What bankruptcy can do for you!

Have you considered bankruptcy?  If you have many debts which you cannot pay then it may be good idea to consider filing.  If creditors are calling you 50 times a day and your credit score is shot then it might be time to consider it.  If you have lost a job, or faced medical issues and debt, or retired with huge debts, or if the debts have just been building for many years then it might be time to consider it.  (See here for additional reasons of why you should file for bankruptcy).

Don’t just put off the filing bankruptcy because the problems and the debt won’t go away.  The creditors will keep calling and will keep selling your debts to other collectors who will take the same actions.  Eventually they will sue and get judgments which could result in your wages being taken or your bank account being taken or your house being liened and sold.   Your credit score will never improve as long as you are in this cycle and you will have no peace.

The good news is that bankruptcy can eliminate all of this negativity and give you a fresh start in life.  You can get the creditor calls to stop immediately even before you file bankruptcy if you hire an attorney to represent you concerning your debts.  The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act states that all calls must stop once you hire a lawyer and all of those calls must go to the lawyer.

Once you file bankruptcy a “stay” descends upon you and everything you own.  This stops any and all attempts to collect these debts.  This would include any lawsuits that were filed against you as well as any garnishments or other collection efforts.  Even some of the money taken by garnishment or attachment can be returned to you.  Contact an attorney for this step.

Once you receive your bankruptcy discharge then you are no longer legally liable for those debts and they are effectively extinguished.  The former debts will appear on your credit report now as “discharged in bankruptcy” and they will no longer drive down your score each month.  The bankruptcy itself will lower your credit score in the short-term but you can rebuild your score in the long-term.  You will get new credit and use it wisely and rebuild your score that way.  People have financed homes in as little as two years after a bankruptcy.

So bankruptcy can do a lot for you to eliminate your debts and give you a fresh start but most of all it will give you piece of mind!  Now what is that worth?

I am a San Diego bankruptcy attorney.  Please visit my websites for more help at www.farquharlaw.com or www.freshstartsandiego.com.  Or call for a free consult on any bankruptcy or debt issue. at (619) 702-5015.  Call now for a free credit report and analysis!

If you or someone you know may need to file a bankruptcy then please get my FREE E-BOOK: “13 THINGS YOU SHOULD DO TO PREPARE FOR YOUR BANKRUPTCY FILING” by e-mailing me at farquharesq@yahoo.com.

What can I do if I can’t file bankruptcy for some reason? That’s easy, we settle!

(See my update on whether to use a debt settlement company or a bankruptcy attorney).

Yes, we can settle your debts!  Usually at a steep discount over what is owed.  You may have already received letters from creditors offering these discounts if you have held this debt for some time.  If a bankruptcy attorney calls the creditor and explains that you may file bankruptcy then you might even get a better settlement offer.

If you can’t file bankruptcy that means usually that you have too much income or too much property to file.  If your debts are fairly low then you may want to use that property or income to settle them.  Some of my clients have gotten or are getting a large payout on a lawsuit or an inheritance of some kind and they then would have too much money to file.  We then call the creditors and offer settlements and they are happy to get their money usually at a deep discount.

This may not seem like an option for you but you would be surprised how often this happens.  If you have some money or if you are due for a big payout in the future then it does not make sense to file for bankruptcy.  If the trustee finds out then he can keep the case open until those funds come in.  He will then use those funds to pay the debts in full if each creditor files a proof of claim and they usually do.  Since you are bound by law to report to the trustee anything that could be considered property to the estate it just does not make sense to file bankruptcy in some circumstances.

Some people just don’t want to file for bankruptcy.  If this is the case then you can also settle your debts.  The creditors will be happy to get paid.  Settling is not as bad as you might think.  A bankruptcy attorney has more clout and the threat of filing bankruptcy to use as leverage to get you a better deal.  A bankruptcy attorney should offer this as a service for those who cannot file for bankruptcy.  After settling these debts will be reported as “settled” on your credit report and in time your credit score will rise as these debts will no longer be reported as delinquent.

I am a bankruptcy attorney practicing bankruptcy law in San Diego CA.  Please visit my websites if you have more questions at www.farquharlaw.com or www.freshstartsandiego.com.  Or call my office for a free consultation at (619) 702-5015.  Call now for a free credit report and analysis!

For a free e-book: “13 THINGS YOU SHOULD DO TO PREPARE FOR YOUR BANKRUPTCY FILING” please send a request by e-mail to: farquharesq@yahoo.com.

Do I need an attorney to file for bankruptcy?

The short answer is yes!  Don’t try to file a bankruptcy without one!

Your attorney will know the law first and foremost.  The attorney will know if you have too much property or income for instance as he will do a means test calculation for you as is required by the law.  I recently came in on a bankruptcy case where a bankruptcy filer should never have filed a case because this person had non-exempt income or assets.

The trustee just claimed all of those assets for the creditors as they will do when there are assets available to seize.  If an experienced bankruptcy attorney would have been consulted in the beginning then they could have advised the client not to file for bankruptcy at all in that case.

The client could have saved the filing fee, attorney’s fees, administrative fees and they could have worked out a deal to pay the debts back.  As it turned out the client had to surrender assets necessary to pay all of these costs and he had to pay the debts back in full.  It would have been much cheaper not to file bankruptcy in the first place and to make matters worse the clients assets were tied up for over a year.

Secondly you need an attorney because the attorney will know the bankruptcy procedures.  Filing for bankruptcy requires many procedural steps which are difficult for the novice to comply with.  An attorney will file the case electronically with special bankruptcy software that automatically complies with the procedural requirements of the court.  I have seen many filers in 341 hearings who didn’t know what they were doing so they made serious errors.  These errors usually result in delays and continuances and sometimes in dismissals of the bankruptcy case.

If the case is dismissed then the debts come back into play and the whole reason for filing is negated.  Now you have lost the filing fee and you will suffer other penalties like losing the automatic stay for a year.

Thirdly you need an attorney because if you hire one you should get an expert who knows the law,and  the procedure but also someone who knows the trustees.  Each bankruptcy trustee is a little different and each has slightly different requirements.  An experienced attorney will know what each one needs and what each one likes to receive in terms of supporting documentation.  This will inevitably help you through the process in the smoothest and quickest fashion.

Lastly with an attorney you get someone to accompany you through the process.  I accompany all of my clients to the 341 meeting of creditors and I am available for any questions that they might have about the process at any time.  This helps people to have fewer fears and worries about something that people naturally are very scared about.

So there are many reasons to hire an experienced bankruptcy attorney to help with your bankruptcy.  Remember too that the attorney is the only one that can represent you in court in the unlikely event that things go badly.  So if you are considering bankruptcy then hire an attorney and don’t do it yourself!

I practice bankruptcy law in San Diego California.  Please visit my website for more information on filing bankruptcy at: www.farquharlaw.com.

How do I file for bankruptcy? What is the process?

Filing for bankruptcy is easier than you might think.  If you are hiring a bankruptcy attorney to file it for you then he or she should be very familiar with the process.

You will be asked about income, expenses, and assets.  You will need to list all of  your personal and real property.  Most people have a car, a bank account, furniture, clothes and maybe some jewelry.  Others have a house. All of this will be listed along with any loans you have on any property.  Your income will be determined by 6 months of pay stubs of with a profit and loss statement if you have a business.  Your expenses you can list also.

Next comes your debts.   Your attorney will list your debts in the bankruptcy and most can download them from you credit report.  There will be a few questions about when the debt was incurred if they considered high but for the most part your unsecured debts are dischargeable.  If you have student loans, some taxes, or spousal/child support debts then those would not be dischargeable.

The attorney will get more information from you and fill out the rest of the schedules like the statement of financial affairs and he or she will complete the bankruptcy schedules.  You then will sign the documents and most attorneys will file electronically after that.  Most attorneys will take the necessary time to do this but in an emergency the whole process can be done rather quickly.

You will then get a meeting of creditors 30 days after the bankruptcy filing.  There a trustee will ask a few simple questions unless there are more serious issues.  Your attorney will attend this hearing so if you get stuck they are there to help you.  Creditors rarely attend this meeting and if they do then there are only a few questions they can ask.

Sixty days after the hearing you get your discharge if there are no holdups or problems with the case.  You are now debt free and able to move on with your life and a fresh start.   There that wasn’t so bad was it?

I am a bankruptcy attorney in San Diego.  Please visit my website for more help at www.farquharlaw.com.