Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney in Southern California

Wadhwani & Shanfeld — Helping You Choose the Ideal Path to Financial Freedom

When you call or sit down with a California Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer from our team, we can help you discover which debt relief solution is best suited to your needs. Our lawyers have helped more than 25,000 people across California. We have more than 75 years of collective experience and a reputation in the Southern California community for aggressive advocacy and informative counsel.

Don't hesitate to obtain the professional assistance you need to get your finances back on track. Call Wadhwani & Shanfeld today to speak with our team and get a free case evaluation!

We offer Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Services in:

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What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common form of bankruptcy that allows the filer to achieve financial freedom from debt in the most efficient manner possible by eliminating unsecured debts. Debt is considered "unsecured" if it is not attached to a material form of collateral.

Types of Unsecured Debts

Examples of unsecured debt include:

Chapter 7 bankruptcy in California offers many benefits, such as enabling you to clear your debt in less than 4 months. While Chapter 7 bankruptcy is beneficial because it is the quickest and easiest option for a debt-free future, not everyone can qualify.

How Does Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Work?

When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy,  a bankruptcy trustee is appointed to oversee your case:

  • First, we will submit information about your debts, property, current income, monthly living expenses, and the property you owned, sold, or gave away in the last two years. 
  • Then, the bankruptcy trustee will determine if there are any unprotected assets that can be sold for the benefit of your creditors. 

Your trustee cannot sell the things you need to survive. In addition, California offers generous exemptions to protect assets. Accordingly,  no assets are sold in  the great majority of Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases If you have unprotected valuables or property you would like to hold on to, however, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may not be the best option for you.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Eligibility in CA - The Means Test

Also known as "straight" or "liquidation" bankruptcy, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can only be filed by individuals who pass the qualifying means test. This test was established by the United States Congress in 2005 and is designed to weed out individuals who have the financial capability to repay their debts under the Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan option.

In order to pass the means test, you must demonstrate that you cannot afford to repay your debt.

  • First, the means test compares your income to the median income of the same household size in your county.
  • If your income is lower than the median income, you pass the means test. But, we are able to qualify many of our clients whose income is higher than the median income.

There are many factors that can influence your eligibility for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. We encourage you to contact our Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys to learn more whether you qualify and if is the right choice for you.

Alternatives to Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

If you have a regular income, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be a better choice for you. One benefit of a Chapter 13 filing is that you can save your home from foreclosure. Chapter 13 may also be a better option if you do not pass the means test (see above) or you want to hold on to valuable property that cannot be protected in Chapter 7(family heirlooms, coin collections, etc.).

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often referred to as a “liquidation” bankruptcy, so if you don’t want to sell your property, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy or “wage earner’s plan” may be preferable. Sometimes, debt relief agencies can help you negotiate debts and get rid of them without filing for bankruptcy at all.

Board-Certified Bankruptcy Attorneys Raj Wadhwani and Greg Shanfeld can help you find the debt relief option that works best for you.

Call us at (800) 996-9932 or contact us online to discuss Chapter 7 bankruptcy and its alternatives today.

What Our Clients 
Are Saying

We have helped over 25,000 satisfied clients
  • “It was a pleasure working with Gregory. He made this unfortunate experience smooth and stress-free.”

    - Csilla Holbrook

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