Attorney in Temecula
Despite the passage of the creditor-friendly Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, the Bankruptcy code is a powerful tool in the foreclosure defense arsenal. Bankruptcy can be used as your main strategy or as your last resort. The filing of a bankruptcy petition automatically freezes or “enjoins” the foreclosure sale in most cases and buys you some breathing room. Bankruptcy can be used to eliminate or “discharge debt,” avoid liens on your property; reorganize your debts or both. Truth in Lending violations, payment disputes and litigation can be pursued while you are under the protection of the bankruptcy court. The bankruptcy system is set up to give you a fair shot at saving your home or to give you a “fresh start” if you can’t.
By working with a Temecula bankruptcy attorney, you can utilize this powerful tool to your advantage if you are facing foreclosure. At the Law Office of Gary Saunders, we are experienced in dealing with bankruptcy as a foreclosure defense. Headed by attorney Gary Saunders, we have the knowledge and the resources necessary to help. We help clients throughout California from our offices in Chula Vista. We serve all of Temecula County.
There is no question that a skilled lawyer can make all the difference in your financial future. At the Law Office of Gary Saunders, our commitment is to helping our clients reach their financial goals.
How a Temecula County Bankruptcy Lawyer Can Help
Whether you are looking to file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, a lawyer will be essential in offering you legal counsel regarding filing for bankruptcy in Temecula. Your lawyer can help you determine which form of bankruptcy you qualify for and will be best for your financial future. When you decide to file a Chapter 7 or 13, your attorney can then help you file the petition and follow through with it.
Contact Temecula Bankruptcy Attorney for a Free 30 Minute Attorney Consultation at 951-200-3360
Chapter 7 is a “liquidation” chapter that typically ends when you receive a “discharge” of your personal liability to pay debts. Not all debts are wiped out and exceptions include student loans, alimony and some income taxes. Eligibility for Chapter 7 is often driven by your last 6 months’ income. If your income is below the median in your state or if your debts are mostly from business, you are generally eligible for Chapter 7. Even if your income is higher than the median, you may still qualify for Chapter 7 if you can pass the new “means test”. The means test is a statutory maze of income and expense calculations, composed of real and IRS created standards, used to determine if you have the ability to pay back some of your unsecured debt over 5 year repayment plan. If you fail the means test, you typically have to use Chapter 11 or 13 to get any bankruptcy relief.
In addition to the means test, a liquidation test has to be satisfied unless you want to risk losing unprotected assets. In Chapter 7, a trustee serves as liquidator of unencumbered and “non-exempt” assets. In theory, the trustee can sell assets.
Chapter 13 may be an option if you are facing a foreclosure. By filing a petition for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, foreclosure proceedings will automatically be stayed (stopped, delayed).
Chapter 13 is the “reorganization” chapter of the Bankruptcy code wherein you propose a “plan” for restructuring your debts. This is often referred to as “Individual Debt Adjustment” or “wage earner’s plan.” Chapter 13 serves to protect the debtor’s property from liquidation, as would occur in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The debtor is required to pay bills over a specified period of time, usually 3 to 5 years. During that time, creditors are restricted from pursuing collections, including contact, lawsuits and more. Foreclosure proceedings may also be stayed.
An individual with regular income may be eligible for a Chapter 13, even if he or she is self-employed or operates an unincorporated business. A corporation or partnership is not eligible for Chapter 13. If you are an individual with less than $307,675 in unsecured debt and less than $922,975 in secured debt, you may be eligible to file for Chapter 13. Additionally, you must have received credit counseling from an approved agency within 180 days before filing.