El Monte Bankruptcy Attorney
Life is stressful enough without having to worry about creditors calling you all day, threatening to sue you, and garnishing your income or levying your bank account. You deserve to be able to go about your day without wondering how you are going to pay your credit card bills or pay your mortgage. The good news is that you don't have to keep living this way.
Getting a fresh financial start is a very real possibility thanks to bankruptcy. A legal process that can help you eliminate many kinds of debt, bankruptcy is over 2,500 years old and has helped millions of people break free from debilitating financial struggles.
If you’ve considered bankruptcy as an option, the next step is finding an experienced attorney to help guide you through the complex process of filing. Look for an El Monte bankruptcy attorney who has the experience and the legal expertise to successfully navigate you through the bankruptcy case to completion in the Central District of California. With a decision as big as this, you want to make sure you choose a bankruptcy attorney with an outstanding reputation in the community and a track record of success.
Take comfort in knowing you will no longer have to worry about your home, car, and belongings once you file for bankruptcy. People who work with our El Monte bankruptcy attorney keep all their property and integrity. Bankruptcy doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds. It is your path to financial freedom, acting as a way to protect your assets, eliminate debts and get a fresh start.
El Monte bankruptcy attorney, Kevin Simon, is committed to being open and honest with you about bankruptcy. With over 25 years of experience helping El Monte clients successfully navigate the bankruptcy process, we’ve helped over 8,000 clients get their finances back on track, and we're ready to help you. Contact us for a free consultation to learn about all your debt-relief options.
What Is Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding under federal law that can eliminate many kinds of debt. It is a protection and under federal law that is a realistic and resourceful option for many of those who are struggling financially.
Filing for bankruptcy is a major decision and one that requires professional advice and guidance. When you choose to work with our experienced El Monte attorney, you will never feel alone. Our dedicated team will outline your debt-relief options and help determine whether bankruptcy is the right solution for you. Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy are the two most common types of bankruptcy filed by individuals, couples, and families.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
The majority of people opt to file for Chapter 7 because it can eliminate debts without having to repay anything to unsecured creditors. With a process that takes approximately 90 days, Chapter 7 is also the fastest path through bankruptcy. Additionally, Chapter 7 is relatively inexpensive compared to other types of bankruptcy. There’s typically no payment to creditors and attorney’s fees are likely to be less.
Most Chapter 7 cases are referred to as “no asset” cases, which means there is no liquidation of ANY of the debtor’s property. This is typically because most of the debtor’s assets are either exempt or of inconsequential value, which means liquidating them wouldn’t bring any worthwhile payout to creditors.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is capable of preventing lawsuits, wage garnishments, and bank levies. Our experienced El Monte bankruptcy attorney will help you determine if you qualify for Chapter 7 and whether it is the option that best fits your personal financial situation.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 is a good option if you do not qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy due to high income. For those who have filed a Chapter 7 within the last eight years, Chapter 13 can be the perfect alternative.
Chapter 13 gives you the extra time and space you deserve to catch up on overdue payments. Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to repay your debts over a period of three to five years. It also presses the pause button on the foreclosure process, allowing you to save your home. Additionally, wage garnishments, bank levies, and all lawsuits are put on hold.
Once you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a trustee will be assigned to your case. Our El Monte bankruptcy attorney will work with the trustee to set up a repayment plan and ensure the monthly amounts due are affordable.
Chapter 13 repayment plans include unsecured debt like credit card bills, personal loans, and medical payments. Depending on your income and expenses, you may not be required to pay these debts at all. In fact, many Chapter 13 filers end up paying nothing or pennies on the dollar for their unsecured debts. The only requirement is repaying secured debt like a mortgage or car payments.
Most remaining debts will be discharged once your Chapter 13 repayment plan is complete. Your credit should reach 700 within two years time, giving you the fresh start you’ve been looking to achieve.
Note: In June 2022, the debt limit was increased to $2.75 million for individuals filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Both secured and unsecured debt now count toward the single limit. These changes make Chapter 13 accessible to more people.
Advantages of Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy is a financial decision--but also an emotional and psychological one. Many people file for bankruptcy after an unexpected event causes them to go into debt, such as divorce, job loss, inflation, or illness.
Although most people are afraid to consider bankruptcy as an option, those struggling with debt will be happy to discover that bankruptcy offers a refuge from the stress of financial struggles.
Some people file when they are $5,000, $10,000, or $500,000 in debt. There is no specific dollar amount that dictates when a person should file; it is up to each individual. Also, it does not matter if an individual is current with their debt payments or has not made a payment in years.
No matter what your financial struggles may be, our El Monte bankruptcy attorney believes you deserve a fresh start. Bankruptcy may be the right option if you want to eliminate or stop:
- Credit card debt, old taxes, personal loans, and personal guarantees.
- Lawsuits, wage garnishments, and bank levies.
- Harassing creditor calls.
- Car repossession and foreclosure of your home.
Some debts cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, so you should speak with an experienced Santa Clarita bankruptcy attorney to determine if filing is right for you.
Bankruptcy Can Help Fix Your Financial Woes
The greatest advantage of bankruptcy is the opportunity to discharge the majority of your unsecured debt. The court will typically grant a discharge as soon as possible. Chapter 7 bankruptcies generally take about four months from the time the bankruptcy petition is filed, while a Chapter 13 bankruptcy discharge is issued after the debtor completes all payments under the plan.
In addition, filing for bankruptcy can help put an end to the harassment of creditors with their non-stop calls and scare tactics. According to United States bankruptcy law, a debtor who has declared bankruptcy is immediately granted an automatic stay. This means that creditors must halt all attempts to collect debts and lawsuits.
Bankruptcy also takes life’s circumstantial changes into account. So if you lose your job or suffer an injury, the bankruptcy system offers the advantage of being able to request a repayment plan of your secured claims. Secured claims are claims for debts that are secured by an interest in property. A secured creditor can take that property, the collateral, if you default on the debt. So, having the ability to make changes is very important.
Another appealing part of bankruptcy is knowing there are NO tax consequences related to the discharged debt. Compare that to other forms of debt forgiveness where the IRS might claim the amount of debt that was forgiven was income and attempt to tax you on that amount.
These advantages allow you to experience a second chance that is free of financial hardships and judgments. Bankruptcy is not a bad word and neither are the people who file for it.
How Bankruptcy Affects Credit Scores
The length of time it takes to repair a credit score after filing for bankruptcy can vary depending on several factors, including the type of bankruptcy filed and the individual’s credit history prior to filing. However, it typically takes a significant amount of time and effort to repair credit after bankruptcy.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will stay on an individual’s credit report for 10 years, and a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will stay on for 7 years. The longer the bankruptcy is on the credit report, the more it will weigh on the credit score.
That being said, it’s important to note that even though the bankruptcy will be on the credit report for several years, it will not necessarily take that long to rebuild credit. Many individuals can start to rebuild their credit soon after filing for bankruptcy by securing new credit, making payments on time, and keeping balances low. It’s always a good idea to work with a credit counselor or financial advisor who can provide professional guidance for the most effective ways to rebuild your credit.
Although rebuilding credit after bankruptcy can take time, the benefit of having a fresh financial start makes it worthwhile.
Affordable Bankruptcy Attorneys
Filing for bankruptcy doesn't have to be expensive. Our El Monte bankruptcy law firm strives to keep costs low. We have developed an extremely efficient process for bankruptcy filing based on 25 years of experience and more than 8,000 cases filed.
The fees for Chapter 7 vary based upon the complexity of the case, but a typical case is $1,000.00 to $1,300.00, not including the filing fee and credit report. You can also set up payment plans.
The up-front fees for Chapter 13 range from $500 up, depending on the case. The balance of the fees is paid through monthly plan payments to the trustee. You will pay the fees over a period of 36 to 60 months.
Our law firm offers a transparent fee structure, and we will provide you with a written statement outlining what you will pay; this amount will not change once you retain us.
Choosing the Right El Monte Bankruptcy Attorney
Once you’ve determined that filing for bankruptcy is the best option, you’ll need to find the right person for the job. Remember that not all bankruptcy attorneys are equally qualified or compassionate. Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re conducting a search for the right El Monte bankruptcy attorney.
It is extremely important to have an attorney who specializes in bankruptcy. Though the last major revision to bankruptcy law was passed in 2005, interpretations of the law are constant so you’ll want someone who knows exactly what they’re doing. Just because a person has the word "attorney" attached to their name does not mean they are experienced or can be trusted to look out for your best interest. Unfortunately, there are people who look to profit from other’s financial struggles.
That’s why it’s important to do your due diligence and search for qualified bankruptcy attorneys in your area. Once you’ve compiled a decent list of names, you’ll want to start vetting them. Read up on their online reviews, take a look at their qualifications, and then schedule calls with your top choices in order to get a better feel for their philosophies, working style, and personality.
When you get the chance to talk with your potential El Monte bankruptcy attorney, you want to ask the questions that matter most. Think of it as an interview, as this person will have the responsibility of protecting your assets and personal belongings, which is an extremely important responsibility.
Bankruptcy laws are complicated, which is why you need someone who specializes in bankruptcy law and understands how it pertains to the Central District of California. An inexperienced attorney may not have the skills or knowledge to properly protect your assets. If they fail to disclose all the required information on your bankruptcy forms, your case could be dismissed.
Here's how to protect yourself when choosing an attorney:
Make sure they have experience in Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy and ask to see court dockets or cases they have filed. Meet with the attorney for at least one hour before deciding to retain them. If the attorney refuses to meet with you or only spends a few minutes with you, move on; this is a red flag for future problems.
Ask family, friends, or other trusted professionals for a referral. Check the California State Bar website to see if the attorney has been disciplined or sued.
Always get a plan of action in writing and ask the attorney to explain anything that is unclear or confusing. Never sign anything you don't understand.
You have the right to leave and find another attorney if you feel uncomfortable for any reason.
Why Choose the Law Firm of Kevin T. Simon?
Our El Monte bankruptcy attorneys and staff have decades of experience managing bankruptcy cases. We have filed more than 8,000 cases for our clients..
We treat our clients with respect, dignity, and honesty. It's why 80% of our clients are referrals from family, friends, and other professionals. We offer big-firm expertise at low rates, thanks to an extremely efficient system refined over 25 years as El Monte bankruptcy lawyers.
Call, text, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with an experienced El Monte bankruptcy lawyer. The Law Offices of Kevin Simon represents clients in El Monte, Reseda, Los Angeles, West Hollywood, and many other cities throughout California.