In the United States, individuals may be able to relieve all or part of overwhelming debt when they can no longer meet their obligations to creditors and lenders by filing bankruptcy. The majority of individuals will choose one of two options: Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which allows debtors to discharge all or part of their debt, or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, in which debtors repay all or part of their debt based on a payment plan.
It is easy to feel overwhelmed when you are facing the stress of job loss, medical bills due to illness or other physical setback, a business reversal, credit card debt, legal judgments, tax debts, housing costs, and other major life changes such as divorce. When you are overburdened with debt, it’s hard to see beyond the pain. At Weintraub & Selth, APC, our personal bankruptcy attorneys are passionately committed to helping you achieve the best possible financial outcome.
Many people fear they no longer can seek debt relief under the current bankruptcy laws, but this is not true. While the laws surrounding personal bankruptcy are complex, bankruptcy is still a viable alternative. We can help. With over 65 years of combined bankruptcy experience, our Los Angeles bankruptcy lawyers have helped people in almost every kind of financial circumstance protect their assets and eliminate debt by filing bankruptcy. We often take on cases that other bankruptcy lawyers have been unsuccessful with or have turned down.
Who Can File For Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy can be filed by any individual, married couple, corporation, partnership or any other business entity. A business trust can also file for bankruptcy.
You do not have to possess assets to file. Even if you have civil judgments against you or you are behind on paying bills, you can still file. Many people believe that anyone who files bankruptcy is embroiled in financial difficulties. While most people who file for bankruptcy relief are having financial difficulties, bankruptcy can be used to avoid many financial difficulties including foreclosure of a home or shuttering a business. Corporations, partnerships and other business entities may also file bankruptcy without going out of business. They may not even be in default to their creditors. Filing bankruptcy can be a sound business strategy even if financial catastrophe is not occurring.
While bankruptcy may be the appropriate option for you, we may be able to suggest others. Our attorneys focus on helping individuals and businesses overcome their financial problems. As experienced bankruptcy and debt-resolution attorneys, a bankruptcy filing is only one of the tools in our “toolbox.” There are occasions when bankruptcy is the right tool and others where it is not.
Once it becomes clear that a bankruptcy filing should take place, the question of the best time to file arises. We carefully assess all factual and legal issues of each client on a case-by-case basis. There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution. We want to achieve the best possible outcome for each client. We take the time to analyze multiple possibilities to ensure our clients get the best possible representation.
Will I Lose My Assets If I File For Bankruptcy?
All married couples and individuals who file have their assets and their property become property of the bankruptcy estate. But before the estate is administered by the court, the person or people filing for bankruptcy relief are entitled to exempt (or withdraw from the bankruptcy estate) certain assets. When you contact Weintraub & Selth, APC, we will guide you through pre-bankruptcy planning. This can minimize or eliminate, entirely, the risk that any assets will be lost by virtue of a bankruptcy filing. Not one of our clients in a bankruptcy case has ever lost an asset that he or she, based on our pre-bankruptcy planning, expected to keep.
Filing For Bankruptcy and Your Credit Rating
Though this is a simple answer, it is actually quite complex. A bankruptcy filing is a derogatory credit item. In our vast experience as attorneys representing people with severe financial problems, however, we have found that this question is simply the wrong question to ask: most people who turn to us for assistance already have compromised credit. The path they are on before they meet with us will only continue to damage their credit rating. Many of our clients are behind on their bills and many have judgments or tax liens recorded against them. Many are in default to creditors. While filing bankruptcy may have a negative impact on your credit in the short term, it is far better than many of the alternatives. In most cases, bankruptcy will actually lead to a stronger credit rating in the long run.
Bankruptcy and Your Credit Report
Though we are highly experienced bankruptcy attorneys, we are not specialists in consumer credit issues or credit ratings. However, we do have close relationships with experts in this area and they have advised us that the rule is between 7 and 10 years. We suggest to our clients that they expect their credit will be impaired for 10 years. We can suggest ways that clients can begin to rehabilitate their credit immediately after the bankruptcy filing. We also remind our clients that bankruptcy is often a step towards credit repair compared to the never-ending cycle of debt they were in previously.
Personal Bankruptcy and Divorce
Divorces often involve great financial stress, and it’s not unusual for one or both of the parties to file for bankruptcy protection. Filing for bankruptcy during divorce can also provide significant strategic advantages to the party filing for relief. We have used bankruptcy to bring to a conclusion difficult divorce cases that have dragged on for months or even years in the divorce courts. Our lawyers can also represent a spouse when their ex files bankruptcy during the divorce and the non-spouse is a creditor. We have also been engaged by divorce attorneys to collect the fees and costs they have been awarded by a divorce court judge. While the laws surrounding divorce and bankruptcy can be complex, we can help.
Shape Your Financial Future
No matter what your financial circumstances, our lawyers are passionately committed to helping you achieve the best possible outcome. We can help you:
- Stop collection actions and judgments
- Save your home
- Eliminate or restructure taxes
- Protect your assets
- Negotiate payment terms for personal debt
- Stop creditor calls, foreclosures, evictions, attachments, garnishments, and lawsuits
Affordable Fee Plans
Our personal bankruptcy lawyers are committed to delivering aggressive and creative debt solutions at affordable fees. We have developed an innovative fee structure that allows us to bundle legal services for a flat or monthly fee. This enables our clients to cap their costs for legal services or plan their monthly expense for personal bankruptcy.
For more information, contact Weintraub & Selth, APC, at (310) 620-1008 or (866) 572- 2423.