Here in Salinas, families are just as vulnerable to divorce, job loss, and other financial emergencies as they are everywhere else. Most banks are impatient in these situations. Legally, most banks may repossess vehicles and begin home foreclosure proceedings after just one missed payment. Additionally, the Supreme Court recently removed some important consumer protections from the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. In this legal environment, many creditors think they cannot lose.
These moneylenders have not encountered the tough lawyers at Miranda, Magden & Miranda. Our bankruptcy attorneys in Salinas immediately file paperwork to stop foreclosure, lawsuits, and other adverse actions. Then, we tirelessly work to erase some debts and give families the additional time they need to make catch-up payments on other debts. As a result, our clients get the fresh financial start they deserve.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Salinas
The oddly-named “liquidation bankruptcy” eliminates unsecured debts, like credit cards and medical bills. High credit card interest usually creates a snowball effect. As families struggle to pay credit card debt, they fall behind in other areas. Medical bills usually go to aggressive debt-buyers sooner than other kinds of debt. As mentioned above, these moneylenders often use borderline criminal techniques to collect debts.
Chapter 7 probably should not be nicknamed liquidation because most people keep most or all of their assets. With an experienced bankruptcy attorney, the only thing they lose is unsecured debt. California has generous bankruptcy exemption laws that protect things like:
- Motor vehicles,
- Retirement nest eggs, and
- Personal property.
In many cases, debtors can also protect things like in bank accounts and even vacation homes or boats.
If their household income is below the state average, debtors usually qualify for Chapter 7. Truthfully, if their income is much higher, bankruptcy may not be a good idea.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Monterey County
The wage-earner plan works a bit differently. This type of bankruptcy is best for people who can pay their debts, but they cannot pay them straight away, and they need a repayment plan.
Chapter 13 gives families up to five years to catch up on delinquent secured debt, such as home mortgage and auto loan payments. Additionally, Chapter 13 offers some advanced options, such as lien stripping and property redemption, that may make these assets more affordable over the long term. Options like these are only available through a bankruptcy attorney in Salinas.
Additionally, Chapter 13 eliminates most kinds of unsecured debt. That may even include obligations like past-due income taxes.
“Chapter 20” Bankruptcy in California
Under California law, most debtors may convert from Chapter 13 to Chapter 7, or vice versa, with court approval. The conversion option gives a bankruptcy attorney in Salinas additional flexibility.
For example, some people convert from Chapter 13 to Chapter 7 if they cannot maintain the monthly debt consolidation payment. So, these families get their fresh starts sooner. Other debtors convert from Chapter 7 to Chapter 13. This option is a good idea if you are very far behind on secured debt and need more time to catch up.
Reach Out to an Assertive Lawyer
Most families have several available bankruptcy options. For a confidential consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney in Salinas, contact Miranda, Magden & Miranda LLP. Home and after-hours visits are available.