We can provide legal help for foreclosures, repossessions, creditor harassment, and other situations. If you are facing no other option than bankruptcy, we can:
- Educate you on your rights
- Work to understand your legal situation
- Provide debt and credit counseling
- Offer expert legal help
- Assess your situation and options
Our attorneys have a wealth of knowledge and experience. They can help you pursue your financial goals and explore multiple options to accommodate your personal situation. No one size fits all approach is ever used.
Our San Fernando Valley Bankruptcy Attorney Can Help
OakTree Law can help whether you’re seeking debt relief, struggling to pay bills, or facing wage garnishments or creditor harassment. Your San Fernando Valley bankruptcy lawyer is committed to working with you to discuss your situation and evaluate any documents related to your case. Available to answer all your questions, they will educate you about your legal rights and explain all laws that apply to the matter.
An attorney will then be assigned to your case and will stay with you until the issue is resolved. If you require debt and credit counseling, your lawyer will provide it on the first visit. No fee is charged unless we can help you. You’ll receive up-front honest opinions on the proper course of legal action or which solutions you qualify for. Fees are quoted up front as well, along with hourly rates and an overall budget if you’re contemplating litigation.
Which Type of Bankruptcy Is Right for You?
Bankruptcy can help if you’re struggling with credit cards and debt consolidation isn’t an option. It may also be the solution if your home is in danger of foreclosure or a lender is threatening repossession of your car. There are several types of bankruptcy. The one you choose depends on your income, assets, and individual circumstances, but at OakTree Law, a bankruptcy attorney in the San Fernando Valley can help you with
The best option if your credit card debt, medical bills, and other debts would take five or more years to pay off, exceed half of your yearly income, and you have little or no disposable income. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can wipe out all unsecured debt. This includes credit card, IRS debt, and tax bills that are three years or older.
Although you may sell some assets to pay down debt, you can usually retain valuables such as motor vehicles, household appliances, and pensions. Second cars, vacation homes, or coin and stamp collections are non-exempt, but you’re usually allowed to keep any valuables needed for daily living.
Once you file, though, an automatic stay is placed on wage garnishments and repossession actions. Chapter 7 is available to individuals and married couples, as well as businesses, although a business ceases to operate once a legal filing is completed. As part of the process, you will receive credit counseling with an approved creditor; the means test will also be conducted. You’ll need documentation to prove you pass, meaning you don’t have the means to pay off most of your debts.
As you prepare to file for bankruptcy, you may realize you don’t need to or there are other alternatives to improve your situation, such as debt consolidation.
After filing, you’ll:
- Be assigned a judge and trustee
- Appear in court on a scheduled date
- Receive a discharge within 60 days, unless an objection is filed
Chapter 11 bankruptcy is suited for high income individuals, sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations. Rather than discharge debt, the main focus is often to reorganize it. Chapter 11 involves creating a repayment plan and places an automatic stay against a bank levy, foreclosure, and collections action. You then become a debtor in possession with the rights and powers to administrate your own bankruptcy (fiduciary).
If there are claims against you, our bankruptcy lawyer in the San Fernando Valley will work with you to examine these claims and develop a payment plan. Unlike Chapter 7, it will allow a business to keep operating. Your attorney will assist in meeting the terms of reorganization, while helping to manage your relationship with creditors. Legal options may be available if liquidation is required.
Bankruptcy isn’t only for individuals and married couples with a low income. You may earn a good steady income, yet still be in debt, but Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help (which is why it is also called the wage earner’s plan). This could be the right option if you own a home or are behind on a second mortgage in the San Fernando Valley.
Under Chapter 13, or a debt reorganization bankruptcy, you propose a repayment plan. Installment payments are made over three to five years, while a trustee oversees the case and passes on payments you make to your creditors. In some cases, you may not be required to pay the full amount of medical bills, past due utility bills, credit card balances, and other debts.
To qualify, you must pass the means test, best interest of creditors test, and best efforts test. Your first payment will be due within 30 days of filing for the plan, as a cashier’s check, money order, or other certified funds. A portion of your wages may be used as well.
Chapter 13 affords other benefits, including:
- Lien Stripping: You can eliminate a second mortgage or home equity line of credit if it is below the fair market value of the home, as the debt is no longer secured by collateral. Once the repayment plan is completed, it will be discharged as unsecured debt.
- Loan Modification: You can keep your home with loan modification, along with filing for Chapter 13. This changes the existing terms of your mortgage, lowering monthly payments (temporarily or permanently), reducing interest rates, or shifting parts of your loan to the end of its term (balloon payments).
A Chapter 20 bankruptcy is when you file for Chapter 13 after a Chapter 7. First, you can discharge debt. You can then set up a repayment plan for what remains. With the help of a San Fernando bankruptcy lawyer, you can dispose of liens and discharge debts you may not have been able to under Chapter 7; also, if any creditors violated the terms of this agreement, you may bring claims against them.
This type of filing involves a lot of paperwork. It is ideal if you are behind in mortgage payments and bear the burden of excessive unsecured debt. You’ll need to be patient. In court, you’ll have to show confidence you can meet your new obligations and are capable of working in good faith. If so, debts may be discharged, a repayment plan created, and an automatic stay placed on collections actions.
Filing Bankruptcy with Us Is Easy
You will need to provide us with as much information and as many documents as possible. At OakTree Law, we make the process easy; our bankruptcy lawyer in the San Fernando Valley will explain the law and your options in great detail. We also know that retaining an attorney can be a financial burden, which is why we offer free consultations, affordable options, and effective solutions.
Our attorneys will help you look towards the future and figure out the best ways to improve your financial situation. Bankruptcy can be a positive solution with the right help. Plus, we’ll advise you on the best options and determine what exemptions can be used to protect your assets. We guide clients through every option and stage of the process, while providing numerous resources that can help you make important decisions.
At OakTree Law, we understand every type of bankruptcy protection available for home and business owners. We evaluate your individual circumstances to decide whether one option or the other is more suitable, or if solutions other than bankruptcy will help. We can also put a stop to foreclosure proceedings and collection efforts and preserve your assets. For more information about our BBB A+ rated firm and to schedule a free consultation, call us at 562-219-2979 or request a no-cost evaluation today.