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- collection calls!
- wage garnishment!
- liens from attaching to your house
- bank account levy
Chapter 7 bankruptcy eliminates debts without repayment. It’s typically for low income earners, people who can’t afford to repay their debt, based on their household size. It’s “straight bankruptcy” or “liquidation” and is the most common kind of bankruptcy. Over the last two decades, we’ve done thousands of these cases, with a 99.9% success rate. But what is this kind of case, and what are the pros and cons?
First, Chapter 7 has a few good things going for it:
But this option has its pitfalls:
The last one is the liquidation you hear about so much, and it’s a big deal.
Liquidation is the trustee taking your stuff and sells it to pay your debt. This doesn’t happen with every case, or even most cases, but if you don’t have a good bankruptcy lawyer counseling you, you can lose your house, your car or have the trustee take your tax refund. You can avoid this by sitting down with a skilled bankruptcy attorney, being very upfront about your assets, and letting them guide you.
A skilled bankruptcy lawyer knows how to protect most assets so you may not lose anything. But this can be very tricky how to use the exemptions, and the wrong move can lead to losing your house, car, or bank accounts for the benefit of your debts. You wouldn’t do surgery on yourself; sometimes it’s wise to go with a pro.
Not everyone qualifies for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It’s possible that if you earn a lot of money, you can’t do this. In determining how much your currently monthly income is, they look at you and your spouse. In some cases, they count the other people you live with, even if you’re not related to them.
The means test is the gatekeeper to who gets in Chapter 7. It’s a long complicated IRS form that at the end of it all decides whether someone qualifies for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It’s completed by all people who file bankruptcy, and if done by a skilled professional, sometimes a person who earns good income can still do this type. Contact us and let’s find out if you qualify.
First, if you don’t qualify because you earn too much money, don’t worry. There’s still a way out. But that just means you may have to choose a different kind of case: a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Finally, we are one of the few firms in the AV that do this kind of bankruptcy.
A Chapter 7 case is relatively quick. From the time the fee is paid, there needs to be time for some data entry and preparing the documents, inputting all the pay stubs for the past six months. And don’t forget the credit cards. All these debts need to be entered, and this can all take time. During this time, you’ll be completing a mandatory credit class, usually online.
Next, after the bankruptcy petition, schedules, and Statement of Financial Affairs are completed, you’ll sit down with the attorney. You’ll spend time reviewing everything, each page, item by item. This can take an hour, sometimes longer.
After everything is signed, we file the case. This is when you get a case number. This is when you’re protected. It’s now illegal for your creditors taking your money or assets and or even for them to call you.
Next, you’ll have a hearing, much like being in court. This is where you’ll be testifying under oath. Someone will swear you in, and at this point they’ll be asking questions about if the papers are true and complete. The big push is to look for assets you have. But not only your assets, what you may have had in the past that you no longer have. Consequently, recent transfers are a big no-no. And you’re under oath and the FBI has signs on the walls saying they investigate bankruptcy crimes and fraud. And if you use our AV Bankruptcy law firm, an attorney will be by your side. You have nothing to worry about because we’ll be doing everything right.
Sometimes, you’ll need to go in front of a judge and asked if you want to keep a particular debt, usually a car loan. Reaffirmation Agreements usually benefit the car lender and work against you, but the Bankruptcy Code requires you complete it. Be careful about reaffirming a debt; you’ll owe it after the bankruptcy!
Finally, the last step is the discharge, where the debts that qualify and are not excepted under 11 U.S.C. 523(a) are no longer your obligation.
Now you can start rebuilding. People think you’ll never get credit again, but in contrast, there is credit after bankruptcy, and if you’re careful about it, you can have better FICO score than you had when you filed bankruptcy.
You need to know a lot in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and you don’t want to be on your own during something you will probably do just one time in your life. This is all we do. We’re good at it. Let the best bankruptcy attorney in the Antelope Valley work for you and help you get a fresh start!
Call us now to start your case!
Filing bankruptcy can stop foreclosure and give you time to work things out. This is even if you have many months of being late, and the lender has turned you down and is demanding the full payment right now.
This is possible due to the power of the bankruptcy protection. If you file bankruptcy, all debts have to stop collecting. This means that creditor calls and harassment ends. This means lawsuits stop. It stops wage garnishment. And it also means that a foreclosure in progress has to stop immediately.
This doesn’t mean you get a free house. If you want to keep your home, you’ll need to start making the catchup payments. We can force the bank to take the late mortgage payments over a long period of time. This keeps your payments relatively affordable. Certainly more affordable than having to pay the arrearages all at once.
If you don’t have any extra money in your budget, may you can’t afford this house. If you can’t pay future payments that come due along with the lates that have already built up, the mortgage lender can still foreclose on your home in a bankruptcy. We can’t force them to redo your home loan. They may give you a loanmod when they see the bankruptcy, but there’s no guarantee that will happen.
So, if you just want time to work it out, there is a way to stop foreclosure and give you time to pay back the arrearages without worrying about them taking your home.
We’ve helped lots of our neighbors here in the Antelope Valley during the last recession, when it seemed like every other house was getting foreclosed on. If you’re in a situation that needs some expert attention and some time to work things out, give us a call and let us help you save your home.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is where you repay your debt. You don’t necessarily repay all of it. You only pay what you can, for a fixed time, and then you’re finished with your debt.
The good news is that anyone can file Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You only need to have extra money in your budget. That extra money is the surplus. The surplus is what remains after all reasonable and necessary expenses are paid.If you have a budget surplus, you can file Chapter 13.
First, this is better than paying Discover and the other credit cards their minimum payments. Why? Because you’re not getting out of debt this way. You’re only paying the interest. You’ll still owe all this debt in 3 years, 5 years, or even 12 years.
Second, this way you keep all your assets that you’d lose in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Another reason you may want to file Chapter 13 is that your monthly payment can be lower than adding up all the minimums. This is because your payment is usually just your budget surplus, not what all the cards are demanding each month.
Finally, you may not have a choice if you make too much money.
There are a ton of details involved. To learn more about Chapter 13 bankruptcy and whether this would help you, give us a call or send us an email. We’ve successfully gotten hundreds of plans confirmed and discharges to people who would be paying credit card minimums forever.
AV Bankruptcy has been in Palmdale for over ten years. Many times we’ve rushed to save a house or paycheck. We’ve helped thousands get a fresh start.
We do only one thing, and we do it well. Hale Antico won Best Bankrupty Attorney in 2017, for his 4th award. He serves on boards of local consumer groups.
Dear Attorney Antico: I would like to take this time to thank you for assisting me through this painful & scary ordeal of making a decision to file for bankruptcy. It took me almost 3 years to make the decision, but once I did, you were so patient with me when I asked a million questions, and so knowledgeable about what I could do.
As you know, my current illness & medical expenses caused me to fall into a major situation & not able to pay my bills. I don’t know why it took me so long to contact you, but I believe God leads people to where they are supposed to be & whom they are supposed to meet.
I believe He led me to you.
Although my health is somewhat improved, I am currently facing additional dilemmas, but without your help financially I could not do any of it.
I am able currently able to pay my bills, the creditors all stopped calling as soon as you said they would. What a relief that alone was.
Once again, thank you for everything.
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Hale Antico is a bankruptcy lawyer. He’s has helped thousands of people get a fresh start. He is a 4-time winner of Best Bankruptcy Attorney, and serves on the board of consumer organizations.
For a few years, Marssel has been helping clients with non-legal questions and making things happen behind the scenes. She’s very efficient, and cares about people.
A customer service-oriented teammate, if Preciosa doesn’t know the answer, she’ll find out. She’s got a big heart and really enjoys helping people.