The 100% Plan

The most common reason for filing bankruptcy is that a person has too much high interest credit card balances or medical bills that they cannot afford to repay both from their own perspective and in the eyes of the court.  More

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Jewelry When Filing Bankruptcy

Most people naturally assume that jewelry would be a type  of asset that you are not allowed to keep when filing for bankruptcy protection, particularly if you have a large amount of jewelry or if you own items that are worth a substantial sum of money. More

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Continuing a Trustee Sale

Depending upon a person’s intentions and foresight, continuing a trustee sale of one’s home can mean different things to different people, since just because a foreclosure is temporarily continued does not mean it will be permanently averted. More

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Most Common Reasons People File

The persistent pressures that motivate a particular person to file bankruptcy can often be as complex and unique as one’s character.  However, just as you would typically find certain common traits and characteristics amongst ordinary people, there are indeed distinct and common reasons that people decide to seek debt relief.  More

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Property Value Rising in Bankruptcy

In times when the real estate market is experiencing rising property values, even if the rise only temporary, the equity in your home could potentially be in jeopardy if  you file bankruptcy and don’t do it correctly with the guidance of an experienced attorney. More

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Bankruptcy for My Business

Filing bankruptcy for a business can mean various things depending upon the legal form under which you operate, the assets and liabilities and whether you personally guaranteed them, and the future direction, if any, that your company will be taking. More

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Anticipated Tax Refunds

Anticipated Federal or state income tax refunds usually become quite a hot topic during tax filing season, as many unsuspecting bankruptcy filers are caught off guard when they fail to account for this important and often substantial asset. More

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Federal Benefits and Bank Levies

If you have unpaid financial debt and have money in an account, one remedy available to your creditors is that they can take the money in your account through what is known as a bank levy.  For those who are the recipients of Federal benefits, the result can be different. More

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Paying Student Loans After Bankruptcy

If you have done any research on the treatment of student loans in bankruptcy, then you already know that in most cases you cannot eliminate this type of debt and will have to pay back your loans notwithstanding the filing of your case.  So when are you supposed to resume making your payments? More

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Where Do I File Bankruptcy?

The great majority of people that file for bankruptcy relief will end up filing in the city or county where they are living at the time that their case is filed with the Court.  However, there are possible exceptions in which a case can be filed, or even must be filed, in a different location. More

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Paying Down Mortgage Loan

One option you have for protecting your money before bankruptcy is to put your money into your home, either by making needed repairs or by paying down a mortgage loan.  Depending upon the value of your home and the amount out your mortgage loan, paying down a mortgage loan before bankruptcy could be problematic. More

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Paying Off a Car Loan

Paying down or paying off your car loan before you filing your case can pose a problem if you pay more than a normal monthly payment.  Anytime you pay a creditor more than a regular monthly payment within 90 days of filing your case, the payment can be considered a preference. More

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Bankruptcy Stay In a Repeat Filing

Ordinarily, when you file bankruptcy for the first time, the stay against collection activity is automatic and lasts for the entirety of your case. The stay stops most types of actions against you, including a home foreclosure, a wage garnishment, or other proceedings. More

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Hospital Bills and Bankruptcy

A single visit to the hospital can result in a large medical bills that put financial strain on you and your family, making bankruptcy a serious consideration if you have doctor bills or emergency room bills that you cannot afford to repay. More

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Unemployment Overpayments

If the California Unemployment Development Department has contacted you regarding unemployment overpayments that you received in excess of your entitlement and cannot afford to pay back, you may want to consider filing for bankruptcy relief. More

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Stop a Commercial Eviction

A commercial eviction is treated very similarly to a residential eviction, with an important exception that your attorney must consider.  In particular, a landlord may be able to continue with a commercial eviction depending on the current status of your tenancy. More

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IRA Income and Age Restrictions

An Individual Retirement Account (IRA) can be an effective means for protecting your financial assets before filing bankruptcy, as funds places in retirement accounts are generally classified as protected assets in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases. More

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Difference Between Chapter 7 and 13

For most people filing for bankruptcy relief, they will file under either Chapter 7 or 13.  In fact, almost all bankruptcies in the United States are filed under Chapter 7 and 13, which account for more than 99% of all filings in the entire country. More

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Doctor Bills and Bankruptcy

Doctor bills are usually treated as unsecured debt your bankruptcy case, unless they are the subject of a pending or anticipated personal injury claim, in which case they could be treated as secured if the health care provider has a lien. More

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How To Do Credit Counseling?

Prior to filing for bankruptcy, you must complete the credit counseling requirement and obtain proof in the form of a certificate, which your attorney will file with the Court on your behalf. More

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Home and Car May Be Exempt

It is often feared by people they will lose everything if they file for bankruptcy.  Fearing the loss of their home, car, and other assets, many people are paralyzed and don't know what to do.  The good news is that your home and car may be exempt. More

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Bankruptcy Attorney on TV

If you watch any amount of television, especially late at night, in the evening, or on weekends, then you have likely seen a bankruptcy attorney on TV advertising their legal services to the general public and making promises of personalized representation. More

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5 Myths About Bankruptcy

There are many myths surrounding the bankruptcy process. For people with mounting debt and few options to get out from under the pressure of relentless creditors and debt collectors and are in desperate need of a solution, how do you know what is true and what is a myth? More

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Real Estate Commissions

Whether you can keep a real estate commission when you file for bankruptcy depends on how certain you are to receive the commission and how much work, if any, you would need to do in order to earn the commission and receive payment. More

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Can I Keep My Motorcycle?

Treatment of motorcycles in bankruptcy is very similar to that of a car or truck.  In order to keep your motorcycle, the value of your motorcycle must not exceed the amount of assets you are entitled to keep under your applicable exemptions. More

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Stop Creditors from Calling

Financial problems cause enough anxiety in a home as it is and the added pressure from creditors and debt collectors makes the situation extremely stressful.  Harassing phone calls and threatening notices come all hours of the day and night and their persistence is unbearable. More

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File Taxes Before Bankruptcy

A question I am frequently asked by my new clients, “do I have to file my taxes before I can file bankruptcy?  Generally speaking, in order to file your case in San Diego successfully, you will need to file your tax returns for the past four years, including the most recent tax year. More

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Workers Comp Settlement or Award

A workers' compensation settlement is a type of protected asset in California, which you get to keep.  The same rule applies to workers' compensation benefits that have been awarded to you through a legal proceeding. More

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Employment Withholding Taxes

Employment withholding taxes withheld from an employee's gross wages are akin to trust funds, as opposed to being a debt owed to a government entity.  This affects the treatment of employer liability for such withholding taxes.  More

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Car Loan Before Bankruptcy

Getting a car loan before bankruptcy is permissible under certain circumstances, but can pose a couple of potential problems.  The United States Trustee’s office frowns upon incurring new debt before you file your case and has even issued guidelines admonishing attorneys from advising clients to engage in incurring such new debts. More

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Sales Taxes In Bankruptcy

In most states, sales taxes collected by a business owner are similar to trust funds because the law imposes a sales tax on the goods sold and the business owner is responsible for collecting the sales tax and forwarding it to the government agency that collects the tax. California is different. More

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Criminal Restitution in Bankruptcy

The law aims to reach a balance between the goal of helping a debtor get out of debt and protecting creditors and injured victims whose interests might outweigh a debtor’s need for a fresh start.  This is exemplified by what some would argue is a rather harsh treatment of criminal restitution judgment debt.  More

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Impact on Your Credit Score

Choosing whether to file bankruptcy is a very difficult decision, even when it is strongly recommended by your lawyer that you file in order to get out of debt and begin anew with a clean slate and a fresh start on your credit. More

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Bankruptcy – How it Helps

One of the main reasons that people consider filing bankruptcy is to either reduce their debt or simply get out of debt. If this describes how you're thinking at this point, you may be wondering just how much debt relief you could obtain under your circumstances. More

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Which Type of Filing Is Right for Me?

Of the six different Chapters, there are four different types generally available to consumers.  These include Chapter 7, 13, 11 and 12.  Almost all cases in the United States are filed under Chapters 7 and 13. More

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Married Couple Filing Separate Bankruptcies

It is quite common for me to get a call from a new client wanting to know if a husband or wife can file without his or her spouse.  In most cases, the answer is yes, a married couple can file bankruptcy in San Diego without his or her spouse. More

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Emergency Bankruptcy to Stop Foreclosure

An imminent foreclosure of your home can keep you awake all night. If you have been unable to bring your loan current or modify your loan, you may feel as though you are out of options.  Chapter 13 lets you stop foreclosure of your home and bring your loan current over time. More

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Credit Card Before Bankruptcy

Getting a credit card before filing bankruptcy is legally permissible and ethically proper, provided that you intend to repay the charges and are not planning to eliminate and wipe out the card balance, since that would not be honest and would be fraudulent. More

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Bankruptcy for a Repossession

Are you considering filing bankruptcy on debt remaining after a vehicle repossession?  If you had your car or truck repossessed, chances are your car loan lender sold the vehicle for auction value, which is usually far less than the loan balance that you owed on the vehicle. More

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Funeral Expenses

The passing of a loved one can be devastating to a family.  In addition to the emotional toil, a death in the family can reduce household income, leading to added financial stress and consequently having to seriously consider your bankruptcy filing options. More

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Get Out of Debt Fast

When attempting to regain control of your credit card debt and other outstanding bills, you have a few different options to help you get out of debt.   Some options may take a long time, perhaps years, and some options can help you become debt free much faster. More

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Eligibility for Chapter 13

If like most people seeking debt relief, your money has run out and expenses and bills keep piling up, you may have no choice but to file for bankruptcy.  If you are behind on your mortgage or car loan payments, you will have to file under Chapter 13. More

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Qualifying for Chapter 7

Qualifying for Chapter 7 relief is the first point of analysis in determining your debt relief options.  Filing under this Chapter allows both individuals and businesses to obtain debt relief fast, assuming that you can qualify to file based on your income and other factors. More

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Intent to Deny Security Clearance

If you have military security clearance or an assignment to a sensitive position in the Navy or other branch of the armed forces, you must maintain your finances responsibly, either paying your debts or filing bankruptcy so long as done in good faith. More

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Can Bank Take IRA Account?

It is important to discuss with your attorney from the outset of representation which banks you hold accounts at and whether you owe those banks any money. This is because your bank could potentially have a right to take your account funds through what is called a right of set off. More

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Average Credit Score

Have you ever wondered, what is the average credit score after bankruptcy?  If you are considering your debt relief options, you will certainly want to know the answer to this important question so you will have somewhat of an idea where your credit rating will end up after your filing. More

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Income In a Bankruptcy Case

Income is important for a number of different reasons.  It is crucial in passing the Means Test, for determining whether you can afford to repay some or all of your debts in a Chapter 13 repayment case and corresponding plan payments.  There are many potential pitfalls in preparing income calculations that could derail your bankruptcy case. More

Posted in Get Out of Debt | 2 Comments

Paying for Child Care

Child care can be expensive, especially daycare for young children.  For many people filing bankruptcy in San Diego, a critical question in assessing their options is whether they will be able to continue to pay for necessary expenses to properly look after and care for their children. More

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Federal Government Help Failed

Today's tough economic times are increasingly placing consumers in financial turmoil. More people than ever before are suffering from overwhelming credit card debt.  The Federal Government has made an effort, albeit a weak one, to give financial assistance to help distressed borrowers get out of debt. More

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Stocks in Bankruptcy

Treatment of stocks turns mainly upon the type of account in which your stocks are held.  The type of account is important because retirement accounts are a much more protected type of asset than ordinary stock brokerage trading accounts. More

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Equity in Home

The equity in your home refers to the value of your interest in your house.  As any attorney will tell you, understanding the meaning of equity is crucial to a successful filing, since exemptions are based on net liquidation value and not asset value. More

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Benefits of Homestead Declaration

Whether you are facing a foreclosure sale of your home or just need protection from a relentless creditor that is attempting to enforce a judgment against you, there are several important benefits to filing a Homestead Declaration in California. More

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5 Key Benefits of Chapter 7

The great majority of individuals needing to get rid of their debts seek protection under Chapter 7.  In this type of filing, all of your debts that can be eliminated are wiped out and you receive what attorneys frequently refer to as a "fresh start," free from unwanted debt. More

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Can Bankruptcy Stop an Eviction?

Most people assume that because bankruptcy will stop a lawsuit, it will also stop an eviction lawsuit.  In most cases, a typical filing will only stop an eviction lawsuit temporarily, it will not stop the eviction permanently. More

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Can Debt Consolidation Help?

If you are unable to repay your debts, you may have considered debt consolidation as a possible option. The process typically consists of taking out a single loan to pay off all of your existing accounts. But is this debt relief method capable of providing a lasting solution to your financial problem? More

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Postpone a Foreclosure

There are various methods to postpone a foreclosure of your home.  Most of the methods are completely dependent upon the whim of your lender or provide only temporary relief.  Only a Chapter 13 filing can give you permanent foreclosure relief.  Here are the various methods and how they operate to postpone a foreclosure sale. More

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Loan Mod in Bankruptcy

If your home mortgage payments are so high that you cannot afford to keep your home, you can try to ask your lender to modify your loan.  Colloquially, this is referred to as asking your lender for a “loan mod,” which is short for what your bankruptcy lawyer would more likely refer to as a modification or restructuring of your mortgage loan. More

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Keep Tax Refund

If you are like many people who have their taxes automatically deducted from their paycheck, then receiving a tax refund may be something that you have come to rely upon.  If you are considering your debt relief options, it is important that select the right option that allows you to keep your refund. More

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What Is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is one of your constitutional rights that you exercise by filing a legal proceeding to eliminate all of your debts and start with a clean slate.  Most people file for relief under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, and chances are your lawyer will recommend that you file under one of these chapters. More

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Property Taxes in Bankruptcy

Treatment of property taxes depends on when the taxes were incurred.  The general rule is that they can be eliminated if they are over one year old.  Even if your taxes are not over a year old, you may not have to pay them because your lender or any new owner will usually pay them. More

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Respond to Summons

For most people, receiving a summons for credit card debt is a stark realization that you need to face and deal with an overdue account.  A summons is essentially the cover page to a lawsuit and usually comes after a creditor or debt collector has made other unsuccessful attempts to collect a debt. More

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Education IRA In Bankruptcy

An education IRA is a type of tax-exempt savings account that is treated similar to an IRA for tax purposes and is used by families to save up money to pay for the educational expenses of a child, usually for college or university.  You can keep a limited amount of funds in this type of account. More

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Short Sale After Fresh Start

After you go through the legal process of wiping out your debts and getting a fresh start, you will usually keep your property.  If you no longer want to keep it, a short sale can be a practical way to get yourself off title and avoid further liability (as a property owner) for taxes, HOA fees, or injuries on the land. More

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HOA Lawsuit

When you don't pay regular or special assessments as they become due, your HOA has two options. It can place a lien against your home and conduct a foreclosure sale in order to satisfy the amounts you owe, or it may elect to file a lawsuit against you seeking a judgment including a monetary award. More

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Homestead for a Trailer

The homestead exemption for protecting equity in real estate that you own clearly applies to a traditional house build with a permanent foundation constructed on a parcel of land.  But whether it applies to trailer or mobile home depends on where you live. More

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Inheritance and Bankruptcy

Treatment of an inheritance in bankruptcy depends on the value of the asset given to you and when you receive it.  You won't always know when you are going to receive inheritance but nonetheless need to consider the potential issue and properly plan in order to minimize the risk of losing this type of asset. More

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Credit Card Lawsuit

When you are handed credit card lawsuit papers, there will be a summons that states how many days you have to respond.  In California, you usually have 30 days to file a response, otherwise the party who sued you will automatically win and obtain a judgment for the full amount demanded. More

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Automatic Homestead Exemption

What property you get to keep is dictated by your exemptions, which are a set of laws that your lawyer will utilize to protect your equity in your assets.  The particular law that protects your equity in a home is called the homestead exemption, and it is a very powerful and generous protection. More

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Residence Requirement

 While you can file bankruptcy in San Diego so long as you have resided in California for the greater part of the last 180 days, you will not necessarily get to utilize California's very generous set of exemptions to protect your home, cars, or other assets when you file for bankruptcy. More

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Money Owed to Me

Recently I had a new client ask me, “can I file bankruptcy if somebody owes me money?”  Whether you can file if another person or company owes you a sum of money primarily depends upon on the amount of money that you are owed.   More

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Do I Have to File Taxes?

In order to document your income, you will have to provide the trustee with proof of income, including, among other things, a copy of your most recently filed tax returns.  If you don’t timely provide your tax returns, your case can be dismissed.  But what if you don’t have to file taxes? More

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Can a Creditor Garnish Social Security?

When ordinary creditors, such as a credit card company or car lender, file a lawsuit against you and obtain a judgment, they can take your wages through a wage garnishment and can take the money in your account through a bank levy.  But can the ordinary creditors take your social security? More

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700 Credit Score

Is it possible to have a 700 credit score after bankruptcy, and if so, how long does it take to get a 700 rating?  While there is no set formula for determining what your score will be a year or two down the road, there is overwhelming evidence that you can increase your rating dramatically within one to two years after filing. More

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Pass Means Test

A general rule of thumb to use in determining if you can pass the Means Test is that if you if you are under median you pass, and if you are over median, you fail.  But this is just a general rule of thumb.  With the help of an experienced San Diego bankruptcy lawyer, you can be over median and still pass. More

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Should I File Chapter 13?

If you are considering your debt relief options, you may be asking yourself, “should I file Chapter 13?”  In some cases, your attorney may recommend that you file this type of bankruptcy because your income will be too high to qualify for a more simple filing or due to other factors involved in your unique situation. More

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Should I File Chapter 7?

If you are at the point where you need to get a fresh start on your credit, you may be asking yourself, “should I file Chapter 7?”  In many cases, this type of straight bankruptcy case will be the preferred remedy recommended your lawyer because it helps you quickly get out of debt and obtain immediate debt relief. More

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Military Security Clearance

Certain members of our armed forces and civilian contractors have military security clearance which grants them access to sensitive classified information. When filing bankruptcy, appropriate steps should be taken in order to keep the privilege of being entrusted with confidential information. More

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House In Foreclosure

If you have fallen behind on your mortgage loan payments and you have a house in foreclosure, a bankruptcy attorney can show you how to exercise your various debt relief remedies and options to immediately stop the foreclosure and protect and keep your home and investment. More

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Notice of Default

The Notice of Default is the statutory legal notice that formally starts the foreclosure process in California.  Once you receive this formal default notice from your mortgage lender, the clock starts ticking and you have 90 days to bring your loan current and avoid a foreclosure. More

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600 Credit Score

Many Chapter 7 filers are surprised to find out that they can have a 600 credit score, or higher, within one or two years after their case is filed.  If you have had financial setbacks and your credit rating is in the 500s or even the 400s, then a 600 score is a significant improvement.  More

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Can IRS Garnish Social Security?

Ordinary, non-government creditors (credit cards, medical bills, home loans, car loans, etc.) cannot garnish your social security benefits to repay a debt.  This includes Social Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), or other social security benefits. More

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Buy a Car Before Bankruptcy

Buying a car for cash (without a loan) usually will not pose any problem for your bankruptcy filing, provided that the value of the car is covered by your applicable exemptions.  However, when you take out a loan to buy a car, it can become problematic. More

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Money in Bank After Bankruptcy

The bankruptcy stay that goes into effect by operation of law freezes all collection activity and prohibits your creditors from attempting to collect a debt against you.  That means that your creditors cannot attempt to take the money in your bank accounts, even if they have a judgment against you.  So is your money safe? More

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Wipe Out 2nd Trust Deed

A 2nd trust deed refers to the lien that the holder of your 2nd mortgage or home equity line of credit has against your home.  A trust deed is just another name for a deed of trust, which is the document that you sign giving your lender a lien against your house or rental property.  Will filing Chapter 13 wipe out a 2nd deed of trust?  Well, it depends… More

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Online Bankruptcy Filing

Online bankruptcy filing refers to filing your case through the internet, which is how most lawyers file nowadays, as opposed to walking into the Federal courthouse and handing the court clerk a stack of papers and documents that is required to be filed when opening up a new case. More

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Will Employer Find Out?

Your finances are a private matter and it is important to keep it that way.  Although your filing will become part of the public record, it is not public in the way that you may at first think. Your filing is not typically published in the newspaper (unless for some reason it was newsworthy), or broadcast on the Internet or radio. More

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Bankruptcy Payment Plans

Today I spoke with a new client who was recently sued by a credit card company.  She was distraught and in tears because, she said, she knew that she needs to file for bankruptcy but had no income or savings and could not afford to pay for a lawyer unless she was able to make payments. More

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Credit Card Garnishment

A common question asked by new clients is: how can credit cards garnish wages?  Well, they can garnish your wages just like any other creditor can garnish wages, meaning they can sue you, obtain a judgment against your (usually by default if you don’t appear and defend), and then garnish your wages. More

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Short Sale During Bankruptcy

If you want to do a short sale during an active Chapter 13 case, you can proceed but you will need the permission of the trustee and the court, or you can make the sale contingent upon dismissal of your case and just dismiss your case before the close of escrow. More

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Bankruptcy on Unemployment

If you have lost your job and are receiving unemployment, you may be wondering, “can I file bankruptcy while on unemployment?”  Depending upon your other sources of income, if any, you may be able to qualify to file while you are on unemployment. More

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HOA Fees After Bankruptcy

With HOA lawsuits on the rise, I frequently get a call from a new client asking, do I have to pay HOA fees after bankruptcy?  What you need to know is that all homeowner association (HOA) fees that were due up until the date that you file your case is wiped out. More

Posted in Get Out of Debt | 2 Comments

Stop Charging Credit Cards

A common question I am asked by new clients is, “when should you stop charging credit cards before bankruptcy?”  Most people intuitively know the answer to this question because their gut feeling tells them that it is morally wrong to charge up cards before filing, especially when they don't intend to pay for the charges. More

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Foreclosure Sale Date

Many people have a general belief that filing bankruptcy can always stop a foreclosure sale.  However, this is not always the case, since it depends on the type of case that is filed.  So, how exactly does one stop a sale date and what Chapter do you have to file under? More

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Sue Me After Foreclosure

One of the most common questions I’m asked from clients is, “can my lender sue me after foreclosure in San Diego?” Generally, your lender cannot sue you on a 1st mortgage, but it may be able to sue you on a 2nd mortgage or home equity line. More

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Stop Foreclosure Sale

Today a client called me and asked, as many of my clients have in the past, if bankruptcy will stop a foreclosure sale.  Well, I explained, it depends on what type of bankruptcy you file and whether you have filed before and if so how recently. More

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Guilty About Filing?

The privilege of being able to file bankruptcy is your Federal right and also your constitutional right given to you by our founding fathers and guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.  Why would you feel shame or guilt about exercising your time honored legal and constitutional right. More

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I Make Too Much Money

Some people just make too much money to qualify to file bankruptcy under Chapter 7.  If you are a high income earner, you may make too much money to file under Chapter 7 and therefore be required to file bankruptcy under Chapter 13 and repay some or all of your creditors through a repayment plan. More

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Should I File Bankruptcy?

Have you asked yourself the question, should I file bankruptcy?  If so, you probably have a lot of questions.  You may be unsure if filing bankruptcy is right for you and what the effect will be on your credit.  You may even be concerned about what others may say. More

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IRS Wage Garnishment

When you owe taxes, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can garnish your wages without even going to court and obtaining a garnishment order.   This is in contrast to ordinary creditors, who must sue you, get a judgment against you, and then enforce the judgment though the remedy of wage garnishment. More

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Trust Assets

Part of honestly disclosing all of your assets to the court means also disclosing any trust assets, even if you are only a contingent future beneficiary.  If you have a vested interest in a trust, the asset could be liquidated in a Chapter 7 case. More

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Get Out of Debt – San Diego Attorneys

If you have searched for a bankruptcy attorney, you may have found or heard of one or more attorneys from various sources.  Perhaps you heard a radio commercial, jotted down a phone number, and called to schedule an office consultation. More

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Famous Bankruptcies

In my blog entitled Our Bankrupt Presidents, I mentioned four U.S. Presidents whose faces grace our money and have all declared at some point that they were bankrupt.  It’s not just our U.S. Presidents who have had money troubles. More

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Bankruptcy Disclosures

The bankruptcy laws are designed to give honest people a fresh start on their credit.  As your lawyer will explain to you, there are severe penalties and sanctions for failing to honestly disclose all of your assets, liabilities, income, expenses, and financial affairs when you file your case. More

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What Is a Credit Counseling Class?

During the initial consultation with my clients, I always advise my clients of the mandatory requirement that they complete a credit counseling class.  The initial reaction that I get from most of my clients is always interesting.  More

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Charging Credit Cards

Debts incurred through fraud may not be eliminated in bankruptcy if your creditor files an adversary lawsuit and proves that the debt was incurred through fraud.  Fraud, in this context, refers to a legal definition of fraud that includes a promise without the intention to perform it. More

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TARP Funds Gone

Lenders are increasing foreclosure rates, and filing more and more lawsuits against borrowers, forcing many people to seek legal forms of debt relief, including bankruptcy.  What is causing financial institutions, and their lawyers, to act in this manner? More

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Can a Creditor Garnish Wages?

Perhaps the most daunting debt collection practice is wage garnishment, a process by which your creditor can takes your wages from your paycheck in repayment of a debt.  Can any creditor garnish wages when you fall behind on your payments, for example, on credit cards or other personal debt? More

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Qualify for Bankruptcy

In order to qualify for bankruptcy, you need to meet certain legal requirements.  There is a limitation on the amount of assets that you can keep, as well as a residency requirement.  You have to pass the Means Test, and there are several other key requirements. More

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Wild Card Exemption

Your exemptions set forth what property you can keep.  There are Federal exemptions provided for by the Federal bankruptcy law, and state exemptions provided for by the laws of various states.  Federal exemptions have a “wildcard” exemption that you can apply to practically anything you want to apply it to. More

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Keep Credit Card?

A question frequently asked by many of my clients is, “can I keep a credit card?  As any bankruptcy attorney will tell you, the answer to this question depends on whether you owe a balance on the account associated with the card.  This is because you only have to include your "creditors" and a  piece of plastic in your pocket does not mean that you have a creditor. More

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Bankruptcy TV Commercials

It's no secret that television bankruptcy commercials are an expensive form of advertising relative to other types of ads.  This is one main reason why you see so few attorneys running these types of commercials in San Diego.  For this reason, you can expect to pay more at a firm that advertises on TV. More

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Disclose Assets

When you file for bankruptcy relief, you must fully disclose all of your finances.  This includes the requirement that you have to disclose all assets, along with disclosing all of your debts, your income and your expenses.   Recent sales or transfers of assets must also be listed, with details. More

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Lavish Spending on Luxuries

Some people figure that they are going to eliminate all of their credit card debt, so they might as well go on a spending spree and "max out" their credit cards.  This is a bad idea because it demonstrates dishonesty. More

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Fraudulent Transfer Forethought

Transferring around your assets before you file a bankruptcy is generally a bad idea and is always highly discouraged by any competent lawyer.  Such a transfer of an asset could potentially be unwound by the trustee or your creditors if it was made solely in order to hinder, delay or defraud your creditors' collection efforts.  More

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The Perfect Chapter 13 Plan

When you file a Chapter 13 case, your attorney will have to prepare a repayment plan that will ultimately be approved by the court.  If your repayment plan is not confirmed, then all of the hard work of you and your bankruptcy lawyer will go to waste.  So it is critical to propose the perfect plan. More

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Bank Closed Account

Sometimes banks will freeze your bank accounts, or worse, close your account.  This can cause a serious disruption with your finances.  If you receive direct deposit, and your bank decides to freeze your account, even if only for a week, you may not be able to pay your rent, pay for food, or put gas in your car. More

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What Is a Bankruptcy Trustee?

Many of our clients come to us thinking that when they file bankruptcy they will have to appear before a judge.  In the vast majority of cases, you will never have to appear before a judge.  Instead, you will make an appearance, usually just a single appearance, before a Court appointed bankruptcy trustee. More

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Married Filing Alone

If you are married and have already come to the determination that filing for bankruptcy would be the best solution to help you get out of debt, the next question you have to ask yourself is whether you will be filing alone, without your spouse, or filing jointly, with your spouse. More

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Perform a Lien Strip

It is becoming quite frequent for new clients to call me and ask me if they can do a "lien strip."  Just what exactly does it mean to do a lien strip?   A lien strip, or a loan strip, refers to the legal process of stripping off (removing) a 2nd mortgage or home equity loan that is encumbering your home. More

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Can I File If I Have Business?

If you are a business owner then continued operation of your business is essential to the livelihood of you and your family.  You may need to file bankruptcy and get a fresh start, but if that means giving up your business then you may need to look at other options. More

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Can I Keep My Belongings?

Many people are under the mistaken belief that you have to give up your home, your car, and other belongings when you file bankruptcy.  They are misinformed that they have to give up all of their assets.  This is not at all the case.  The contrary is true. More

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Bankruptcy Credit Counseling

Practically every day when I mention to a new client for the first time that they need to complete a bankruptcy credit counseling course before they can file their case, I get a momentary look of discontentment.  It's as though they have a flashback to the days when they had to go to school. More

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Bankruptcy For FICO

Countless times I have spoken to new clients who are misinformed, sometimes by inexperienced lawyers, about how a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 filing will impact their FICO score.  They are often under the mistaken belief that their credit score will necessarily suffer and go down.  In many cases, this simply is not true. More

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Can I File Twice?

Often times I am asked by a new client who has filed bankruptcy before, "can I file twice?"  First, I always start by explaining to my clients that the law does not necessarily place a limit on how often you can file. More

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Drive Outta Bankruptcy

A common concern I hear during an initial attorney consultation is, “can I keep my car if I file bankruptcy?”  In most cases, with the help of a lawyer, you will be able to keep a car, truck, or other vehicle that you own, provided that you can catch up on past due balances and remain current on your monthly payments. More

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Myths and Misconceptions

There’s a lot to know when it comes to the ins and outs of bankruptcy. Most people view it as a way to eliminate your debts and get a fresh start, but it’s not as simple as that.  The process is complex and stressful, and there are a lot of common myths and misconceptions. More

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Keeping Liquor Licenses

If you own a restaurant or a bar then you probably have a license to sell beer or alcohol and need it in order to operate and make money.  If you have an alcoholic beverage license and are under a mountain of debt, you may be asking yourself, "Can I keep my liquor license if I file?" More

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Considering Filing Bankruptcy

Erasing your debts and starting over financially can be very appealing when you’ve been struggling with bills and averting creditors for years. Anyone that is considering bankruptcy should be aware of the pros and cons of filing or not filing before making a decision. More

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Credit Card Bankruptcy

A common question asked by many of my clients filing a credit card bankruptcy in San Diego is whether they have to file on all cards or may keep out a particular card.  These clients want to keep one of their cards that has a low balance, so that they can continue to use the card after they file their case. More

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Freeze!

Credit card debt collectors can be merciless with their relentless phone calls, early in the morning, late at night, or during dinner. Banks and home mortgage services can be unforgiving if you fall behind on your home mortgage payments and begin home foreclosure rapidly. More

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Our Bankrupt Presidents

Do you need to file bankruptcy to get out of debt San Diego and get a fresh start but are worried about what people may think or what they may say or whisper about you in social circles?  Bankruptcy is a positive solution and a fresh start can help you get back on the road to financial success. More

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Bankruptcy On Taxes

It is quite often that I have a client call me up and ask me, “can I file bankruptcy on taxes?"  Many of my clients are truly surprised to learn about the often beneficial treatment of taxes in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 proceedings.  Often you can wipe out your tax liability and zero out your past due account. More

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Your Legal Right

When our Founding Fathers drafted the Constitution, they understood that bad things happen to good people.  Being visionaries, they wanted to ensure that you would have a legal right to receive debt help if you get into a financial situation that you cannot bear. More

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Bankruptcy Legal Center Blog

Welcome to the Bankruptcy Legal Center blog, where you will find attorney commentary on important and interesting legal issues of concern that are commonly expressed by people in your community. More

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