Team

Join our LinkedIn group:

Follow us on Facebook:

DISCLAIMER: We at 713 Training are not attorneys; any information provided by 713 Training should not be considered legal advice. The information in this article, and any other materials provided by 713 Training, whether delivered verbally, written or via any other means, including electronic/digital delivery and storage, is for training purposes only, and is intended for individuals who work under the direction of a licensed attorney.

Avoid Cases From Being Closed Without A Discharge

Avoid Cases From Being Closed Without A Discharge

I am sure we have all had it happen. A client’s case gets dismissed without a discharge for failure to take the predischarge financial management course. Inevitably, the client will be upset claiming that you never told them to take the class. In order to avoid this problem you should take four opportunities to advise your client of the requirement: (1) at the initial consultation as part of your retaining process and package, (2) at the time the client comes in to sign the petition and (3) as part of the petition package mailed to client after filing and (4) at the 341(a) Meeting of Creditors.

Typically the credit counseling provider will send you flyers. Always include these as part of your retaining package. While you are explaining the process to the client, highlight the two classes with a red sharpie so the client can physically see you do it, pointing out there will be a second class after the filing. (Most of the flyers come on that shinny paper so I found it easier to copy the flyer onto white copy paper to use the red sharpie).

The second opportunity is when the client comes in to sign their petition. Below you can download a memo that I call the BK Memo. I recommend you use it at every petition signing appointment. Review it with the client, have them sign it and give them a copy. The BK Memo not only confirms that the client has reviewed the petition and agrees that all assets and liabilities are listed (a topic for another article) but reinforces the requirement to take the second class. You will notice that the BK Memo states there is a $1,500.00 fee to reopen the case to file the predischarge financial management certificate. While you may not want to charge your client $1,500.00 to reopen the case, this figure tends to get their attention and be a good reminder to take the class. In addition, you are protecting yourself from blame, and covering yours costs if the client does fail to take the class. Whatever you ultimately decide to charge, don’t forget there is a $260.00 filing fee to reopen a case. Another good practice tip is to tell your client to take the class BEFORE the 341(a) Meeting. Getting it out of the way before the 341(a) Meeting eliminates you having another task to follow up on after the hearing. The good news is that if your client does fail to take the class, the form motion itself is fairly simple and doesn't require notice on the creditors.

The third opportunity is to include the signed BK Memo in the petition package you send to your client with a copy of the filed petition and 341(a) Meeting instructions.

Finally, prior to going to the 341(a) Meeting, check to see if your client has taken the class. If not, remind them at the Meeting to take the second class (or let your appearance attorney know to remind them). If the client has taken the class, you can give your client the good news that everything looks good and there is nothing left to do but wait for the discharge.

Chapter 7 Mortgage "Strip Off"???

Chapter 7 Mortgage “Strip Off”???

When working as a Virtual Bankruptcy Assistant there is a significant need to keep up on your bankruptcy training, new bankruptcy laws, and court decisions.

Currently the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing a case in which a debtor is trying to do a “strip off”, or removing the lien, of a second mortgage in a chapter 7 bankruptcy. Their argument is that the loan is so far under water that the junior lien holder wouldn’t receive any compensation if the home was foreclosed on anyway. Currently, investors holding second mortgages have been known to obstruct arrangements between homeowners and first mortgage holders that could benefit both parties. Being able to “strip off” a second mortgage would allow these arrangements to take place and allow more home owners to stay in their homes and secure more money for the first mortgage holder than if they were forced to foreclose on the home.

The argument from the banks is that there are gray areas in many cases. How far under water does the home have to be before the second mortgage can be “stripped off”? If the home is only slightly under water and the housing market is increasing why should they be able to get rid of their second mortgage and benefit from the new equity in their home? In addition, they argue that banks will be less willing to loan where they would be the junior lien holder thus, hurting the housing market.

In any case this will be an interesting ruling when it comes out, most likely in June. It could play a big part in what you are able to do when filing a chapter 7 petition. It also shows the importance of staying up to date on your bankruptcy training. When you keep up on the current trends you will offer much more value to the attorneys you are working for.

At 713 Training we offer the most current and up to date bankruptcy training. Our training will give anyone, with or without experience, the skills they need to properly and thoroughly prepare chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcies for licensed attorneys. Whether you are looking at bankruptcy training for the first time or just a refresher course we have something for you.

Christmas Gifts

With the Christmas season upon us again we thought it would be a good idea to go over how giving and receiving gifts can affect a bankruptcy filing.

While a credit card can still be used before filing for bankruptcy it should send up red flags and lead to extra follow-up with clients when preparing a bankruptcy petition. Gifts given or received may play a role in what is dischargeable and what has to be repaid during the bankruptcy. If credit cards are only used to pay for necessities such as food, clothing, and gas there probably won’t be any problems. If credit cards are used for luxury items, gifts, cash advances, etc. you may not be able to get these purchases discharged (depending on amount of purchase).

In addition to gift giving affecting the filing, receiving gifts or money may play a role in the bankruptcy also. When receiving a gift it needs to be listed as an asset on the petition and is subject to possible liquidation. When money is received it needs to go on the Means Test as income. Depending on the amount it could have a real effect on the bankruptcy and may even push your client over the median income. This may disqualify them for a chapter 7 and force them into a chapter 13 or waiting to file till it won’t be counted on the income.

While preparing petitions we should be aware of unique situations that may arise during the bankruptcy process and bring them to the attention of the attorney. Extra attention and detail will only increase your value to the attorney.

For more information on bankruptcy training check out our training packages at and don’t forget you can reach our support team for free by calling or emailing.

At 713 Training we would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Productive New Year.


-The 713 Training

Join our LinkedIn group:

Follow us on

Disclaimer: We at are not attorneys; any information provided by 713 Training should not be considered legal advice. The information in this article, and any other materials provided by 713 Training, whether delivered verbally, written or via any other means, including electronic/digital delivery and storage, is for training purposes only, and is intended for individuals who work under the direction of a licensed attorney.

Debtor on Loan, but not the owner?

At we often get questions from our students about unique situations they run into while drafting bankruptcy petitions. Here is a recent question we received in an E-mail.

“How do you list a car on the bankruptcy petition where the debtor is only on the bank loan? The son has possession of the car, is the registered owner, and also makes the payments. Do we just list it on schedule D and skip listing it on schedule B?”

Thank you for your email. Let’s think through the logic of the situation to arrive at the answer to your question.

Schedule B is where the debtor’s personal property is listed, and since the debtor does not own the car in question, it should not be listed on Schedule B, (as you eluded to), which would also automatically list it on Schedule D (the software automatically does this to save time).

So should you put the loan on Schedule D yourself? Since Schedule D is for creditors holding secured claims, the question to ask yourself, is whether or not this is a secured or unsecured loan. If it were secured, the debtor would have something to lose by not paying the debt; if it were unsecured, the debtor would have absolutely nothing that could be taken away from them by not paying the debt.

In the scenario you described, the debtor has absolutely nothing to lose by not paying the debt, as he/she doesn’t own the car, but rather is only on the loan. This being the case, the loan for this car is unsecured and does NOT belong on Schedule B. Rather, this car loan, from the debtor’s perspective is an unsecured non-priority claim, and unless instructed otherwise by the attorney, belongs on Schedule F, where this type of claim is reported.

Had it been the owner of the car filing bankruptcy, the property would be listed on Schedule B, and the debt would be listed on Schedule D, as the loan would be secured by the car, which that debtor would lose if he/she stopped making the payments.


-The 713 Training Team

We love to hear from our students and help them where we are able. Remember to consult with the attorney that you are doing petitions for, they may have a certain procedure for you to follow in unique situations such as this.


-The 713 Training

Join our LinkedIn group:

Follow us on

Disclaimer: We at are not attorneys; any information provided by 713 Training should not be considered legal advice. The information in this article, and any other materials provided by 713 Training, whether delivered verbally, written or via any other means, including electronic/digital delivery and storage, is for training purposes only, and is intended for individuals who work under the direction of a licensed attorney.

Bankruptcy Training about Liens

When filling out a bankruptcy petition you will have to list all creditor claims secured by property as well as the nature of the lien. All of this information will go on Schedule D (creditors holding secured claims) of the bankruptcy petition.

Figuring out what type of lien the creditor has can be tricky in some situations. If you can’t determine the type of lien the creditor has, consult with the attorney.

Here are the options:

  • First mortgage. You took out a loan to buy your house. (This is a specific kind of purchase-money security interest.)
  • Purchase-money security interest. You took out a loan to purchase the property that secures the loan—for example, a car note. The creditor must have perfected the security interest by filing or recording it with the appropriate agency within 20 days. (Fidelity Financial Services, Inc. v. Fink, 522 U.S. 211 (1998).) Otherwise, the creditor has no lien and your attorney will list the debt on Schedule F (unsecured debt) instead.
  • Possessory, nonpurchase-money security interest. This is what a pawnshop owner has when you pawn your property.
  • Nonpossessory, nonpurchase-money security interest. You borrowed money for a purpose other than buying the collateral. This includes refinanced home loans, home equity loans, or loans from finance companies.
  • Judgment lien. This means someone sued you, won a court judgment, and recorded a lien against your property.
  • Tax lien. This means a federal, state, or local government agency recorded a lien against your property for unpaid taxes.
  • Child support lien. This means that another parent or government agency has recorded a lien against your property for unpaid child support.
  • Mechanic’s or material man’s lien. This means someone performed work on your real property or personal property (for example, a car) but didn’t get paid, and recorded a lien on that property. Such liens can be an unpleasant surprise if you paid for the work, but your contractor didn’t pay a subcontractor who got a lien against your property.

With the training you will get through, you will be trained on the proper way to list all secured debts, along with learning the skills needed to complete a petition that will eventually get discharged.

For the rest of the month of October we will be offering 20% off of our complete 10 video package “HOW TO DRAFT A BANKRUPTCY PETITIONtraining videos using coupon code oct20 at checkout. In these videos we will walk you through every Form and Schedule of the bankruptcy petition.

Bankruptcy Petition Case Training Collection

The 713Training Team has been busy as we are currently adding and updating several new Bankruptcy Training Products to help you become even more successful. We will be updating you as we introduce these new products. Today we want to announce the newly updated Bankruptcy Petition Case Training Collection. You still get the original 10 cases however; you now get an additional 5 new cases and over $100 of bonuses. We are offering you 25% of this product until October 15th simply by entering the Code when checking out at


Below is the link to the Newly Updated Bankruptcy Petition Case Training Collection:

Also don't forget we are the only compnay that offers the full line of bankrutpcy training to help you become a VBA. We are your own Personal Bankruptcy School and are here to answer any questons that you have so don't hesitate to call us toll free at your convenience.

Means Test Questions Answered

Why the Means Test Won’t Match the Rest of the Petition

We occasionally get asked “Why is it that when I draft a bankruptcy petition, that the disposable monthly income (DMI) shown on the Means Test doesn’t match the numbers listed elsewhere in the bankruptcy petition?”.  To understand this, let’s first examine what the Means Test is.

The Means Test is a form in the bankruptcy petition (form 22a in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and form 22c in Chapter 13 bankruptcy) that is the petition driven component used to help the attorney representing the client determine whether the debtor filing bankruptcy qualifies to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or whether they have the means to pay back some or all of their debt.
To determine this, the Means Test provides several fields where a debtor’s monthly income and expenses are to be listed, to see if the debtor’s income minus allowable expenses will allow them to qualify to file a Chapter 7, or whether they would need to file a Chapter 13.

Fortunately, as you complete other forms and schedules in the petition, the bankruptcy software does much of the work in the Means Test for you, by placing many of the expenses already listed in other areas of the petition, in the Means Test, but it doesn’t do everything for you, so completing the Means Test must be done manually.

This brings us to the first reason why the Means Test won’t match values reported elsewhere in the petition, which is that the Means Test requires a reporting of the debtor’s income for the last six full months…not just the very latest income pay stubs as is the case with income reporting on Schedule I.  Unless the debtor’s income is exactly the same on every single payday for the last six months (which is sometimes the case), there is no way these will match.

Another reason, is that when the debtor has Social Security (SSI ) income, this income when listed on Schedule I, is used to offset expenses listed on Schedule J, but on the Means Test, Social Security income is not calculated as income or means to repay debt.

The debtor’s actual expenses could also exceed allowable limits (e.g., $75 for telecommunications) for the jurisdiction they are filing in, so that only partial credit for the expense could be given on the Means Test.

The debtor could also be have discretionary expenses expenses that the Means Test does not allow for (e.g., cable/satellite TV).

You must also remember to be very careful when adding expenses to the Means Test that are listed on Schedules I and J.  For example, don’t forget the payroll taxes deducted from paychecks, and don’t forget to adjust these deductions from a non-monthly amount to a monthly amount.  For example, if the debtor is paid bi-weekly, the income tax deduction would need to be multiplied by the 26 pay days in a year, then divided by 12 months, to get a monthly equivalent to the bi-weekly amount.

You’ll also want to double-check your entries to make certain that no typos or other errors exist, and verify that nothing got omitted.  One example of an error that causes drastic issues in a petition, is selecting the wrong pay interval in Schedule I (e.g., selecting bi-weekly instead of semi-monthly).

In summary, don’t worry that the debtor’s disposable monthly income shown by Schedules I and J don’t match that shown by the Means Test, as it is extremely unlikely that they will.  Instead, focus on accuracy, and verify your work.

Have a prosperous week!


713 Training Team

Differences in Bankruptcy Jurisdictions

While bankruptcy is Federal law, the United States is broken up into nearly 100 different bankruptcy jurisdictions, providing a local jurisdiction for all of the residents of the country.

This allows each state, and often multiple areas within the state, to have input into how bankruptcies within their boundaries are handled, based on local conditions. At, we are often asked what the differences are between each of these bankruptcy jurisdictions.

To get a complete list of these “differences” or local rules, as they are called, for a jurisdiction, all you need to do is go to the website of the jurisdiction you are interested in, and locate the list of local rules that are published there.

The easiest way to find the bankruptcy court’s website is to perform an internet search for it via your favorite internet search engine. For example, you could search for “central california bankruptcy court”, which should immediately provide a link to the court’s website.

Alternatively, you could also go to, click on the link at the bottom of the page for “Bankruptcy Courts For All 50 States”, select the circuit that bankruptcy court is in, and link over to it.

Once on the court’s website, you will need to find where the post the local rules, where you can read through them.

Through our experience of drafting bankruptcy petitions for attorneys from coast-to-coast what we have found, is that the differences regarding how to draft the petition to conform to the local rules, are fairly minimal. In fact, we find that most of the time, the attorney knows what they are, and will either educate the VBA on these issues up front, or along the way, as he or she reviews the first few petitions being drafted.

The local rule could be something as simple as to not list 401k loans as a lien against the 401k, or to not list more items in a single entry of Schedule B (e.g., household goods), than will total $525, unless it is a single piece of property exceeding this amount.

Compliance with these rules is very simple, especially if you keep a list of these items to double-check your work against, and our bankruptcy training has been proven to be effective in all 50 states…in all of the nearly 100 bankruptcy jurisdictions.

If you are an attorney reading this, we have found that you can quickly get up to speed on any local rules for your role in bankruptcy via not only reading the posting of the rules, but also attending several 341 meetings, and networking with other bankruptcy attorneys. In fact, 341 meetings are the perfect opportunity to network.

Wishing you a prosperous week.


 The 713Training Team

Join our LinkedIn group:

Follow us on Facebook:

Follow us on Twitter:

DISCLAIMER: We at 713Training are not attorneys; any information provided by 713Training should not be considered legal advice. The information in this article, and any other materials provided by 713Training, whether delivered verbally, written or via any other means, including electronic/digital delivery and storage, is for training purposes only, and is intended for individuals who work under the direction of a licensed attorney.

How to Boost Your VBA Income

When contemplating how to boost your VBA income, consider what it is about the traditional VBA service that is valuable to the attorneys you do petition preparation for.

As you know, Virtual Bankruptcy Assistants save their attorneys hours and hours of time per petition, and make them more profitable, by allowing them to hire your when needed, as opposed to hiring full-time staff, or distracting the full-time staff from hiring priority or more higher income producing tasks.

This same principle applies to other tasks related to the life-cycle of a bankruptcy case that extends beyond just the petition itself.

Below is a sample of other services you could offer, and raise your typical VBA fee to include:

  • Pre-Petition Document Collection – Contacting the attorney’s clients to gather the documents needed to draft the bankruptcy petition (e.g., client intake form, pay stubs, credit counseling certificate)
  • Electronic Filing (ECF) – File the petition electronically for the attorney
  • 341 Notification – Notify the client of their 341, including a description of what it is, what to expect, what to bring, and where it is being held.  Remind them of the meeting a few days before the meeting is scheduled to take place
  • Post-Petition Document Collection – Follow-up with the client after filing to get their personal financial management (post-filing credit counseling) certificate, and electronically file it
  • Amendments – Should amendments be needed to the petition, you can do these for the attorney
  • Manage Creditor Service Notification – Certain changes or additions (amendments) to a petition may require service or notification to the creditors of the case via U.S. Mail.  You could offer to handle this for the attorney
  • Redaction Services – If taxes or pay stubs are filed with the case in your attorney’s jurisdiction, they will need to be redacted, which is “blacking out” personal information such as social security numbers, names of minors, bank account and routing numbers, etc.  You could offer to do this for your attorney before these documents are filed with the court

These tasks do not require an attorney to do them, and many attorneys would be more than happy to remove such tasks from their own “to-do” list, and pay their VBA to do them for him/her, which you should charge them for your time to do.

Put yourself in your attorney’s position, and ask yourself “What could I pay my VBA do for me that would save me time or make me more profitable?”, and you will undoubtedly come up with several more ideas on how to boost your VBA income.

Wishing you the best.


-The 713 Training Team

Join our LinkedIn group:

Follow us on Facebook:

Follow us on Twitter:

DISCLAIMER: We at 713 Training are not attorneys; any information provided by 713 Training should not be considered legal advice.  The information in this article, and any other materials provided by 713 Training, whether delivered verbally, written or via any other means, including electronic/digital delivery and storage, is for training purposes only, and is intended for individuals who work under the direction of a licensed attorney.

Some Recent Bankruptcy Petition Q&A

We wanted to share some recent questions and answers with you, so that all could benefit.


-The 713 Training Team

Join our LinkedIn group:

Follow us on Facebook:

Follow us on Twitter:


I have a debtor that owns property that he is renting out to his son.  The mortgage is $2,000.00 per month and the rent he is charging his son is $2,000.00.  I'm not sure how to list it in Schedule I, Schedule J and the Means Test.  To me it wipes out any income but I'm sure it must be indicated properly in the schedules and the means test. 

Can you help?

Yes, this will all need to be reported.

The mortgage debt would be reported on Schedule D.

The mortgage payment would be reported on Schedule J (line 1).

The $2,000 monthly income from the son would be reported on Schedule I (line 8).

The $2,000 monthly income from the son would also be reported on the Means Test with other income (If you are using Best Case, I recommend using the “Edit CMI Details” button to enter all sources of income separately, and let the software do the rest of the work for you).

If the debtor has made the monthly payments for the last 90 days, this will also need to be reported on the Statement of Financial Affairs (SOFA) (line 3).

Good morning, please see the 2nd part of my test for certification previously submitted.  I mailed the first part about 3 weeks ago.  Please let me know that first and 2nd part have been received.


Thank you for your email, however, this is the older exam that is now outdated.  The updated exam was released last December, and is taken completely online.

To register for the current exam, you can go to  The exam is now paid for in advance; after doing so, you will be able to download the instructions that you will want to follow very carefully (following detailed instructions is now part of the exam), which will include steps on how to take the exam online.

Your time investment in the older exam will be of a benefit to you, as the updated exam does include things from the original exam.

I hope you are well.  I have attached a 13 for review.  I am a little confused about how I listed a couple of property items.  My client had a house with her ex-boyfriend that went through a short sale.  I listed it on Sch. F (BAC).  Also, my client is on the deed to her parent’s house, but only has a life estate interest.  I listed it on Sch. B since she is not on the loan.  She is also a co-signer on her current boyfriend's equity line - I put it on Sch. F because she has no rights to the house and is only on the equity line.


Regarding the debtor’s house that she had with her boyfriend, you’ve listed them on the correct Schedule, being Schedule F, as this house can’t go on Schedule A, since she no longer owns it, making the debt unsecured non-priority.

Regarding the debtor’s parent’s home, since her name is on the deed, I would list this house on Schedule A, and select the “Nature of Debtor’s Interest in Property” as being “Life Estate”.

I would also list the line of credit she co-signed for the boyfriend on Schedule F, as you have done.

I noticed that there is a car payment listed on Schedule J, but no car listed on Schedule B, and no lien listed on Schedule D, perhaps something has been overlooked here.

Also, I recognize some of the numbers on Schedule J, because they match the IRS allowance…the trustee may have the same thought.  We have seen petitions get objections for this reason, so you may want to consider going close to these allowances, without actually hitting them, and leaving a little bit of a buffer in there, to avoid a possible objection.

I’m also hoping you can find some additional expenses that have been overlooked by the debtor, to list on Schedule J, to lower the Chapter 13 plan payment from $1,200/mo.


1)  How do VBA’s get paid?
2)  What is the amount per petition- imagine this depends on attorney working for?
3) Is there enough work to handle all of us being trained - imagine so but would like to discuss


Virtual Bankruptcy Assistants (VBAs) get paid by the attorneys they work for.  How much they get paid, how often they get paid, and any other details surrounding payment, is determined by the VBA and the attorneys he/she works for.

There is no set amount of pay per petition.  You may set your prices at whatever you feel your services are worth, and what attorneys are willing to pay.  To give you some guidelines though, we suggest that you not charge anything less than $300 for a Chapter 7, and not less than $400 for a 13, although we are aware of several VBA’s that are being paid much more, because their work is worth much more.

There is so much bankruptcy petition work out there compared to the number of people trained to work virtually drafting petitions, it will be years before we ever know whether saturation is even possible.  Because of the volume of work available, more and more attorneys are getting into bankruptcy everyday, and they all need petitions drafted.

We at not attorneys; any information provided by 713 Training should not be considered legal advice.  The information in this article, and any other materials provided by 713 Training, whether delivered verbally, written or via any other means, including electronic/digital delivery and storage, is for training purposes only, and is intended for individuals who work under the direction of a licensed attorney.

Why Reaffirmation Agreements are Important

When a debtor files bankruptcy, what happens to their creditors?  There is an automatic stay put in place pending the outcome of the debtors’ case, right?  Not necessarily.

Most debtors in bankruptcy have at least one car that they use to get to and from work, to transport their family, etc., and this family car usually has a loan on it.

Because this family car is important for the family, the debtor often wishes to keep it after the bankruptcy, in order to keep getting to and from work, get their kids to and from school, activities, go grocery shopping, go to church, etc.

This is easy to handle in the bankruptcy petition, by simply stating that the debtor wishes to reaffirm the debt, and continue paying for it after the bankruptcy.

But what if the debtor never signs a reaffirmation agreement to reaffirm the debt?  Maybe nothing, but they could also lose their car to repossession, and still end up being liable for the debt, even if they were current on payments, and even though they thought there was an automatic stay in place.

This is because in some jurisdictions, the debtor may only have so many days from the time the statement of intention for the car was filed, to sign a reaffirmation agreement with the creditor to prevent the automatic stay on the creditor for the car, from being lifted.

We saw this happen just this week, when a debtor had not signed a reaffirmation agreement in a timely fashion, and the creditor immediately had the car towed.  The attorney worked with the creditor to manage getting the reaffirmation agreement signed, and the debtor is getting their car back, so luckily, there is a positive outcome for the debtor, but not without some stress first.

To prevent this from happening:

1. Make certain that the attorneys you work with are familiar with 11 U.S.C. § 521(a)(6) of the revised bankruptcy code, which provides that an individual chapter 7 debtor cannot retain possession of personal property in which a creditor has a purchase money security interest, unless the debtor, not later than 45 days after the first meeting of creditors, either enters into a reaffirmation agreement under § 524(c) or redeems the property under § 722.   In addition, pursuant to sections 521(a)(2) and 326(h) the automatic stay will terminate within thirty days of the petition date as to any encumbered collateral if the debtor fails to timely file that statement; and within thirty days after the first date set for the meeting of creditors if the debtor fails to take timely action as specified in the statement of intention.

2. Consider offering reaffirmation agreement management as part of your VBA services, and set yourself apart from the competition

Have a terrific week!


-The 713 Training Team 

Join our LinkedIn group:

Follow us on Facebook:

Follow us on Twitter:

Disclaimer: We at not attorneys; any information provided by 713 Training should not be considered legal advice.  The information in this article, and any other materials provided by 713 Training, whether delivered verbally, written or via any other means, including electronic/digital delivery and storage, is for training purposes only, and is intended for individuals who work under the direction of a licensed attorney.

Troubleshooting Chapter 13 Plan Problems

Our office often receives calls about Chapter 13 bankruptcy petitions from people that are struggling with one thing or another in the Chapter 13 Plan, and can’t seem to resolve it.

What we usually find, is that because it is a Chapter 13 petition, that people tend to panic, and overlook the basics.

This week we received a call about a Chapter 13 petition where the Chapter 13 Plan was giving an error about unsecured debts being over 109(e) limit $360,475.

After getting a copy of the petition and looking at it, it didn’t take long to see where the problem was, as there were only two secured debts, and they were both mortgages.

What we found, is that all of the lien information had been entered for the house that the debtor owned, but the market value for the house had been left out.  With the property information configured like this, it told the bankruptcy software that there was $374,395 owed on the house ($192,640 first mortgage, and $181,755 second mortgage), but that the house had no value.  This means that all $374,395 of the house is unsecured, which exceeds the limit of $360,475 of unsecured debt allowed in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

After entering a market value for the house (e.g., $300,000), the the amount of unsecured debt on the house was reduced by the same amount, and eliminated the error in the Chapter 13 Plan.

What can we learn from this?

As you know, drafting bankruptcy petitions is not just data entry, and requires critical thinking and analytics capabilities, but just because the bankruptcy petition you are working on is a Chapter 13, don’t let this intimidate you, and remember the basics.  Look through each of the items entered into the petition to make certain that nothing was left out or overlooked, or mistakenly entered incorrectly.

Have a terrific week!


-The 713 Training Team

Join our LinkedIn group:

Follow us on Facebook:

Follow us on Twitter:

We at not attorneys; any information provided by 713 Training should not be considered legal advice.  The information in this article, and any other materials provided by 713 Training, whether delivered verbally, written or via any other means, including electronic/digital delivery and storage, is for training purposes only, and is intended for individuals who work under the direction of a licensed attorney.

A Single Mother's Perspective on the Virtual Bankruptcy Assistant Business

This past week, I had the pleasure of doing some personalized training with Jennifer Tharp of Palm Coast, Florida.

Jennifer has been in business for herself for about 6 years as a notary signing agent, and is expanding into bankruptcy so that she can work from home, as she is a single mother of three.

Jennifer told me that being able to work from home as a virtual bankruptcy assistant will be a great blessing to her family, as it will give her more time with her kids, instead of being away from them so much, meeting with people for loan closings, etc.

When we first met, what she needed most in getting her VBA business going, is confidence in knowing how to properly complete the forms and schedules in the bankruptcy petition, so we took care of this by having her enter a petition for a real case for an attorney that I work with, as I coached her through it, taught her various details, and answered her questions.

Because opportunities for personalized training are limited, the training I most often recommend for learning these skills, and obtaining confidence includes:

1. Virtual Bankruptcy Assistant (VBA) Book and Workbook Set

This book and workbook set walks you through each form and schedule, teaching you how to properly complete them, then gives you a sample case to try your skills at, and get some experience.

2. Bankruptcy Petition Case Training Collection

This product gives you a mix of REAL Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Cases to practice with, that when completed, allow you to compare your work against the real case filed with the court, by looking at the filed case in PACER (a good way to hone your PACER skills).

3. "How to Draft a Bankruptcy Petition" Training Videos - Complete 10-Video Package

This video set with over 9 hours of instructions actually SHOWS YOU how to enter client information into the forms and schedules.

Wherever you are at in your VBA career, 713Training has something to offer, to help you expand your knowledge, services, and ultimately, your income.

After her training, Jennifer had the following to say:

“I am so thankful and blessed for the opportunity to receive personalized VBA training . The training gave me confidence and a better understanding of how the bankruptcy business is run. The insight I got on how to do a petition is going to allow me to do a better job for the attorney’s I work for. I now feel I am ready to reach my goals as a VBA.”

I look forward to hearing of Jennifer’s success, as I know she will be.

Wishing you all the best.


713 Training Team

Join our  LinkedIn group:

Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

What to Do When You Have Missing Pay Stubs for a Bankruptcy Petition

It’s difficult to believe that it’s been almost 2 weeks since I started packing for the 713Training seminar in Atlanta, GA, but it has.

On Day 1, we covered marketing and how to get business, and on Day 2, we held bankruptcy petition training, with a focus on Chapter 13’s.

For those that weren’t able to attend, you can checkout the marketing and petition training materials on our website:

Marketing Training:

Chapter 7 Training:

Chapter 13 Training:

I have been able to correspond with many of the attendees of the seminar and get updates on how they are making deploying what they learned to start or grow their business, and am excited for their success!

So moving along, have the debtors on the cases you have worked on, ever not submitted EVERY pay stub you need for the Means Test?

If you’ve been drafting petitions for more than oh, a week, you’re part of the chorus of laughter I hear ringing in my ears right now.

The answer to the question is…YES!  In fact, this is quite common.

So what’s the big deal?  That all depends on the jurisdiction the petition is going to be filed in.  If you’re filing in a jurisdiction that doesn’t use the Means Test, or doesn’t put much weight on it, it may not be an issue at all.

If however, you’re filing the petition in a state that does use the Means Test in they’re analysis of the case, or if you file most of your cases in a jurisdiciton that lives and breathes by the Means Test, it’s a VERY big deal, especially for cases that are borderline on whether they can file a Chapter 7 or not.

So when you have missing pay stubs, what do you do?

First off, I always ask for them.  I normally send the debtor an email with a list of everything that we need for their case, so that they have a checklist to work off of.

I then try to follow up the email with a phone call, to let the debtor know that there is an email in their inbox, so that they know to look for it, and to respond to it.

Usually the debtors are very helpful, and get any missing pay stubs to us within a few days.  Sometimes however, the debtor tells us they can’t find the missing pay stubs.

Uh-oh!  Now what?

Well, we still have a couple of options:

The next thing I do, is ask the debtors if they would talk to their employer, and ask for either a reprint or a report of the missing pay stubs.  I tell them they can just tell the payroll person that their attorney needs it, which typically gets they payroll person to take care of this quickly.  I also tell them that if they ask what the attorney needs it for, to just say “It’s a private matter”…no big deal.

If for some reason, we still come up short on pay stubs, we have a last resort…a lifeline if you will, that most trustees seem to find acceptable.  It’s called “bookends”

What are book ends?

When we’re collecting pay stubs for filing bankruptcy, we need pay stubs representing the last six full months.  With that in mind, if we have the first pay stub at the beginning of the six months we’re interested in, and the pay stub from the end of the last six months we are interested in, as well as several in between, it is likely that the amount of pay on the missing pay stub(s) could  be surmised, and used for reporting of income.

Fortunately this bookending of pay stubs is not usually necessary, but it’s a good tool to have in your tool belt when needed.

Have a terrific week!


-The 713 Training Team

DISCLAIMER: We at 713 Training are not attorneys; any information provided by 713 Training should not be considered legal advice.  The information in this article, and any other materials provided by 713 Training, whether delivered verbally, written or via any other means, including electronic/digital delivery and storage, is for training purposes only, and is intended for individuals who work under the direction of a licensed attorney.

Where is the “Catch” in the Virtual Bankruptcy Assistant Business?

One of the services offered by is personalized one-on-one training with a dedicated instructor.

On April 9th, Michael Hastings of Denver, Colorado came out to Salt Lake City, Utah for this training.  Michael has been investigating the VBA industry for quite some time, and came out for training to finally decide if this is the right business opportunity for him.  Conclusion?  Read on.

First let me introduce you to Michael.

Michael has an A.S. Degree in Paralegal Studies from MTI College of Business and Technology, a B.A. from California State University, and a Masters' in Legal  Administration from the University of Denver.

He has 5 years of experience managing large Inbound Call Centers, 5 years of experience as a Corporate paralegal, and 2 years of experience as a Project Manager for a Legal software company.  On top of that, he does expansive volunteer work with the Denver Rescue Mission.

Throughout the day, Michael told of the extensive research he had done regarding the VBA industry, and on bankruptcy itself.  I was amazed at the level of detail that he has gone to in his research; for example, he had found out EXACTLY how many practicing attorneys there are in the U.S., how many of those practice in bankruptcy, how many are large firms vs. small firms, etc., which boiled down to the fact that 80% of all bankruptcy cases are filed by small firms…the firms that Virtual Bankruptcy Assistants market their services toThat’s a HUGE market.  I was personally further convinced that I am in the right business at the right time.

Michael is also attending a business class that covers business plan writing, so all of this research will go into his business plan.  I’m hoping that Michael will let me share his research with you through

The thing that I found most interesting about our visit, is that as Michael described all of the levels of detail he has gone into researching the virtual bankruptcy assistant field, he said that he kept looking for “What was wrong with it”…the “Where is the catch?”; as he figured there must be some fault somewhere.  Instead though, Michael told me he couldn’t find anything wrong with the VBA field, and that his research proved it is a viable business.

The day that Michael was here, it just so happened that a 341 was happening for a case that I prepared the petition for, so I asked Michael if he would like to attend the 341, and see how this part of the business works.  He said that he would, so we hopped in my truck and drove downtown to where the 341’s are held.

When we got there, we met up with the attorney and the clients he was there to represent, and went in for roll call.

It just so happened that our case was first on the list for the hour, so everything happened pretty quickly, and Michael got to experience how the clients felt afterward, as the attorney visited with them, and reassured them that everything went well.

The clients then left, but the attorney stayed to visit and answer questions for another 10-15 minutes, which was really good of him to do.

By the end of the day, Michael said that he had gotten all of his questions answered, and had decided that he is definitely going to become a Virtual Bankruptcy Assistant.

Because I find this business so rewarding both monetarily and personally, I was ecstatic to hear this, and look forward to Michael’s future success as a VBA, as I have no doubt that he will achieve great success.

Although Michael has a tremendous education, one of the great things about the VBA industry, is that you don’t need a degree, or even legal experience.

If you are a hard worker, reliable, have a desire to learn, and have good people skills, you’re halfway there.  Learning the petition drafting skills gets you the rest of the way there.

Making a good living working from home for attorneys isn’t just a dream. There is great demand for highly skilled VBA’s.  Won’t you come join us?

713 Training Team
Join our  LinkedIn

DISCLAIMER: We at 713 Training are not attorneys; any information provided by 713 Training should not be considered legal advice.  The information in this article, and any other materials provided by 713 Training, whether delivered verbally, written or via any other means, including electronic/digital delivery and storage, is for training purposes only, and is intended for individuals who work under the direction of a licensed attorney.

Protecting Your Attorney’s Interests

Virtual Bankruptcy Assistants (VBA’s) do a lot of things for the attorneys that they work for, not the least of which, is helping to protect them.

This could be something as simple as protecting them from deficiency notices by just doing a good job on the petitions prepared for him/her.

Taking this a step further, what about helping to protect your attorney from potentially fraudulent debtors that may have something to hide?

Recently I was working on a petition for an attorney where only the husband was filing a Chapter 7.

The debtor had a fairly unique name, and so I decided to do a Google search on his name.

As I perused the Google results, I came across something interesting…the debtor was listed as being a member of a yacht club, and was the owner of a 28’ yacht.  It even listed the name of the yacht.

“Hmm”, I thought; “That boat isn’t listed on the client intake form”.

Before you read on, think for a moment about what you would do.  Here is what I did…

First, I printed the web page showing the yacht information to a PDF file, and saved it in a folder called “Due Diligence” in the debtors folder on my computer.

Next, I called the debtor’s wife, who was my designated contact for getting information about the case.

I asked the debtor’s wife “Do you have a boat that needs to be listed on the documents for your bankruptcy?”.  She immediately responded and said “The boat is in my name”.

Since the debtor’s wife was not filing bankruptcy with the husband, I said “OK”, thanked her, and hung up.

I then made a note of this in the attorney cover page that I gave to the attorney along with the petition when it was completed.

The 341

The petition was filed with the court, and the day of the 341 meeting came, and I received a phone call from the attorney, who seemed somewhat excited.  He told me that he had just left the 341 meeting for this debtor, and relayed the unexpected outcome.

The attorney had printed out the debtors information to take with him to the 341, and when sitting with his client across from the trustee, he was well prepared as he answered questions, and went through his notes.

At one point the trustee was asking for information about the debtors mortgage, and when the attorney pulled the mortgage papers out of the folder to respond, there was another piece of paper stuck to the bottom of them that fell out onto the table.  This piece of paper showed a picture of a beautiful boat.

The trustee having seen this happen said “Let me see that”, and the attorney handed it over.

The trustee looked over the printed information about the boat (which was a printout of the PDF about the boat I had emailed the attorney with the petition) and asked “What is this?”  This is when the debtor began to squirm in his seat.

The trustee then asked “Do you have a boat?”, to which the debtor responded by saying “I sold it 3 years ago”.

The trustee then told the debtor to provide evidence of the sale, then moved on, and wrapped up the 341 meeting.

After the 341, the debtor’s wife approached the attorney and was visibly upset.  This is when the attorney described getting different versions of what happened to the boat.

The attorney was a bit distraught by the situation, and wasn’t sure what was going to happen next.

What I then told the attorney was that it was a good thing that this happened, because if it turned out that the debtors were trying to hide the boat, that it was obvious that he wasn’t aware of it.  He agreed.

This case is still open, so it isn’t known what the outcome is going to be, but one thing is certain, the job of a Virtual Bankruptcy Assistant is not simply data entry, but rather, it is our job to accurately represent the client’s information in the petitions we prepare for our attorneys, and to do the necessary due diligence that backs up that data to help protect the attorney’s interests.

713 Training Team
Join our  LinkedIn

DISCLAIMER: We at 713 Training are not attorneys; any information provided by 713 Training should not be considered legal advice.  The information in this article, and any other materials provided by 713 Training, whether delivered verbally, written or via any other means, including electronic/digital delivery and storage, is for training purposes only, and is intended for individuals who work under the direction of a licensed attorney.


Does a Petition Expire?

Does a bankruptcy petition really expire?  Yes…sort of.

What this is referring to, is the fact that a bankruptcy petition is a snapshot in time, of the debtor’s financial situation.

Schedule I reflects the current or most recent income (or lack thereof), and the Means Test (Form 22a in a Chapter 7 or Form 22c in a Chapter 13), reflects the debtors income for the last six FULL months. 

Once a bankruptcy petition is prepared to show this financial picture, it must be filed with the court before the end of the month it is prepared in.  Why?  Because if it isn’t filed by the end of the month and the calendar flips over to a new month, the debtor’s financial picture may have changed, and the petition must be updated accordingly so that the Means Test still shows the last six full months of income.

This rolling over to a new month will have caused the sixth month to have rolled off of the six month snapshot, as it becomes the seventh month, and the month that just passed now becomes the most recent month that needs to be reported in the petition.

Furthermore, the income on Schedule I needs to reflect the most recent income, and should be updated with any changes shown on the debtor’s most recent pay stub or business profit and loss statement (P&L).

Once the data in the petition is updated, it is then again ready to file, and you have until the end of the new month to get it filed, before it expires again.  I refer to this process of updating the information listed in the petition in order to be current as “Refreshing” the petition.  I have also heard this referred to as “bringing the petition current”, or the “Means Test expiring”.

The need to refresh petitions is something that would be nice to avoid, but there are a number of situations and unforeseen circumstances that can lead to this, such as the debtor not providing needed information in a timely fashion (this is the most common), the debtor getting cold feet, the attorney having the client wait to file for some reason, or a myriad of other things.

Simply updating Schedule I and the Means test may not be enough though.  There are other things within the petition that could “expire”, or that may need to be updated as a result of rolling over into a new month, including arrearages on liens, and payments to creditors.

Keep in mind too, that with updated information, there may be changes, which could change other things in a petition, such as the amount of disposable monthly income for a Chapter 13 Plan payment.

The list below can serve as a checklist of things you will want to verify, and update if necessary, when refreshing an expired bankruptcy petition:

  1. Schedule I
    1. Income and deductions must be updated to reflect current pay stubs or business profit and loss statements (P&L’s)
  2. Means Test
    1. Income must be updated to include any months that have elapsed since previously entered
    2. Double-check other items for changes, such as costs of insurance, 401k loan payments or contributions, etc.
  3. Arrears on all Secured Property
    1. Are the items previously documented as being in arrears, now additional months in arrears?  Update this (Creditor tab)
    2. Update the cure amount - # of months in arrears x Mo Pmt (Form 22 Means Test tab)
    3. Are any previously current liens now in arrears?  Document this (Creditor tab and Form 22 Means Test tab)
  4. Form 7. Statement of Financial Affairs
    1. Line 3. Payments to Creditors
  1. The dates and payments to creditors will need to be updated, as well as the Amt. Still Owing
  1. Re-Balancing Schedule I and &, and updating the Chapter 13 Plan
    1. Because you are inserting new income information, it is possible that Schedules I & J need to be rebalanced, or that the Chapter 13 Plan (in a 13) needs to be re-calculated due to the change

Below are some TIPS on avoiding and handling expired bankruptcy petitions:

  • Remind attorney a week before the end of the month that the Means Test will be expiring, so that he/she has the opportunity to address the situation
  • If you end up needing to refresh an expired bankruptcy petition, you should charge for your time, as you had already done the initial work, and the circumstances surrounding why the petition expired are likely not under your control, so repeating this work is something you should be paid for.
  • When entering income into the Means Test, I recommend entering the income for each month separately, if your software program allows for it.  This makes it a lot easier to refresh a petition when all you have to do is add the new month of income as the last month rolls off.  This saves you the time of averaging the income by allowing the software to do this work for you

713 Training Team
Join our LinkedIn group:

DISCLAIMER: We at 713 Training are not attorneys; any information provided by 713 Training should not be considered legal advice.  The information in this article, and any other materials provided by 713 Training, whether delivered verbally, written or via any other means, including electronic/digital delivery and storage, is for training purposes only, and is intended for individuals who work under the direction of a licensed attorney.