Sylmar Bankruptcy Attorney
Your financial life can be turned upside down in a heartbeat by job loss, divorce, a medical emergency or recent inflation. Bankruptcy may be the right solution to help you get a fresh start and breathe a lot easier.
You’re not alone. Millions of people in the U.S. struggle with debt every day. If you’re at risk of losing your home, your car, you are drowning in debt, or dealing with lawsuits or harassment by creditors, bankruptcy may be a great option for you.
If you are thinking about filing bankruptcy, you need an experienced Sylmar bankruptcy attorney to provide you with solid legal advice. You will have greater peace of mind when you consult a reputable bankruptcy attorney who understands the financial, emotional and psychological toll that debt has on individuals. This will help you make the best decision for your situation. Bankruptcy can be a great path to financial freedom, but it’s an important decision and best to be made with as much knowledge as possible.
With over 25 years of experience representing clients throughout Los Angeles County, our bankruptcy law firm has helped over 8,000 people file for bankruptcy to get a fresh start. Our professional bankruptcy attorney has the experience and skills to provide the right legal advice and services to help you receive the best result.
Contact us today for a free consultation. Attorney Simon will help you decide whether bankruptcy is the right choice, or if another plan for debt-reduction is best for your situation. Our team will walk you through your options for financial relief and be sure to answer all your questions thoroughly.
What Is Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding that can help you eliminate much of your debt and get your finances back on track. If you are behind on mortgage, tax, or car payments, bankruptcy will provide you with a payment plan to catch up on these.
Bankruptcy is mandated under federal law, which means it overrides state law. It can put an end to legal actions filed in state court like lawsuits for back rent, lawsuits for unpaid credit card debt, and also stops garnishments and bank levies.
Most bankruptcies for individuals or married couples fall under two types: Chapter 7, and Chapter 13.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 is a good option for an individual or family that does not qualify for Chapter 7 or is behind on mortgage, car or taxes. A Chapter 13 filing gives you breathing room to catch up on past due payments over 3-5 years.
Chapter 13 stops car repossession, wage garnishments, bank levies and lawsuits, and it allows you to pay back taxes without accruing penalties. It’s often called a “home saver bankruptcy” because it stops the foreclosure process and lets you keep your home.
Some people are hesitant to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy because the repayment plan can sometimes include unsecured debts like credit card bills and personal loans.
Keep in mind the plan is structured so that most of your payments go toward important bills like delinquent house and car payments. An experienced Sylmar Chapter 13 attorney will put together a payment plan that is affordable to you.
As a result, many Chapter 13 filers end up paying pennies on the dollar or nothing at all toward their unsecured debts. It is essential to have an experienced bankruptcy attorney prepare the case, as they will know the best way to keep your payments low. Also, our attorneys deal with the Trustees, Judges and creditors daily so their experiences and relationships help your case proceed smoothly.
Who Can File Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 13 is often better suited for:
- Individuals/married couples who already filed a Chapter 7 case in the prior 8 years
- Individuals/married couples behind on car, mortgage or tax payments
- Individuals/married couples who could possibly lose their assets if they file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy
After your Chapter 13 repayment plan is completed in 3-5 years, your remaining debts will be discharged, meaning you are no longer liable for the debts.
Recent changes to the debt limit allow more people to utilize Chapter 13 now. The total limit for secured and unsecured debt is $2.75 million for individuals. This means many people who would have been forced in to costly Chapter 11 bankruptcies can now file under Chapter 13 instead.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is for individuals or a family who have fallen behind on monthly payments or are having difficulty paying their monthly expenses. Chapter 7 halts garnishments and levies by creditors, and stops harassing calls and lawsuits. The process takes about 90 days from start to finish. It is therefore a very speedy way to eliminate debt.
It is incredibly important that you speak with an experienced Sylmar bankruptcy attorney to make sure Chapter 7 is right for your situation. The proper bankruptcy exemptions must be used to protect all property, including your home and car(s). An experienced Sylmar bankruptcy attorney will help you protect your valuables and work with the Trustee to do so.
Who Can File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Your income must be reviewed to ensure that you pass a “means test” to qualify for a Chapter 7 case. An experienced and knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney should review your income to make sure you qualify. Chapter 7 may be the best option for you if:
- Your household income passes the “means test”
- Your assets, including all real and personal property can be protected by bankruptcy exemptions (an experienced attorney must review all your assets, then use the correct exemptions to protect those assets)
- You owe credit card debt, personal loans, medical bills and old taxes. All these debts can be removed in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
- You are not behind on mortgage or car payments
Facts About Bankruptcy
It’s important to have the facts when making a decision about bankruptcy. Creditors may not tell you the truth about your rights, and may even say that a bankruptcy can’t help you. When attempting to collect on debts, creditors can be incredibly aggressive and intimidating, making it very difficult to tell truth from fiction. Here are some things to know about bankruptcy:
- Bankruptcy has been around for over 2,500 years. Even the Old and New Testaments of the Bible recommend debt forgiveness.
- Financial problems have happened to people for thousands of years. They can happen to anyone. U.S. Federal law has codified modern bankruptcy because of this. It is an important tool meant to help you out of a difficult situation.
- Filing for bankruptcy stops foreclosure on your home and repossession of your car. This gives you room to breathe and catch up on late payments.
- Creditors can no longer contact, harass or collect from you once you have filed for bankruptcy. The bankruptcy “automatic stay” stops collections and gives you room to breathe.
- Filing bankruptcy does not mean you will lose your home, car, or personal belongs. Creditors often try to scare debtors into believing this. This is simply not true. People who file for bankruptcy are often able to keep all their possessions with the assistance of an experienced Sylmar attorney, who will be sure to expertly prepare your case, protect all your assets, and advise what type of case is best for you.
- Your credit score may improve once your debts are wiped out in a bankruptcy. You can then begin work fixing your credit score, because all of your debts will no longer be counting against you. You will most likely be approved for a credit card right after your case has been discharged, and if you work diligently, you could get your credit score up to 700 in a few years.
What is the Cost to File for Bankruptcy?
For Chapter 7: Fees are generally around $1,000 to $1,300 (not including the filing fee and credit report). This fee varies based on how difficult the case is. Payment plans are available; you can start your case for $500.00 and pay the balance of the attorney fees over a few months.
For Chapter 13: The up-front fee starts at $500, depending on the case. Chapter 13 up-front fees can be kept lower for clients because the remaining fees are paid out through the bankruptcy plan payments, made over 3-5 years to the Trustee.
When you use our services, there are no surprise fees or hidden costs. You will get a written statement explaining exactly what you will pay. We work hard to keep costs low, and our fees clear to all our clients. The fee amounts do not change once you retain us to help you.
With 25 years of experience and more than 8,000 cases filed, The Law Offices of Kevin Simon has perfected an exceedingly efficient process for preparing and maintaining bankruptcy cases, all while providing expert customer service. We know you are going through a difficult financial time, and strive to keep costs as low as possible for our clients because of this.
How to Choose the Right Attorney for You
Like any other profession, just because a person is an attorney does not mean they are trustworthy, looking out for your best interest, or even experienced enough to capably handle your case. When choosing an attorney, make sure to remember these helpful hints:
- Ask friends, family, or trusted professionals (accountant, broker, attorney, etc.) for a referral.
- If the attorney does not meet with you, or does not give you more than a few minutes of their time, this could be a major issue in the future.
- Ask for clarification before you sign anything you don’t understand.
- Use the California State Bar website to look up the attorney to see if they have been disciplined. Check to see if they have been sued.
- Having experience in Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy is a must, as bankruptcy laws are very different from other areas of law. Make sure the attorney you are considering does file bankruptcies. Ask to see cases they have filed.
- Spend at least an hour with the attorney before you decide if you’d like to retain them.
- Read reviews and testimonials of the attorney.
- Get a plan of action in writing from the attorney.
- It is important that you find the attorney honest and forthright. If you don’t feel they are being honest, walk away.
Why Choose the Law Firm of Kevin T. Simon?
The Law Offices of Kevin Simon has filed more than 8,000 cases for our clients due to our stellar reputation. We have two and half decades of experience filing bankruptcy cases. Most of our cases come from referrals from family, friends, prior clients, and other professionals. If you ask anyone, we are one of the most trusted top bankruptcy law firms in Los Angeles County.
You need a dedicated, experienced attorney on your side to look out for your best interest and to make sure your case and paperwork is filed correctly. Filing for bankruptcy will put a stop to collection attempts, wage garnishments, foreclosures, and levies. The bankruptcy process is complex, and can be difficult to navigate without the proper assistance.
At the Law Offices of Kevin Simon, we are able to keep costs much lower than our competitors. Our incredibly efficient system, refined over 25 years, benefits you the client. We will be here to help you every step of the way by answering all questions, and providing you with the best legal protection you need throughout the bankruptcy process.
You can call, text, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Sylmar bankruptcy lawyer today. The Law Offices of Kevin Simon represents clients in Sylmar, Woodland Hills, Van Nuys, Valencia, Santa Clarita, Simi Valley, Burbank, Canoga Park, Lancaster, and cities throughout Los Angeles County.