Ontario California Bankruptcy Lawyers
Taking care of finances and making sure debts do not exceed income is not an easy task. The statistics on credit card debt can tell you that. Most people have suffered a financial crisis at some point in their lives. It’s no wonder, with inflation at record levels and companies doing mass layoffs. Many people are without work and even many of those who have a job are struggling to make ends meet.When expenses are more than your income, you may be digging a hole of debt. Once this hole gets deeper, you may feel overwhelmed. What happens now? Is bankruptcy your only option?
You do have options. Contact the team at Wadhwani & Shanfeld and let us assess your financial situation. We’ll guide you through the process every step of the way. Our legal team does all of the work for you, including filing paperwork, keeping track of deadlines, and providing protection from creditors. We’ll help you pick up the pieces and live a better life. Call our Ontario, California bankruptcy lawyers today at (800) 996-9932 to get started.
Wadhwani & Shanfeld offers the following services:
Bankruptcy. Is bankruptcy the best option? If so, we can determine which type of bankruptcy best fits your situation. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is best for unsecured debts, while Chapter 13 can help you keep your assets tied to secured debts, like your car or home.
Foreclosure protection. If your home is in jeopardy due to late mortgage payments, we can stop foreclosure proceedings and help you keep your home.
Debt settlement. We can help you settle debt outside of bankruptcy by negotiating with credit card companies and other creditors.
IRS tax settlement. We understand that income taxes can be hard to understand. If you are behind on your taxes, we can help you get caught up.
- Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
- Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
- Bankruptcy & Divorce
- Bankruptcy & Retirement
- Credit Card Debt
- Creditor Harassment
- Debt Settlement
- Financial Stress
- Foreclosure Protection
- Investment Property Foreclosure
- IRS Tax Debt
- Lawsuits & Judgments
- Loan Modification
- Means Test
- Medical Debt
- Personal Loan Debt
- Rebuilding Credit
- Second Mortgage Debt
- Small Business Bankruptcy
- Student Loan Debt
- Student Loan Repayment
- Wage Garnishment
Chapter 7 vs Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
When you are struggling with debt, it can seem overwhelming. Bills on top of bills. It seems like it’s always something. You can never get ahead, and the cycle continues day after day.
In California, you have two main options for bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Both are similar in that they can help you eliminate debt. However, they are primarily based on income and eligibility.
While Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy can both help you with your debts, they are different in how they accomplish this goal. Which one is right for you? If you are struggling with debt, schedule a consultation with an Ontario bankruptcy attorney from Wadhwani & Shanfeld to learn more about your bankruptcy options.
How Do Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Work?
First, it’s important to understand how Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy work. Chapter 7 is considered a liquidation. It involves selling assets to pay your debts, with the end result eliminating most of your debts (except for student loans, taxes, and child support). If you have limited income and don’t own a home, this will likely be the better choice for you.
Chapter 13 is for those who have a decent income and earn too much to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a reorganization, so no debt is fully eliminated. Instead, you work out a payment plan with the court so you can keep secured assets, such as your home and car. Once you complete the repayment plan — which lasts 3-5 years — your debt should be paid off you can keep your property.
There are some other differences. For example, Chapter 7 can be used by both individuals and businesses, while Chapter 13 is for individuals only. However, sole proprietors can use Chapter 13 bankruptcy to reorganize their debts.
Both also have eligibility restrictions. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is for low-income people only, so you will have to pass a means test first to see if you qualify. Chapter 13, on the other hand, has limits as to the amount of debt you can have. You cannot have more than $419,275 of unsecured debt or $1,257,850 of secured debt.
Both types of bankruptcy will affect your credit. The presence of a bankruptcy on your credit report will severely impact your creditworthiness for a long time. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy remains on your report for up to 10 years, while a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a little better, as it stays there for seven years.
Myths About Bankruptcy
You may think you know a lot about bankruptcy, but what is the truth? Many people have opinions about bankruptcy and often share false information about the process. Bankruptcy allows you to wipe out debts, so it’s a major process. It’s not something that should be taken lightly; in fact, it should be done as a last resort.
Because of this, it’s important to know what you’re getting into. What’s true and what’s false?
The Ontario bankruptcy attorneys at Wadhwani & Shanfeld will give you the straight facts about the process. Read on to learn more common myths about bankruptcy.
It’s time to separate the myths from reality. Here’s what you need to know:
- Myth: Bankruptcy eliminates all debts. The reality is that bankruptcy can discharge many types of debts, but there are some exceptions. Student loans, alimony, child support, and certain taxes cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. Plus, bankruptcy does not always wipe out other debts. Sometimes the debtor is required to repay the debts through a structured payment plan. Such is the case with Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
- Myth: Bankruptcy will ruin your credit forever. Bankruptcy does have a negative impact on your credit score for a long time, but the damage is not permanent. Bankruptcies can stay on your credit for 7-10 years. However, many people are able to obtain new loans and credit just a few years after bankruptcy.
- Myth: You can lose your job. Legally, you cannot lose your job if you file for bankruptcy. The bankruptcy laws prohibit this type of discrimination, so employers cannot terminate a person’s employment for filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
- Myth: You will lose all your assets if you file for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy does not take away everything. The laws allow for exemptions so you can keep certain assets, such as your car, home, and personal belongings.
- Myth: Bankruptcy is an easy way to get rid of debt. Bankruptcy can get rid of debt in just a matter of months, so in a sense, it’s easier than working multiple jobs and trying to save enough money to pay down debts. However, bankruptcy is not an easy process. There are court filings and other requirements involved. There are long-term consequences involved, so you should exhaust all your other resources first.
- Myth: Everyone will know if you file for bankruptcy. You may be concerned about certain people knowing about your finances. Bankruptcy is a public filing, but it is not widely publicized. Typically, a person has to conduct a specific search to find out about your bankruptcy filing.
California Bankruptcy FAQs
If you are struggling to pay bills and are digging a hole that is making you go deeper and deeper in debt, you may want to consider bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is a legal action that allows you to get rid of unsecured debts, such as credit cards, personal loans, and medical bills.
You may be interested in bankruptcy, but likely have some questions and concerns. That’s where the team at Wadhwani & Shanfeld comes in. Our Ontario bankruptcy lawyers can ensure you are fully aware of your options and can handle your debts with ease.
What is the Difference Between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is available to individuals, partnerships, and businesses, and allows for liquidation, wiping out unsecured debts. However, to qualify for Chapter 7, individuals must pass the means test, which determines their ability to repay debts. For those who do not pass the means test, Chapter 13 is an option. This type of bankruptcy allows you to reorganize your debts, so you can hold onto your assets by agreeing to a payment plan.
Is There a Minimum Debt Required to File for Bankruptcy?
There is no minimum debt required to file for bankruptcy. If you are behind on house or car payments, then it may be a good time to file for bankruptcy. For Chapter 13 bankruptcy, however, there is a limit to the debt. Any individual is eligible for relief as long as their combined total secured and unsecured debts are less than $2,750,000.
Who Will Know That I Filed for Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy cases are public record, so if you’re looking to file for bankruptcy privately, that’s not possible. Anyone can access court records online and find details about your case. Also, bankruptcies involve a Meeting of Creditors that is open to the public. Also, a public notice is required for bankruptcy cases and these are often published in local newspapers. Lenders can review your credit history and see a bankruptcy on your record. Given this, though, the chance of a friend or family member finding out about your bankruptcy is low.
Do I Need a Lawyer to File for Bankruptcy?
It is possible to file for bankruptcy without a lawyer. However, the rules and procedures for bankruptcy are extremely complex, and if you don’t have an attorney, you are responsible for knowing these laws. You must first fulfill any credit counseling obligations. Your case may be dismissed if you fail to comply with all the requirements. Therefore, it can be very beneficial to hire a bankruptcy attorney.
Why Hire a Bankruptcy Specialist
When money problems are rearing their ugly head, you may try to handle things on your own. You could take that chance, but hiring an attorney will give you a huge advantage. Hiring a lawyer may seem pricey, but by having a bankruptcy specialist on your side, you have a better chance of getting your bankruptcy approved and your financial problems resolved.
Your credit cards may be maxed out. You may have creditors calling you day and night. You might even be sued by creditors. When your finances have reached these points, you need a lawyer on your side to help you with the bankruptcy process so your finances can get a fresh start.
Don’t be afraid to get help with your finances. It may seem expensive to hire a lawyer when you’re having money issues, but there are ways to make it happen. The Ontario bankruptcy lawyers at Wadhwani & Shanfeld are ready to assist you. Contact us today to learn more about your options.
How a Bankruptcy Lawyer Can Help You
A lawyer can be beneficial in many ways. Here are some ways in which one can help you:
- Protection. Bankruptcy lawyers can offer you protection from harassment by creditors and collection agencies. Your lawyer can get annoying collection calls to stop, saving you time and stress. They can also handle creditors who violate the automatic stay, which is the injunctive order that prohibits collection activity after the bankruptcy case has been filed. Your attorney can demand compliance or hold the creditor in contempt of court.
- Handle paperwork. Bankruptcy lawyers can help you stay on top of the schedules and other paperwork. You will file pages of financial data about your assets, debts, income, and expenses. all under penalty of perjury. If not filled out correctly, this can greatly complicate the filing process. A lawyer can help keep you on track with all the required paperwork.
- Negotiate with your creditors. In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your attorney can negotiate a reaffirmation agreement or a redemption with a secured creditor so that you can pay less and keep assets such as your house or car. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your attorney will negotiate balances and interest rates to lower your monthly payment.
- Assist with post-bankruptcy issues. Your attorney can help resolve post-bankruptcy discharge violations that can occur when a creditor attempts to collect a debt that was wiped out by the bankruptcy. Attorneys may also provide guidance on rebuilding credit. They can give you tips to improve your credit score after bankruptcy.
Why Choose Us?
Considering bankruptcy? Need to understand your financial options? See why the team at Wadhwani & Shanfeld is uniquely qualified to serve you.
We have experience. We know how to resolve debt, as witnessed by the thousands of bankruptcy cases we have filed. We have real-world knowledge as well as more than 65 years of combined experience.
We have a successful track record. We have more than 20,000 satisfied bankruptcy and debt settlement clients.
We have outstanding credentials. Both of our partners are board-certified bankruptcy specialists through the American Board of Certification, which is a rare level of achievement.
We have a prestigious reputation in the community. Our firm is well-known throughout Southern California. Many people have chosen us to get out of debt, and we can help you as well.
Contact Wadhwani & Shanfeld Today
If you are drowning in debt, you may feel as though there is nothing you can do. The good news is that you have options. Wadhwani & Shanfeld can help you handle your financial situation with ease. While debt and bankruptcy can be stressful issues, we’ll help you put the pieces back together. Contact our experienced Ontario, California bankruptcy lawyers today to schedule a consultation. Give us a call at (800) 996-9932.