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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.

Our Services

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 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.

Common Myths

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.

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Frequently Asked Questions Get Answers To Your Questions About
Bankruptcy And Debt Reduction
  • Will my employer find out I filed for bankruptcy?

    Your employer will not automatically be notified if you file for bankruptcy. Unless you tell them, there is no reason they will find out about it, except in certain circumstances. For instance, your employer could find out about your bankruptcy in the following situations:

    • If you owe your employer money for some reason, they are a creditor who will be notified of the bankruptcy.
    • If your wages are currently being garnished to pay debts, a bankruptcy filing puts an automatic stay on that garnishment. Your employer will be notified about the stay and ordered to stop garnishing your wages, so they’ll find out about your bankruptcy that way.
    • If you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the repayment plan might include wage deductions to go toward the plan. This is for your benefit to help you stick to the plan, but your employer would become aware of the bankruptcy when ordered to make the deductions.

    Even if your employer does find out you filed for bankruptcy, that fact should not get you fired or subject you to otherwise unfavorable job treatment. If you become the subject of some adverse job action after filing and think you are being unfairly treated, a labor and employment lawyer might be able to help you.

    If you are applying for a new job and have a bankruptcy on your record, this fact will come to light if the employer runs a credit check. Government employers are not permitted to use a bankruptcy against you in making a hiring decision, but private employers are not prohibited from doing so.

  • Can I save my property if I file for bankruptcy?

    Yes! One of the biggest worries we hear from people who have heard the word “liquidation” in connection with bankruptcy is the fear that all of their property will be seized and sold to pay their creditors as part of the bankruptcy process. Chapter 13 does not require you to relinquish any property at all, and in Chapter 7, the bankruptcy trustee can only take assets that are “non-exempt.” We work diligently through the entire list of available exemptions, and in almost every case we handle, our clients don’t lose any of their property as a result of filing for bankruptcy. They do lose most or all of their debt, though!

  • How much of my wages could get garnished by a creditor?

    A creditor with a court order in hand can seek to garnish your wages to cover what you owe them. They can take a pretty big bite out of your wages, but there are limits. Under federal law, creditors cannot garnish more than 25% of your disposable income or the amount of your disposable income that is over 30 times the federal minimum wage. California provides even stronger consumer protections. Here, creditors are limited to 25% of your disposable income or half the amount of disposable income that is over 40 times the California minimum wage (or the local minimum wage if higher than the state minimum). It’s also possible to get an even bigger exemption in California based on a showing of need.

    Filing for bankruptcy invokes an “automatic stay” on all debt collection, including wage garnishments. Wage garnishments stop as soon as you file for bankruptcy, and if the debt behind the garnishment is dischargeable, bankruptcy can make the garnishment go away for good.

  • What if I previously filed for bankruptcy and need to file again?

    Although bankruptcy can be a great solution to get you out of present financial difficulties, it’s not uncommon that some people later find themselves back in financial trouble. You can file for bankruptcy even if you have done so previously, subject to limitations. After a Chapter 7 discharge, you would have to wait four years to file for Chapter 13 or eight years to file another Chapter 7. After completing a Chapter 13 repayment plan, you would have to wait two years to file for Chapter 13 again or four years to file for Chapter 7.

  • How can I get a bankruptcy removed from my credit report?

    Unfortunately, only the passage of time will take a bankruptcy off your credit report, despite any claims to the contrary from so-called “credit repair” companies. By law, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy stays on your credit report for seven years, while a Chapter 7 bankruptcy stays on your credit report for ten years. That said, you can still start repairing and rebuilding your credit even while the bankruptcy is on your record.

  • Which is better, bankruptcy or debt settlement?

    A lot of factors go into answering that question, including the number of creditors you have and the amounts you owe, who your creditors are, your overall income and expenses, what kinds of property you own, and more.

    We can answer that question for you after we have talked to you and learned about your personal situation. So call us now, and talk to an attorney now to answer your questions and address your concerns.

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If you are in over your head with credit card bills, mortgage payments, personal loans or other debts, you are likely stressed out over the situation, and rightly so. But a lot of worry and anxiety in this situation comes from not knowing your options or what you can expect to happen.

What Clients Are Saying Success Stories In Their Own Words
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Wadhwani & Shanfeld was very professional and always answered my questions. We are so grateful for them.

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I filed bankruptcy with the help of Atty. Greg Shanfeld. His service was very professional, quick and effective. I highly recommend this firm. I am extremely grateful for their service.

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Meet Your Legal TeamDedicated To Helping You Get Back On Your Feet After A Financial Crisis
Raj Wadhwani Raj WadhwaniShareholder

Raj is a founding shareholder of Wadhwani & Shanfeld. Raj earned his Juris Doctor from Southwestern University School of Law. He also became a Board-Certified Bankruptcy Specialist by the American Board of Certification in 2009. His vast bankruptcy experience includes over 7,000 bankruptcy case filings for both consumers and businesses. In 1998, Raj helped pilot the Best Case Bankruptcy Software which is used today by bankruptcy attorneys throughout the country. Raj also participated in the pilot program and had the distinction of being the first attorney to electronically file a bankruptcy case in the Central District of California. Beyond bankruptcy and debt settlement, Raj is also very experienced in estate planning. In his spare time, Raj enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons, playing golf, and cheering on the Los Angeles Lakers.

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Greg Shanfeld Greg ShanfeldShareholder

Greg is a founding shareholder of Wadhwani & Shanfeld. He earned his Juris Doctor law degree from the University of Southern California School of Law. Prior to law school, he graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a B.A. in Economics. Greg specializes in bankruptcy law and debt settlement and is a Board-Certified Bankruptcy Specialist with the American Board of Certification. His previous work experience includes serving as a partner and managing attorney at a leading bankruptcy law firm. Prior to that, Greg worked an associate attorney in the real estate division at Stern, Neubauer, Greenwald & Pauly. Greg is extremely knowledgeable about bankruptcy law and has published articles and taught seminars on the subject. When Greg is not in the office, he enjoys spending time with his family, mountain biking, and playing basketball. He also enjoys attending Los Angeles Kings games.

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