Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorneys in San Fernando Valley
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, also known as "personal" or "liquidation" bankruptcy, primarily:
- Eliminates unsecured debts (Credit Cards, Medical Bills, Lawsuits, Judgments, etc.) and your debts are gone (no repayment is required);
- Allows you to keep all of your assets, including your home.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and the "Means Test"
Under the new bankruptcy laws, high income earners may not qualify for chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, certain exemptions, credits and deductions may make you eligible. You need an experienced Encino bankruptcy lawyer to determine if you qualify under the "Means Test."
How Does Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Work?
Under Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, the court appoints a trustee to examine your records and determine your net worth. This is the information that we will organize and file on your behalf. Part of the trustee's job is to pay creditors by liquidating any substantial assets that are not protected under the law. However, most vital assets are generally protected, including your home and automobiles. It is important for an experienced attorney to evaluate your assets and make sure they are all protected under the law. Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy will NOT AFFECT your retirement accounts, IRA's or pension plans.
Our Simple 4-Step Process:
Free Consultation. Take advantage of our free consultation to discuss your situation. If bankruptcy is not your best option, we'll be the first to tell you and suggest helpful alternatives.
Know your Options. We will help you understand, in plain terms, what your choices are, and the benefits of each. Don't spend hours or days reading through websites and other confusing materials. We can quickly determine what applies and what doesn't in your unique situation.
Same-Day Filing. When you're ready, we file your case electronically. You gain instant protection from creditors, and you are on your way to relieving the stress caused by too much debt.
Let Us Do the Rest. We'll easily guide you through the process of declaring Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and get bill collectors off your back! It's illegal for creditors to harass you once your case has been filed, so refer them to our office and we'll put a stop to it.
Dealing with debt is difficult; that's why we make the bankruptcy process as easy as possible. Contact our Encino Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys, today, for a free consultation.
Should You File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Even if you manage to pass the "means test," Chapter 7 may not be right for you. In general, you will benefit from filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy if the following statements apply to you.
Most of your debt is unsecured, meaning it is debt without collateral. Common types of unsecured debt include credit card debt, medical bills, student loans, utility bills, etc. Certain types of loans may not be protected under Chapter 7.Chapter 7 is particularly advantageous if...
- You have a considerable amount of medical debt.
- You are being harassed by creditors. Filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy will prevent them from continuing to do so.
- You do not own a significant amount of personal property. If you own large amounts of real estate, personal belongings, or other valuables, you may want to think about Chapter 13 Bankruptcy instead.
Individuals with a low credit score will not be greatly impacted by filing bankruptcy. Bankruptcy remains on your credit for seven to ten years, and if your score is already low, it will not drop much lower. Most can people can re-build their credit score over 2 to 3 years after filing bankruptcy.
How Does Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Affect Your Credit?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy can remain on your credit report for up to 10 years, but it will also discharge the vast majority of your unsecured debt from your report. This discharge of debt will have a positive impact on your credit score, even though the bankruptcy remains. Any debt discharged during Chapter 7 bankruptcy will be removed after 7 years. Also, as the items on your credit report age, their affect on your credit will slowly decrease. If you are currently experiencing extreme financial difficulties, leaving problematic items on your credit can actually make your situation worse.
What Happens to Debt in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
After you file Chapter 7, most of your unsecured debt, such as credit cards and some loans, will disappear from your credit report after seven years. Secured debts may remain unless you provide some form of collateral. If you elect to file bankruptcy, the court will initiate what is known as an "automatic stay." This will prevent creditors from contacting you, and provide you with much-needed relief from harassing letters and phone calls.
What Happens to Your Property in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Compared to those who file Chapter 13, individuals who file Chapter 7 bankruptcy will be allowed to retain most of their personal property. This is particularly true for individuals who have equity in their homes, and those who can afford to make payments on time. It is important to hire an experienced lawyer to make sure all of your assets are protected in a Chapter 7 case.
Alternatives to Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
If you don't want to file Chapter 7, you aren't alone. Bankruptcy is often seen as a drastic solution to debt, and many individuals are able to get back on the right financial track in other ways. Here are some common, yet effective, alternatives to bankruptcy.
- As the name suggests, debt negotiation is the process of working with your creditors to reduce your overall debt.
- If you are drowning in debt, you may want to consider visiting a credit counselor. These professionals can help you better understand your financial situation, and craft a concrete plan to meet your goals.
- Securing a low-interest loan to pay off other debts is known as debt consolidation, and it can be a powerful tool if you are trying to avoid bankruptcy.
If you choose to file Chapter 7, you will need to hire a trustworthy San Fernando Valley bankruptcy attorney to represent you. Call the law firm of Nader & Berneman at (818) 788-5008 to learn more about your legal options.
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