Over 36 Years representing clients with Bankruptcy in Orange County
Bankruptcy Attorney Orange County Blog

Bounce Back with a Bankruptcy


You know how that old horror story goes -- it's 2020.  Job prospects are at zero but credit card balances are far from that.  Electric bills are through the roof because of a never-ending heat wave.  Landlords are patiently waiting for eviction moratoriums to expire because people just aren't paying rent.

For some, unemployment provides brief but necessary respite from creditors.  But what happens when jobs come back, and unemployment benefits disappear without taking all of those bills with them?

It is time to bury bankruptcy taboo, for good.  Long, long gone are the days of "debtor's prisons" and "poorhouses" -- mechanisms for shaming people who could not pay their bills. United States bankruptcy laws were enacted to eliminate those methods and protect those who are earning, and spending, but had a run of bad luck -- a medical issue; a divorce; a business venture that did not work out; a pandemic.  

We, as Californians, have had little control over what happened to us, and our state, this year.  The COVID-19 pandemic laughed at our collective efforts to work hard and earn income, and the recent fires (among other culprits) have destroyed homes and businesses across our beautiful state.  

None of this was your fault.  You worked hard, you filled out the paperwork, you hunkered down and tried to figure out what to do next.  What you can do now, though, is think about seeking federal bankruptcy protections, which the United States Constitution instructs Congress to enact for this very reason.


It is time to realize that a bankruptcy discharge -- not stringing yourself along on unemployment benefits -- is the way out of this nightmare.

For when it comes to bankruptcy, "F" does not mean failure.  In bankruptcy, "F" means Fresh Start. 


In a typical Chapter 7 bankruptcy, unsecured debts -- such as credit card debt -- are discharged. In other words, personal obligations to repay those unsecured debts are removed. If relocation (due to non-payment of rent or mortgage) is required, bankruptcy protections may include a homestead exemption that may be applied to a new home for you and your family. In this way, a fresh start in bankruptcy feels like fresh sheets -- a clean break from last week, last month, or even last year

My office provides free half hour, virtual consultations, during which we consider a potential client's assets and liabilities to see if bankruptcy is a viable option. If it is, a bankruptcy attorney will work to assist in every step of the bankruptcy process -- which typically lasts for just a few months. That means, by early 2021, you could wake up from this nightmare with something unemployment benefits are hard-pressed to provide -- a "reset" button on your finances.  

Start the next decade with no debt. We can only go up from here.  

Leah Michele Kaufman, Esq. is a Bankruptcy and business litigation attorney at Kaufman & Kaufman in Santa Ana, California. She practices with her father and mentor, Leslie Keith Kaufman, Esq.

Disclaimer. The content of this article is not legal advice, nor legal opinion, and should not be relied upon for individual situations. Legal counsel should be consulted for legal planning and advice. No lawyer-client relationship with Kaufman & Kaufman will be formed, and no information you want to keep confidential should be disclosed - through e-mail links or otherwise - to Kaufman & Kaufman, until the firm has conducted a "conflicts check" and you and the firm have signed a retainer agreement or an engagement letter.

Kaufman & Kaufman is a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code, in the Central District of California. Kaufman & Kaufman does not practice or offer legal services in jurisdictions where firm lawyers are not licensed.

Questions about this article should be directed to Kaufman & Kaufman in writing. 

Click Here for more 

 

Archive Newer | Older

TODAY IS THE NINTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE NEW BANKRUPTCY LAW WHAT HAS CHANGED.
 
The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA), took effect nine years ago today, on October 17,2005. This "New Bankruptcy Law" (lawyers call something "new" until
something newer comes along) was finally enacted after almost a decade of wending back and forth through Congress, and was designed to make it more difficult to file a Chapter 7 [Liquidation] Bankruptcy case. The new law was intended to "force" more debtors to file under Chapter 13 [Wage-Earner "reorganization" plan]
instead of Chapter 7.

The stated purpose of BAPCPA was to curb perceived abuses of then-existing bankruptcy law, in which some legislators perceived that filing a Bankruptcy Petition under Chapter 7 of the old law
was "too easy" and was "abused" by debtors. The abuses perceived by Congress were mostly anecdotal, with
mention of selected cases where a debtor was able to keep certain assets which, in isolated circumstances, seemed to be unscrupulous. It is likely that many of these reported "abuses" under existing law were simply cases where debtors applied the exemptionlaws of their state of residence to their legal advantage --
similar to reducing one's taxes by careful tax planning -- not illegal at all; but when viewed in a way detached from the whole story looks like an "abuse".

The new law did make it more difficult, and time-consuming, and costly, to file a Chapter 7 case -- requiring higher filing fees, much more added documentation, two mandatory classes (one pre-filing, one post-filing), and the dreaded Means Test. In addition, and perhaps the most-ominous part of the new law to many
attorneys, the law requires an attorney's certification -- that by signing the Petition as counsel of record -- the attorney certifies that they have conducted a reasonable investigation of their
clients' filings.
BAPCPA also extend the time between allowed Chapter 7 discharges from six to eight years; and bankruptcy filings are now subject to random, and not-so-random, audits. However, in my experience, the new law did not preclude the vast majority of debtors who need to be in Chapter 7 from filing Chapter 7. Although the law has indeed changed, and bankruptcy is in fact more difficult to file than before BAPCPA; filling bankruptcy still
offers a safety net or "last resort" to those people who find themselves overwhelmed by debt and in need of the protection of the Bankruptcy Court. And, in comparison to most of the other alternatives available, bankruptcy is a relatively-inexpensive option. Those who need to file, can still file.
Les Kaufman of The Law Offices of Kaufman & Kaufman has been assisting debtors file for bankruptcy protection since 1983.
kaufman-kaufman.com
714-550-9305
800-9KAUFMAN
link 

TODAY IS THE NINTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE NEW BANKRUPTCY LAW WHAT HAS CHANGED.
 
The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA), took effect nine years ago today, on October 17,2005. This "New Bankruptcy Law" (lawyers call something "new" until
something newer comes along) was finally enacted after almost a decade of wending back and forth through Congress, and was designed to make it more difficult to file a Chapter 7 [Liquidation] Bankruptcy case. The new law was intended to "force" more debtors to file under Chapter 13 [Wage-Earner "reorganization" plan]
instead of Chapter 7.

The stated purpose of BAPCPA was to curb perceived abuses of then-existing bankruptcy law, in which some legislators perceived that filing a Bankruptcy Petition under Chapter 7 of the old law
was "too easy" and was "abused" by debtors. The abuses perceived by Congress were mostly anecdotal, with
mention of selected cases where a debtor was able to keep certain assets which, in isolated circumstances, seemed to be unscrupulous. It is likely that many of these reported "abuses" under existing law were simply cases where debtors applied the exemptionlaws of their state of residence to their legal advantage --
similar to reducing one's taxes by careful tax planning -- not illegal at all; but when viewed in a way detached from the whole story looks like an "abuse".

The new law did make it more difficult, and time-consuming, and costly, to file a Chapter 7 case -- requiring higher filing fees, much more added documentation, two mandatory classes (one pre-filing, one post-filing), and the dreaded Means Test. In addition, and perhaps the most-ominous part of the new law to many
attorneys, the law requires an attorney's certification -- that by signing the Petition as counsel of record -- the attorney certifies that they have conducted a reasonable investigation of their
clients' filings.
BAPCPA also extend the time between allowed Chapter 7 discharges from six to eight years; and bankruptcy filings are now subject to random, and not-so-random, audits. However, in my experience, the new law did not preclude the vast majority of debtors who need to be in Chapter 7 from filing Chapter 7. Although the law has indeed changed, and bankruptcy is in fact more difficult to file than before BAPCPA; filling bankruptcy still
offers a safety net or "last resort" to those people who find themselves overwhelmed by debt and in need of the protection of the Bankruptcy Court. And, in comparison to most of the other alternatives available, bankruptcy is a relatively-inexpensive option. Those who need to file, can still file.
Les Kaufman of The Law Offices of Kaufman & Kaufman has been assisting debtors file for bankruptcy protection since 1983.
kaufman-kaufman.com
714-550-9305
800-9KAUFMAN
link 


Archive Newer | Older