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Bankruptcy – The Basics

If you have gone through a divorce it’s not unusual to experience financial difficulties. In fact, according to reports, divorce is among the top five (5) reasons individuals file for bankruptcy.

Men’s Legal Center offers an experienced practice in bankruptcy law under Chapter 7, 11 and 13 of the Bankruptcy Code.

Whether you are considering Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, Men’s Legal Center offers practical debt relief advice tailored to the specific circumstances of each individual client. Attorney Marco A. Torres encourages all those considering bankruptcy to learn their bankruptcy options from a qualified bankruptcy attorney focused on providing sensible debt relief solutions and intelligent advice to achieve the best bankruptcy outcome and a positive bankruptcy experience.

What bankruptcy options are available to me?

There are a variety of different bankruptcy option- the typical bankruptcy options for most consumers are Chapter 7 and 13.

Whether you should file a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 is an important decision which should be made in close consultation with a seasoned bankruptcy professional who can provide you with a clear understanding of your options to either pursue a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

If you are trying to save a home from foreclosure, recover a repossessed vehicle, or simply end the harassing debt collector phone calls, our seasoned professionals can help you make the right decision.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy – the “Fresh Start”

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most popular. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, you fully disclose your property, debts, all your income, and expenses. Three months later you receive a discharge of most types of debts and, with a few exceptions, you retain ownership of all or most of the property you owned going in.

If you file under Chapter 7 most of your debts are eliminated. At the end of a Chapter 7 case, you receive a discharge that provides you a fresh start. A Chapter 7 may be a good option if you are experiencing any of the following:

* You’re current on home and car payments.
* You have little or no money left over each month after paying your household expenses.
* You are constantly receiving harassing phone calls from creditors and credit collectors;
* You’re using payday loans or retirement funds to pay off monthly bills; or
* Your wages are being garnished.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy

In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy you propose a three- or five-year plan under which you typically must repay certain types of debt in full (such as real estate arrears, back child support, some tax liabilities) and, depending on your household income and expenses, you may be required to pay some portion (from 0% to 100%) of your unsecured debt (credit cards, payday loans, medical bills, etc.).

Chapter 13 provides the opportunity to pay off missed mortgage payments over the life of the plan, recover recently repossessed vehicles, cancel 2nd/HELOC mortgages,

To qualify for Chapter 13 your debts must fall within specific limits. For example, your unsecured debts (debts where nothing can be repossessed if you don’t pay) can’t be more than $394,725 and your secured debts can’t exceed $1,184,200.

Chapter 13 is probably your number-one option if you are in any of the following situations:

* You want to catch up on mortgage and/or car payments.
* You need time to pay off past-due child/spousal support obligations.
* You owe tax debts that you want to pay off without interests or penalties.
* You received a discharge in a bankruptcy case filed within the past 8 years.
* You earn enough money to pay monthly expenses with ease and want to do
your best to repay creditors at least some amount.

When should I file for bankruptcy in California?

Circumstances vary, but it is good to consult a bankruptcy attorney if you are experiencing any of the following:

  • you are constantly receiving harassing phone calls from creditors and credit collectors;
  • you are behind on your mortgage and/or car payments;
  • your car was recently repossessed and you want to recover it;
  • you’re using payday loans or retirement funds to pay off debts; or
  • your wages are being garnished.

What debts cannot be discharged by bankruptcy?

There are a few forms of debt that will typically not go away through bankruptcy, including:

  • child support and/or spousal support (aka – alimony);
  • income taxes that are less than three (3) years overdue; and
  • court-ordered restitution.

If your divorce has you thinking of bankruptcy in San Diego, call The Men’s Legal Center.

There’s absolutely no shame in using bankruptcy laws to protect you and your future. However, it’s vital that you have a qualified bankruptcy attorney on your side guiding you through that process. Here at The Men’s Legal Center, we have skilled and experienced bankruptcy lawyers on staff who can do just that.

For more information, call us at 619-234-3838 or reach us via email.