Seasoned Attorney Serving Clients in Riverside, Orange, San Diego, and Los Angeles Counties
For over 40 years, our experienced attorney at North County Bankruptcy Clinic has successfully helped Californians overcome financial difficulties through bankruptcy and other forms of relief. We take a holistic approach to each case and offer the personalized representation our clients need to confidently move forward.
When you file for either type of consumer bankruptcy, you immediately benefit from the automatic stay, a court order that temporarily stops all collection actions. Completing either type of consumer bankruptcy also will in most cases allow you to discharge your unsecured debts, including your credit card debt, medical debt, personal loans, and unpaid utility bills. Our team at North County Bankruptcy Clinic will assess your case and advise whether bankruptcy makes sense for you.
- Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. This form of relief is only available to people who pass the California Means Test. You will likely qualify if you have little to no current income or have very little income left over after you pay your essential monthly expenses. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your nonexempt assets will be liquidated to partially compensate your creditors. You can exempt many types of property, and many filers lose little to nothing. We know how to effectively navigate these cases and will work to protect as much of your property as possible.
- Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. This type of reorganizational bankruptcy is designed for people who can still afford to repay some of their debts. You will likely qualify if you have a reliable and high level of disposable income. You will propose a plan to consolidate all of your debts into a single monthly payment that you will make over three to five years. Certain debts, including tax debt and secured debts, receive priority over other types of debt. We can help you create a strategic repayment plan that maximizes relief.
- Creditor Harassment. Some debt collectors may resort to abusive tactics to compel you to pay what you owe. No matter what a collection agency says, you have rights. State and federal laws limit how and when creditors and debt collectors can communicate with you. Our firm can enforce these rights and put a stop to unlawful behavior.
- Foreclosure Defense. Bankruptcy will temporarily halt a pending foreclosure if you file your petition before your home is sold. If your equity in your principal residence does not exceed California’s homestead exemption, you may be able to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and keep your home. Otherwise, you will likely need to pursue Chapter 13 relief and pay your mortgage arrears over the course of your repayment plan. Our team can walk you through your options and promptly file your petition if you are in imminent danger of losing your home.
- Student Debt Relief. Unfortunately, student loan debt cannot be discharged through Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In some limited circumstances, you may be able to request additional relief after completing a consumer bankruptcy filing. To successfully eliminate student loans in these situations, you must demonstrate you would experience “undue hardship” if you were forced to pay what you still owe. This will typically involve proving you are in financial distress that is likely to continue for the foreseeable future and establishing you made a good faith effort to repay your loans.
- Credit Rebuilding. Filing for either type of consumer bankruptcy will temporarily ding your credit. The good news is that smart planning and financial responsibility can make quickly improving your score surprisingly achievable. We can develop a tailored plan, which may include secured credit cards, credit-builder loans, secured loans, cosigned credit cards, and cosigned loans, for restoring your credit post-bankruptcy.
- Bankruptcy Alternatives. If bankruptcy is not necessarily right for you, our team can work with you to explore financial relief alternatives. Strategies may include debt settlement, debt consolidation, credit counseling, restructuring or refinancing secured debts, and more.