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Law Office of James Keenan

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Facts about Bankruptcy in California

Although bankruptcy is governed by Federal law, exemptions of assets you may keep in California may vary to other States' exemptions. So, just because someone you know from another State says this or that applies, doesn't necessarily mean the same rules and conditions apply here in California. So the first step to take when considering bankruptcy is to get a good, experienced attorney who is skilled in bankruptcy here in California. Bankruptcy is a very specialized, and complex, area of law, with severe penalties if done wrong. This is not a job for an inexperienced person.

Should I file for bankruptcy?

There are many issues in your life if you are asking this question and it's important to speak to someone experienced who can help guide you to the correct decision. Bankrupty is a big step, but, on the other hand, the relief that filing bankruptcy gives can be substantial.

When you talk with us, we will advise you one the best course of action for your unique situation. There are different bankruptcy options, and these affect you and your financial situation in different ways.

Types of Bankruptcy

 We specialize in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The names are derived from the chapter of the Federal Bankruptcy Code which they apply to.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common form of bankruptcy for individuals. It is called a "Liquidation Bankruptcy" as the court sells your assets to obtain cash to pay off your debts. Normally, all assets can be protected or exempted..

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is called a "Reorganizing Bankruptcy" because the debtor keeps all their assets and makes repayments to their creditors over a 3-5 year period. There are limits to the amount of debt which can be cover by a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

How long does a bankruptcy case take?

The length of the case is dependent on which type of bankruptcy you choose. In a Chapter 7, debts could be discharged in as little as 3-4 months. A Chapter 13, because of its payment plan setup, can take as long as 5 years.

What is an Automatic Stay, and how does it work?

When you file for bankruptcy protection, the Federal Court issues a notice of automatic stay which prevents creditors from chasing debts you owe them.

Read more about bankruptcy on our Bankruptcy FAQ page >>

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