A Bankruptcy Attorney Can Help You Start Over
As a Santa Rosa Bankruptcy Attorney for over 23 years, I understand the nightmare of financial crisis, the fear and uncertainty it creates, and the tremendous stress it can put on families and relationships. I also understand that for many, it can be a life saver.
The idea of filing bankruptcy is emotionally draining, and for most it is not easy. The old stigmas and feelings of guilt are not easy to erase. But in today’s world, it is far more common than most would think. While the reasons for the high incidence of bankruptcy filings are too numerous to list, the purpose of the law is simple: to relieve you of the stress so you can breath again; to allow you to re-establish financial security; and to start anew with dignity.
Types of Relief:
While there are several different Chapters available, the most common available to individuals and small businesses are known as either a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13. Under Chapter 7 (otherwise known as “liquidation”), the intent is that you keep all of your assets while getting rid of all (or most all) of your debt (secured and priority debt excepted). Under Chapter 13 (known as partial debt repayment), you keep all your assets but re-pay your creditors a percentage of the debt owed based on your ability to do so and the extent of your assets which are “non-exempt.” Chapter 13 is often used when a Chapter 7 is not available or not the best option.
Why Legal Counsel:
Sometimes, when you could file under a Chapter 7 and would have no portion of your debt to repay, there are significant benefits to filing under Chapter 13, and nonetheless repay part of your debt. For example, under a Chapter 13 plan, if you owe more on your home than it’s value and have more than one loan on the home, you may be able to keep the home and pay only on the first loan, thus avoiding any further obligation to the other loans. In a Chapter 7 that option is not available. Which chapter you file depends on the totality of circumstances surrounding your particular situation.
Bankruptcy laws are complicated and filing for relief on your own is not wise. Mistakes in the preparation of your documents, the filing of them, and even the timing of the filing, can be costly. Such mistakes can result in the loss of assets you could otherwise have kept, the loss of income you could otherwise retain to support yourself and your family, and/or the denial of any debt relief at all.
As an experienced bankruptcy attorney, my job is not only to advise you of your options, but to correctly prepare and file your petition, all related schedules, and your financial statements. Further, I am at your side during your meeting with the Bankruptcy Trustee and thereafter through discharge of your debt and closure of the case.
Northern District of California
The U.S.Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California has several locations, one of which is located in Santa Rosa, CA, and hears cases for the residents of Sonoma, Napa, Marin and Lake counties. Our practice is limited to those residents.