Bankruptcy Attorney Watsonville
The reason why the government permits bankruptcy is that even people who have insurmountable debt could learn the error of their ways and become contributing and productive members of society. At the law firm of Miranda, Magden & Miranda, LLP, in California, our experienced attorneys specialize in Chapter 7 bankruptcy and can guide you throughout the entire bankruptcy process. If you have yet to speak to a bankruptcy attorney in Watsonville about your specific situation, here’s a primer on Chapter 7 bankruptcy to get you started.
What Happens in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
The court will appoint a bankruptcy trustee to manage your case. Among the most important duties of a trustee is to sell your assets and use the proceeds of the sale to pay your creditors. You are, however, allowed to keep some, or all, of your property. These exemptions could refer to either state or federal statutes, and in some cases, debtors can choose which set of exemptions would benefit them most. Examples of property that is exempt from seizure can include:
- Your home or residence
- Your vehicle
- Any property that you need for work or earning a living
- Certain retirement accounts
- Wildcard assets up to a certain value
It’s important to note that everyone is entitled to retirement account exemptions, even if they should accept the exemption list in their state and their state does not allow retirement account exemptions.
Preparing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
You will need to gather your financial records, which can include all your bank statements, pay stubs, loan documents, and credit card statements. You will use these records to complete your Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, statement of financial affairs, schedules, and other paperwork that you must submit to the local bankruptcy court. These records are crucial because they will show the court all your debts, property, expenses, and income.
The Means Testing
When filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you should likewise pass the means test. This test calculates whether you have the means to at least pay off a significant amount of your debts. In the event that you fail to pass the means test, you may still be able to file for a Chapter 7 but only under specialized exceptions. The test will essentially compare the debtor’s income with the state’s median income and then compare the debtor’s expenses to local standards, which is what people in the area usually spend for similar expenses.
The Credit Counseling Requirement
In a credit counseling course, which you’ll need to complete before filing for bankruptcy, you will find out about other options that you can consider before resorting to bankruptcy. You can attend this course in person, by telephone, or online. You can check the website of the Department of Justice (DOJ) for a list of credit counseling courses in your area. We provide access to these required courses during the process of your bankruptcy.
Consult with a Watsonville Bankruptcy Attorney Now
You don’t have to let your debt control your life. You need to take control of your finances now to prevent further harm to your finances. Let the experienced bankruptcy lawyers of Miranda, Magden & Miranda, LLP, help you with your case. Call us or schedule a consultation via our online form if you want to learn more about bankruptcy or would like to talk to a bankruptcy attorney in Watsonville about your case.