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Golden State Law Group Golden State Law Group

Golden State Law Group Golden State Law Group

Golden State Law Group Golden State Law Group

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  • David is a very experienced attorney specializing in personal bankruptcy, Mr. Weil is a caring but tenacious advocate.
    - LawyerRatingz.com
  • My back was up against the wall and you came through! Thank you for taking care of all of my stress and financial pressure... I have not slept this well in a long time. You are truly appreciated.
    - Actual Client Andrew S.
  • You guys really did make the whole process as easy and painless as possible... Thanks so much.. I did finally get my final paperwork like two weeks ago!!! Yayyy!!!! Thanks to: Polo, David Weil, Jorgette, and Jonathan... great team.
    -Actual Client Elizabeth
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1-619-234-3333
Fax: 619-331-0911
591 Camino De La Reina, Suite 525
San Diego, CA, 92108

Escondido
Chula Vista

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Bankruptcy FAQs, Golden State Bankruptcy Attorneys

What advantages are afforded to me by filing bankruptcy?

Answer: Most, if not all of your debts are discharged. This means they are erased and that you no longer have a legal obligation to pay them.

What happens to my credit?

Answer: Your credit score will suffer for a period of time and the record of your bankruptcy will remain on your credit profile for 10 years. However, creditors recognize that bankruptcy is sometimes the most responsible thing to do when you cannot pay your debts.

Can I rebuild my credit?

Answer: Yes, just by paying your secured debt after bankruptcy (like mortgage payments and car payments) you can help to rehabilitate your credit. If you do not have secured debt you can obtain a secured credit card from a bank where you pledge your money in a savings account as security that you will pay back the secured credit card indebtedness.

How long is the bankruptcy process?

Answer: Chapter 7 cases from the time they are filed until discharge is approximately 100 days;

  • Chapter 13 cases can take several months to get a repayment plan approved by the court and then the plan must be carried out which takes 36 to 60

Can I pick and choose which assets and debts go into my bankruptcy?

Answer: No. All assets and all liabilities must be included in your bankruptcy petition and schedules. However, after disclosing all you will be able to keep those assets that are exempt (protected) and choose to surrender or reaffirm other assets.

Which is less expensive, Chapter 7 or Chapter 13?

Answer: Chapter 7 is always less expensive because you do not have to pay off your debts. Chapter 13 requires repayment of an appropriate percentage of your debts over 36 to 60 months

What are exemptions?

Answer: Exemptions are federal or state statutes that protect for you certain assets you own or the equity in them, subject to statutory limits.

Can I exempt my car?

Answer: You can exempt or protect motor vehicles as long as the exemptions available to you cover the equity in those vehicles. If you have too much equity you could lose one or more vehicles or have to purchase back the excess equity from the Chapter 7 Trustee.

What is a Reaffirmation or Reaffirmation Agreement?

Answer: Certain secured debts, like cars you are paying for, require that you execute a reaffirmation agreement in favor of the bank or credit union financing them, if you desire to keep and continue paying for the cars. If you do not want to keep the cars you may surrender them to the bank or credit union and receive a discharge of the remaining balance owing. If you sign a reaffirmation agreement, and later default in your payments, you will be liable for any deficiency balances in spite of your bankruptcy.

Will I be appearing before a bankruptcy judge?

Answer: In most cases you will never see or meet the bankruptcy judge assigned to your case in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Instead you will meet with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case at a Meeting of Creditors. It is more likely you will see your assigned bankruptcy judge in a Chapter 13.

What is and what happens at a 341 Meeting of Creditors?

Answer: When you file your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case a notice goes out to all of your creditors advising them that you are in bankruptcy, that they are stayed from taking further action against you, and that they are invited to a Meeting of Creditors where they can ask appropriate questions of you, the debtor(s). In most cases your creditors do not show up. The meeting then becomes a question and answer session between the Chapter 7 Trustee and you relative to your case. In most cases the meeting lasts less than 15 minutes.

What is the role of the Chapter 7 Trustee?

Answer: The trustee has the responsibility of finding, if they can, any assets not protected (non- exempt) in bankruptcy that can be liquidated to pay your creditors. If the trustee finds unprotected assets you may be able to buy them back from the trustee.

If the trustee abandons my assets is that good or bad?

Answer: When the liquidation value of an asset cannot pay off a secured debt, like a mortgage, the trustee “abandons” the property which means it will be given back to you, subject to any encumbrances. Even if the trustee abandons your home you still would have to pay the mortgage or lose your home in foreclosure. Abandonment of assets can also refer to vehicles and other property as well.

Does the bankruptcy filing stop a foreclosure? Can my house still be taken from me?

Answer: When you file your bankruptcy your creditors are stayed from taking action against you, including foreclosure. However, in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, if you do not bring your mortgage current the lender could request from the bankruptcy court a "relief from the stay" which would allow them to foreclose. In a Chapter 13 you generally can put the arreareages you owe in your Chapter 13 plan but would have to make regular monthly payments each month going forward from the filing date of your Chapter 13.

What if I cannot make any payments on my debt, do I file Chapter 7 or 13?

Answer: If you financially are unable to pay any of your debts than you should probably file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and take the little money you have to survive on. This, of course, will depend up certain bankruptcy requirements such as the Means Test.

After I file my bankruptcy can I change from Chapter 7 to 13 or vice versa?

Answer: Yes, depending on the facts of your case you, or the trustee, can file a "motion to convert" where appropriate. For example, if it is determined, after filing a Chapter 7, that you make too much money per Chapter 7 requirements, you may have to convert your case to one under Chapter 13.

Can I keep all of my assets, such as my home and cars?

Answer: It depends. If you have the ability, in your bankruptcy, to exempt (protect) your assets then you can probably keep them subject to continuing to pay your mortgage and car payments.

If we are married do both spouses have to file a joint bankruptcy?

Answer: No, but there may be reasons why you may want to. Examples:

  1. If only one spouse owes all or most of the debt, than in many cases only that spouse needs to file.
  2. If both spouses owe the debt then most of the time both spouses should jointly file.
Sometimes, where it is not necessary for both spouses to file, the non-filing spouse maybe able to keep his/her credit intact. These examples, and many others, must be considered carefully to make an appropriate decision.

Are there debts which I cannot discharge in bankruptcy?

Answer: In general:

  1. Liens, such as mortgages and security interests in motor vehicles unless the security is surrendered, foreclosed or repossesed and sold;
  2. Federal, state and local tax claims, subject to specific time rules;
  3. Customs duties;
  4. Spousal and child support;
  5. Debts obtained by fraud;
  6. Student Loans;
  7. Fines and penalties imposed by courts or other governmental agencies;
  8. Punitive damage claims for “willful and malicious” acts;
  9. Drunk driving obligations
Any debt which is non-dischargeable is one that survives the bankruptcy case. This means that you still owe the debt and the creditor may still collect on that debt.

Summary: Which is the better option for me; Chapter 7 or Chapter 13?

Answer: The answer depends on your specific financial situation. Your decision should be based upon a full disclosure to our attorneys. After a careful review they are best qualified to help you make that decision.