Harassing creditor calls, garnished wages, debt collection lawsuits, eviction, foreclosure and repossession of your property are just some of the adverse consequences you may be experiencing if you are burdened with mounting debt you can’t afford to pay. If you are having trouble paying your medical bills, credit card debt or other bills and you are considering filing for bankruptcy, contact our skilled Los Angeles bankruptcy attorneys at Resnik Hayes Moradi LLP today. We know how devastating it can be to constantly be struggling with overwhelming debt, and with the help of our legal team, you can obtain lasting relief from debt and the stress that goes along with it. A bankruptcy filing can help you eliminate or reduce your debt in as little as four months and give you the breathing room you need to get back on your feet financially. We offer prospective clients a free initial consultation, which means you can discuss the specifics of your bankruptcy case with our experienced Los Angeles bankruptcy attorney before making the decision to hire our firm. All you have to do is call.
Knowledgeable Los Angeles Bankruptcy Attorneys
Not only can bankruptcy put a stop to creditor harassment and other aggressive and abusive collection efforts by creditors pursuing payment on the debts they are owed, but it can also help you eliminate or reduce your debt for good, so you can move forward with your life and get your finances back on track. Filing for bankruptcy is an honest and responsible way for debtors in Los Angeles who are in over their heads financially to take control of their financial situation and be proactive in dealing with their overwhelming debt, rather than sitting back and waiting for their creditors to come after them for repayment, or worse, foreclose on their home and repossess their property. Resnik Hayes Moradi LLP represents debtors in Chapter 7, Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Fernando Valley, and Orange County, and our trusted bankruptcy attorneys have the skill and experience necessary to guide you through every step of the bankruptcy process. If you owe more than you can pay on your mortgage loan and a foreclosure is looming, a bankruptcy filing can help you reduce or eliminate other debts you owe and free up some cash, so you can stay current on your mortgage payments and remain in your home.
What is Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is a legal process by which individuals or businesses who can’t afford to repay the debts they owe to creditors can seek relief from all or a portion of their debts. When you file for bankruptcy in Los Angeles, you have the advantage of the automatic stay, which is an injunction that prohibits creditors from taking action to collect on the debts you owe. That means you can put an immediate stop to creditor calls and other debt collection actions against you, including wage garnishment, collection lawsuits, repossession of your property and even eviction or foreclosure proceedings. In fact, even if your house is being foreclosed on, the foreclosure sale is already scheduled and time is quickly running out, you can stop the foreclosure dead in its tracks by filing for bankruptcy.
There are several different types of bankruptcy in Los Angeles, and it is important to understand the individual features of each type, so you can choose the bankruptcy chapter that works best for you based on your financial situation. For instance, if you have limited income, significant debt, and few assets, Chapter 7 “liquidation” bankruptcy might be the best option for you, but if you have the income necessary to pay back all or a portion of your debt and you want to catch up on missed mortgage payments so you can stay in your home, Chapter 13 “reorganization” bankruptcy might be the better choice.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation bankruptcy that eliminates most unsecured debts, such as medical bills and credit card debt, without the debtor having to make payments to creditors. With Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a bankruptcy trustee will liquidate (sell) your nonexempt assets, or the assets that aren’t covered by California’s bankruptcy exemptions, to pay back your creditors. Many people think that filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy means they will lose everything they own, but in reality, most people can keep their home, cars and other property up to a certain extent, so long as the property is exempt. By filing for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7, you can quickly discharge most of your debt, meaning you are no longer personally liable for the debt or obligated to pay it back. In order to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Los Angeles, you must pass the means test, which is a measure of your ability to pay back the debt you owe.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Another common bankruptcy program is Chapter 13 bankruptcy, also known as reorganization bankruptcy or a wage earner’s plan. When you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your debts are restructured into an affordable, interest-free payment plan with repayment spread out over the course of three to five years. At the end of the repayment plan, during which you will likely pay only a portion of what you owe to your creditors, any remaining dischargeable debts may be discharged. In order to qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Los Angeles, your unsecured debt (i.e. medical bills and credit card debt) must amount to less than $419,275 and your secured debt (i.e. mortgages and car loans) must amount to less than $1,257,850. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a good option for debtors whose monthly income is too high for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or who want to catch up on missed mortgage payments.
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
Chapter 11 bankruptcy is similar to Chapter 13 in that the debtor proposes a repayment plan to pay back outstanding debts over time, but with Chapter 11 bankruptcy, creditors have the opportunity to vote for or against the proposed plan. Chapter 11 bankruptcy was originally intended for struggling corporations or partnerships, but individuals may choose to file for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 if they are able to repay some or all of their debts, but they don’t meet the debt requirements of Chapter 13 bankruptcy. With a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, business debtors can remain in control of their business operations throughout the bankruptcy case.
What Debts are Not Dischargeable in Bankruptcy?
Although a bankruptcy filing can help you eliminate some of all of your unsecured debt, you will have to continue paying your secured debts if you want to keep your property, and there are certain debts that are considered non-dischargeable, or not eligible for discharge through bankruptcy. Non-dischargeable debts in Los Angeles bankruptcy cases depend on what type of bankruptcy you file and may include the following:
- Student loans
- Child support
- Most recent tax debts
- Debts from fraud
- Debts from willful and malicious acts to another person or property
- Debts from larceny or embezzlement
- Debts for injury or death caused by DUI
- Criminal restitution payments
Is Bankruptcy Right for Me?
For some people, bankruptcy may seem like a last-ditch effort to get out of debt and avoid paying back what is owed. On the contrary, depending on your financial situation, filing for bankruptcy and eliminating dischargeable debt, or reorganizing outstanding debts into a manageable payment plan, may be a better alternative to continued non-payment on your debts. It’s true that your credit rating will take a hit when you file for bankruptcy and discharge your debts, and a bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for up to ten years, while a foreclosure is removed from your credit report after seven years, but the overall credit consequences associated with bankruptcy can actually be less severe than with foreclosure. When you file for bankruptcy, you can start rebuilding your credit sooner and may even get approved for another mortgage loan within just a few years, while a foreclosure is an immediate red flag for mortgage lenders. And once you are free of the debts you couldn’t afford to pay, you can take the steps necessary to establish a solid foundation for a stronger and more balanced financial future.
In this way and in many other ways, making the decision to file for bankruptcy is actually a positive step forward for individuals faced with overwhelming debt they don’t have the means to pay, not a shameful step back. Still, filing for bankruptcy is a personal choice and all Los Angeles bankruptcy cases are different, which is why it is always a good idea to hire a seasoned bankruptcy attorney when considering a Chapter 7, Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing. It is important that you have a clear understanding of what filing for bankruptcy will mean for you specifically, so you can equip yourself with the tools you need to recover from bankruptcy and take full advantage of your fresh financial start.
How Our Bankruptcy Attorneys Can Help
Many debtors in Los Angeles have fallen behind on their mortgage payments, credit card payments and other loan payments due to a financial hardship such as unexpected job loss, illness or the death of a loved one, and if this is the case for you, it is important to consider all of the options available to you to keep your home and eliminate or reduce the debt you can’t afford to pay. When you retain our Los Angeles bankruptcy attorneys at Resnik Hayes Moradi LLP, we will personally review your financial situation, including your income, expenses, assets and debts, and advise you of the options available to you for achieving real debt relief, including bankruptcy. Armed with accurate information about the pros and cons of bankruptcy and other types of debt relief in Los Angeles, you can make an educated decision about your financial future and determine whether filing for Chapter 7, Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the right choice for you.
If you are struggling with overwhelming debt from medical bills or other unsecured debt, you may think that you can get rid of the debt on your own, but catching up on past-due payments can be incredibly difficult, and the longer you wait to get help, the more your debt grows and takes on a life of its own. The sooner you hire our Los Angeles bankruptcy attorneys at Resnik Hayes Moradi LLP, the sooner we can begin working on your case. We pride ourselves on providing clients with practical, customized debt relief solutions and we will represent your best interests throughout the duration of your case, from filing the bankruptcy petition to discharging or reducing your debt. We will ensure that your creditors comply with the requirements of the automatic stay and stop calling you, sending you letters, garnishing your wages, or attempting to collect on the debt in any other way. By filing for bankruptcy, you may also be able to stop the foreclosure process, remain in your home and keep your property from being repossessed, and our attorneys can help.
Consult Our Los Angeles Bankruptcy Attorneys Today
There is a certain stigma that accompanies bankruptcy, and this fear of embarrassment and shame is what keeps many people from filing for bankruptcy and achieving the debt relief they deserve. At Resnik Hayes Moradi LLP, we understand that the decision to file for bankruptcy is an emotional one, and we will provide you with all the information you need to make the best decision for your specific situation. If you owe more than you can afford to pay and you think a Los Angeles bankruptcy filing might be the best way to achieve the debt-free future you have always wanted, do not hesitate to contact our law firm. We have helped thousands of clients in Southern California eliminate or reduce their overwhelming debt and obtain lasting relief through bankruptcy and we can help you, too. Consult our Los Angeles bankruptcy attorneys at Resnik Hayes Moradi LLP as soon as possible to schedule a free initial bankruptcy consultation.