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Bankruptcy Attorney

Why Choose Laleh Ensafi as Your Los Angeles Bankruptcy

  1. Every potential client that calls me will know that I care about your situation and I will work tirelessly to help resolve your bankruptcy issue.
  2. I have years of experience successfully completing bankruptcy cases for people suffering from medical bills, high car payments, credit card debts, and unmanageable home mortgages payments.
  3. I have helped many clients keep as much as possible after their bankruptcy case. Up to a certain value, the most common items kept after a Chapter 7 bankruptcy are home equity, cars or vehicle equity, jewelry.
  4. I have helped many clients keep the maximum limit in their home equity. California has special laws for both homes and cars. For married couples, home equity can be kept up to $100,000. For people over the age of 65, the limit for home equity is $175,000. For a single person under the age of 65, the maximum of home equity that can be kept is $75,000.
  5. In Los Angeles, a car is essential to keep working and to live your daily life. I can help you identify the legal option that will allow you to keep the most equity in your home or car. There is an option to keep up to $5100 of equity in your car.
  6. Help you prepare and identify problem areas in your bankruptcy case. Fraudulent transfers, paying friends or family and running up credit card bills just before a bankruptcy filing can result in denial or delay of your bankruptcy case.
  7. Filing bankruptcy can often help you stop or slow down wage garnishment, home foreclosure, repossession of a car.
  8. For people with a building trade or a home business, bankruptcy law exempts up to $8000 for "tools of a trade". I will identify important tools in your case that you will need to build your financial future after your bankruptcy case.
  9. My legal fees are affordable, flexible and clear. For some chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, my legal fees are affordable. For most cases, I charge a flat fee so you do not get surprised with an unexpected legal bill.
  10. I charge some of the lowest up front fees in all of Los Angeles and Riverside county for Chapter 13 bankruptcies.
  11. I can help you get your fresh financial start within months. In Los Angeles, most chapter 7 bankruptcies can be accomplished in three to four months.
  12. I have over 10 years of experience with bankruptcy cases.
  13. I have experience with both the creditor and the debtor side of bankruptcy. I worked for one of the top firms representing creditors in bankruptcy so I know exactly how to protect debtor's from creditors.
  14. I have been the attorney of record in approximately 765 bankruptcy cases in Central District alone.

I feel very fortunate that I can help people resolve their financial issues. Every client that decides to use me as their bankruptcy lawyer will get the care and attention they deserve. I am very proud of the wonderful service I have been able to provide for all my clients.

Your path to a fresh financial future begins with a free consultation. Call me at 424-285-5525


I Understand Your Bankruptcy Issue and Can Help You

Fighting for your financial future and making the right decisions now to get yourself "back on your financial feet" again, can be difficult and confusing if you try to do it alone.

Bankruptcy laws and other related matters in California can be extremely complex, and it takes a lot of legal knowledge and experience to know how to successfully navigate California's bankruptcy or debt settlement processes.

At Bankruptcy Attorney, we can help you better understand your financial position legally and your various options for dealing with a heavy debt burden that you can't realistically pay off in a reasonable amount of time.

If you opt for filing bankruptcy, our experienced bankruptcy attorneys will help you make an informed decision as to which type of bankruptcy to file, how to handle exemptions, how to save your home, car, or other property that creditors are after, and how to best approach bankruptcy even in the midst of a divorce or of state/federal tax issues.

For a free consultation with one of our bankruptcy law experts here at Bankruptcy Attorney, do not hesitate to contact us anytime 24/7 by calling 424-285-5525!

Understanding the Basics of Bankruptcy Law

The first thing to understand about bankruptcy is that you have the right to file for bankruptcy under federal law, and all bankruptcy proceedings involve federal law and the federal court system. There are certain features of bankruptcy that can vary from state to state - for example, California has a special "wild card" exemption option, but still, it's basically a federally controlled process.

Secondly, understand that not all bankruptcies are alike. Most individuals would file either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. The former involves liquidation of all property you can't claim as exempt, while the latter is a reorganization of your debt and a plan to repay it within a specific period of time (often accompanied by a reduction of total debt).

And, finally, realize that the purpose of bankruptcy law is to prevent borrowers from being endlessly, hopelessly trapped in overwhelming debt that they couldn't possibly pay off. It's a way to give someone a "second chance" by letting them get out of debt and get their financial feet under them once again.

But while anyone could (in theory) file for bankruptcy, not everyone will qualify. And not everyone who could get a bankruptcy filing approved will want to file either, since sometimes debt settlement or other options may be preferable.

Bankruptcy is always a last resort option, but when you're in a situation where bankruptcy makes sense, you will be very glad you are legally able to go through this process and get your financial life back in order again at the other end, rather than being sunk in debt for years, decades, or even the rest of your life.

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What Can bankruptcy Do and What Can't it do?

In the right situation, filing for bankruptcy can be very beneficial and might be the best financial move you can possibly make. But it's still important to understand the limitations of bankruptcy along with its many potential benefits.

"What can bankruptcy do for me?" you might ask. Here are some answers:

  • Create an automatic stay that immediately goes into effect. This will stop the constant creditor collection calls and, at least temporarily, prevent creditor actions such as foreclosing on your home, repossessing your vehicle, or imposing wage garnishment or bank levies.
  • Cancel your dischargeable debts to give you a fresh financial start. You will still likely have to pay something via Chapter 7 property liquidation or a Chapter 13 payment plan, but a lot of debt is usually simply eliminated.
  • Stop a home foreclosure and give you a chance to catch up on the back payments. It can't simply automatically eliminate a mortgage, however.
  • Stop an auto repossession or even make a creditor return a repossessed vehicle under certain circumstances.
  • Prevent the cutting off of utilities or get them turned back on.
  • Prevent or stop wage garnishment actions and bank levies.
  • Give you a chance to dispute a creditor's claim if they are claiming you owe them more than your really do.

However, bankruptcies cannot cancel the rights of a creditor on a secured loan, where you put up collateral on the loan. You may be able to win more time to repay, however, instead of losing the collateral property. Plus, if you let the creditor take the collateral property despite filing for bankruptcy, then you can get any remaining debt on that loan canceled.

Nor can a bankruptcy cancel spousal support or child support obligations. And there are also some other deb-types that are generally non-dischargeable, like student loans, certain tax debts, and court-ordered fines and restitution.

Finally, note that your filing for bankruptcy will not relieve any cosigners on your loans from their obligations to repay.


On August 31, 2020 the Assembly voted SB 832 updating the California homestead exemption to reflect today’s home values.

The 2020 SB 832 allows all California homeowners to get a homestead of $300,000. A larger homestead would be available in counties where the median price of a home is more than $300,000, tied to actual local sales, and capped at $600,000.

Debtor's will soon be allowed to claim a higher homestead of up to $600,000 since the bill has passed. Contact my office for more information.

Can you eliminate a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan through a bankruptcy?

The general answer is yes. So long as you have not pledged any of your assets for collateral on the loan, you can discharge your obligation to pay back a SBA loan. Generally, a SBA loan requires that collateral be pledged when you take out a loan for greater than $25,000. Thus, a SBA loan that is less than $25,000 can be discharged through a bankruptcy.

Are SBA Loans personally guaranteed?

Yes. This means that you are personally liable for a loan. The lender can sue you and garnish wages or place liens against your property if you fall into default. But, if you file for bankruptcy you will be able to eliminate your liability and issues that may arise from being in default on the loan. Thus, an unsecured SBA loan can be discharged through a bankruptcy. 

Is Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Right for Me?

We at Bankruptcy Attorney have deep experience in helping individuals considering bankruptcy decide both whether bankruptcy is right for them and, if so, which type of bankruptcy will benefit them the most.

This can be a complex equation to work out, depending on your situation. It depends on the amount and type of debt you have and on your current income level. It also depends on what kinds of property you own and on which types of exemptions you would qualify for under Chapter 7 or 13.

In general, those who want to protect a home or vehicle but are behind in the payments would do better to opt for Chapter 13, while those without such concerns will do well under Chapter 7 rules.

Almost all individual bankruptcy filings will be either Chapter 7 or 13. And you can usually exempt all or most of your personal property under Chapter 7. But if you have valuable property that wouldn't be exempt, Chapter 13 gives you a chance at keeping it, if you have sufficient income to make the payments on a years-long Chapter 13 debt repayment plan.

How do i file For bankruptcy?

We at Bankruptcy Attorney can guide you through the process of filing for any type of bankruptcy in California. We have quick access to all necessary forms and can help you fill them out fully and properly and then file them with the bankruptcy court.

An automatic stay will immediately go into effect from the moment your bankruptcy is duly filed, although it may take a little longer before creditors realize this stay is in force and cease to make collection calls.

You have already filed bankruptcy in the past, there are "time limits" on when you can file again. You can only file for Chapter 7 every 8 years, and for Chapter 13 every 6 years, for example.

And you will have to pay a bankruptcy filing fee (around $300 currently) in order to file for either Chapter 7 or 13. You may be able to pay the filing fee in installments, however, if the court allows.

There are four different kinds of bankruptcy you can file for in California:

  1. Chapter 7, which involves liquidation of non-exempt property in order to pay creditors. After liquidation, any unpaid portion of dischargeable debts is canceled.
  2. Chapter 11, where a business or a person with an extremely large amount of debt "reorganizes" debt.
  3. Chapter 12, which is a special type of bankruptcy designed for family farms.
  4. Chapter 13, where an individual sets up a debt payment plan based on current income levels and the remaining dischargeable debt is discharged at the end of the period, if all payments are made.

What About Life Post-Bankruptcy?

Some fear to file for bankruptcy in California, even when they know that their financial situation is such that it makes sense to do so - and is 100% legal to do so. They may be unsure of what life post-bankruptcy will be like.

First of all, it is a myth to say that people "can't own anything post-bankruptcy." You can. You still own all of your exempted property, and you have the right (like everyone else) to acquire new property. However, if you get an inheritance, a life insurance benefit, or a property settlement 180 days or less after a bankruptcy, then those funds would generally have to go to creditors.

Secondly, many fear to file for bankruptcy because they think they will have to go to court, and they don't want to. It's true you would have to attend a short meeting of creditors, where you will have to answer a few basic questions about your bankruptcy filing and your financial status. And in rarer instances, especially if you dispute a debt, you might go to court. But normally, no actual court proceeding, as such, need take place in a bankruptcy.

Third, many think that since bankruptcy will hurt their credit score and stay on their credit history for 10 years, this is a good reason to avoid filing. But that's only half the picture. If you're thinking of filing bankruptcy, your credit is likely already bad, and if you stay in debt and keep missing payments for the next 10 years, that too will stay on your credit history and hurt your credit score.

At least with bankruptcy, you have a chance at meeting all financial obligation going forward and ultimately rebuilding your credit.

Our Practice Areas

We at Bankruptcy Attorney have deep experience across the full spectrum of bankruptcy and related practice areas. Below we give you a basic overview of our most common services and practice areas, although this is not to be construed as an exhaustive list (we do even more!) (To learn more about each of our practice areas, see the individual service pages on this website).

What The Credit Industry Does Not Want You To Know

Filing for bankruptcy is not an easy decision considering its effects on your credit score and reputation. However, the legal procedure helps you settle current unmanageable debt, stop creditor harassment and debt collection activities, giving you a fresh economic start. During the automatic stay, debtors can’t engage in any debt collection efforts and usually, this is bad for business. Therefore, the credit industry wants to discourage you from seeking bankruptcy protection as much as possible.

Unlike creditors who want to convince you to utilize various debt repayment options, which take even decades to settle with a possibility of lawsuits upon non-repayment, the Los Angeles Bankruptcy Attorney will help you know the truth about bankruptcy when faced with financial distress and what the credit industry does not want you to know about the legal process.

General Overview of Bankruptcy

People are faced with different life and economic situations every day. Unique situations require extraordinary measures based on circumstances. It is the same case with bankruptcy; the process is right for you based on your current economic circumstances. So, it’s critical to consider many factors when considering bankruptcy because it’s not for everyone. After examining your situation, you might realize that making a few adjustments could resolve your financial woes, or you are judgment-proof. You might also realize that bankruptcy is the only way to obtain a financial reprieve.

Bankruptcy is a common process among Californians that provides debtors with the chance to seek debt relief and obtain a clean slate. Although you have the right to explore this process, not everyone is eligible. Some of the conditions you must meet to qualify for bankruptcy are:

  • Participate in the means test to determine your household’s gross income to know the type of debt relief you are eligible for.
  • Mandatory completion of credit counseling in a government-approved program
  • Provide proof of property or asset possession
  • Provide valid identification like drivers license, social security card, or birth certificate

The most commonly filed bankruptcies are Chapter 7 and 13.

Chapter 7 is a form of debt relief that wipes your debt within three to six months by allowing you to liquidate your assets to pay creditors. The disadvantage with the process is that it results in loss of assets.

On the other end, there is Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a debt reorganization procedure that allows you to create a debt repayment plan to repay debt. The plan can extend up to five years and you don’t need to liquidate your assets to settle it. It allows you to retain your property, although you must prove you have a consistent and high income to repay the debt.

Either option allows you to put your finances in order when dealing with unmanageable debt to avoid creditor or collection agency harassment and lawsuits. Unfortunately, the credit industry doesn’t want you to know the truth about bankruptcy and how it helps you reorganize your debt and acquire a fresh economic start. They do this because the more you are overwhelmed with debt, the higher the profit margins.

Creditors will encourage you to explore other options instead of bankruptcy so that they can continue with debt collection and suits. It‘s for this reason that you need to consult with a profound bankruptcy attorney to know the truth about bankruptcy based on your situation and the various bankruptcy options to explore based on your unique circumstances.

The Truth That the Credit Industry Doesn’t Want you to Know About Bankruptcy

Creditors often employ aggressive means to discourage and frighten debtors into debt repayment. They understand how filing for bankruptcy hinders their debt collection efforts and lawsuits, which is why they aim to discourage you from declaring bankruptcy. So, you must know the truth about bankruptcy to put a stop to creditor harassment and any pending lawsuit for repossession, garnishment, or foreclosure. Discussed below is the truth creditors are concealing from you about bankruptcy:

  1. Legal Bankruptcy Declaration is the Most Effective Technique to Eliminate Overwhelming Debt

One of the biggest secrets of the credit industry is that bankruptcy can effectively eliminate unmanageable debt. They will never want you to know that by declaring bankruptcy, you obtain financial relief for a particular period, which allows you to arrange your finances and repay the debt, which explains why they invest heavily in anti-bankruptcy PR campaigns to keep the truth about this legal process hidden.

The reason creditors have created a stereotype perception regarding bankruptcy is they want more of your efforts to focus on credit consolidation. Additionally, they want to keep charging late fees and acquire costly loans to increase their profit margins. However, you need to know that declaring bankruptcy can be the best option when struggling with financial issues, especially after a job loss, illness, or business closure.

If you lose your job or business where you used to generate income to service the debt, you will have difficulty paying creditors, especially when you have other bills to settle. In that case, legal filing of a bankruptcy can protect you from financial ruin by stopping all debt collection activities and contacting debtors. For this reason, creditors peddle false information regarding bankruptcy to keep you in debt so that they can benefit from late fees and high-interest rates.

  1. Recent Bankruptcy Statutes are not as Restrictive as Many People Assume

Past bankruptcy statutes were restrictive, but it’s no longer the case with the new laws. While it’s clear the new statutes have more paperwork and legal processes you are not familiar with, this is your attorney’s burden, and you don’t need to be worried. With the legal representation of a bankruptcy attorney, all the hassle associated with the recent laws will be handled by your attorney.

To streamline the process and avoid the strict laws, do not file the process in person because it’s overwhelming and risky. It is the mistake your creditors want you to make so that your bankruptcy lawsuit can be denied. Don’t fall for the lie.

  1. You Won’t End Up in Jail for Failure to Repay Debt

No creditor wants you to know that there is no jail time for refusal to clear the debt. Instead, they want to frighten you by messages or phone calls to the extent that you will believe the refusal to pay the debt will result in prison incarceration. However, this is untrue because the only debts that can result in jail sentence are:

  • Federal tax liens
  • Child support
  • Particular forms of tax debts
  • Debts stemming from injury claims where you are to blame
  • Spousal support
  • Student loans from the government

Declaring bankruptcy clears all your debts and eliminates the worry of prison or jail sentence for inability to repay debt. Any debt from a private creditor cannot result in a prison sentence, although the credit industry will make you think otherwise through their threats.

  1. Bankruptcy Halts Garnishment, Repossession, and Foreclosure

When a creditor realizes that you are having problems with debt repayment and consolidation is not an option, they file a lawsuit with a bankruptcy court demonstrating your inability to pay the debt. If the court grants the lawsuit, it means they can garnish your wages, repossess your vehicles, or foreclose your home. Because of this, creditors can push you into believing that bankruptcy will sell all your property when you fail to repay debt, which is a lie.

Declaring bankruptcy stops all the pending lawsuits against you by the creditor, which means they cannot come after your property due to your inability to repay debt.

Note that although the automatic stay protection provided by bankruptcy pauses all lawsuits, if a creditor has the necessary resources, they can file a motion requesting the court to lift the automatic stay. When this happens, the creditors can continue with a home foreclosure or repossession. Luckily, Chapter 13 is a perfect debt relief option to prevent foreclosure or repossession, so you should discuss it with your attorney.

  1. You Can Rebuild your Credit Score

One of the disadvantages of declaring bankruptcy is that it damages your credit score for years. The credit industry will only discuss how bankruptcy damages your credit ratings but will not disclose that it’s possible to rebuild the rating. Society has also made people believe their credit rating, individual or business will determine their future, forcing people to fear a negative credit score and avoid any action resulting in a negative score like bankruptcy.

The truth is that a negative credit score is not permanent. When you file for bankruptcy, creditors will discharge some of your debts at the end of the period, letting you rebuild your credit score for a clean slate. Creditors aim to keep you in debt because it’s their business, which is why they will never tell you it’s possible to rebuild a credit score.

  1. A Majority of People Who Declare Bankruptcy Keep their Property

Creditors want you to believe that by declaring bankruptcy, you will lose all your property. However, what they don’t want you to know is that not everybody loses personal belongings after bankruptcy. It's true that under Chapter 7, a court-appointed trustee repossesses all your non-exempt property, then sells it off and uses the proceeds to pay debtors. Nevertheless, you retain all your exempt property like pension, automobile, household appliances, and clothing.

When you declare bankruptcy under Chapter 13, you keep all your property like cars and homes and use your steady income to repay debtors. The credit industry doesn’t want you to know this to discourage you from considering bankruptcy.

  1. After Bankruptcy Declaration, Creditors must Abide by your Terms

Creditors don’t want you to discover that they are prohibited from engaging in any debt collection efforts that have already commenced upon bankruptcy declaration. It means you no longer have to deal with frequent phone calls and emails harassing you to repay debt. The automatic stay protection ensures that they must do it through your attorney whenever creditors want to reach out. However, when you opt for a settlement, you will not enjoy the automatic stay’s protection meaning creditors will continue with the debt collection activities.

Similarly, being tricked into a settlement means that creditors are free to file a lawsuit to force you into paying the debt, independent of the financial difficulty you are in. Filing for bankruptcy gives you the ability and control over the fashion you will resolve your debts following your terms and not the credit industry’s terms. You will avoid financial stress and creditor harassment if it’s them that must abide by your rules and not the other way round.

  1. Many People Choosing Bankruptcy are not Deadbeats

There is a common misconception that people who declare bankruptcy are only deadbeats. However, the truth is that many good people in Los Angeles choose bankruptcy declarations not because they don’t want to repay the debt but due to the financial hardship they face. You might find yourself in a financial situation where your only option is bankruptcy declaration. Unfortunately, many debtors choose not to file bankruptcy because they are afraid of acquiring a bad name. In contrast, those who file are the ones that acknowledge their income is incapable of paying off debt.

Low and middle-class income households live in an uncertain economy that is constantly changing, creating huge financial problems. The bills you can pay today might be unpayable tomorrow. If you generate enough income to pay bills and live comfortably, you might consider taking out a loan for particular purposes. However, suppose you undergo a job loss, become incapacitated, or lose your business. In that case, you can no longer attain your income, making it difficult to keep up with loan repayment and other bills. A divorce can also have devastating financial consequences if you are left with a hefty debt you acquired during the marriage.

The economic situation keeps shifting all the time; today, you are financially stable, and the next time you are facing financial distress. Bankruptcy statutes provide you with the opportunity to regain your financial footing. However, the credit industry will want you to believe that a bankruptcy declaration earns you a bad name in society.

  1. Not Everyone will Learn you are Bankrupt

Another myth the credit industry wants to spread about bankruptcy declaration is that everyone in society will know about it. As mentioned above, some people are afraid bankruptcy will damage their reputation. The fear that everyone will know about your decision discourages many debtors from exploring this debt relief option, which benefits creditors.

Luckily, unless you are a celebrity or politician, the only people that will learn about bankruptcy are your attorney, the creditors, and the people you choose to disclose to, like your family members or spouse. The possibility of people learning about this legal process is minimal, despite it being a public process.

  1. Bankruptcy Declaration isn’t Costly

The cost of filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy is $281, while Chapter 7 is $306. Although you cannot pay the debt, this amount is reasonable considering the court might allow you to pay in installments, making the legal process affordable, contrary to what creditors might want you to believe.

  1. Your Retirement Pension Remains Intact

Some creditors will convince you to withdraw money from your retirement account to settle the money you owe. However, they won’t tell you that your retirement pension is protected from wage garnishment after a bankruptcy declaration. Creditors are only interested in debt or increased profit margins, and they care less about your post-retirement life.

Bankruptcy declaration has nothing to do with your retirement because even if you cannot keep up with your retirement plan, your attorney can always petition the court for a modification to suit your economic situation.

At the Los Angeles Bankruptcy Attorney, we encourage you not to withdraw cash from your retirement account to repay creditors because doing so will interfere with your plan. Rather, declaring bankruptcy will allow you enough time to arrange your finances and pay your creditors.

  1. You Have the Right to Eliminate Debt Through Bankruptcy

Many creditors, through advertisement, claim that you have a right to repay what you owe, but this is usually a tactic to lure innocent debtors to settling debt with the little money they have left in their accounts. Do not fall for this trick because you do not have to settle the debt under economic distress. You can declare bankruptcy instead and stop debt repayment momentarily until you regain your initial financial status without compromising other bills or necessities.

Bankruptcy declaration is often a last resort for many individuals. Therefore, if you consider automatic stay protection, it means you are under financial distress, and it’s good to seek debt relief. Creditors will make bankruptcy sound like a bad decision, but they intend to keep you in the dark about the legal procedure to keep you in debt and their business running.

When considering bankruptcy but not sure what you want, speak to a bankruptcy attorney for legal guidance.

Find a Los Angeles Bankruptcy Attorney Near Me

Bankruptcy declaration is a decision many debtors avoid because of fear of damaging their reputation in society. The credit industry wants to discourage you from this legal process by arguing that it’s not beneficial. However, what these creditors want is to see you repaying debt even for a decade. Fortunately, bankruptcy statutes make it clear that anyone is eligible and has a right to file for bankruptcy.

If you wish to explore your debt relief options or have an attorney review your case, contact Los Angeles Bankruptcy Attorney at 424-285-5525 to discuss more.

Bankruptcy Dos and Don'ts

A little bankruptcy planning could make a significant difference in making the process of filing your bankruptcy case less painful and overwhelming. As a struggling debtor, you might be busy treading water, trying to alter your finances, and dodging your creditors' calls, that you fail to see the practicality of filing bankruptcy. It could result in expensive mistakes. Los Angeles Bankruptcy Attorney offers credible and compassionate legal services to help our clients go through their bankruptcy process and get back on their financial feet. Read on to learn the do and don'ts of bankruptcy that we have shared.

What to Do

Discussed below are what to do before, during, and after filing bankruptcy:

Accept Your Financial Situation

Most struggling lenders decide to file bankruptcy after all other options have failed. They have lawsuits against them, bank accounts being levied, and wages garnished. While it can be a stressful and depressing moment, accepting the situation is the initial step to working with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to resolve the issue.

Commit Yourself to Your Budget

Take the initiative and break the cycle that resulted in huge debts. If you face financial challenges, you should try maintaining monthly, weekly, and daily budgets. While it might be hard to stick to an inflexible budget initially, you'll be more successful living within your budget with more resilience and practice.

Consult with a Skilled Bankruptcy Lawyer Immediately

Most experienced bankruptcy attorneys offer free initial consultations, and you can take advantage of that. Speaking with a lawyer does not always mean you'll be bringing a bankruptcy case. It lets you know how bankruptcy applies to the circumstances. There are numerous forms of bankruptcy, and it's essential to understand how every option would apply to the case.

Moreover, you want to find a lawyer with whom you are comfortable. You can only be honest with a person if you trust them.

Be Honest with Your Seasoned Attorney

There is nothing too embarrassing to avoid sharing with the skilled bankruptcy attorney. It would help if you were honest about your financial status. That way, you avoid putting yourself in situations that might prevent you from obtaining the intended financial status. Some debtors prefer not speaking about their significant recent purchases or medical conditions, thinking that the situation could affect their bankruptcy case filing outcome. Contrary to popular belief, it would be best if you told of your circumstances because the attorney will develop strategies that could nullify the consequences on your decision's outcomes.

Moreover, the duty of confidentiality prevents lawyers from even informally discussing information related to their clients' cases with others. They must keep private all information related to your representation, even if that information didn't come from you.

It's worth noting that failing to list all your debts and assets could hinder attempts to discharge your debts.

Attend the Meeting of Creditors

Usually, twenty to forty days after submitting your bankruptcy case, you should attend 341 meetings of creditors. During the hearing, any attending lender and the trustee could ask you questions about your financial situation and bankruptcy. The bankruptcy court will mail you a notice with the time, location, and date of the hearing. If you fail to attend the meeting, the judge will dismiss your case.

Know Which Bankruptcy Exemption to Use

Understanding the bankruptcy property exemption could help you keep valuable assets and lower what you repay your lenders.

The central concept of bankruptcy law is getting you a fresh financial start. Part of the idea is that you can start over with a minimal amount of essential assets to permit you to survive and get back on your feet. So, if you bring bankruptcy, you can keep specific assets known as exempt property. What asset is exempt will hinge mainly on your domicile state and financial circumstances.

In other words, exemptions are essential because they could make the difference between losing or keeping the property in bankruptcy. As a result, be sure to thoroughly research California exemption laws, the type of assets you could exempt, and which exemption system to use before bringing your bankruptcy case.

Comply With all Bankruptcy Procedures and Rules

Every bankruptcy court has its local bankruptcy procedures and rules all debtors should follow. Additionally, after filing bankruptcy, you should give the bankruptcy trustee supporting documents like tax returns and pay stubs. The trustee might also have more guidelines and requirements to meet.

If you fail to adhere to all the local rules in the area, it could result in delays or even case dismissal. You could find the bankruptcy court local rules by visiting the court's official website.

File the Right Bankruptcy Forms

When filing for bankruptcy, you should complete numerous forms, including your schedules, petition, and statement of financial affairs. If you do not have legal representation, you should know which forms to bring and complete.

You could acquire your bankruptcy forms from the bankruptcy form page of the U.S. Courts' official website. Also, your local bankruptcy court could require you to fill out more forms.

Complete Bankruptcy Education Requirements

If you want to file for bankruptcy and obtain a debt discharge, you should complete a debtor education and credit counseling. The purpose of credit counseling is to determine whether you should file bankruptcy or whether a repayment plan could get you on your financial feet again. The education requirements are required irrespective of whether you do not want to repay your loans or find them unfair.

Even if the repayment plan proposed by your credit counseling agency is viable, you do not have to agree to it. Nevertheless, you should file the plan alongside your bankruptcy papers.

You should complete the following:

  • Credit counseling— Before you file bankruptcy, you should undergo credit counseling from an agency. When filing bankruptcy, you should bring a certificate of completion with the bankruptcy court. Otherwise, the judge will dismiss the case.
  • Debtor education — Following your bankruptcy case filing, you should complete a debtor education course (personal financial management course). If you fail to meet this requirement, the judge will not grant a debt discharge.

Keep Your Non-Dischargeable Debts Current

Typically, bankruptcy doesn't discharge loans like taxes, student loans, alimony, and child support. That means you will still be required to pay these debts even after a successful bankruptcy case filing.

Keep Track of Deposits and Withdrawals

The bank trustee reviews the bank statements. The bankruptcy trustee could raise questions about massive deposits and withdrawals affecting your case outcome. Therefore, you should remember the origin of your money or avoid confusion in your petition. For example, if you paid school fees for your daughter, make sure you have all your receipts and use them as proof in your case.

Separate All Your Money

If you've funds that should be protected, like social security or personal injury settlements, you should be clear about the source of the money. It is recommended that you separate these funds from standard bank accounts to avoid raising questions when bringing bankruptcy.

Keep Track of Your Expenses

As previously stated, you should disclose your expenses. Most debtors cannot tell where their money is going. Since you want to be accurate with your bankruptcy filing, be sure to account for that. Some expenses might be unreasonable or questionable, while the bankruptcy trustee could permit others but question them if higher than usual. To avoid all this, keep documentation if you should establish it later.

Fulfill Bankruptcy Disclosure Requirements

Filing bankruptcy in Los Angeles is a transparent and straightforward process. While you can exempt the assets you need to maintain your household and work, your lenders are entitled to the rest. Therefore, you should disclose your financial circumstances in the paperwork before leaping the benefits of filing bankruptcy.

The bankruptcy judge makes sure that lenders receive their share by analyzing up to ten years' worth of previous financial transactions. Any debtor filing bankruptcy should report their prior transactions on Your Statement of Financial Affairs for Individual Filing for Bankruptcy form. Please remember to file your SOFA form alongside the official bankruptcy paperwork.

Suppose the court learns that a debtor transferred assets to dodge paying creditors or violate other bankruptcy rules. In that case, the bankruptcy court will reverse the transactions and distribute the assets to creditors.

Here are what you should include:

  • Source of your previous income
  • Payments made before bringing bankruptcy
  • Prior and current repossessions, foreclosures, and legal action
  • Contributions and gifts to other people
  • Losses due to gambling, fire, and theft
  • Sold, closed, transferred, moved financial accounts
  • Property transfers
  • Things you are holding for another person
  • Environmental challenges that you know about the assets
  • Status of ongoing and previous businesses
  • Storage units and safe-deposit boxes

After completing, you should sign a statement per penalty of perjury indicating that the details submitted are correct. Any attempts to defraud the bankruptcy court could result in severe criminal penalties.

If you fail to file all your paperwork, the court could dismiss the bankruptcy case, or you might be required to file extra papers to rectify your paperwork and incur additional fees. If you omit your creditors, that loan won't be discharged. And, if you forget to include property, the bankruptcy trustee might find it and seize the asset.

What Not to Do

When experiencing financial challenges, it is tempting to do whatever it takes to lower the pressure. However, as previously mentioned, bankruptcy cases go more smoothly with planning. In the section below, you will learn why you should not do the following things:

Do Not Fail to File Your Income Tax Returns

If a person is not supposed to file their tax returns because they obtain disability insurance, they shouldn't worry about this Chapter 7 case requirement. Nevertheless, if they should file their taxes but have not done so for the previous two (2) years before bringing bankruptcy, they might run into trouble.

Tax returns are paramount in determining the previous and current asset holdings and earnings. It also satisfies possible priority tax claims. Without the returns, completing paperwork and a Chapter 13 repayment plan will not be possible and will stop the bankruptcy process. For example, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) cannot determine the tax responsibilities with tax assessments.

Do Not File Bankruptcy When You're About to Receive Significant Assets

You should reconsider bringing your bankruptcy case if you're about to receive a substantial income tax refund, settlements from a suit, repayment of debt you made to another person, or inheritance within a year. After receiving the funds, chances are you will not be bankrupt, mainly if you can use the money to pay your lenders. If this is the situation, speak with a qualified bankruptcy lawyer to discuss the available options.

Avoid Making Preference Payments to Your Lenders

If a loved one or business partner has lent you money, you might be tempted to repay the loan before bringing a bankruptcy case. When you bring bankruptcy, the trustee will analyze the payments you made one year before filing to ensure some lenders did not receive preference payments (unfair advantage). The bankruptcy trustee will take back all preference payments you made within a year, provided the payments were made to a close business partner or loved one, and distribute them among your lenders. If the associates or relatives cannot provide the funds you paid them, the trustee could press legal action against them to recover the money.

If an Entrepreneur, Do Not Pay Yourself a Back Pay or Bonus

According to the bankruptcy system, an entrepreneur is an inside creditor. Therefore, if you pay yourself a bonus, take funds out of your company, or repay a debt that your business owes you during a year before filing bankruptcy, it is considered preference payments. If deemed bankruptcy fraud, it can result in case dismissal and serving a jail sentence.

Do Not be Quick to File Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy works best to wipe out debts, and you have a right to receive a discharge. Therefore, you should examine when it is the right time to file your bankruptcy. You could receive a discharge eight years and six years following a Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, respectively.

During your waiting period, you could find yourself facing more severe financial challenges like a health condition that accumulates medical bills that you will want to hold off until the condition stabilizes. Other challenges that could come up include eviction, car repossession, foreclosure, and unemployment.

If you have previously filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you cannot file the case again and get a discharge. Your creditor could seize your valuable assets, garnish wages, levy money in the bank account. However, Chapter 13 bankruptcy might be available. You will require adequate income to be eligible and pay the debts using the discretionary income for three to five years.

You Should Also Not Wait Too Long to File Bankruptcy

Sometimes, you should file bankruptcy quickly. For instance, if your creditors are garnishing your wages, the sooner you bring bankruptcy, the more funds you will have to foot your bills.

You should also file bankruptcy quickly if the creditor has pressed legal action against you. The bankruptcy attorney will assess the complaint to check whether it involves fraud allegations. If so, you should file bankruptcy before your case proceeds to judgment. Should the creditor prevail in the money judgment, its lien rights will allow the creditor to attack bank accounts, garnish wages, repossess your motor vehicle, and foreclose on the home. Generally, if you bring bankruptcy before your lender wins the case, your bankruptcy case will wipe out your debts and stop the suit.

Do Not Move Your Property

While the bankruptcy schedule requests information about your assets, it can be tempting to transfer, hide, or sell the assets before bringing a bankruptcy case. Please do not do it. It could result in debt discharge denial and criminal consequences.

Typical forms of transfers that could land you in trouble are:

  • Changing title to your spouse or child's motor vehicle that is in your name, into your spouse or child's name
  • Removing your name from a joint account or changing the name on your bank account
  • Removing your name from a business
  • Depositing or moving money into another person's bank account
  • Deeding real property in your name to somebody else, notwithstanding it is a legal transaction that you paid a fair market value

Most people move assets out of their name because they fear losing the property in bankruptcy. Owning the property doesn't mean you can't file a bankruptcy case or will lose the asset. Your experienced attorney will advise you accordingly, including taking advantage of bankruptcy exemptions.

You might have sold the asset before bringing bankruptcy to foot expenses like a utility, food, and rent. Although doing so is not wrong, be prepared to explain the transactions and submit supporting documentation.

Do Not Use Your Retirement Funds

You could safeguard your retirement account in bankruptcy. Therefore, it is a costly mistake to use your retirement money to pay your debts, something that bankruptcy can wipe out. Before making the payment, consult with your skilled bankruptcy lawyer.

Do not Make Any Credit Card Purchase Before Filing for Bankruptcy

Unless you want to incur additional credit card debts due to necessities like food, gas, rent, you must stop using the credit card. If you purchase luxury purchases in credit just before filing for bankruptcy, your creditor could object to your discharge. However, you could continue using debit cards.

Find Skilled Bankruptcy Attorney Near Me

The process of filing bankruptcy could be overwhelming. There are numerous things that, if not well done, could lead to costly and time-consuming mistakes. It could also result in delays or case dismissal. At Los Angeles Bankruptcy Attorney, we could help you with all aspects of bankruptcy. To get started, we'll discuss essential dos and don'ts before, during, and after filing bankruptcy. Call us today at 424-285-5525 to schedule your initial consultation.

La Tuna Canyon

Are you struggling and planning to consult and work with a Los Angeles bankruptcy attorney? Ok, you are in the right place. Mounting calls and harassing phone calls from your creditors are a nightmare. You need legal assistance from our bankruptcy attorneys across San Fernando Valley. We serve in and around La Tuna Canyon. Our lawyers are often happy and willing to discuss your financial challenges and plot the case's best strategy.

We represent your interests and fully inform you of the available options. Additionally, we help you move from your current financial state toward a bright future free of debts. We will show you how to skip similar situations in the future. Begin by calling our lawyers for a free consultation and case evaluation. Notably, filing for bankruptcy isn't a straightforward exercise. Several people across San Fernando Valley have lost their assets due to mistakes resulting from hiring inexperienced bankruptcy attorneys who place them in a worse financial state than before. However, having the right legal representation shows that you have the most experienced and the best lawyers handling your interests to ease your debt and live a peaceful life.

Speak with a La Tuna Canyon bankruptcy attorney to guide you on the appropriate type of bankruptcy you qualify for before filling your petition.

Bankruptcy Overview

Bankruptcy is a legal process whereby a debtor obtains relief from debts which he/she cannot pay. Notably, the process helps creditors to be paid by the debtor through the property they own and which isn't essential for their living. You may feel overwhelmed by the debts, and declaring bankruptcy becomes your ideal option. However, declaring bankruptcy may be a very tough decision you want to make.

Before filing for bankruptcy, you should consider the other available options. Settling on bankruptcy may affect several aspects of your life for a prolonged period. You should be aware that bankruptcy does not discharge all debts. Additionally, there are several types of bankruptcy. Therefore you should file for the kind of bankruptcy that suits your case.

According to the California bankruptcy laws, a La Tuna Canyon bankruptcy case is filed at the bankruptcy court. Notably, the court may dismiss your case. Once your case is dismissed, you will have to wait for 180 days before refiling the case. If you hire an experienced bankruptcy attorney, they will guide you on how to handle a bankruptcy case wisely.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy - La Tuna Canyon

The chapter is made to cater to the people who have challenges with their budgets and are unable to pay for their basic needs like rent, clothes, and food. Notably, they have credit card debt that they can't pay back due to their stiff budget. Apart from being upside-down with the budget, the debtor will pass the means test as per the 2005 bankruptcy laws. The bankruptcy law is a good solution to a credit card store debt, medical bill, among other unsecured debts.

The other unsecured debts may include child support, government fines, taxes, and debts incurred by fraud. However, chapter 7 isn't a good solution to the secured jobs like car payments or mortgage payments for your property in La Tuna Canyon. Moreover, bankruptcy law stops lawsuits, harassment, and garnishments. The law also stops foreclosure and repossessions temporarily. Chapter 7, bankruptcy is the most cost-effective method of eliminating your debts.

After filing chapter 7 bankruptcy, the law looks to see the assets to take from you in paying back the creditors. The assets are known as 'non-exempt' assets. However, put in mind that chapter 7 is a 'no asset' case. Therefore the chapter isn't interested in taking away what you possess. Our Los Angeles bankruptcy attorney exempts your assets like your La Tuna Canyon house.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy - La Tuna Canyon

The chapter is prepared for the people who make money higher than their regular expenses and possess non-exempt assets that the debtor is protecting. It is a planned system for paying back the debts and considering your net income for your non-exempt assets, among other relevant facts. The chapter is the right solution for your secured debts like arrearages for your La Tuna Canyon house or payment for your car. However, the California bankruptcy laws limit the secured and unsecured debts which you may file for the chapter.

Therefore, if you face foreclosure for your home and real property, the chapter will allow you to save your items and property through a court proposal to make the payments. After approval of the plan, the law requires the creditors to accept the plan. Student loans, back child support, and non-dischargeable taxes will be paid without making any interest. After our lawyers look at your expenses, income, and other facts, we will inform you of the value of your debts. Speak with your La Tuna Canyon bankruptcy attorney to determine whether you are eligible for a chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Alternatives of Filing Bankruptcy

If you are financially burdened with heavy debts in the La Tuna Canyon area, there are several debt relief options available for you. The debt relief option includes credit card services and repayment programs. Although it is considered a good plan for handling your financial problem, it is the last option you should consider. La Tuna Canyon Bankruptcy court will keep your bankruptcy information on your credit for ten years and hinder your ability to obtain a credit, insurance, job, and a residence place. Therefore if you have difficulties managing your debts, you should consider the other alternatives before filing for bankruptcy. You may consider the following when looking for relief from your financial debts:

  • Paying Down Your Debts

Most people encounter debt during their lifetime, either as a student loan or a credit card balance. Several debts may not be a risk. However, unmanageable debts may be challenging and affect your personal life. Paying down debt is the first critical step in managing your debts. You should consider the debts you are facing and make a plan to handle the debt first. Notably, when paying your numerous debts, you need to consider the priority debts above others. You may speak with your La Tuna Canyon Bankruptcy attorney for guidance on how to pay your debts.

Failure to eliminate the debts immediately can seriously affect the debt elimination process. Additionally, falling behind on car loans, mortgage payments, or utility payments may result in repossession of your car, foreclosure of your house, or cut off of utilities. Apart from the hardships that the actions may create, the debts carry less interest than other types of debts. Failure to pay taxes and child support takes serious concerns, resulting in raised interests and jail.

  • Debt Counselling

If you are working hard to develop a debt budget and meet your financial targets, you may seek help from a La Tuna Canyon Bankruptcy creditor counselor. Notably, if you are deep in debts, having counseling is the best alternative to solve your financial crisis and manage your daily cash flow. In Los Angeles, several debt counseling organizations fall under 'non-profit'; however, it doesn't necessarily mean you will receive free, legitimate, and affordable services. A credit counselor will provide services through online, telephone, or local offices. Therefore, you may communicate with the credit counselor at any time you are seeking their assistance. The offices also engage in in-person consultations. Our law firm will work effectively in connecting you with the best debt counseling organizations across la tuna canyon.

  • Make a Budget for Your Financial Debts

Most people across Los Angeles face debt challenges for their failure to make a budget for their current financial debts. Creating a budget for your debts is the first critical step in cutting down your financial debts. Creation and sticking to your budget is an essential method of avoiding debts. If you map your regular expenses, you will have a clear picture of your finances. The mapping will help determine the debt payment to come first. By doing so, you will have a humble time in handling your financial debt crisis.

Why Should You File for Bankruptcy?

By declaring bankruptcy, you will discharge various debts and eliminate your legal duty of repaying them. Apart from that, filing for bankruptcy will enable you to:

  • Restore or prevent termination of utility service
  • Stop harassments, debt collection, wage garnishment, and any other activity from the creditors
  • Stop the foreclosure of your home, thus allowing you to be up-to-date on your missed payments.
  • prevent repossession of assets

The Services we Offer to Our Clients

Los Angeles bankruptcy attorney, we provide our clients with the best services across la tuna canyon. Our lawyers are experienced and determined to deliver quality services to our clients. We provide other services that facilitate a bankruptcy case. The services we provide to our clients include:

Provision of Information To Our Clients

Most people partially understand bankruptcy laws. Information is essential when solving any issue. If you are an informed client, you can make a good decision about your debts with the information in your hand. Several people only have a general idea concerning bankruptcy laws across La Tuna Canyon. Additionally, they understand that the law helps erase their debt. However, they are unaware of the consequences and their options. Our firm equips the clients with both the pros and cons of the available course of action and explains the various available strategies we adopt, which can impact your financial status. Our goal is to arm you with all the essential knowledge needed in making the best decision and have knowledge of avoiding another financial crisis in the future.

Our Attorneys are Experienced

Experience in bankruptcy is a critical element in determining the outcome of a bankruptcy case. Therefore, hiring an experienced bankruptcy attorney not only brings peace of mind but also ensures you have somebody on your side who will help you skip making simple mistakes that can put you in a challenging financial condition. Therefore when choosing a bankruptcy attorney, go for the experienced ones. At the Los Angeles bankruptcy attorney, we have experience in providing our clients with the best outcomes. Our firm is familiar with California law and understands the challenges people go through when facing bankruptcy. Notably, we have established a good relationship with the courts in La Tuna Canyon; thus, we have a humble time handling our client's issues. Our agents in various locations are experienced, and when you call them, they will direct you to our offices.

We are Available At La Tuna Canyon for a 24/7 Basis

Are you facing bankruptcy in or around La Tuna Canyon? We are here to answer your questions, provide the best representation, and give accurate information when you need it. Our firm is open on a twenty-four-hour basis. Therefore you may visit or call our firm and arrange for an appointment at any time of the day. We assist and guide our clients from the time we receive their call until they obtain legal help from our law firm.

We Provide Online and Over Phone Services To Our Clients

Are you worried about how to come in touch with our law firm? Our firm provides online and over phone services to clients. Therefore you can find us through our website, call our answering service, and make an appointment faster. The service ensures you receive our services through the medium you like the most. Additionally, it will provide you avoid travel costs in and out of our offices. Your questions are answered immediately by our bankruptcy experts, and no missed calls are recorded due to our active systems and answering services.

Find a Bankruptcy Attorney Near Me

Bankruptcy is among the common problems faced by several people from La Tuna Canyon. As the days pass, times are becoming tough! With an economy that is lagging. Therefore raising medical bills, clearing your student loan, and paying your debts may be a challenge. Most people are ending up registering debts that affect their living conditions. If you are in La Tuna Canyon and facing, you should look for an alternative to relieve your financial debts.

At Los Angeles Bankruptcy Attorney, we are dedicated to providing our clients with the best legal assistance and help them receive debt relief and avoid similar crises in the future. We provide services across Los Angeles. Call us today at 4242-285-5525 and have our lawyers work on your debt immediately.

Bankruptcy and Family Law

When you are facing financial problems, you are more than likely to experience family issues. For instance, your marriage will be affected when you lack money. Additionally, child support may be significantly affected when your earnings are low. Therefore you may find yourself in a situation whereby you want to file for bankruptcy and divorce. Once you file for bankruptcy, it may become challenging for you to survive on one income as you have been used to depending on two income sources. Therefore if you are experiencing financial problems, seek legal help from a bankruptcy attorney.

At Los Angeles Bankruptcy Attorney, we are here to help you solve your financial crisis. If you are in or around Los Angeles, CA, call us today and speak with our bankruptcy attorney. Our competent attorneys are familiar with family and bankruptcy laws.

Divorce and Bankruptcy

In most cases, bankruptcy and divorce coincide. It becomes challenging to adjust to one source if you are used to depending on two income sources. Sometimes you may feel like things are falling apart when you are filing for bankruptcy, and the other spouse is busy filing for divorce. However, with the guidance of an attorney conversant with both family and bankruptcy laws, he/she will guide the whole process. In a bankruptcy and divorce case, each spouse focuses on receiving an equal share of assets and debts. It won't sound okay when one spouse is tied to all obligations which were jointly acquired. In most cases, the California courts call for mediation between the two spouses and their attorneys.

If you plan to file for bankruptcy and divorce, it's critical to understand that your decisions will significantly impact the process. For example, the time you file for bankruptcy will have an impact on the outcome. Filing for bankruptcy before or after divorce will bring different results. Additionally, if you file for bankruptcy, you will affect the exercise of property division and share the debts during the divorce process.

According to California laws, every spouse is liable for the debts accumulated during the marriage. It doesn't matter the spouse who accumulated the debts during the marriage. That means even after you file for divorce, you will be held responsible for the debt obligation. Therefore, even when one spouse is allocated debts after divorce, the agreement will not relieve the other spouse from the debt obligation. Note that the creditors are not aware of the deal you make during divorce. Therefore the creditors may come for you for failing to repay your debts after a divorce.

For instance, you and your spouse may have acquired a credit card together. However, when you file for divorce, the court holds one spouse liable for paying back the credit card debt. Note that the creditors will see both you and your spouse responsible for making payments for the credit card debt since the court is unaware of the agreement you made during a divorce. That means if the spouse liable for the credit card fails to make payments, the creditors will come for both of you.

Can You File for Bankruptcy Before Divorce?

A married couple may decide to declare bankruptcy before they file for divorce. When you file for bankruptcy before the divorce, you will be able to cancel the joint marital debts, which could otherwise be divided as part of the divorce proceedings then handled separately in each partner's bankruptcy. After the bankruptcy court discharges several debts, the spouse will have a few obligations to divide at the divorce proceedings. Therefore the couples will have a few debts jointly responsible after divorce.

After you choose to file for bankruptcy before filing for divorce, you will avoid fighting to allocate debts during the divorce proceedings. By doing so, the divorce process will be very efficient. Sometimes the situation may be unique, and filing for bankruptcy before the divorce becomes next to impossible. Therefore, if you consider filing for bankruptcy before a divorce, you should seek legal assistance from an attorney. Notably, choose an attorney experienced in tackling both family and bankruptcy laws. The attorney will evaluate the uniqueness of your situation and provide the best legal advice.

What Happens When You File For Bankruptcy and Divorce At the Same Time?

Bankruptcy and divorce are among the most stressful and emotional experiences which you can endure. Therefore dealing with both of them at the same time may be overwhelming. Before you put bankruptcy and divorce into motion, you need to understand it will be unlikely for the two proceedings to coincide. Although you will file the two legal motions together, in most cases, one case will take precedence over the other. If the two cases are pending simultaneously, the bankruptcy case will be suspended for the divorce court to apportion assets and marital debts to each spouse.

If you juggle the two legal processes at the same time, you will complicate your situation. Therefore for simplicity, you should consider filing for divorce before you tackle the bankruptcy case. However, it will be more desirable to file for bankruptcy under certain situations and later handle divorce. Notably, your financial situation and the jurisdiction laws in your residential area are key in deciding the best way to tackle divorce and bankruptcy. Therefore, you will need to consult legal counsel from your attorney before you start the process for your situation's best order.

If you and your spouse are on amicable terms, it would be recommendable to file for bankruptcy and then divorce. For instance, if you file for bankruptcy before the divorce, you will share the costs of hiring a bankruptcy attorney. Additionally, you will share the filing fee and avoid joint debt payments. Therefore if both you and your spouse own property together, it will be advantageous to first file for bankruptcy then divorce.

Sometimes your joint earnings may be higher than the threshold for filing bankruptcy under chapter 7. However, if your earnings qualify for chapter 7, you may choose to declare bankruptcy after divorce.

Filing a Joint Petition

A married couple may file official bankruptcy paperwork together. The couple will submit paperwork containing financial information for both spouses. If you are a divorcing couple, filing for bankruptcy jointly may be more efficient. You will enjoy the following benefits:

  • Fewer costs for filing bankruptcy as opposed to filling apart.
  • The bankruptcy court discharges some debts for both spouses.

However, married couples aren't obligated to file for bankruptcy together. Each partner may find it easier to file for bankruptcy after divorce because of the drop in finances.

Bankruptcy and Divorce Costs

The bankruptcy filing fees are the same for individuals and joint spouses. Therefore if you file a joint bankruptcy with your partner, you will save many legal fees. Additionally, hiring a bankruptcy attorney for joint bankruptcy is much cheaper than when you filed separately. Notably, inform your bankruptcy lawyer to be aware of the upcoming divorce to avoid conflicts of interest when representing you, your spouse, or both of you. If you file for bankruptcy before the divorce, you will simplify any issue about property division, debt and lower the costs incurred due to divorce.

Chapter 13 Vs. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

When deciding to declare bankruptcy, you may choose between chapter 13 and chapter 7. A chapter seven bankruptcy is designed to do away with your unsecured debts like credit card and medical bills debts. Under chapter 7, you will receive debt discharge after a few months. Therefore you may complete the process before the divorce.

Alternatively, chapter 13 will take up to five years since the bankruptcy law requires you to pay portion or all debts through a debt repayment plan. Therefore if you want to file bankruptcy under chapter 13, it would be wise to file separately after your divorce since it takes an extended period to complete.

In case you filed for chapter 13, you may cancel the bankruptcy and plan for divorce first. Note that canceling or stopping chapter 13 won't eliminate your debt responsibility. If you choose to reconstruct the repayment plan, you will have two plans. You will bear one debt repayment plan, and your spouse will bear the other repayment plan. Therefore after dividing the repayment plan into two, you will handle the bankruptcy independently.

The process of handling bankruptcy and divorce may be intricate. Therefore if you don't handle the exercise correctly, you may take a longer period than necessary. So you should seek legal help from a bankruptcy attorney. The attorney will first evaluate your situation and pursue the best action for your case.

Discharging Marital Debts

Litigating the debts to be assigned to each spouse during a divorce may be time-consuming and costly. Additionally, when one spouse is ordered to pay a particular debt in a divorce, it doesn't change the other spouse's obligations towards that specific creditor. For instance, the bankruptcy court ordered your ex-husband in a divorce to make payments of a credit card you had together. If the ex-husband fails to make a payment, you are still responsible for the debt, and the creditors may even come after you. However, if you repay the debt, you have the right to be reimbursed by the ex-husband since he has violated the bankruptcy laws.

After filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the bankruptcy court discharges several debts. However, the court won't release a few debts after you file for bankruptcy. So you will have the responsibility to repay the non-dischargeable debts. The non-dischargeable obligations include:

  • Alimony
  • Court fines and penalties
  • Child support
  • Attorney fees majorly for child support or any other support case
  • Student loans
  • Fines are payable to the state or government agencies and entities.

Apart from the non-dischargeable debts, the bankruptcy court may prevent certain debts from being dismissed even after you file for chapter 7. Note that discharging debt isn't a right but a privilege. Therefore sometimes, the bankruptcy court may not grant you the privilege. For instance, the court may deny you the privilege when you:

  • Violate court order
  • Fail to present your tax records as required
  • Destroy your financial books and records
  • Hide specific property with the aim o tricking or defrauding your creditors
  • Commit perjury about your case

Several rules govern the discharge of debts after declaring bankruptcy. Therefore you may not understand and interpret all bankruptcy rules. It will be crucial to seek legal help from a bankruptcy attorney. The attorney will assess your case and provide advice about the dischargeable debts.

What Are the Effects of Filing Bankruptcy on Child Support?

By declaring bankruptcy, you skip the duty of paying debts as you reconstruct your repayment plans. You will discharge most debts and keep creditors from collecting your property. However, child support will be excluded from the bankruptcy exercise. The law requires both spouses to care about their children financially. The court is very strict on this law and cannot relieve the parents from the obligation.

If you are making payments for child support and consider filing for bankruptcy, you may need to know filing for bankruptcy will impact the child support responsibility. Alternatively, if you are the spouse receiving child support and the other parent paying for child support has filed for bankruptcy, you may wonder the effects it might cause on your child support payments.

Note that the bankruptcy court cannot discharge child support in bankruptcy. It means the parent owing child support cannot escape the responsibility by declaring bankruptcy. If your co-parent has ceased to pay child support, the court may use alternative methods to ensure he/she continues with the child support duty. The child support process is a complicated exercise, and you will require the help of a lawyer conversant with bankruptcy laws.

However, if the paying parent's financial stand has changed, the parent may call for a motion to change the order if he/she is encountering problems when making the payments. Therefore even when the presiding judge grants the motion and the payments are lowered, you will still have the duty for paying the child support.

Can You Stop Your Spouse From Declaring Bankruptcy?

According to the bankruptcy laws, you are not required to stop your partner from declaring bankruptcy. Under federal laws, your spouse has the right for filing bankruptcy. However, the law prohibits you from filing for bankruptcy as a method of revenge on your partner. In case you are on a mortgage, the law will allow the person who stays for a long time with the children to live in the house until the house is sold. Additionally, if you have a joint mortgage and you don't have a child, the law allows both spouses to live in the house.

However, if your ex-spouse files a chapter 13 bankruptcy, the law requires you to continue making payments as you did before. Note that if you never made mortgage payments before filing for chapter 13, you should not begin making the contributions.

What is the Wife's Attorney Fee?

In several cases, divorce is seen as a war of attrition between the married couples. Sometimes the family court orders the husband to make payments for the wife's attorney fee. As the husband, you may end up paying a huge fee. Will you wipe your wife's attorney fee by declaring bankruptcy? In most cases, the ex-husband will file for bankruptcy after they finalize the divorce exercise. The ex-husband tends to file the wife's attorney fee as a debt in their listings. The California courts see the wife's attorney fee among the non-dischargeable debts. Therefore the ex-husband won't discharge the wife's attorney fee.

Seek Legal Representation

You may have hired a divorce attorney together with your ex-spouse. However, if you and your partner are filing for bankruptcy, you will have to seek an alternative lawyer. The law prohibits attorneys from representing the same clients when they have conflicting interests. If one spouse declares bankruptcy, a conflict of interests is created since the spouses are opposing each other. Note that by finding an alternative bankruptcy attorney, the spouses will pay their legal fee separately. Moreover, it may be time-consuming to find a separate attorney.

You need to understand how bankruptcy and family laws intertwine. Ensure you contact an attorney early enough to evaluate your situation and provide guidance on the whole process. Sometimes you may feel overwhelmed when handling both family and bankruptcy laws. Spousal support, child support, divorce, and other family issues are difficult to deal with. The situation may worsen when bankruptcy is involved. However, hiring a competent bankruptcy attorney will ease the process. The attorney will provide legal help until you deal with family and bankruptcy cases.

Find A Los Angeles Bankruptcy Attorney Near Me

Do you want to file for bankruptcy and at the same time experiencing family issues? Bankruptcy cases tend to be complicated, overwhelming, and time-consuming. Therefore you will require the counsel of an attorney conversant with both family and bankruptcy laws. At Los Angeles Bankruptcy Attorney, we will help you fight for your rights. We have helped countless clients seeking legal help in Los Angeles, CA. Call us today at 424-285-5525and talk with our competent attorneys.

The Not So New /// Bankruptcy Laws

Bankruptcy laws are constantly evolving. This is particularly true after the change of the Bankruptcy Code in October 2005. You want to hire a knowledgeable lawyer and be actively involved in bankruptcy law to defend your legal rights. At Los Angeles Bankruptcy Attorney, we’re devoted to helping clients filing for bankruptcy in Los Angeles obtain their deserved debt relief. We understand the latest bankruptcy laws and know how to apply them. We also help them try other options if need be. Reach out to us right away if you wish to file for bankruptcy or need an interpretation of these laws.

History of California Bankruptcy Law

The national bankruptcy law governs most bankruptcy-related aspects in California. Thus, any changes made to federal law impact California bankruptcy filing. The first law to govern bankruptcy in the U.S was affected in 1800 by Congress. It was referred to as the Bankruptcy Act of 1800. The law was lender-oriented, and it only allowed involuntary bankruptcy filing by business debtors.

There weren’t any provisions for individual debtors to declare bankruptcy independently. Some cunning debtors realized they could request a friendly lender to instigate a bankruptcy case. But because of several complaints of favoritism and corruption, this Act was repealed in 1803.

In 1837, there was a financial panic, and after this panic, congress enacted another law known as the Bankruptcy Act of 1841. It was the first law to allow debtors to declare individual voluntary bankruptcy without a lender initiating it. Debtors could declare bankruptcy and obtain a debt discharge.

Additionally, any person could become a debtor, not only merchants, like under the previous statute. The authority to pass judgment over bankruptcy matters and discharge debts lied with the U.S District Courts. Unluckily, however, lenders saw this law as giving fewer payments to them and forgiving so much debt for so many debtors. Consequently, Congress repealed the law in 1843.

After the Civil War and a second financial panic, Congress tried again and enacted The Bankruptcy Act of 1867. This law was more detailed and addressed a range of situations. It was the first to permit involuntary bankruptcy filing for any person and not only merchants. The U.S District Courts had to select a ‘register in bankruptcy’ to perform bankruptcy-related duties. Essentially, these registers were the first bankruptcy judges. Unluckily, this law was also brought down in 1878 due to the same complaints and criticisms that brought down earlier national bankruptcy laws.

In 1898, Congress enacted the first national detailed bankruptcy law, which essentially became permanent. This law was known as the Bankruptcy Act of 1898 or the Nelson Act. Even though this law was replaced and amended several times, there haven’t been further repeals or periods when the national government didn’t have operational bankruptcy laws.

After amending the 1898 statute severally, congress enacted the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978, which comprehensively changed the federal bankruptcy system. It brought the Bankruptcy Code into existence. This Act made several changes, including increasing the range of the bankruptcy judges’ power.

The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Act of 2005

Again, The Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978 was changed with the enactment of the (BAPCPA) Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 after years of research on reforming the bankruptcy system in the best possible way. This is the major recent change concerning bankruptcy, and it brought several critical amendments to the U.S Bankruptcy Code. For instance, the law made it harder to declare a Chapter 7 bankruptcy by introducing the means test.

Per the BAPCPA, if you wish for your debts to be forgiven under a Chapter bankruptcy, you’ll have to undergo a means test. A means test is a random calculation of your expenses and income to establish whether your income is low enough for you to declare a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

It is a formula meant to prevent high-income earners from declaring themselves bankrupt under chapter 7. Any high-income filer who fails this test can file chapter 13 bankruptcy and pay off part of his/her debt but won’t be capable of filing chapter 7 bankruptcy to discharge all of his/her debts.

But having to undertake a means test does not mean you have to be penniless to declare yourself bankrupt under Chapter 7. You could earn a significant monthly salary and still qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you have so many expenses like taxes, a car loan and high mortgage loan payments (even though they have to be reasonable), and any other costs.

Most debtors pass this test. Some potential chapter 7 filers do their research of the means test and deduce that they aren’t eligible. But we recommend that even if you do your independent research and find that you don’t qualify, you should also consult an attorney. You may be surprised to discover that you were wrong and that you are eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after talking to a lawyer.

Other changes the BAPCPA brought to bankruptcy law include:

Introduction of The Automatic Stay

The BAPCPA allows for an automatic stay to be imposed on lenders. An automatic stay refers to a court order that prevents creditors from collecting after a debtor declares bankruptcy. But we have instances where this court-order doesn’t go into effect or is delayed. The court can also lift this court order, but this rarely happens. For example, it could remove the automatic stay in a divorce case.

We have exceptions to the automatic stay rule. The exceptions are called serial filings, and they limit automatic stay timelines. For example, if you file two bankruptcy cases in a year, the second case’s automatic stay lasts only 30 days, except if you successfully persuade the judge that you require the extended time frame.

And if you file three cases in a year, the automatic stay won’t go into effect after filing the third case. But you could request a hearing to persuade the court that all of the three filings are reasonable depending on your financial state and that you aren’t trying to take advantage of the bankruptcy system.

Note that BAPCPA also restricts the automatic stay applicability in case of an eviction. An eviction proceeding can’t be halted if your landlord had already acquired a judgment of possession before your bankruptcy filing. Also, the automatic stay can’t be applied if eviction is dependent on the endangerment of a rented property or unlawful use of controlled substances.

Bankruptcy Exemptions

Exemptions are what enable a debtor to retain property in a bankruptcy case. The BAPCPA provides a chance to exempt a few of your property. Some states allow debtors to select between federal and state bankruptcy exemption laws, but California is not one of them. In California, you have to use state exemption law.

However, you will still be capable of selecting the exemption that works best for you. California is the only state that has two exemption systems— 703 exemptions and 704 exemptions. You could also opt to use the federal non-bankruptcy exemptions.

However, federal non-bankruptcy exemptions are available for persons who work in specific professions, including railroad workers, military service members, government employees, persons who receive social security, and seamen. They also apply to individuals with particular circumstances like those receiving retirement benefits, disability or death benefits, or survivor’s benefits.

Mandatory Pre-Bankruptcy Credit Counseling

Per the BAPCPA, you must now undergo and complete a counseling course by phone or online before filing for bankruptcy under any chapter. This course generally costs up to fifty dollars and has to be availed for free if you do not have the capability of paying for one. Usually, the compulsory credit counseling program lasts forty-five to sixty minutes and could be taken 24/7. It provides insight on budgeting, consumer protection, money management, setting and achieving financial goals, and saving money.

You’ll be issued a certificate upon completing the course. You have to submit this certificate to court as one of the conditions to file your case. Failing to file the certificate of completion on time leads to an automatic dismissal of your case.

A credit counseling course is very educational and enlightening. It gives you an idea of whether you need to declare bankruptcy or just an unofficial repayment plan would be enough to help you repay your debts.

Counseling is necessary even if it is evident that a repayment plan is not feasible (i.e., your income is too low and your debts too high) or you’re facing unfair debts and do not want to repay. The counseling organization usually comes up with a budget depending on your expenses and income then reviews your options for paying off the debt. The organization mostly concludes that you do not have feasible alternatives for managing your debts apart from declaring bankruptcy.

The BAPCPA only requires that you undertake the credit counseling course, not that you agree with whatever the counseling organization is proposing. Even if a repayment plan is feasible, it isn’t a must that you agree to it. But if the organization develops a plan for you, you have to file it together with your other bankruptcy documents.

We have exceptions to the requirement to undergo credit counseling. For example, you won’t have to complete the course if the U.S Trustee confirms there’s no credit counseling agency in your bankruptcy district. But as we mentioned, counseling could be through the phone or online. Thus, it’s unlikely that the counseling course will be unavailable.

You could also avoid the counseling course if you show that you needed to declare bankruptcy to evade immediate foreclosure. Should you prove that you can’t take the program because of this, you’ll have to take the program within 30 days. You could request the deadline to be extended by 15 days in case you can’t comply with the 30-day deadline.

Note that if you’re declaring bankruptcy under Chapter 7, you have 60 days after having your initial meeting with your landers to complete the credit counseling program and present the completion certificate to the court. And if you’re declaring bankruptcy under Chapter 13, you must file the certificate of completion before bringing a discharge motion or before your latest repayment plan. If you fail to file on time, your case will be dismissed without prejudice.

Non-dischargeable Debts

The BAPCPA made specific debts non-dischargeable that weren’t dischargeable under the previous law. But only a few cases are affected by this change— only about one out of 100 bankruptcy cases. Thus, unless you’ve committed fraud or any other misconduct, you do not need to worry about this change.

Compulsory Debt Management

As with mandatory credit counseling, the new law also requires you to complete a mandatory debt management program after you’ve filed your bankruptcy case. The same time frames and fees that apply to credit counseling apply here too. This course is also beneficial as far as bankruptcy is concerned as it explains how you can budget and plan your money to become successful.

Tax Returns

When you are filing Chapter bankruptcy, you have to present the last year’s tax returns certificate, but only if you filed returns. If you failed to file returns, you have to submit a declaration instead. And if you are declaring bankruptcy under Chapter 13, you have to present the previous two years’ certificates, and possibly up to the most recent four years of tax returns, based on the circumstances.

Time Frames

The new bankruptcy law now allows you to file for bankruptcies multiple times but under given time frames. Based on the Chapter of bankruptcy you wish to declare, the following time frames apply between bankruptcy filings:

  • Chapter 13 to Chapter 13: two years
  • Chapter 13 to Chapter 7: four years or seven years based on the situation
  • Chapter 7 to Chapter 13: four years
  • Chapter 7 to Chapter 7: eight years

Reaffirmation Agreements

The new law also allows the creditor and debtor to enter a reaffirmation agreement. When you enter a reaffirmation agreement, you agree to pay a debt that otherwise would’ve been discharged in your bankruptcy case. This agreement may be disadvantageous since it puts you back on the hook to be responsible for the debt and defeats the primary purpose of filing for bankruptcy.

Moreover, per the new law, you now have to attend a compulsory hearing with your lawyer before the bankruptcy judge. There’s an additional charge to draft the agreement and attend the hearing. And finally, Bankruptcy Courts don’t always approve reaffirmation agreements. Even though most bankruptcy lawyers and creditors will say that you have to reaffirm your car debt or lose the auto, provided you maintain insurance and remain current, you’ll retain the property and ultimately own it after you’ve paid the debt in full.

There may be other ways of renegotiating payments with lenders without signing a reaffirmation agreement.

Attorney Verification

Under the law, a bankruptcy lawyer is now responsible for you. If you make a representation, hide an asset, or lie, your lawyer, just like you, can be sanctioned. The new law now permits lawyers to face sanctions if they assume you’re truthful.

For instance, suppose you tell your lawyer that you’ve never declared yourself bankrupt before. The lawyer doesn’t believe you and asks you five more times if you’ve ever filed for bankruptcy in the past years. Each time, you deny having declared bankruptcy. Finally, the lawyer trusts that you’re telling the truth. He/she files your case without carrying out a bankruptcy search. In this case, the lawyer can be subject to sanctions.

Surprisingly, the new statute also requires a lawyer to assume you’re lying; otherwise, he/she will be sanctioned. Therefore, lawyers now have to ask debtors to provide several new documents and conduct internet identity searches before a bankruptcy filing.

Proposed Changes to Consumer Bankruptcy Law – the Consumer Bankruptcy Reform Act (CBRA) of 2020

On 9th December 2020, Congress members, including Jerrold Nadler and Elizabeth Warren, proposed sweeping changes that would overhaul consumer bankruptcy law. Generally, the proposed changes would make it easier for consumers to access the bankruptcy system and discharge their debts. The following critical changes were proposed in the CBRA.

  • No more credit counseling
  • Chapters 13 and 7 be replaced with new Chapter 10
  • Focus on consumers’ capability of repaying instead of choices of expenses
  • Remote 341 meetings that don’t conflict with consumers’ employment schedules
  • Three forms of Chapter 10 Plans— general repayment plans for paying off unsecured debts or property and residence plans for secured debts
  • Debtors' lawyers paid overtime.
  • Student loan debts can be discharged.
  • Some consumers receive immediate discharges without making any payments.
  • Other federal consumer protection financial laws are amended.
  • Consumers with minimum payment obligations receive discharges upon plan confirmation.

Find an Experienced Bankruptcy Lawyer Near Me

Bankruptcy has always been a complicated topic and became even more intricate after the enactment of the BAPCPA. That is why you want to have a lawyer by your side helping you with bankruptcy-related issues. And considering that new amendments to the bankruptcy law have been proposed and the law is always evolving, you want to work with an attorney who is actively involved in bankruptcy matters.

At the Los Angeles Bankruptcy Attorney, we’re conversant with the latest changes made to bankruptcy law, and we can help you file your case. Call us at 424-285-5525 for a comprehensive case review and insight on how we could help you leave your financial hardship behind and start on a clean slate.

Automatic Stays

When you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay immediately goes into effect. This stops creditors in their tracks if they are attempting a foreclosure, repossession, wage garnishment judgment, or other legal action against you. An automatic stay applies regardless of which type of bankruptcy you file.

At Bankruptcy Attorney, we can get an automatic stay in place for you in as little time as possible. We can stop creditor actions, and even reverse certain actions already taken or in progress.

Bank Levies

Perhaps, the only thing worse than having your wages garnished by a creditor is having money you thought was already "safely" in the bank taken away from you through a "bank levy judgment."

When a creditor sues for a bank levy, you have a 30-day window of time to respond and take legal action. We can help you understand how to best fight bank levies and we can stop them initially through an automatic stay when you file for bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy & Divorce

Going through either bankruptcy or divorce is a lot to deal with in itself, but when (as often happens) you are facing both at once, things get very complicated legally and financially.

For one thing, the financial disruption of a divorce can lead to a bankruptcy. And on the other hand, sometimes the financial ruin that might lead to a bankruptcy plays a role in a divorce being filed.

It's important to understand how divorce and bankruptcy interrelate. For example, bankruptcy cannot cancel a duty to pay child support or alimony. However, your financial situation can affect these things, and bankruptcy is based on your financial situation.

Also, don't think that if you filed for bankruptcy your spouse is exempt from liability for those debts. And on the other hand, don't think that if your spouse files bankruptcy that you can't - it's possible you can both successfully file - either separately or jointly. [To learn more on how divorce and bankruptcy relate, see our individual service page on the topic.]

Bankruptcy & Taxes

It is popularly believed that taxes can never be a dischargeable debt in a bankruptcy filing - but this is simply not true. 

There are numerous, complex factors that have to be considered under state and federal tax law and under federal bankruptcy statutes. But sometimes, you can discharge all or a part of a tax debt in a bankruptcy.

At Bankruptcy Attorney, we understand the intricacies of how tax laws and bankruptcy laws interconnect. We can project how much (if any) of a tax debt you owe would be discharged in a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing, as well as assess the effect such a filing would have on your other debts, to help you arrive at the best possible course of action.

Bankruptcy Exemptions

One of the most important aspects of filing for bankruptcy is the exemptions code. There are several options in California, including "wildcard exemptions." 

And how exemptions work differs based on whether you file Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy as well. Bankruptcy Attorney stands ready to help you save as much of your property as possible as you go through bankruptcy!

Chapter 7

Chapter 7 is the most common type of bankruptcy filed in California. This is "liquidation bankruptcy," where your assets will either be exempt or be administered by a trustee who will disperse them to the appropriate creditors.

At the end of Chapter 7, your dischargeable debts will be 100% canceled. [To learn more about Chapter 7 and how it works, see our individual service page on the topic.]

Chapter 13

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the usual choice of those who have a house and/or vehicle they want to protect as they go through bankruptcy. This type of bankruptcy sets up a repayment plan where you must make regular monthly payments for a specified number of years.

Debts dischargeable will be eliminated even if not paid in full, at the end of the repayment period, IF you make all your payments. [To learn more about how Chapter 13 bankruptcy works, see our individual service page on this topic.]

Debt Settlement

In some cases, you might be better off with debt settlement rather than bankruptcy. If you can get a settlement where you pay only 20% to 50% of what you owe but all in one lump sum, this may be a viable option. We can help you determine if bankruptcy or debt settlement is the better option in your case.

Emergency Bankruptcies

Filing for bankruptcy can be a time-consuming process that requires numerous financial forms to be filled out and documents to be gathered. But when there isn't enough time to go through all of that, it is possible to do a "skeletal filing" initially. This is the best way to deal with an "emergency bankruptcy."

Home Foreclosure

Your home is likely the biggest investment you've ever made in your whole life, and when you are facing the possibility of seeing it foreclosed on by a creditor, it's time to act fast. 

Whether it's your primary or second mortgage that's at issue, and even if you've already gotten quite far behind on your mortgage payments, there are often ways to save your home.

Filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy can give you a chance to catch up on your mortgage, and even filing Chapter 7 can at least buy you some time instead of being forced out of your home before you have anywhere else to live. Contact Bankruptcy Attorney today to learn more about how home foreclosures and bankruptcies interrelate and how we can help!

Lawsuits & Bankruptcy

A civil lawsuit filed against you might trigger you to file for bankruptcy, or your filing bankruptcy might motivate a creditor to file suit (if they can overcome the automatic stay in the course of time.) 

Filing bankruptcy can at least buy you time by temporarily blocking lawsuits by creditors. If you do ultimately face a suit, however, you will need expert legal assistance in dealing with the summons/complaint, answer, discovery process, and other steps of the process.

Often, you can reach a debt settlement or successfully file bankruptcy to avoid the impact of a creditor lawsuit or attempted lawsuit. At Bankruptcy Attorney, we can help put you in a better position to avoid a lawsuit or to win one if one comes.

Means Testing

Not everyone automatically qualifies to successfully file for bankruptcy. Means testing was added to the US Bankruptcy Code in 2005, and it is meant to prevent abuse of the system by those who have adequate means to pay their debts but just don't want to.

Means testing will establish your income is low enough to qualify for filing bankruptcy, based on your previous six months of income. Assets are also taken into account. We at Bankruptcy Attorney can guide you through the means testing process step by step.

The 341 Hearing

Many people fear going to court in a bankruptcy case. But most often, this is not necessary. Instead, you simply have to attend a "341 hearing" where you face your creditors and a court-appointed trustee and answer a few basic questions about your financial situation and why you are filing for bankruptcy.

You will be required to attend a 341 meeting regardless of whether you file for Chapter 7 or 13. The trustee will ask you a series of financial questions while you are under oath. But in most cases, the actual creditors don't even bother to show up for the meeting.

We at Bankruptcy Attorney can help you prepare for your 341 hearing and help you better understand how it works and why those filing bankruptcy have to attend.

Vehicle Repossession

The prospect of losing what, perhaps, is your only means of transportation to work (and everywhere else) due to a creditor repossessing your vehicle is ominous indeed. But it can be stopped, first of all, through an automatic stay when you file for bankruptcy.

You may or may not still have to fight a repossession attempt after filing for bankruptcy, but the automatic stay stops any immediate action and at least buys you some time.

There are also ways to permanently stop auto repossession or even to regain a vehicle already repossessed. Contact us at Bankruptcy Attorney today and we can help you get started on trying to save your vehicle.

Wage Garnishment

One of the most depressing judgments you can have made against you relative to a debt you owe, is a wage garnishment judgment. You could see 25% or more of your disposable income withheld from every check you are paid under wage garnishment.

At Bankruptcy Attorney, we can stop wage garnishment initially with an automatic stay when you file for bankruptcy. Then, we can help you understand how to best fight it later on if creditors continue to pursue wage garnishment.

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Why Choose Bankruptcy Attorney?

Given that there is no shortage of bankruptcy law firms in Southern California, it only makes sense to compare and contrast your options. What, then, sets Bankruptcy Attorney apart from the crowd and makes us your best choice?

First of all, Bankruptcy Attorney has built up a solid reputation for integrity and genuine service to the communities of Los Angeles over many years' presence in the L.A. Area. Our consistently high customer satisfaction rates, overwhelmingly positive online reviews, and the large number of new clients we get or referral from old ones speaks for itself.

Second, our attorneys on staff simply have greater depth and breadth of experience and higher levels of formal training than most other similar law firms. We cover virtually all practice areas related to California bankruptcies without compromising quality service on anything we do.

Third, we take the time to deliver true customer service for each and every client we serve. We don't just hurry up and rubber stamp cases to move them quicker, like some of our competitors. We customize your experience and dig into the details of your situation to truly discover which course of action would likely benefit you most.

Fourth, we never try to pressure you into deciding on bankruptcy or against it - or on deciding for a particular type of bankruptcy. We keep things professional and treat you with respect. We answer all your questions, address all your concerns, and give you the information you need to make your own, truly informed (no-pressure) decision.

Fifth and finally, we keep ourselves both affordable and available for your benefit and convenience. We are not a niche firm that serves only richer clients, but we serve anyone in need of bankruptcy advice and/or filing assistance. And we stand ready to take your call for help on a 24/7 basis!

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At Bankruptcy Attorney, we stand ready to assist you at a moment's notice. Our highly trained staff has literally decades of combined experience across the full gamut of bankruptcy law practice areas and other related practice areas such as debt settlement agreements.

Contact us anytime, 24/7/365, for a free initial consultation by calling 424-285-5525!