San Fernando Valley Bankruptcy Blog http://www.naderlawfirm.com/blog San Fernando Valley Bankruptcy Blog Thu, 07 Jun 2018 23:28:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.9 Deciding to File for Bankruptcy http://www.naderlawfirm.com/blog/deciding-file-for-bankruptcy/ Wed, 16 Aug 2017 09:00:00 +0000 http://www.naderlawfirm.com/blog/?p=1254

It’s one thing to carry a certain amount of debt—as long as you’re gradually paying it off and can see light at the end of the tunnel. The problem begins when you’re not able to pay enough each month, the interest compounds, and the amount you owe just keeps getting bigger. This is a situation […]]]>

It’s one thing to carry a certain amount of debt—as long as you’re gradually paying it off and can see light at the end of the tunnel. The problem begins when you’re not able to pay enough each month, the interest compounds, and the amount you owe just keeps getting bigger. This is a situation that is only going to get worse as your debt increases over time, making it virtually impossible that you’ll ever be able to completely pay it off.

If you find yourself in such a situation, you really need to consider filing for bankruptcy. Many people are reluctant to consider bankruptcy, partly due to many misconceptions that are out there. To find out more about these misconceptions, check out our bankruptcy myths page.

The following are a few questions you should ask yourself if you are considering bankruptcy:

  • Are you only able to pay the minimum payment on your credit cards every month?
  • Are you constantly being harassed by bill collectors?
  • Are you forced to use your credit cards to pay for necessities like food, utilities, etc.?
  • Have you been out of work for an extended period of time and used up your unemployment and savings?
  • Do you owe the government delinquent taxes?
  • Is your home in danger of foreclosure?
  • Are your wages being garnished?
  • Are you being sued by creditors over delinquent bills?
  • Does going through your finances make you feel anxious, frightened, completely out of control?

If you answered “yes” to two or more of these questions, bankruptcy may be in your best interest. But before you make any rash decisions, it would be a very good idea to consult an experienced bankruptcy attorney. The San Fernando Valley’s Nader Law Firm has been practicing bankruptcy law for over 20 years and can give you an honest assessment of your financial situation. Just call (800) 568-0707 for a free consultation.

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Beware Zombie Debt http://www.naderlawfirm.com/blog/beware-zombie-debt/ Thu, 10 Aug 2017 09:00:18 +0000 http://www.naderlawfirm.com/blog/?p=1250

Zombie movies and TV shows are all the rage, but we know they don’t really exist. Actually, there is one kind of zombie out there, lurking in the shadows and waiting to pounce—“zombie debt.” What is zombie debt? Zombie debt, also called “phantom debt,” is debt that is not legitimate because it is old, defaulted, […]]]>

Zombie movies and TV shows are all the rage, but we know they don’t really exist. Actually, there is one kind of zombie out there, lurking in the shadows and waiting to pounce—“zombie debt.” What is zombie debt? Zombie debt, also called “phantom debt,” is debt that is not legitimate because it is old, defaulted, discharged in a bankruptcy, or never actually owed.

Many people don’t realize it, but there is a statute of limitations on the collection of debt. In California that statute of limitations is four years. This means that a creditor has four years to try and collect a debt. After that, the debt is invalid.

So health clubs, credit card companies, health care facilities, and the like, will sell off the debts they’ve given up on trying to collect that are nearing the statute of limitations. Third-party debt collection agencies buy these debts up for pennies on the dollar, and then attempt to collect on them, even if they’re past the statute of limitations. Their hope is that you don’t remember the debt; don’t know it’s expired or has been discharged, and pay it. It’s essentially a scam. Some of these shady debt collectors will even try to collect on the debt of someone’s deceased parent or someone with a similar name. So, next time you get a call or letter from a debt collector, BEWARE. Never make a payment on a debt you aren’t positive that you owe and know, for certain, is still active. If you make a payment, of any size, on a debt that is past its statute of limitations, it will reset the statute of limitations and the debt collection agency will have four more years to bother you.

If a bill collector tells you that you have a debt, and you have the slightest bit of doubt about it, contact an experienced debt relief attorney. The legal team at Encino’s Nader Law Firm has been protecting the interests of its clients for over 20 years. Call their office for a free consultation at (800) 568-0707.

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When You Should Consider Bankruptcy http://www.naderlawfirm.com/blog/when-you-should-consider-bankruptcy/ Tue, 01 Aug 2017 09:00:42 +0000 http://www.naderlawfirm.com/blog/?p=1244

No one intends to get into financial trouble, but for many Americans, that becomes the reality. Unless you’re incredibly wealthy, staying financially stable is like walking a tightrope. You’re constantly earning, spending, and saving, while trying to maintain a balance. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to get off-kilter and start falling into a downward spiral […]]]>

No one intends to get into financial trouble, but for many Americans, that becomes the reality. Unless you’re incredibly wealthy, staying financially stable is like walking a tightrope. You’re constantly earning, spending, and saving, while trying to maintain a balance. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to get off-kilter and start falling into a downward spiral of debt. Fortunately, there is a safety net. If you are in dire financial straits and are considering filing for bankruptcy, here’s six questions to help you decide:

  • Are you only making minimum payments on your outstanding debts?
    o If you are, it’s doubtful that you’ll ever get out of debt.
  • Are you living paycheck to paycheck?
    o If you aren’t able to put aside any savings or make any investments, you’re not getting ahead of the game.
  • Have you fallen behind on your mortgage?
    o Depending how far behind you are on your mortgage, you may be in danger of losing your home. Time is running out and you need to do something soon. Bankruptcy can not only give you a fresh start financially, it can stop foreclosure temporarily.
  • Are you paying your monthly bills with credit cards?
    o If you are, you’re actually paying more because the credit card is charging interest. This is no way to get out of debt.
  • Are you getting calls from collection agencies?
    o Along with being annoying, these calls are an indicator of how deep in debt you really are. It’s time to take your situation seriously and consider your options.
  • Is your financial situation affecting your physical and mental health, causing anxiety, loss of sleep, etc.?
    o There’s nothing more important than your health. You can earn more money, buy another house, another car, but you can’t buy health. Don’t risk your health and happiness.

If you answered yes to these questions, it’s time to take action. Get out from under the dark cloud of debt and step into the light of a new beginning. Discuss whether bankruptcy is for you with the experienced bankruptcy and debt relief team attorneys at the Encino offices of the Nader Law Firm. Call (800) 568-0707 for a free consultation.

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Top Reasons People File for Bankruptcy http://www.naderlawfirm.com/blog/top-reasons-people-file-for-bankruptcy/ Fri, 21 Jul 2017 09:00:21 +0000 http://www.naderlawfirm.com/blog/?p=1240

The number of yearly bankruptcy filings in the United States has increased steadily over the last century, peaking at two million in 2005. It’s easy to draw a correlation between the rate of bankruptcy and the overall economic health of the country, but what are common individual reasons why people choose to file? Following are […]]]>

The number of yearly bankruptcy filings in the United States has increased steadily over the last century, peaking at two million in 2005. It’s easy to draw a correlation between the rate of bankruptcy and the overall economic health of the country, but what are common individual reasons why people choose to file? Following are the top 10 reasons people file for bankruptcy:

  1. Medical expenses: A study by Harvard University found that 62 percent of all personal bankruptcies in the United States were due to medical expenses. And it’s not just the uninsured who file for bankruptcy; the Harvard study also found that 72 percent of those who declare bankruptcy because of medical expenses did have some type of health insurance.
  2. Reduced income: When companies are going through lean periods, they often cut their employees’ hours and pay, and eliminate bonuses. Unfortunately, the employees’ bills and expenses aren’t reduced at the same time.
  3. Job loss: When someone suddenly loses his job and income, it’s easy to use up savings and go into debt; especially with new expenses like COBRA health insurance. The longer a person stays out of work, the more likely he will need to file for bankruptcy.
  4. Credit debt: It’s easy for debt to pile up, especially with compounding interest. And credit debt isn’t always the result of irresponsible spending; it can also be the result of an illness, sudden job loss, emergency expenses, and more.
  5. Divorce: Divorce can be expensive for many reasons. One could experience a significant loss of income and be saddled with a portion of an ex-partner’s debt.
  6. Unexpected expenses: Emergencies don’t wait for a convenient time, they just happen. It could be severe storm damage, car repairs, a needed house repair, etc.
  7. Student loans: Student loans account for at least one percent of all bankruptcies in the U.S. That translates into about 15,000 cases a year. It’s not uncommon for recent grads to find out that they won’t make the salary they’d hoped for, leaving them with hefty loans to pay off.
  8. Utility payments: For homeowners, rising costs of utilities can become overwhelming. Many of them go into debt paying their gas, electricity, water, and trash bills.
  9. Foreclosure: In many cases, filing for bankruptcy can delay or prevent foreclosure. Statistics show that over one percent of American homeowners file for bankruptcy to avoid foreclosure.
  10. Overspending and bad budgeting: Living beyond one’s means, overusing credit cards, and not sticking to a budget can put someone under an increasing pile of debt that is nearly impossible crawl out from, forcing him or her to file for bankruptcy.

No one wants to declare bankruptcy, but in some cases it becomes necessary in order to move on with one’s life. If you find yourself in dire financial straits and are considering bankruptcy, you need to contact the experienced bankruptcy and debt relief attorneys at Nader Law Firm. Call (800) 568-0707 for a free case evaluation.

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Is There Post-Bankruptcy Discrimination? http://www.naderlawfirm.com/blog/is-there-post-bankruptcy-discrimination/ Tue, 11 Jul 2017 09:00:29 +0000 http://www.naderlawfirm.com/blog/?p=1237

One of the reasons many people are reluctant to file for bankruptcy is the fear that it will ruin their reputations and make it difficult to get a job or rent an apartment in the future. While most of people’s fears about bankruptcy are unfounded, there is some reason for concern when it comes to […]]]>

One of the reasons many people are reluctant to file for bankruptcy is the fear that it will ruin their reputations and make it difficult to get a job or rent an apartment in the future. While most of people’s fears about bankruptcy are unfounded, there is some reason for concern when it comes to post-bankruptcy discrimination.

Public Agencies

There are laws in place that protect you from post-bankruptcy discrimination, but how much protection you get depends on whether the entity is public or private. Local, state, and federal government agencies are prohibited from denying, revoking, suspending, or refusing to renew a permit, license, franchise, charter, or similar grant based on the fact that you’ve filed for bankruptcy. They are also not allowed to terminate or deny you any public benefits, evict you from or deny you public housing, refuse to renew your state liquor license, exclude you from participating in a home mortgage finance program, withhold your college transcript, exclude you from a government-guaranteed student loan program, or deny you a government contract based on your bankruptcy.

Private Agencies

Unfortunately, the private sector doesn’t have as many safeguards for those who sought debt relief through bankruptcy. Private employers cannot fire you or take any action against you for a bankruptcy, but a potential employer can choose not to hire you based on your credit history. Likewise, a potential landlord can refuse to rent to you if you have a bankruptcy on your record; however, many landlords prefer a renter who has undergone a bankruptcy to one who is struggling under a mountain of debt. Similarly, bankruptcy can be an advantage when applying for jobs that require security clearance, such as with a government agency like the FBI or the CIA. This is because employees with financial problems are at a higher risk for bribery and blackmail.

Bankruptcy is a very useful tool for getting your financial house in order. But it is not for everyone, as everyone’s situation is different. To find out if bankruptcy is the right choice for your situation, you’ll want to discuss it with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. The legal team at the San Fernando Valley offices of the Nader Law Firm has been helping Southern California residents get out of debt for over 20 years. Call today for a free consultation at (800) 568-0707.

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Watch Out for These Bankruptcy Mistakes http://www.naderlawfirm.com/blog/watch-out-for-these-bankruptcy-mistakes/ Wed, 05 Jul 2017 09:00:32 +0000 http://www.naderlawfirm.com/blog/?p=1230

Bankruptcy is a serious undertaking, quite possibly the most serious financial event of one’s life. This is why it is crucial to avoid some of the more common mistakes when you take this important step toward a clean slate. Common bankruptcy mistakes include the following: Not hiring an experienced bankruptcy attorney: Like physicians, lawyers concentrate […]]]>

Bankruptcy is a serious undertaking, quite possibly the most serious financial event of one’s life. This is why it is crucial to avoid some of the more common mistakes when you take this important step toward a clean slate. Common bankruptcy mistakes include the following:

  • Not hiring an experienced bankruptcy attorney: Like physicians, lawyers concentrate on certain areas of practice. Some specialize in criminal defense, others in personal injury. If you enter into bankruptcy proceedings with an attorney who hasn’t had substantial experience in the field, you could have your bankruptcy rejected, have some debts declared non-dischargeable, and lose valuable assets like your car, house, retirement plans, etc.
  • Filing for bankruptcy using a paralegal or a legal document service: First of all, these people are not attorneys. Secondly, it is illegal in California for a paralegal to offer services directly to the public. A paralegal can only operate in association with a licensed attorney. Remember, you have valuable assets on the line—don’t risk losing them without an experienced attorney.
  • Having your bankruptcy handled by a bankruptcy “mill”: Many law firms take the mill approach to handling bankruptcies. By operating at high volume, they can bring their prices down and attract more customers. The problem with these bankruptcy mills is that you don’t get personal service. In bankruptcy proceedings, it’s important to have a relationship with your attorney as you will likely have a lot of questions.
  • Hiring an attorney who does not advise of bankruptcy alternatives: Bankruptcy is not always the best solution to your financial issues. A skilled bankruptcy attorney will explain the options available to you and which one will best suit your needs. Oftentimes, bankruptcy is the best solution, but not always.
  • Filing for bankruptcy without any legal representation: Filing for bankruptcy may sound simple, like just filling out forms and signing them, but it’s actually more complicated than that. Without an attorney, you will have to deal directly with creditors and appear before a judge all by yourself. There’s help available…why not use it?

If you’re in Southern California and considering filing for bankruptcy, first make a call to the seasoned legal team at the Nader Law Firm in the San Fernando Valley. They have been helping clients deal with financial issues for over 20 years and will put their experience to work on your case. Call (800) 568-0707 for a free consultation.

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Bankruptcy and Repossession of Your Car http://www.naderlawfirm.com/blog/bankruptcy-and-repossession-your-car/ Thu, 29 Jun 2017 09:00:06 +0000 http://www.naderlawfirm.com/blog/?p=1227

What a lot of people don’t realize is that you don’t have to give up everything you own when you file for bankruptcy. There’s an unfortunate misconception that bankruptcy is a punishment of some sort, when in reality, it is not. Bankruptcy was designed to help people get out from under smothering debt and back […]]]>

What a lot of people don’t realize is that you don’t have to give up everything you own when you file for bankruptcy.

There’s an unfortunate misconception that bankruptcy is a punishment of some sort, when in reality, it is not. Bankruptcy was designed to help people get out from under smothering debt and back on their feet as functioning members of society. People can’t do that without a roof over their heads and a reliable way to get to their jobs.

This is why “exemptions” are written into bankruptcy law. Exemptions are types of property that can’t be seized by lenders or creditors while a person is undergoing bankruptcy. For instance, if you were under financial strain and had missed a few car payments, you would be worried about having your car repossessed. Once you filed for bankruptcy, an “automatic stay” was issued. An automatic stay is an immediate injunction that prevents creditors from trying to collect on debts you owe them. This includes repossessing your car.

How Will My Lender Know I’ve Filed for Bankruptcy?

They will be notified through official channels, but to be on the safe side, have your attorney call them directly and inform them of the automatic stay.

Is There Any Way They Can Still Repossess My Vehicle?

Yes; the lender can file a “motion for relief from the automatic stay” with the court. If the court agrees with the lender, they are legally free to repossess your car.

How Will the Court Make Its Decision?

The court will take into account the value of the vehicle, the amount you owe on it, and how much you need it. For instance, if you use your vehicle in your occupation, the court will probably not approve the motion. But, if you own a Bugatti Veyron that you use to run errands, chances are the court won’t let you keep it. There’s a limit to how much the vehicle can be worth. This value changes from time to time, so to get the current maximum value, you’ll need to contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney at Nader Law Firm. Call (800) 568-0707 for a free consultation.

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Avoid Eviction with Bankruptcy http://www.naderlawfirm.com/blog/avoid-eviction-with-bankruptcy/ Tue, 20 Jun 2017 18:38:14 +0000 http://www.naderlawfirm.com/blog/?p=1223

If you’ve come upon financial hard times, you’ve probably had trouble paying your rent. If you don’t pay your rent, your landlord has the right to evict you. But when you file for bankruptcy, what’s called an “automatic stay” is issued. An automatic stay is basically a cease and desist order to all the creditors […]]]>

If you’ve come upon financial hard times, you’ve probably had trouble paying your rent. If you don’t pay your rent, your landlord has the right to evict you. But when you file for bankruptcy, what’s called an “automatic stay” is issued.

An automatic stay is basically a cease and desist order to all the creditors who are breathing down your neck. Under Section 362 of the Bankruptcy Code, an automatic stay stops “any act to obtain possession of property of the bankruptcy estate . . . or to exercise control over property of the bankruptcy estate.” So, technically, your landlord is a creditor and is not allowed to proceed with the eviction. But it’s not that simple.

How Eviction Works

In California, eviction is a three-step process. It begins with a three-day notice to pay the rent you owe or move out. Once those three days have passed and you have not paid your rent, your landlord can file an unlawful detainer complaint with the court. Once a judge grants your landlord the unlawful detainer judgment, that landlord can have the local sheriff or marshals physically remove you from your apartment.

Limits to an Automatic Stay

It’s important to understand this process, because the automatic stay only halts the eviction if you file for bankruptcy before a judge grants the unlawful detainer to your landlord. This is why it’s important to act quickly if you’re hoping to stall the eviction process. Filing for bankruptcy isn’t always the ideal solution if you’re facing eviction. To find out if it’s right for your particular situation, contact the experienced bankruptcy attorneys at the Nader Law Firm in the San Fernando Valley. Dial (800) 568-0707 for a free consultation.

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It’s All About the Interest http://www.naderlawfirm.com/blog/its-all-about-the-interest/ Thu, 05 Jan 2017 09:00:57 +0000 http://www.nnwlegal.com/blog/?p=896

Not all debt is created equal, according to a recent post on Yahoo Finance. The article explains that your biggest debts aren’t necessarily the ones you want to pay off first. As an example, the author cites a story from a certified financial planner (CFP). A young woman came in to her office, distraught over […]]]>

Not all debt is created equal, according to a recent post on Yahoo Finance. The article explains that your biggest debts aren’t necessarily the ones you want to pay off first. As an example, the author cites a story from a certified financial planner (CFP). A young woman came in to her office, distraught over her debt. She owed $250,000 in student loans and $25,000 in credit card debt. The woman was focused on paying off her student loans first. The CFP explained that she should concentrate on paying off the credit card debt first, because it had higher interest rates. It make sense if you think about it, federal student loans have interest rates of four to six percent while most credit cards charge around 16 percent. Since higher interest debt grows at a faster rate, you’ll want to pay that off first. But there are other factors involved when managing one’s money. For instance, it may not be wise to pay off all your debt before investing in your retirement. You need to take advantage of the tax breaks you get for retirement savings and the matching funds you get with 401(k) plans. This type of knowledge is why you should regularly consult a financial expert. Unfortunately, many Americans don’t take a hard look at their finances until it’s too late. If you find yourself in debt trouble, you may be in need of an experienced debt reduction attorney. The legal team at the San Fernando Valley offices of Nader, Naraghi & Woodcock, APLC has been helping people get out of debt for 20 years. Call them at (800) 568-0707 for a free consultation.

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What You Need To Know About the Means Test http://www.naderlawfirm.com/blog/what-you-need-know-about-the-means-test/ Mon, 02 Jan 2017 09:00:26 +0000 http://www.nnwlegal.com/blog/?p=888

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy will completely relieve a person of all their unsecured debts, with the exception of tax burdens and student loans. But to be able to file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you will first need to pass the “means test.” The means test is designed to determine if you have the means to pay […]]]>

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy will completely relieve a person of all their unsecured debts, with the exception of tax burdens and student loans. But to be able to file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you will first need to pass the “means test.” The means test is designed to determine if you have the means to pay off your debt over a reasonable amount of time. The test takes into account your income, expenses, and the size of your family to determine if you have enough disposable income to pay back a substantial amount of what you owe. The first question on the test is whether you make more or less than the median income in your area. This is important because the median income is going to be quite a bit higher in Beverly Hills than it would be in Sylmar. If you do make less than the median income for your area, you don’t have to take the rest of the test. But if you make more than the median income, you aren’t necessarily relegated to filing for the less forgiving Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.

There are more questions on the means test that may make you eligible for filing Chapter 7. In addition, taking the means test through a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney can vastly increase your chances of scoring well on it. Like an accountant who does your taxes, a bankruptcy attorney knows of deductions and other exemptions that can make you eligible for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

To speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney, call the San Fernando Valley law offices of Naraghi & Woodcock, APLC for a free consultation. Dial (800) 568-0707 now.

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