The pressure of financial problems following a loss of income source, severe injury, or illness can lead to the need for bankruptcy. A bankruptcy declaration will give you a solution for burdensome debts and bills for a new and fresh start. However, it involves several legal issues that you need to enlighten yourself before you embark on the process.
If you reside in Placentia and need to know how to maneuver these complex legal issues surrounding bankruptcy, we at Los Angeles Bankruptcy Attorney are here for you. Our reputable attorneys know the essentials and requirements of declaring bankruptcy and will help you throughout the process to increase your chances of finding the debt discharge you require.
How to Know You’re in a Financial Danger Zone Necessitating Bankruptcy
California bankruptcy laws protect individuals and businesses facing financial problems and cannot meet their financial obligations like paying debts and personal bills. However, a bankruptcy declaration should be your last option where all other ways of obtaining debt relief are in vain because it reflects on your credit history.
To know whether going bankrupt is a viable solution for your financial problems or not, you should assess your financial situation carefully because you might discover other ways to solve your problems. Below are a few questions that can aid you to assess your financial situation to know if you are in a danger zone that might necessitate bankruptcy declaration:
- Are your creditors or bill collectors calling or texting you?
- Are you using your credit card to pay for your daily necessities?
- Does the thought of fixing your finances make you feel out of control or scared?
- Are you uncertain or unsure of how much debt you owe?
- Are you making monthly payments on your credit cards?
- Are you considering debt consolidation?
If your answer is "Yes" to more than two of the above questions, you would want to give your current financial case more thought because that is a clear sign that you are on the road to bankruptcy.
Declaring bankruptcy can provide you a way out from a difficult and overwhelming financial situation, but it is a multi-step process requiring attention to detail. Hiring a Placentia bankruptcy attorney is an excellent place to start if you intend to embark on this legal process of seeking debt relief during these challenging financial times.
Critical Considerations Before Filing Bankruptcy
If you are contemplating going bankrupt, there are a lot of factors you should bear in mind before you make your final decision because a bankruptcy declaration comes with significant consequences. Here are factors to consider before filing your bankruptcy papers:
- Whether there are other alternatives available to clear your heavy debts for a fresh start
- Bankruptcy declaration will reflect on your public credit record.
- Whether you will lose your property/asset or not
- Duration of the whole process
- The cost of the whole process
- The type of bankruptcy suitable for your financial situation and the type of debts you owe
- Whether bankruptcy declaration will solve all your financial issues because there some debts which are ineligible for a discharge, for example, alimony and child support
Before you come to the final decision of filing your bankruptcy papers, you should do your homework and research everything you need to know to make an informed and educated decision. An experienced Placentia bankruptcy attorney can give you the insight you need to make informed decisions throughout the process to increase your chances of a debt discharge.
Why You Need a Placentia Bankruptcy Attorney
Filing for bankruptcy is a significant undertaking in a person's life and can turn your life around within no time for a fresh financial start if you make the right informed steps. Your attorney will assess and evaluate your financial records to understand your financial situation for proper advice on the right bankruptcy option suitable for you.
An experienced bankruptcy attorney will already be familiar with the bankruptcy court's requirement and the filing process to give you one less thing to worry about during this emotional and confusing process. If you have an attorney by your side, you won’t have to worry about preparing the right paperwork for your petition because he/she can do that on your behalf and file the petition.
Your attorney will also assess available options and explain the potential benefits and risks of each in a language you can understand best for a joint decision that will solve your financial problems. Going bankrupt is scary, but sometimes it is necessary to build your already low credit score and discharge your heavy debts.
With a reliable attorney and the right information, declaring bankruptcy can give you a financial footing for a new and fresh financial start without harassment by the creditors. Ensure you take ample time to find an attorney to help you with the bankruptcy declaration process because there are several options out there.
Questions You Might Want to Ask a Prospective Bankruptcy Attorney
Most reliable attorneys will give you a chance for a free consultation, whether online or at their office, to discuss your current financial situation and debts in detail for proper advice.
When you schedule a consultation meeting with your prospective Placentia bankruptcy attorney, you should carry every document relevant to your special financial case and prepare questions that you might want to ask him/her. Here is a list of questions that are worth asking your attorney during your first appointment:
Can You Solve My Bankruptcy-related Legal Issues?
Bankruptcy involves aggressive debt collection and other legal problems like owing alimony or child support. If your legal issues are of this kind, you may want to ask your potential attorney whether he/she can handle it or recommend an expert who can.
Being able to sue your creditors is another advantage of retaining the services of an attorney. If your creditors continue to contact you after a debt discharge, it is upon your attorney to determine whether the contact was innocent or was a willful violation of your rights after the bankruptcy declaration for proper legal action.
Do You Have a Prior Experience With Cases like Mine?
An attorney's experience is another essential factor to consider when looking for the right Placentia bankruptcy attorney. Your prospective attorney does not only need experience on bankruptcy matters, but he/she also needs prior experience with the specific type of bankruptcy you are filing to solve your financial problems.
Who at Your Law Firm Will Handle My Bankruptcy Case?
It is not abnormal for an attorney's staff members to handle the routine part of your bankruptcy declaration papers and perhaps some communication with you. Therefore, it is essential to inquire from your prospective attorney whether he/she will be handling your petition or it is his/her staff members.
The judge and the trustee will rely on your bankruptcy paperwork before the final judgment on whether you are eligible for debt relief or not. Hence, it is essential to involve staff members who are knowledgeable and familiar with the bankruptcy law surrounding the specific type of bankruptcy you intend to file.
Do I Have Another Alternative to Bankruptcy?
Because a bankruptcy declaration should be your last option when finding debt relief during a financial crisis, you should consider asking your attorney if there are other alternatives to bankruptcy. If your attorney thinks a bankruptcy declaration is the right solution for your financial issues, he/she should go ahead and explain to you why this option is suitable for your unique case.
Depending on the way he/she answers this question, you can tell whether the attorney has the best interest for you at heart or he/she is just interested in the money you will pay for his/her services.
What are Your Services Fee Rates, and What do They Include?
During your first consultation with your prospective bankruptcy attorney, you should feel free to inquire about his/her services fee rates upfront, including how to make the payments.
For instance, in Chapter 13 bankruptcy, it is common for attorneys to request partial payments at the beginning of the process and then transfer the rest of the payment into your debt for repayment over time. If your prospective attorney charges extremely high or exaggerated fee rates, you should consider that as a red flag and start looking for a different expert.
As you continue interviewing different potential attorneys, it is also worth considering the attorneys' personality and reputation to find the right match to work with throughout the process. Personality clashes and a language barrier can make an already emotionally difficult situation worse and more stressful.
How Bankruptcy Protects You from Your Creditors
When you submit your bankruptcy petition, the court will grant you an order known as "automatic stay," which becomes effective immediately. The automatic stay stops all your listed creditors from pursuing any form of debt collection action against you or your asset/property, but it doesn't give you a debt discharge.
Bankruptcy's automatic stay is vital because it does not only keep your creditors at bay during these challenging financial times, but it also offers you other temporary protections such as:
- It halts foreclosure proceedings against you.
- It prevents disconnections of your utilities for at least twenty days.
- It prevents creditors from taking your hard-earned money from a paycheck before you receive it (wage garnishment)
If your creditors try to collect their money from you after bankruptcy's automatic stay order, your bankruptcy attorney can bring a court action against them because it is unlawful. When this matter reaches the court, the judge will require these creditors to stop their debt collection attempts. They might also be subject to a fine and pay damages associated with violating an automatic stay order.
Frequently Asked Questions on Bankruptcy
Before declaring bankruptcy, prospective petitioners in need of this form of debt relief will usually ask the following common and very frequent questions:
What Type of Paperwork Do I Need When Preparing My Bankruptcy Petition?
Declaring bankruptcy involves bunches of paperwork that your attorney will help you prepare as required by the court for a debt discharge. For proper assessment of your properties and business records, you should begin preparing and compiling the following documents ahead of time:
- Any loan documents/forms, for example, home mortgage contracts.
- Your bank account statements and any other relevant bank documents
- Business records
- Any other applicable documents, for example, divorce records, outstanding liens, and tax documents.
What are the Limitations of a Bankruptcy Discharge?
Before you embark on this process, you should beware that there are some limitations to a bankruptcy discharge. A bankruptcy discharge will not relieve you from the financial obligation of paying some debts such as:
- Child support
- Some student loans
- Some tax debts
- Debts from a criminal prosecution judgment, for example, DUI.
What Can Cause the Bankruptcy Court to Deny Me a Debt Discharge?
Not every person who files bankruptcy will receive a debt discharge at the end of it all. A bankruptcy court would deny you a debt discharge if you didn't comply with bankruptcy requirements. For instance, if you move your assets to defraud your creditors, the bankruptcy court cannot discharge you from the debts you owe them even if they are dischargeable under law.
The court would not offer you debt relief if you had debt discharge under Chapter 7 in the past eight years. Similarly, if you previously had a debt discharge in Chapter 13 within the last six years, you will not qualify for a debt discharge on your subsequent bankruptcy petition.
Find a Placentia Bankruptcy Attorney Near Me
Due to very many laws and regulations defining who should file for bankruptcy and eligibility requirements, you would not want to embark on this process without retaining a reliable attorney's services. We invite you to contact qualified legal representatives at the Los Angeles Bankruptcy Attorney at 424-285-5525 if you face bankruptcy in Placentia for an obligation-free consultation on the way forward.
Once you contact us, our profound attorneys will begin working on your case immediately to ensure you are filing the right type of bankruptcy suitable for your unique debts and financial situation.