Should I File Chapter 7 or 13 Without a Bankruptcy Lawyer?

Under certain circumstance, it is not necessary that you retain an attorney to file a Chapter 7 or 13, but more often than not, it is simply a smart decision to do so. You should strongly consider hiring an experienced bankruptcy attorney to explain the pitfalls before you file a petition for bankruptcy and to advise you on whether a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case is best suited for your indebtedness. Assistance of a bankruptcy attorney ensures that you are also being adequately protected from debt collectors after obtaining your discharge in the Bankruptcy Court. [Read more…]

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…]

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…]

Answers To Most Commonly Asked Questions About Bankruptcy Mediation

Bankruptcy Questions

Bankruptcy mediation is a process that is frequently very successful in resolving bankruptcy issues outside of the typical legal framework.  The process is led by a neutral third-party mediator who helps to facilitate conversation between relevant parties.

What Can Be Mediated and When?

Bankruptcy mediation is very helpful in resolving disputes where there are multiple parties involved, specifically with regard to issues like interest rates, state law specific disputes, and valuation.  [Read more…]

Non Dischargeable Debts in California Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

If you’re feeling buried by your debts and it seems like you’re losing control of your finances, you are not alone.  Taking the next step to regain control of your life can be as simple as having a conversation with a California bankruptcy attorney to inform you about your options.  Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about bankruptcy, one of them being that all forms of debt are wiped out.  This is not true whether you are filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, so it’s worth considering before you move forward with your bankruptcy case. [Read more…]

Filing For Bankruptcy In California

Filing For Bankruptcy In California

Image courtesy of koratmember / freedigitalphotos.net

One of the most important things to know about filing for bankruptcy in California is the impact of the 2005 Bankruptcy Act.  This law mandates that all individuals filing bankruptcy after 2005 must go through a six month credit counseling program before they are eligible to file for bankruptcy relief.  In addition, a financial management course must also be completed after that individual has filed for bankruptcy.

The 2005 Bankruptcy Act will also be informative regarding your eligibility to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.  Using the means time, the bankruptcy court looks at your average income over the preceding six months and compares it to California median income.  [Read more…]

When Chapter 11 Bankruptcy is the First Resort

Most people are relatively unfamiliar with bankruptcy laws, and the term “Chapter 11” has taken on a nearly-mythical status in our consciousness as an awful fate that results in ruin.  Even people who have a slightly better understanding of the mechanism and purpose of bankruptcy laws often view Chapter 11 as a last resort, the refuge you seek when there are simply no other answers.

Certainly, many of the end results of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy – especially for individuals – are undesirable.  [Read more…]

Bankruptcy Law Mediation

If you’re facing a bankruptcy, it can feel completely overwhelming and frustrating to proceed through the typical legal process.  Unfortunately, litigation is known for lengthy scheduling delays, costly expenses for attorney time and energy, and the emotional drain associated with going through court.  Thankfully, there are other options through what’s known as alternative dispute resolution.  Mediation has a history of being extremely successful in the field of bankruptcy. [Read more…]

The Many Numbers of Bankruptcy

We hear it all the time in the news: ‘Company XXX filed for Bankruptcy’- but what does that all mean?  More importantly, what do all the numbers in front of this statement mean?  Well, to start, bankruptcy is the process that allows for consumers or businesses to eliminate or repay their debts.  When a company feels that they are so in debt that they cannot meet their current payment plans, they may file for bankruptcy.

That seems easy enough, however now you have to throw the different types and numbers into the equation. [Read more…]

Bankruptcy Bigwig (reprinted from The Listener-Spring 2010)

Mediation Attorney OaklandClaude Ames ’77 remembers the young woman distinctly; even though he spoke he spoke with her decades ago. She was a ward at the California Youth Authority who had filed multiple emergency grievances about her treatment, which necessitated alternative dispute resolution. Ames, newly hired by the American Arbitration Association, traveled to Camarillo to meet with her. “They brought her out of solitary confinement,” he recalls. “We sat in the rec room, and I brought her a soda.” Ames, inquired about her grievance. Her answer – “ I was lonely.” [Read more…]