Winnetka Bankruptcy Attorney
Are creditors calling you nonstop? Are you drowning in credit card debt? Are you worried some of your most valued possessions will be taken away? If you're struggling with debt and are having a hard time seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, bankruptcy may be the answer.
Bankruptcy is a legal process that can help you eliminate many kinds of debt. It is over 2,500 years old and has helped millions of people get out of "debtor's prison" and get the second chance they deserve.
If you have thought about bankruptcy as an option, you need an experienced attorney to help guide you through the complex process of filing. Look for a Winnetka bankruptcy attorney who understands the ins and outs of bankruptcy code and the specifications of bankruptcy law in California.
Rest assured, you don’t have to worry about losing your home, car, and belongings when filing for bankruptcy. People who work with our Winnetka bankruptcy attorney keep all their property and integrity. Bankruptcy is not a dirty word. It’s a way to protect your assets, eliminate debts and get a fresh start.
Winnetka bankruptcy attorney, Kevin Simon, recognizes the importance of being open and honest with you about bankruptcy. With over 25 years of experience helping Winnetka clients successfully navigate the bankruptcy process, we’ve helped more than 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 big decision and not one you should have to make on your own. Our experienced bankruptcy attorney 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
Many 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.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy has the ability to prevent lawsuits, wage garnishments, bank levies, and old taxes. Our experienced Winnetka bankruptcy attorney will help you determine if you qualify for Chapter 7 and whether it is the option that makes the most sense for you.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 is a good option if filing for Chapter 7 doesn’t make sense legally or 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 Winnetka 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, old taxes, 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
Most people wouldn’t view bankruptcy as an advantage. these two words together on their own. However, upon closer inspection, those struggling with debt will find bankruptcy offers a refuge from the stress of financial struggles.
The biggest 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.
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.
If, like most people, you are looking for ways to keep your home, filing for bankruptcy can help you achieve that goal. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is meant to help protect your place of residence from being taken — even if you are behind on payments. If you keep your house after filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy, having your other debts discharged should make paying your mortgage much more feasible.
One of the worst parts of having debt problems is being harassed by creditors. The non-stop calls and scare tactics can quickly take a toll. According to United States bankruptcy law, a debtor who has declared bankruptcy is immediately granted automatic stay. This means that creditors must halt all attempts to collect debts.
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 adjustments to 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.
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.
Our team of experienced Winnetka bankruptcy attorneys have seen what bankruptcy can do for struggling individuals firsthand. It will serve you well to believe in the power of pushing the reset button.
Filing for bankruptcy doesn't have to be expensive. Our 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 Winnetka Bankruptcy Attorney
Once you’ve come to terms with the fact that filing for bankruptcy is the best option, you’ll need to find the right person for the job. Be wary of the fact that not all bankruptcy attorneys are equally qualified or compassionate. Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re conducting a Winnetka bankruptcy attorney search.
It is critical 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. You’ll begin by searching 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 Winnetka 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.
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.
Bankruptcy laws are complex. 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 Winnetka 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 Winnetka bankruptcy lawyers.
Call, text, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Winnetka bankruptcy lawyer. The Law Offices of Kevin Simon represents clients in Winnetka, San Fernando, Calabasas, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, and many other nearby cities.