Frequently Asked Questions And Answers

1. How Do I Determine My Best Option?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is usually the best option for those with low or no income. Chapter 13 may be the better option for those who have a steady income but are behind on credit card and mortgage payments. If you are unsure of whether or not to file for bankruptcy, or whether to file a Chapter 7 (liquidation) or Chapter 13 (repayment), a one-hour appointment with an attorney may be a wise first step. Some attorneys offer a free consultation to help people assess whether to file and which type of filing best suits their unique situation.

2. Which Bankruptcy Type Do I Qualify For?

There are two types of bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7, also called "liquidation," is mostly used by people who earn less than California's median average. Chapter 7 is a fast filing system because the entire process is usually over in four months. Chapter 13, also called "repayment," is generally for people who are earning a steady income and who earn more than the California median average. Your attorney will work with you to assess your earnings. Earnings are dramatically affected by expenses such as taxes, medical bills, child and spousal support, car loan payments, rent and mortgages.

3. What Happens After I File For Bankruptcy?

Immediately after you file for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, your attorney will enact an automatic stay. If you are under siege by creditors who are calling you, mailing you and even visiting you at work or at home, then an automatic stay will put an almost immediate legal halt to that. An automatic stay legally prohibits creditors from contacting you.

4. How Often Can I File For Bankruptcy?

A simple visit with a bankruptcy attorney can stop creditors almost immediately and begin the process of a new start that same day.

5. How Long Does Bankruptcy Take?

The time it takes depends on the type of bankruptcy you file. Chapter 7 only takes three to six months. Most Chapter 7 filings are done in four months. Chapter 13 can take a year to 18 months, depending on your debts.

6. How Can I Protect My Assets?

Filing for either a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 can allow you to keep your personal property. Exemptions, including personal items and jewelry, can include your car and even your boat. Your IRA and other retirement funds are also protected when you file. Additionally, you are allowed to keep everything you earn and buy after declaring bankruptcy. Chapter 13 allows you to keep all of your property, both exempt and nonexempt, while you are in payment. An experienced lawyer can advise you and ensure that you keep everything that is rightfully yours and that you do not use protected funds to pay off debts.

7. Can I Get A Mortgage After A Bankruptcy?

Yes. While there are some steps to take to get a mortgage, it is not impossible. Specialty lenders cater to the needs of people who have declared Chapter 7.

8. Are All Of My Debts Gone After I Declare Bankruptcy?

No. The majority of your debts are discharged, including credit cards, personal loans and medical bills. Some payments such as spousal and child support, student loans and mortgage liens are not erased by filing.

9. Why Do I Need A Bankruptcy Attorney?

An experienced bankruptcy attorney can offer support and advocacy through what can be a worrisome process. An attorney can ensure that your property is protected and that the right plan for your financial situation and lifestyle is created.

For years attorney Justin D. Irish has helped clients in Costa Mesa and Orange County, California, end their debt and get a fresh start. Justin can help you and your family find relief from creditors today. Call 949-836-0543 or fill out our online contact form and we will get in touch with you.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.