San Diego Bankruptcy Attorney

The costs of living in San Diego and Southern California are higher than in most other parts of the US, and therefore, when financial hardships strike those living in our region, the effects can be felt that much more acutely.

If you lose your job, suffer a pay cut or demotion, suffer an accidental injury, are going through a divorce, or have simply been hit with unexpected expenses that are overwhelming you financially, bankruptcy may be a way to get a fresh start.

No one wants to declare bankruptcy, but when other measures fail and your financial situation becomes chronically impossible to manage - when you are buried in debt you could never reasonably hope to pay off; then, it's time to consider bankruptcy as an option.

At San Diego Bankruptcy Attorney, we can help you better understand California bankruptcy law and how it would apply in your specific situation. Bankruptcy may be able to eliminate your dischargeable debts, prevent wage garnishment or bank levies, save your home and/or car, and stop creditors' from bombarding you with collection phone calls.

We can help you weigh your options and make an informed decision on your best path forward financially.

Why Choose San Diego Bankruptcy Attorney?

It really does matter who you go to when you need help in filing bankruptcy or in making bankruptcy related decisions. There are many firms out there that fail to serve their clients well - that hit you with heavy, surprise fees, demand payment in full upfront, don't give your case the personal attention it deserves, and that don't really have the in depth legal knowledge and experience it takes to serve your best interests.

We at San Diego Bankruptcy Attorney take a different approach. We treat you with respect and dignity. We let you know our fees upfront, but we also understand that those going through bankruptcy may need time to pay - and so we offer you reasonable payment plans. 

We have deep experience across the full swathe of California bankruptcy law practice areas. And we have local knowledge of how the bankruptcy process works in San Diego and Southern California. We can handle Chapter 7 bankruptcies, Chapter 13 bankruptcies, emergency bankruptcies, debt settlement agreements, bankruptcies in the midst of a divorce, and more, from start to finish.

We guide you every step of the way, explaining to you your options and the likely outcome of your available choices. We put you in a position to make an informed decision that will better your financial future - and then we walk you through the paperwork and legal process to make it happen.

Contact Us Today for Immediate Assistance!

At San Diego Bankruptcy Attorney, we stand ready to take your call for help. We have assisted many others in San Diego, Southern California, and beyond in getting out from under impossible debt and getting on their feet again financially. We can do the same for you.

Call us today at 619-488-6168 for a free, no-obligation bankruptcy consultation and immediate attention to your case.

Or, feel free to visit us for an in person consultation at our office located at 750 B Street, Suite #2510, right here in San Diego.

Testimonials

Susan M. of San Diego

San Diego Bankruptcy Attorney helped me understand the issues surrounding my Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing and helped me prevent having my wages garnished by my credit card company.

John R. of San Diego

It was a difficult decision to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but with a home foreclosure looming, I had little choice. San Diego Bankruptcy Attorney helped me make the right decision and ensured the details of how I filed were to my maximum benefit.

Our Practice Areas

We at San Diego Bankruptcy Attorney have extensive experience in all types of California bankruptcies and in all the various issues that often arise during bankruptcy, debt settlement, and related matters.
Here are some of our most important and commonly dealt with practice areas (but note that this list is exemplary and not exhaustive):

When you file for either Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy, an "automatic stay" comes immediately into force that prevents a number of significant actions creditors might otherwise take against you.

An automatic stay can't accomplish everything, but it can prevent a home foreclosure, eviction, wage garnishment, bank levy, and continued collection calls. Thus, filing for bankruptcy before such actions are taken by your creditors can be very important.

Please note that an automatic stay won't affect tax collection issues, stop criminal charges over financial matters from going forward, or affect child support in a divorce case. And the court can grant a relief from the automatic stay if creditors file for one.

But most people benefit greatly from the automatic stay rule, and if you're going to file for bankruptcy, it's best not to wait too late, before such a stay would save your home, car, or life savings. At San Diego Bankruptcy Attorney, we can help you wade through these issues and show you how an automatic stay would help you.

One creditor action that is especially feared by those suffering under overwhelming debt is that of wage garnishment, or of bank levies.

We at San Diego Bankruptcy Attorney can help you better understand how wage garnishment and bank levy rules work and how to avoid these creditor actions. We can help you file for bankruptcy quickly if you fear such action is about to be taken via a lawsuit filed against you by one or more of your creditors.

With bank levies, creditors attempt to take money out of your bank account to satisfy all/part of what you owe them. They file a lawsuit, then issue a summons and complaint to you. You then have 30 days to respond or risk a default judgment in the creditor's favor. 

With wage garnishment, or an "earning withholding order," creditors try to get a portion of your paychecks withheld to gradually repay the debt you owe them. This generally can only be resorted to after all other collection methods have failed, and it also required the creditor file a lawsuit against you.

At San Diego Bankruptcy Attorney, we can help you fight both bank levies and wage garnishment. We can assist you both before and after your creditor's actions. Don't assume there's no hope; we have helped many other clients in the past escape this kind of severe financial loss.

Divorce is a financial break up, besides being a relational break up, and it's very common for those going through divorce to fall into financial pits out of which they cannot climb. Bankruptcy is often the only real option left.

Both parties to a divorce may end up filing for bankruptcy. Don't assume you can't file bankruptcy just because your spouse already has. As soon as one or both spouses file in a divorce case, it will complicate matters greatly. But if you don't file bankruptcy and your spouse does, you could be liable in full for all debts formerly jointly held, and you may find yourself unable to pay them, which can lead to bank levies, wage garnishment, repossessions, and more.

Bankruptcy can help avert some of these consequences, if you qualify to file. It can't affect child support or eliminate alimony, but it will offer you relief from all dischargeable debts.

At San Diego Bankruptcy Attorney, we have handled numerous bankruptcy cases in the past that were deeply connected with an in-process divorce or filed in the immediate aftermath of a divorce. We understand the kinds of issues that arise when bankruptcy and divorce collide, and we will know how to protect your financial future during this very difficult time in your life.

Knowing what is a potential exemption when filing for bankruptcy can protect you from unnecessarily losing assets you could have kept.

In California, there are exemptions that go by category, a certain amount of fair market value being exempt in each class. But there are also wildcard exemptions that can apply to a wide range of different items.

Whether you file for Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy will affect how exemptions work; but in California, you can also choose between different exemption schemes (703 or 704). And which scheme you choose can greatly impact how many and what kinds of your possessions are exempted.

Knowing which exemption scheme to opt for and which form of bankruptcy to file for isn't easy for the uninitiated, but we can guide you through the legal minutia to put you in a position to make the best possible decision.

At San Diego Bankruptcy Attorney, we have a detailed understanding of the precise way in which bankruptcy exemptions are applied. We know how much you are allotted in each category and how Chapter 7/13, and scheme 703/704 will affect you based on a detailed listing of your possessions and their fair market values. 

We can help you understand how to property inventory your assets and how to choose the best exemptions plan that will benefit you the most.

At San Diego Bankruptcy Attorney, we can help you understand whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is your best bankruptcy option.

Chapter 7 is the most usual form of bankruptcy filed. It involved the liquidation of your assets unless they are exempt. All debts will be discharged at the end, however, unless they are not dischargeable debts.

Chapter 13 involves a "reorganization" of your debts and  a 3 to 5 year plan to repay as much of it as you can. You might get a reduction of some of these debts as well, but many of they may have to be repaid in full but you get more time to do it. It just depends on the precise type of debt involved, so it's important to have an expert bankruptcy attorney survey exactly how much you owe to who and for what, before deciding on Chapter 7 versus Chapter 13.

There are also many detailed rules as to who is eligible to file each type of bankruptcy and there are many factors that will determine how workable a Chapter 13 plan is for you or how many assets you'll be left with after filing Chapter 7.

At San Diego Bankruptcy Attorney, we can help you wade through all the complexities of bankruptcy law and make the wisest decisions for the situation you are in.

Sometimes, debt settlement is a better option than filing for bankruptcy. It depends on how much you owe, how much income you are generating, and on what percentage of your debt you still have to pay.

Often, debt settlements leave you paying only 20% to 50% of total debt; but there are some debts that you may have to pay more on or even in full. And whatever you "save" (debt reduction amount) can count as taxable by the IRS. Plus, you'll have to pay the full amount you settle for in one lump sum in most debt settlement cases.

Thus, while debt settlement avoids having a bankruptcy on your record and avoids liquidation of assets, it will leave you paying more and have negative tax consequences. And debt settlement takes months to complete, while bankruptcies are much quicker to process.

We at San Diego Bankruptcy Attorney can help you understand whether debt settlement or bankruptcy is a better option for you.

Filing for bankruptcy can be a tedious process, but sometimes you need to file immediately to avoid severe actions about to be taken by creditors. In that case, an emergency bankruptcy filing where you file a "skeletal bankruptcy" initially may be in order.

It takes time to go through means testing, which determines your "means" based on the past 6 months of income; to property list and valuate all your assets; and to go through all the paperwork of a bankruptcy.

We can help you through even a regularly filed bankruptcy as quickly as possible, but a skeletal bankruptcy filing in an emergency situation is even faster and gets your automatic stay to begin sooner.

Do not hesitate to contact us in an emergency situation for help filing bankruptcy. We can help you determine if a skeletal filing is best in your case and file it rapidly if it is.

Many times, taxes cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy; but that is not an absolute rule. Sometimes they can.

Federal or state taxes may be canceled by bankruptcies (both Chapter 7 and 13) under certain circumstances. There is a 3 year, 2 year, and 240 day rule that may apply.

Some taxes can only be discharged 3 or more years after their due date; some 2 or more years after; and some only if they were assessed 240 or more days before you file for bankruptcy.

Most taxes that fall under the 3-year, 2-year, or 240-day laws can be fully discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy but may only be partially dischargeable under Chapter 13. Whatever can't be discharged under Chapter 13 would have to be paid back over 3 to 5 years as part of the overall payment plan.

It can be very complicated to determine ahead of time whether or not specific tax bills would be discharged should you file bankruptcy. But it is crucial to know this information ahead of time or filing could become an exercise in futility.

We at San Diego Bankruptcy Attorney have deep experience in the interrelations between bankruptcy and federal or state of California taxes. We know how to determine how taxes would be affected by a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy and give you the detailed information necessary for you to make the right decision.

Few people own their homes outright. And when you fall behind on the mortgage or have borrowed against the equity in your home and can't repay the home equity loan or "second mortgage," you could be in danger of having your home foreclosed on.

In California, there are a number of different types of foreclosures. Most commonly, home foreclosures are non-judicial. This means there is not need for the lender to take you to court because a clause in the deed of trust allows them the power of sale. They can simply repossess the home and sell it. But if they do this, they can't charge you for anything outstanding on the loan, should the sale not bring in enough to cover what you still owed them.

In a judicial foreclosure, a lawsuit must be filed and a court process gone through before a court-order allows the home to be sold by your lender. But, you can buy the home back from the highest bidder within the "right-of-redemption period" if you have enough money and decide to do so.

Filing for bankruptcy will put an automatic stay in place that can prevent a home foreclosure, the enforcement of liens on the property, or continued collection attempts.

After a Chapter 7 is filed, the court must order its permission before your mortgage lender can proceed with a foreclosure and eventually an eviction. This may or many not ultimately avert the foreclosure, but it at least buys your a few months before you have to move out. Technically, the lender can file for relief from your automatic stay, but they usually won't but just wait out the last 3 or 4 months before you move.

If you are looking to save your home, on the other hand, Chapter 13 is usually the best route to go. This will allow you to reorganize your debt and catch up on past due mortgage payments over 3 to 5 years.

At San Diego Bankruptcy Attorney, we can help you save your home or at least gain extra time before you have to find a new one. We can help you decide which type of bankruptcy to file and then guide you step by step through the whole process.

Vehicle repossession threats are , along with looming home foreclosure, one of the two most common reasons to file for bankruptcy in California.

As a consumer, you have specific legal rights which you may not be aware of. We can make you aware of those rights and help you enforce them legally.

Only the lender or his/her employee OR anyone registered with the Bureau of Security & Investigative Services can legally repossess a vehicle. And they can only repossess it in accordance with your contract with the lender. That contract may or may not have included a late payments grace period, after which alone can the vehicle be repossessed.

Plus, you have to be notified 48 hours of your vehicle being repossessed, though holidays and weekends give them more time to inform you.

Those who repossessed the car must inventory all possession in it and hold your personal belongings for up to 60 days, though they can also charge a storage fee that must be paid before you can get your possessions back.

You can call the auto lender and try to get a loan reinstatement, which will include paying to get current on the loan plus fees. You have up to 15 days to do this before the car can legally be sold at auction. You can also try to pay the full amount still owed on the loan to "redeem" the loan and get your vehicle back - and own it.

If you take no action, the lender may sell the vehicle and then send you a bill for the difference (if any) between the sale price and what you owed on the vehicle (plus fees). Normally, auction prices are quite low, so that often leaves a big bill for you to pay.

However, by filing bankruptcy, you may be able to save your vehicle or get out of paying the lender money for the vehicle after it's been repossessed.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy could cancel any money you still owe on the vehicle after it has been repossessed and sold at auction. Chapter 13, if filed within a couple weeks after repossession, could get you your vehicle back and up to 5 years to catch up on payments. Plus, you may even get a reduction of the amount owed down to current fair market value and a reduction in the interest rate.

At San Diego Bankruptcy Attorney, we can help you find a way to better your situation despite a vehicle repossession having taken place OR file bankruptcy for you in order to prevent a repossession via an automatic stay.

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