• Bankruptcy Urban Legends

    Keith Rucinski, Ch 13 Trustee, Akron, OH

    This article debunks many of the untruths about personal bankruptcy.

  • People Facing Debt Have Options

    Melinda Opperman, President, credit.org

    When people are struggling with debt, they have more options than they may realize.

  • Nine Things to Look for When
    Picking a Bankruptcy Lawyer

    It is important to have a good attorney by your side.

  • BFine Terms You Need to Know

    Managing your financial future is easier when you understand what is being said.

  • Co Signers Put Themselves
    in Creditor’s Spotlight

    The responsibility of a co-signer is one of the
    single most common misunderstandings about law.

Bankruptcy and Finance Information Network Exchange

The Bankruptcy and Finance Information Network Exchange (BFINE) website compiles educational articles and information to help Americans learn more about personal finance options and make informed decisions for their financial future.

Too often decisions are made based on myths or fear instead of facts. No matter the financial situation, there are steps everyone can take toward financial security.

You are not alone. There are professionals willing to help everyone recover from unfortunate circumstances and financial mistakes.

When you make educated financial decisions, everything will BE FINE.

  • family keys

    What Can You Do If You Cannot Make Your Auto Payments?

    Jason Wilson Aguilar  | Chapter 13 Trustee

    Most of us at one time or another have financial difficulties, but what should you do if you are unable to make your auto loan payments? The key is to be proactive, so try to address the problem before you miss a payment and are at risk of getting your auto repossessed. You are not necessarily out of options if you are already delinquent, but addressing the problem earlier is best.

  • bfine-bankruptcy-lawyer

    Can You File a Bankruptcy Case Without a Lawyer?

    Jason Wilson Aguilar | Chapter 13 Trustee 

    Yes, you can file a bankruptcy case without a lawyer. There is no legal requirement that you must have a lawyer represent you in a bankruptcy case. The real question is whether you should file a bankruptcy case without a lawyer who specializes in bankruptcy law. In my opinion, the answer to that question is no.

  • BFine Terms You Need to Know

    BFine Administrator

    Managing your financial future is easier when you understand what is being said. Below are some of the key terms that are used with finance and bankruptcy.

    For more definitions visit:

    341 meeting
    The meeting of creditors required by section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code at which the debtor is questioned under oath by creditors, a trustee, examiner, or the U.S. trustee about his/her financial affairs. Also called creditors' meeting.

    • Don't overspend this holiday season, follow these steps and stick to a budget

      South Bend Tribune
      Rick Walz
      Guest Columnist

      This holiday season, supply chain problems, shipping delays, and inflation are making it even tougher to create and stick to a budget. However, these uncertainties mean that planning ahead and knowing your spending limits are more important than ever.

      How can you build a holiday budget that will cover buying for everyone on your list while keeping you out of debt?

    • Bankruptcy Legend: I do not need a lawyer to file Bankruptcy, all I have to do is complete some forms.

      Keith L. Rucinski
      Chapter 13 Trustee
      Akron, OH

      Bankruptcy Legend: I do not need a lawyer to file Bankruptcy, all I have to do is complete some forms.

      In the United States people can choose to represent themselves in court, including bankruptcy court.

      The term to represent yourself without counsel is “pro se”. A lawyer who represents people in bankruptcy does much more than “complete some forms. Good counsel will help their client: Determine if a bankruptcy is necessary. Sometimes there are alternatives.

    • In a reversal, the Education Dept. is excluding many from student loan relief


      In a remarkable reversal that will affect the fortunes of many student loan borrowers, the U.S. Department of Education has quietly changed its guidance around who qualifies for President Biden's sweeping student debt relief plan.

    • woman paying bills

      20 Ways to Take Control of Your Finances

      The Balance

      Whether you're stuck in a cycle of debt, earning too little to maintain your desired standard of living, or simply wanting to get a jump on saving for a major financial goal, such as buying a home or investing, you may need help to get on track with your objectives. Follow these strategies for taking control of your finances right now.

    • man paying bills

      Why Did My Credit Score Drop Suddenly? 11 Possible Reasons

      Island Now

      As someone who gets credit report notifications, you should be familiar with changes in your credit score.. It is quite common for your credit score to fluctuate with minor increments.

    • What Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Is And How It Works

      The Good Men Project

      Times are challenging in America with the coronavirus. You may be experiencing the stress that comes with financial hardship and are considering a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The purpose of this article is to inform you about the most important things about Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

    • People Facing Debt Have Many Options

      Melinda Opperman
      President, credit.org

      When people are struggling with their debts, they have a lot more options than they might realize. There are professionals, non-profit organizations, and free online resources available to help no matter how one’s personal finances look.

    • Settled medical debt is now dropping off credit reports — here’s how to check your record and make sure it’s right

      CNBC - July 1, 2022

      If medical debt you’ve already paid has been lingering on your credit report, you may want to see if that has changed.

    • The Circuit City Landmine (Siegel v. Fitzgerald): Supremes Declare Bankruptcy Fee Hike Under United States Trustee Program Unconstitutional –What Happens Next?

      JDSupra - June 10, 2022

      While it is becoming increasingly rare for the Supreme Court to speak with a singular voice on virtually anything these days, bankruptcy provides a rare exception.

    • It's the Law: What can I keep in bankruptcy?

      Post Register - May 29, 2022 

      Many people wonder if they file for bankruptcy, what will they get to “keep?” Will they get to keep a house, a car, or an investment property?

    • When it Comes to Personal Finance, Budgeting is an Essential First Step

      Melinda Opperman,
      President, credit.org

      Anyone hoping to take control of their personal finances must start with budgeting.

      Simply put, a budget is a plan. People need to plan for how much they’ll earn, how much they’ll spend, and what their long-term financial goals will be.

    • State-by-State List of Statute of Limitations on Debt

      The Balance - January 7, 2022 

      A statute of limitations is the amount of time a person can take in order to take legal action on a certain event. When it comes to debt, the statute of limitations is the amount of time a creditor can take before asking the court to force you to pay for a debt.

    • Floridians see personal finance class requirement as a positive for students

      WFSU - May 15, 2022 

      Residents across north central Florida are optimistic about the potential impacts of a new law requiring a personal finance class for graduation.

      Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed the measure that will require high school students to complete a half credit course on personal finance before graduation.

    • Where credit scores come from and why they don’t quite add up — but can

      Boston Globe - May 30, 2022 

      It didn’t count, but it should have. Boni, who moved to the United States from Mexico in his late 20s, needed to buy or rent equipment for his growing independent construction business. It was 2016, and he was earning decent money and paying for his housing and other living expenses. But with no credit history, his options for expanding his work opportunities were limited and involved high interest rates that seemed both expensive and risky.

    • CFPB, Banking Agencies, and State Regulators Warn of Increased Scrutiny on Mortgage Servicers

      JD Supra - Nov. 18, 2021

      The CFPB, federal banking agencies, and state regulators are returning to pre-pandemic norms with respect to enforcement and supervision of the mortgage servicing industry. On November 10, 2021, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency....

      A public education project of the National Association of Chapter Thirteen Trustees

      © 2021 BFINE

      The materials on this website are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice, legal opinion, or any other advice on any specific facts or circumstances. You should not act or refrain from acting upon this information without seeking professional advice.