Everyone wants to have a debt-free life. As we grow older, we all want to experience financial freedom. For bankrupt individuals who are struggling with debt, all they want to do is to pay back all their debts to have a fresh start.
A person who is unable to pay back any outstanding debts to creditors may opt to file bankruptcy as the last resort to solve debt problems. Filing bankruptcy will allow you to reorganize your finances, pursue debt settlement, and pay off a creditor.
Bankruptcy laws vary from state-to-state. In California, there are certain guidelines that you need to follow when declaring bankruptcy. You need to know where to obtain the official bankruptcy forms, how to pass California means test, which agency to take credit counseling sessions from, how to protect your assets, and where to find the nearest local bankruptcy court. A credible Upland bankruptcy attorneycan guide you throughout the bankruptcy process.
The bankruptcy filing requires complete and detailed paperwork. You must download and fill out the free official bankruptcy forms from the website of the United States Courts. You must disclose everything that you own and how much you owe to your creditor. You are expected to voluntarily declare your finances in detail including your bank account records, credit card bills, living expenses, monthly income, assets, liabilities, debts, and all financial records on your bankruptcy form. Once you complete all the requirements, you may file the bankruptcy case in the local bankruptcy court in California and pay the processing fee.
When you file bankruptcy Chapter 7 or 13, you must undergo the “bankruptcy means test”. This test is done to check if you will qualify for the bankruptcy chapter that you will file. If the income of your family falls below the median income of California, it means that you pass the means test. On the other hand, if the income of your family exceeds the median income, you may still be qualified to pass the means test after you deduct the particular expenses.
You are required to undergo credit counseling sessions before you file bankruptcy and debt management courses after bankruptcy. You may take these sessions from one of the accredited credit counseling agencies in California.
Declaring bankruptcy does not mean that you will lose everything that you own; however, not all your assets can be fully protected from liquidation. In California, there are bankruptcy exemption rules that determine the properties and assets that you can protect when you decide to file bankruptcy. On the other hand, some assets cannot be protected and these are categorized under non-exempt property. If you will choose to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your appointed bankruptcy trustee will liquidate your nonexempt assets to pay off your debts from your creditor. These rules will also help you calculate the amount that you need to repay to your creditors when you file bankruptcy Chapter 13. In this chapter, you will be allowed to keep your nonexempt assets, but you need to pay back the equal value of your property to your creditors. An Upland bankruptcy lawyer can help you understand these exemption rules, if not the whole bankruptcy procedure.
California has four bankruptcy courts and each location serves a particular geographical area. The state is divided into four districts: eastern, northern, central, and southern districts. The Eastern District covers Bakersfield, Fresno, Modesto, and Sacramento; while the Northern District includes Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose, and Santa Rosa. On the other hand, the Central District comprises Los Angeles, Riverside, Santa Ana, Santa Barbara, and San Fernando Valley; while the Southern District covers San Diego.
You may refer to the website of each office to know more about the address and timings of the court, required fees and local forms, paperwork filing with the court clerk, details about bankruptcy trustees, and 341 meetings of creditors.
Filing for bankruptcy entails hard work and effort. It is a progressive process that will help you solve your financial problems one step at a time. Debt repayment and reorganization of your finances shall be your priority. You must be familiar with the bankruptcy laws implemented in your state to avoid unnecessary errors and penalties in your bankruptcy filing. You have to ensure that all the personal and financial information that you will declare is true and accurate. It is advisable to consult with one of our experienced Upland bankruptcy lawyers at the Law Offices of Marc Grossman to guide you on how to file a bankruptcy systematically. Our competent attorneys will help you become successful as you start over and recover from your financial losses from being bankrupt.