Monterey County Bankruptcy Attorneys
Bankruptcy is extremely complex, and the help of an experienced attorney with experience in bankruptcy law will be beneficial for those individuals who are considering filing for bankruptcy. Never hesitate to contact Monterey County bankruptcy attorneys for help.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy is governed by Title 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. It is the legal process that provides relief to individuals who owe debts, known as debtors, that they are unable to pay. The bankruptcy process may also provides payments to creditors.
Once an individual files a petition for Chapter 7 bankruptcy with the federal bankruptcy court, an automatic stay is issued by the court. The automatic stay stops all creditors listed in the petition from attempting to collect on debts until the court lifts the stay.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common form of bankruptcy filed by individuals. Also known as liquidation bankruptcy, it is the process by which the bankruptcy court sells your unexempt assets and property, if any, for cash. Any cash generated from the sales is then provided as payment for debts to the individual’s creditors.
Not all (sometimes, any) of a debtor’s assets will be sold to pay off creditors, many assets can be exempt from liquidation. California requires that its residences filing for bankruptcy follow state exemption laws. Assets that are exempt from liquidation are those that are needed for the debtor to continue supporting and maintaining himself, including:
- A home (up to a limit)
- Personal items
- Personal injury awards necessary for support
- Other assets necessary for support
Once you file for bankruptcy and the court determines you are unable to pay your debts and sells non-exempt assets to pay creditors, the debtor’s remaining debts are discharged. This releases the debtor from personal responsibility for certain debts and prohibits creditors from continuing collection efforts.
Some debts cannot be discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. These debts include:
- Child support
- Spousal support
- Any damages owed for personal injury actions in which the debtor caused injury to another as a result of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Fines and penalties owed to government agencies.
Steps Involved in a Bankruptcy Proceeding
To initiate a bankruptcy proceeding, the debtor’s attorney will gather and complete necessary documents such as the petition, the schedule listing assets, income tax returns, pay stubs, and a list of creditors.
The debtor will complete credit counseling and file necessary documents with the court. This can be done by the debtor’s bankruptcy attorney, who will file the documents in the federal court in the appropriate district. A bankruptcy trustee will sell non-exempt assets and pay creditors who are of the highest priority. Lastly, the debtor will complete a bankruptcy course and file the certificate of completion with the court. Upon completion of these steps, a debtor’s remaining debts will be discharged.
Call A Monterey County Bankruptcy Attorney
If you need help navigating the complex process that is Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the attorneys at Miranda, Magden, & Miranda, LLP can help. Our attorneys understand the specialized law of bankruptcy and will offer professional advice based on your circumstances. Schedule a consultation by visiting our website today.