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Dublin, California Bankruptcy Lawyer
Almost everyone has bills. That’s just part of life. But at some point, that debt reaches a point that’s unsustainable. No matter how much money you’re making, it seems like there’s nothing left over at the end of the month to save, or even just have a night to go to dinner.
No one can tell you exactly when you should file for bankruptcy, but if you’re at the point where all of your disposable income is going toward paying down debt, or creditors have been hounding you for months about unpaid bills, it’s likely time to seriously consider filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
If you’re a Dublin resident ready to file for bankruptcy, an attorney can be instrumental in protecting your assets and ensuring as much debt as possible is ultimately discharged. A Dublin bankruptcy attorney can help you prepare for bankruptcy and begin your financial life with a clean slate.
Why File for Bankruptcy in Dublin?
When you file for bankruptcy, the first thing that happens is an automatic stay goes into effect. What this means is that debtors can no longer take any legal action against you to collect debt. The harassing phone calls stop. There are no more collection letters. Foreclosure is averted. Your car will not be repossessed. You will then begin the process of either exempting certain assets from the bankruptcy estate, or renegotiating the terms of loans with creditors. This can help you retain much of your property following bankruptcy, whether you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
Many Dublin residents are concerned about the stigma of filing for bankruptcy, and how it will affect their credit. While filing for bankruptcy can negatively impact your credit, you can be rest assured that there is life after bankruptcy. Many Dublin residents quickly rebuild their credit by paying their bills on time after a discharge, or taking out short-term loans that are quickly paid off.
While a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing remains on your credit report for 10 years, and a Chapter 13 filing stays on there for seven years, these filings carry less weight as time goes on, and they are ultimately removed from your credit report.
What Debts Can Be Eliminated by Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Dublin?
If you’re ready to file for bankruptcy in California, the first thing you need to understand is that there are two different types of bankruptcy, and which one is right for you will depend on your current income and the types of debt that you have.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is ideal for Dublin residents who have large amounts of unsecured debts. This is debt not backed up by any collateral, such as a home or a car. Credit cards and medical bills are the most common types of unsecured debt that Dublin residents have. Older tax debts and court judgments are other types of unsecured debt that are usually discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must pass the means test for your petition to go forward. This means that the court will look at your income over the six months immediately preceding the filing and determine whether it is more or less than the median income for a household of the same size in California.
If your income is less than this amount, you’re automatically qualified to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If your income is over this amount, then the court will look at your current income minus your necessary expenses, such as housing and utilities. If the court finds that after deducting necessities you still don’t have enough income to pay your debts, you will also be allowed to proceed with Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
How Can a Dublin Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney Help?
Dublin residents with higher incomes who cannot pass the means test or who have a number of assets that they want protect after filing for bankruptcy usually choose to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will submit your assets and debts to a bankruptcy trustee who will come up with a repayment plan. Over the course of either three or five years, you will make a monthly payment to the trustee who will distribute this money to pay down priority debts, secured creditors, and finally unsecured creditors. At the end of the repayment period, any remaining unsecured debts are discharged, just as in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be intimidating to some debtors because of the long-term monthly repayment plan. However, if your circumstances change during the repayment period because of a job loss or medical emergency, you can petition the court to modify your repayment plan. You also may be able to convert to a Chapter 7 plan, though this can affect how your assets are treated in bankruptcy.
All of the unsecured debts that are discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy are also discharged in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case. One addition to Chapter 13 cases is that junior liens, such as second or third mortgages are also dischargeable, while they remain with you at the close of a Chapter 7 case.
One final thing to remember is that whether you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, some debts are never discharged in bankruptcy. These debts include child support, alimony, federal tax liens, court fees, and almost always student loans as well.
Contact a Dublin Bankruptcy Lawyer
If you’re months behind on your bills and you aren’t making any progress paying down your debt with monthly payments, it may be time to file for bankruptcy. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you understand whether Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is right for you, and assist you with filing your case. To speak with a Dublin bankruptcy attorney and schedule a consultation, contact us online or call the office today at 510-255-4646.
"Melanie is the best she very responsive and helpful throughout the process everything was taken care of smoothly. If you are thinking of going through bankruptcy she is the best attorney for you. I will forever be grateful having the chance to work with her. She is very honest too."
"I can't thank Melanie enough for helping me through a challenging process and doing so with incredible knowledge, professionalism and tenacity! She went to great lengths to keep me informed, she responded quickly to my questions, and communicated in terms that I could understand. I highly recommend getting in touch with Melanie should you have the need."
"Choosing to work with Atty. Melanie has been one of the best decisions I've ever made. She was a very patient professional to work with and attentive while providing valuable solutions to all of my concerns. If you are searching for of an Attorney who is knowledgeable, transparent, and diligent - well that's Atty. Melanie."
"What I liked about working with Melanie was how prompt and easy to work with she was. She made the process clear and understandable with as little stress as possible. I would work with her again and recommend her to others."