|Personal Assistance With Compassion
You don't have to face your problems alone. We pride
ourselves in our ability to provide personal and
compassionate assistance on each of our cases. One of the
roles of a bankruptcy lawyer is to give clients the hope of a
fresh start, which we do nearly every day. Our experience
allows us to act quickly on your matter if an emergency
arises. Only a bankruptcy attorney can register with the
bankruptcy court to file your case electronically, 24 hours a
day. Our firm is a proud member National Association of
Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
Visit our Blog for Current Bankruptcy Tips
Our blog is called Legal Tips & Commentary. Other recent
articles related to bankruptcy on preparing for bankruptcy,
methods to keep your vehicle after bankruptcy, rebuilding
credit after bankruptcy and the consequences of the new
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comments or contact us for additional information on our
What is Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is a legal way to avoid paying your debts. When a
person is discharged in bankruptcy, he or she is relieved
from liability for most debts incurred before the bankruptcy
was filed and protected from future collection of those debts.
The purpose of bankruptcy is to give you a "fresh start," and
the bankruptcy code is interpreted by the Courts to give effect
to these words.
What Kinds of Bankruptcy Are There?
This is the most common type of bankruptcy. Individuals who
file Chapter 7 are trying to free themselves of debt through a
bankruptcy discharge. Although businesses normally do not
receive a discharge, corporations and partnerships may use
Chapter 7 to liquidate and close their business.
Corporations, partnerships, and sole proprietors wishing to
remain in business and reorganize their financial affairs may
file Chapter 11. These debtors seek to restructure their debts,
either by reducing the debt or by extending the time to repay. A
Chapter 11 plan can also be used to liquidate all or a portion
of a debtor's assets.
Chapter 13 is for individuals with regular income who want to
reorganize their financial affairs. The debtor proposes a
repayment plan, say to catch up on the arrears on their home
mortgage. Only individuals and sole proprietors are eligible
for Chapter 13, which is simpler and much less expensive
than a Chapter 11.
What's Involved in Filing for Bankruptcy?
A bankruptcy is started by filing a Petition with the U.S.
Bankruptcy Court. The requirements for the petitions vary
depending on the Chapter under which the bankruptcy is
filed, but involve detailed forms and schedules. Attorneys
fees generally range from $1500-$2500 for a Chapter 7
bankruptcy. Fees for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will generally
be $3300 in a consumer case and $4000 in a business case.
Our fee quote will include the "out-of-pocket" costs to file your
bankruptcy. The filing fees for a bankruptcy filed in San Diego
County are $299 for a Chapter 7 and $274 for a Chapter 13.
Other potential costs include the mandatory credit counseling
classes and obtaining a copy of your credit report.
Bankruptcy is very complicated and it is extremely difficult for a
debtor to file for bankruptcy without the help of an attorney.
Will I Lose Everything If I File?
A person who files for bankruptcy may exempt certain items
from the bankruptcy. In most cases, this lets you keep your
home, your car, your furniture, your household items, your
retirement and most, if not all, of what you have. Different
states have different allowances for exemptions. You also
can keep assets that have no equity, such as a car that's
worth less than is owed on it, or a house where the mortgage
is higher than the property value. Even if there is a small
amount of equity, you can normally keep the asset.
Can All My Debts Be Wiped Out?
There are certain debts which cannot be discharged. Federal
and state taxes incurred less than three years before the date
of filing (although you may get more time to pay them back),
student loans (except where you can show "undue
hardship"), child support and alimony are the big ones.
How Do I Keep My House and Car?
If your payments are current, you have to keep making them. If
you're behind, you can pay the arrearage through a Chapter
13 Plan and re-start the payments after you file. If you owe
more than what the vehicle is worth, you maybe be able to
obtain financing and purchase the vehicle for the fair market