• Mitchell Sussman

Navigating California's Bankruptcy System


Recent tough economic times due to COVID shutdowns make it difficult for many people to satisfy their financial obligations. However, there are legal options for debtors to alleviate their financial issues.


The law provides different alternatives to permit people to pay what they owe while they build a replacement financial foundation. Bankruptcy has been a robust tool to manage and solve debt problems for many years – but are you able to file multiple bankruptcies?

A skilled bankruptcy attorney can answer critical questions regarding how often one is able to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 in California. If you’re contemplating bankruptcy in California, there are several important decisions you want to make as you begin. First, attempt to avoid formal bankruptcy by finding an alternate thanks to pay off your debts. Second, before you’ll be able to file for bankruptcy you may must complete a required means test which will assist you to determine your eligibility. Once you file for bankruptcy and complete the procedure, most of your debts are going to be discharged. However, some debts will remain with you.


Avoiding bankruptcy on your own is sound advice. Before you dive into chapter 7 proceedings, attempt to take some steps to avoid the method altogether. If you’re financial situation isn’t beyond repair, you should attempt to:

• Reduce your expenses

• Increase your income

• Negotiate lower interest rates

• Sell your property.


Your eligibility for an additional bankruptcy discharge will rely on the type of bankruptcy you filed for within the past, and therefore the type you plan to file for next. for example, if you previously filed for Chapter 7 and were successful in getting your debts discharged, you’d must wait eight years before obtaining another Chapter 7 discharge. Expert California bankruptcy lawyers can walk you through this process.

If you filed for Chapter 13, your waiting time may differ. To start with, Chapter 13 bankruptcy usually takes three to 5 years to finish, compared to four to 6 months in Chapter 7, adding more time into the filing. However, the waiting period to receive another Chapter 13 discharge after your initial Chapter 13 discharge is simply two years, compared to eight years for successive Chapter 7 discharges.


Ask for referrals. Bankruptcy proceedings may be complicated and an attorney should be hired whenever possible. To retain an attorney, start by asking friends and family if they need any good referrals for you. Referrals are a valuable thanks to find attorneys. When a devotee or family gives you the name of a lawyer, ask about their experiences with the attorney and why they think the person is true for the duty.


Filing for bankruptcy in California can bring many benefits to debtors who are probing a difficult financial situation. Selecting the acceptable bankruptcy chapter can facilitate your get a brand new financial beginning.


Chapter 7

Chapter 7 or “straight bankruptcy” may be a process through which debtors can obtain the good thing about discharging most of their debt, including medical and consumer debt. Take note, however, that a bankruptcy cannot remove certain obligations, like support payments. Another advantage of Chapter 7 is that it’s a quick process. Many bankruptcy cases can take as little as three to four months to resolve. which means you’ll be debt-free, or a minimum of dramatically reduce what you owe, in an exceedingly matter of mere months.

If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your qualifying assets are liquidated – sold by the court – and therefore the proceeds are going to be accustomed pay your creditors. you’ll keep exempt property and while most of your debts are drained, some debts are excepted from these proceedings. you can’t file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy unless you pass the enquiry or are exempted.


Chapter 13

Chapter 13 is additionally referred to as a “reorganization bankruptcy.” In Chapter 13, debtors create a repayment plan which will last from three to 5 years. During this era, the debtor should make payments at once. If the debtor fails to follow through with the plan, he or she will have their case dismissed and miss the chance of receiving the advantages of a Chapter 13 discharge.

People filing for a Chapter 13 even have the advantage of potentially protecting their homes from foreclosure. Ask our attorneys about filing bankruptcy to prevent foreclosure if you’re worried about losing your home.

If you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you’ll figure out a repayment plan with the court and can pay off your debts over a 3 to 5 year period. To qualify, you need to have a daily income that rises above a specific level.

In Chapter 13 proceedings, you may keep your property. However, there are limits to what proportion debt and what sort of debt you’ll be able to have and still qualify for these proceedings.

Your bankruptcy discharge will appear in your credit history regardless of which chapter or chapters you filed for. However, a Chapter 13 discharge will be your credit report for 7 years, compared to 10 years for Chapter 7.

Consider the debts that may be discharged. When bankruptcy proceedings occur, the court will discharge and release you from personal liability sure as shooting sorts of debts. In general, more debts may be discharged by filing under Chapter 13 than filing for Chapter 7.

Categories of debts that are usually dischargeable in Chapter 7 bankruptcy include:

• Credit card debt

• Collection agency accounts

• Medical bills

• Personal loans

• Utility bills


Conduct initial consultations.

After you’ve got a good lead on a reliable bankruptcy attorney law firm, call them and initiate a consultation. Be prepared to ask a number of these important questions:

  • How long have they been practicing bankruptcy law?

  • How many cases just like yours have they had?

  • What is a possible outcome for your case?

  • Do they need good relationships with opposing counsel and certain judges?

  • Do they need a history of discipline?

The initial consultation gives you a chance to interact with an attorney before you hire them. Bring as many relevant documents to the consultation as possible. In these styles of cases, bank statements, credit reports, and collection letters are all important to have with you when meeting with the California bankruptcy attorney.



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