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Los Angeles Bankruptcy Lawyers / Los Angeles Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer

Los Angeles Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyers

Approximately 80 percent of all bankruptcy cases filed are under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code. Chapter 7 makes sense for most individuals and families struggling with debt in their daily lives. Chapter 7 allows for the complete elimination of covered debt so that filers emerge from bankruptcy with a clean slate, ready to make a fresh start. The board-certified bankruptcy specialists at Wadhwani & Shanfeld will work with you directly to determine if Chapter 7 is right for you. If it is, we’ll get started right away and provide expert assistance to get you out of debt while keeping all of your assets in tact. Call our Los Angeles Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers now for a complimentary consultation to get the information you need and start today putting that crippling debt behind you.

What Our Certified Chapter 7 Specialists Can Do for You

  • Determine your eligibility to file Chapter 7
  • Provide any required pre-petition planning that may be needed for your individual case
  • Complete and file all necessary paperwork
  • Help you keep all your property with a “no asset” filing
  • Ensure you get the credit counseling and debtor education you need to form healthy financial habits
  • Eliminate all your covered debt
  • Provide you with an exit interview to discuss the next steps to allow you to move forward with your financial life

Chapter 7 Eligibility

You can be eligible for Chapter 7 regardless of the amount of debt you are carrying or whether you are currently solvent or insolvent. In other words, you don’t have to wait until you are completely broke before you can get help through Chapter 7.

The primary factor determining Chapter 7 eligibility is your income. Chapter 7 is automatically available to filers whose monthly income is below the state median income for their household size. If your income is above the state median, you might still qualify for Chapter 7, but you have to take a “means test” that calculates your disposable income after considering your household expenses and other financial obligations.

Another factor in determining Chapter 7 eligibility is determining whether your assets are exempt under the available state exemptions. If your assets exceed the available exemptions, our attorneys may be able to help you with proper pre-petition planning to allow you to properly exempt and keep your assets.

Other qualifications for Chapter 7 include obtaining credit counseling, and there are eligibility rules regarding whether you have had a prior bankruptcy petition dismissed or received a previous bankruptcy discharge in a certain recent period.

Our bankruptcy experts will determine your eligibility for Chapter 7 and walk you through all the required steps for filing.

No Asset Bankruptcy Filings

You might have heard of Chapter 7 referred to as “liquidation” bankruptcy and worry that you will have to sell your property to pay your creditors before you can get any debts discharged. This rule only applies to “non-exempt” property. California provides two separate sets of rules which provide a long list of exemptions that protect your property from liquidation. We can help you determine which set of exemptions would be most beneficial to you. In some circumstances, i.e., if you recently moved to California from a different state, you may be required to use your prior state’s exemptions.

We’ll help you protect as much of your property from liquidation as possible. In the vast majority of Chapter 7 cases we handle, we obtain a “no asset” bankruptcy for our clients, and they don’t lose any property at all.

Below is just a partial list of the exemptions you might be able to take advantage of:

  • Homestead Exemption – Protect a certain amount of equity in your home
  • Motor Vehicle Exemption – Protect a certain amount of equity in your car
  • Household Items and Personal Effects
  • Jewelry, Heirlooms and Art up to a Certain Value
  • Health Aids
  • A Certain Amount of Cash in the Bank
  • Personal Injury Settlements
  • Cemetery and Burial Plot
  • A Certain Portion of Your Wages
  • Tools of the Trade
  • Tax-Exempt Retirement Accounts, IRAs and Other Retirement Benefit Plans
  • Unemployment, Disability, Workers’ Comp, Public Assistance
  • Insurance Policies
  • Alimony and Child Support
  • A Certain Amount as a Wildcard Exemption to Protect Any Other Property of Your Choosing

Even nonexempt property might be safe from liquidation if it is not deemed worthwhile to sell by the bankruptcy trustee. For instance, if the value of the nonexempt portion of your home or car is minimal, it may not make sense for the bankruptcy trustee to pursue that asset.

Covered Debts Eliminated in Chapter 7

In Chapter 7, the bankruptcy court eliminates, or “discharges,” all of your covered debts. Debts eligible for discharge in Chapter 7 include “unsecured” debts, meaning debts that are not tied to collateral that could be taken if you default on a debt. Unsecured debts dischargeable in Chapter 7 include debts such as:

  • Credit Card Debt
  • Personal Loans
  • Civil Lawsuits and Judgments
  • Accounts in Collections
  • Automobile Loan Deficiencies
  • Second Mortgage Deficiencies
  • Medical Bills
  • Certain IRS and State Income Tax Debt
  • Certain Student Loans
  • Rent and Utilities
  • Business Debts

Get the Right Kind of Help That Benefits You the Most

If you don’t qualify for Chapter 7 based on your income, if you have non-exempt property you wish to keep, or if your biggest debts are mostly secured, then you might benefit more from Chapter 13 than Chapter 7. At Wadhwani & Shanfeld, our bankruptcy experts can quickly identify which form of bankruptcy is best for you or if you would benefit instead from a non-bankruptcy solution like debt settlement.

Contact Our Los Angeles Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyers Today

If you’ve been stressing over the amount of debt piling up on your desk from credit cards, loan payments, taxes, medical bills, or other sources, know that help is available to provide you with real relief and give you a fresh start. The certified bankruptcy specialists at Wadhwani & Shanfeld have the skills and dedication to get you that relief. Call now to speak to a lawyer now, and get started today getting the help you need.

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