Sacramento Bankruptcy Lawyers: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13
Our Sacramento bankruptcy lawyers want to help. We will work with you through the entire process. The bankruptcy attorneys will be available any time of day to answer questions. We understand the terrible feeling of having to file bankruptcy and the stress that surrounds the decision. Our understanding of the bankruptcy process ensures your bankruptcy is handled properly and quickly. Our Sacramento bankruptcy attorneys don’t want to prolong your stress. We want to quickly get you on the path to a fresh start.
By filing a bankruptcy, you can regain control of your life. We will make every effort to personally facilitate a smooth and easy transition for you to start over fresh. Below are several frequently asked questions about bankruptcy. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our Sacramento bankruptcy lawyers.
Free Bankruptcy Consultations - Bankruptcy Contact Form
Free Bankruptcy Consultations – Bankruptcy Contact Form
We provide free consultations on all bankruptcy law matters. You will not be charged to talk with us about your case.
There are dozens of reasons to file bankruptcy. Most of our clients file because of medical bills and business debts. Bankruptcy might be an option for you, but we will not know until we meet with you. We’ve advised several individuals against filing because it wasn’t in their best interest. A free consultation allows you to get a complete understanding of the process. The free consultation may help you in deciding whether this is the best option for you. It’s free, so why not?
Why file bankruptcy?
Why File Bankruptcy?
One of the many advantages of filing for bankruptcy includes an “automatic stay.” This ” automatic stay” stops all creditors from collecting a debt or taking legal action against you. Filing bankruptcy may:
- Eliminate most unsecured debt, like credit cards;
- Stop a foreclosure;
- Stop lawsuits;
- Stop wage garnishments;
- Stop harassing phone calls; and,
- Stop even repossessions.
How do I choose a chapter 7 bankruptcy or chapter 13 bankruptcy?
How Do I Choose? Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
There are two main consumer bankruptcies: Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. These Chapters allow the debtor to either enter a repayment plan or liquidate the debtor’s assets to pay debts. Repayment plans let the debtor reorganize their debts, reduce their monthly payments, and to stretch the debts over a period of three to five years. Liquidation is the process of selling the debtor’s assets and using those proceeds to pay the debts. Choosing the “Chapter” most applicable to your situation is absolutely critical. We are here to help you make this critical decision. We represent our clients by:
- Working with you step-by-step through the bankruptcy process;
- Using innovative technologies to ensure you have constant up-to-date status reports on your case;
- Answering any questions and/or concerns in a timely manner; and,
- Providing the emotional support needed to overcome the stress related to financial hardship and filing bankruptcy.
How much are attorney's fees?
Bankruptcy Attorney Fees
We make every effort to accommodate our clients. We offer a very low retainer of $100 and can set up a flexible payment plan that works for you.
Typical Chapter 7 Bankruptcies
For the attorneys fees listed below, your attorney will provide you with all of the legal services reasonably necessary to represent you in your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy petition. These services include communication with creditors, filing of all necessary documents to commence the Bankruptcy proceeding, and appearing with you at the Section 341 Creditors’ meeting in court. In addition to the attorney’s fees, you must pay the court filing fee of $335.00.
Attorney’s fees for a chapter 7 bankruptcy varies depending on the complexity of the case. Attorney’s fees for a typical chapter 7 bankruptcy are $1,200.00. The attorney’s fees start at $800.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcies
A chapter 13 bankruptcy lasts anywhere from 3 to 5 years after the bankruptcy has been filed. Our bankruptcy lawyers then work with you during the entire time period. The attorney’s fees for a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy are $4,000.00. There is also a separate Court filing fee of $310.00. We are flexible on method of payment for Chapter 13 Bankruptcies and can have as low as $1,000.00 down with the remaining amount paid through your Plan.
What bankruptcy services does our law firm provide?
Bankruptcy Law Services
Our attorneys work hand-in-hand with their clients. You will not be left alone or without answer to your questions. Our attorneys will work with you throughout the entire process. We will be available any time of day to answer questions and provide support.
Our Sacramento bankruptcy attorneys will provide the following services:
- Preparing the necessary bankruptcy petition documents, including, but not limited too:
- Voluntary Petition
- Cover Sheet for Schedules
- Summary of Schedules
- Schedules A – J
- Statement of Financial Affairs
- Chapter 7 Individual Debtor’s Statement of Intention
- Statement of Social Security Number
- Statement of Current Monthly Income and Means Test Calculation
- Preparation and filing of reaffirmation agreements;
- Communications with creditors; and
- Attending the §341 Meeting of Creditors with our client.
How long is the process for a chapter 7 bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Timeline
A typical chapter 7 bankruptcy will take 90 to 120 days from the date the bankruptcy petition is filed.
The initial free bankruptcy consultation with a bankruptcy attorney to determine (1) if you qualify for bankruptcy and (2) whether you want to hire our attorneys to work with you. If you do qualify and you decide to hire our law firm, you will then be provided with a document checklist. This checklist includes all of the necessary information we need to draft the bankruptcy petition that will be filed with the bankruptcy court.
Once the client provides our office with all of the documents requested in the checklist, an attorney will immediately begin working on the bankruptcy petition. The time to complete the bankruptcy petition varies depending on the complexity. However, assuming our office has all of the information needed, we usually finish the bankruptcy petition in less than a week.
Once the bankruptcy petition is completed, our client comes into the office and we go over every detail of the bankruptcy petition to make sure all of the information is correct. This generally takes anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes. If all of the information is correct, the attorney will file the bankruptcy petition on the same day.
Once the bankruptcy petition is filed, the court will assign a §341 meeting of creditors date. The meeting of creditors date is usually set about 30-40 days after the petition is filed. During this short period, the client will need to complete the mandatory Debtor Education course and provide our office with the latest bank statements and pay advices.
The bankruptcy attorney and client attend the §341 meeting of creditors hearing. This is a mandatory hearing. Although the name implies all of the debtor’s creditors attend, it’s very rare that a creditor will actually attend the hearing. The hearing will usually take less than five minutes.
The trustee, a person assigned to over see your bankruptcy matter, will file a document indicating that no assets will be distributed to creditors. The creditors are then given a certain period of time to object to this finding. If no creditors object, our client will receive a discharge in about 60 days.
What is the §341 Meeting of Creditors?
Bankruptcy §341 Meeting of Creditors
The §341 meeting of creditors stems from the statutory code section 11 U.S.C. 341. This section requires a hearing for the trustee to examine the debtor. This is the only required formal hearing the debtor must attend. The hearing is held at 501 I Street Sacramento, California 95814. All of the hearings are on the 7th floor and either in room 7-A, 7-B, or 7-C. The room is relatively small with chairs for about 50 people. There are typically 10-15 cases scheduled for every hour and each case typically last about 5 minutes. The 341 hearing is discussed in more detail along with sample questions on the blog post: Questions to Expect at 341 Meeting of Creditors.
(a) Within a reasonable time after the order for relief in a case under this title, the United States trustee shall convene and preside at a meeting of creditors.
(b) The United States trustee may convene a meeting of any equity security holders.
(c) The court may not preside at, and may not attend, any meeting under this section including any final meeting of creditors. Notwithstanding any local court rule, provision of a State constitution, any otherwise applicable nonbankruptcy law, or any other requirement that representation at the meeting of creditors under subsection (a) be by an attorney, a creditor holding a consumer debt or any representative of the creditor (which may include an entity or an employee of an entity and may be a representative for more than 1 creditor) shall be permitted to appear at and participate in the meeting of creditors in a case under chapter 7 or 13, either alone or in conjunction with an attorney for the creditor. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to require any creditor to be represented by an attorney at any meeting of creditors.
(d) Prior to the conclusion of the meeting of creditors or equity security holders, the trustee shall orally examine the debtor to ensure that the debtor in a case under chapter 7 of this title is aware of—
(1) the potential consequences of seeking a discharge in bankruptcy, including the effects on credit history;
(2) the debtor’s ability to file a petition under a different chapter of this title;
(3) the effect of receiving a discharge of debts under this title; and
(4) the effect of reaffirming a debt, including the debtor’s knowledge of the provisions of section 524 (d) of this title.
(e) Notwithstanding subsections (a) and (b), the court, on the request of a party in interest and after notice and a hearing, for cause may order that the United States trustee not convene a meeting of creditors or equity security holders if the debtor has filed a plan as to which the debtor solicited acceptances prior to the commencement of the case.
What are the Credit Counseling and Personal Financial Management Certificates?
Credit counseling is an educational course that is required by all individuals filing bankruptcy. The course must be completed before you can file bankruptcy. A certificate is issued once the credit counseling course has been completed. That certificate is then included with the bankruptcy petition.
Personal Financial Management
The personal financial management is also an educational course. An individual filing for bankruptcy must take this course after filing bankruptcy. Upon completion, the individual will receive a certificate of completion. This certificate must then be filed with the court within 45 days of the first 341 meeting of creditors.
What is a reaffirmation agreement?
Although debt may be dischargeable, there may be reasons for you to continue making payments. The most typical example would be your vehicle. The money you owe on your vehicle is secured by the vehicle itself. Without signing a reaffirmation agreement, the lender may have the legal right to repossess your vehicle. A reaffirmation agreement is essentially a new contract between you and the lender. The new contract “reaffirms” your debt and personal liability for the vehicle. By signing the reaffirmation agreement, you are agreeing to continue making payments on the vehicle in order to keep it.
A reaffirmation agreement may provide you with an opportunity to renegotiate your contract. The lender might be open to a lower monthly payment plan or even a lower balance based on the current market value. If you are able to part with the vehicle, this may help increase your leverage in the negotiations. Our Sacramento bankruptcy lawyers have negotiated countless reaffirmation agreements. Contact our bankruptcy law firm to schedule a free initial meeting.
Most bankruptcy courts dislike reaffirmation agreements. They don’t want someone in financial distress to assume debt during a process meant to free that person from debt. If a debt is reaffirmed and the individual then defaults or fails to make payments, the individual is liable for the debt. Even though the individual filed bankruptcy, the individual is now stuck with owing a debt and having creditors attempting to collect.
- must be voluntary
- must not place too heavy a burden on you or your family
- must be in your best interest; and
- can be canceled any time before the court issues your discharge or within 60 days after the agreement is filed with the court, whichever gives you the most time.
Contact Sacramento Bankruptcy Attorneys
Interested talking to an attorney about bankruptcy? Feel free to contact Sacramento’s bankruptcy attorneys to set up a free consultation.
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