Archives for January 2015

What to Expect When filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in California

Making the decision to move forward of a bankruptcy filing is not an easy one, but you can make the process easier by being prepared and educating yourself about what you will need and how the process will unfold.

Bear in mind that you will need to undergo credit counseling within six months before you file for bankruptcy relief.  After you file bankruptcy, you will be responsible for completing a financial management course.  Set up a consultation with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney well in advance of your intention to file so that you are clear about what’s expected of you. [Read more…]

Is Employment Mediation More Predictable Than Litigation?

One of the biggest unknowns in a workplace dispute litigated case has to do with the outcome.  There are many factors that could influence the outcome of work benefits or work conditions conflict, and it’s nearly impossible to predict how the case will end at the outset.  The case in which the court is heard, the attorney representing the other party, and the judge presiding over the case can all have a significant influence on the outcome. [Read more…]

Can I keep my car or home?

Yes, you can do so by entering into a reaffirmation agreement with the secured lender requiring you to continue paying on the secured property which is not dischargeable, unlike most unsecured property, in bankruptcy court.  If your property is secured through a loan that you plan to continue paying down, you can choose to keep that property.  Exemption limits are governed by Federal and State Statue, as discussed below, and do apply to the equity you have in certain items of property.  If for example, you have a car loan, the equity value is determined by calculating the difference between the amounts owed and fair market value of your vehicle. [Read more…]

Are All of My Assets Exempt in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is typically associated with the fresh start concept because it allows you to wipe out most of your unsecured debts and retain certain exempt assets.  Chapter 7 is a liquidation process in which a trustee is appointed by the Department of Justice who steps in, deals with your creditors and organizes assets of the estate, with authority to sell those assets that are not exempt in order to pay off your creditors. Once you file for bankruptcy protection the Court imposes an “Automatic Stay” against the commencement or continuation of any act by a creditor, including the IRS, to collect, garnish, levy or enforce a judgment against  you, without first obtaining  the required “Relief From Stay” to do so from the Court.  [Read more…]

Using Mediation to Improve Communication and Resolve Work Benefit Disputes

Mediation has several distinct advantages for resolving existing work place and commercial disputes which can be helpful for determining weaknesses in existing structures and identifying ways to mitigate conflict risks in the future.  Typically, an employer and employee may reach an impasse over certain benefits and work conditions after good faith negotiations to resolve their dispute.  This is a time to call in an experienced California Labor and Employment Mediator to assist the parties in sorting through their issues and for resolution.  Mediation is cost effective and non- adversarial, unlike costly litigation. [Read more…]