Filing Bankruptcy in California
Hard times can affect anyone. Handling financial problems can be difficult and stressful. If you are paying only the minimum amounts on your bills, can't budget yourself out of debt in five years, are facing home foreclosure or have had a severe financial setback, such as divorce, costly medical bills, layoffs or loss of a major client, filing bankruptcy may be a good option.
A California bankruptcy attorney can help you determine what the best course of action would be to protect you and your family from impending financial destruction. Chapter 7 bankruptcy can clear your dischargeable unsecured debt, but it does not get rid of all debts. You will still be responsible for alimony, child support, recent back taxes, student loans and some other debts. Filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy will set up a repayment plan to pay back all or most of your debts over a 3 to 5 year period.
The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, signed into law on April 20, 2005, by President George W. Bush, puts some limits on an individual's access to U.S. bankruptcy courts. It requires that everyone who files for bankruptcy protections to receive consumer credit counseling.
A qualified California bankruptcy attorney in your area can guide you through all the requirements of the law. Our network of quality bankruptcy attorneys includes offices in Sacramento, San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Fresno and Santa Barbara.
A bankruptcy starts with the filing of the official petition, schedules and a statement of financial affairs with the bankruptcy court. As soon as you file for bankruptcy, your creditors are prevented from trying to collect on your debts through what's called an "automatic stay." The stay is designed to preserve your property and protect you from litigation.
A trustee will take control of any property you do not get to keep. That property will be sold, and the proceeds will be used to pay off your creditors, according to priority. Some property and assets that you own can be exempted from items turned over to the trustee. There are two systems that provide exemptions to California residents who file bankruptcy.
Consulting an experienced California bankruptcy attorney will provide you with more detail about the limitations and benefits of bankruptcy protections.
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