Author Archives: Carl Starrett

Carl Starrett is a consumer bankruptcy attorney in San Diego, California helping debtors file for protection under Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy – How Long Does It Last?

One of the most common questions is I get about Chapter 7 bankruptcy is how long the process takes. In my experience, clients spend more time worrying about the decision to file bankruptcy and gathering the necessary paperwork than the time actually spent in bankruptcy. Once a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is filed, it moves…

Banks to Avoid When Filing Bankruptcy

Debtors who have decided to file for bankruptcy should plan ahead to be ready for the short term consequences that might result. For some debtors, pre-bankruptcy planning may include closing bank accounts and moving their money to a different financial institution. Reasons to switch to a different bank or credit union include: Avoiding having your…

Enforcing a Bankruptcy Discharge Order

So your bankruptcy is over and you have your discharge order, but there is a creditor that just won’t leave you alone.  What happens now?  You need to go back to court to enforce the discharge order. In the recent case of Barrientos v. Wells Fargo Bank, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that…

Bankruptcy Basics: The Discharge Order

The main reasons that people file bankruptcy are to stop creditor harassment and get rid of their debts.  For individual debtors, the normal conclusion of a successful bankruptcy results in the entry of a discharge order.  But what exactly is a discharge order? A bankruptcy discharge is a federal court order that prohibits the collection…

Debt Consolidation vs. Bankruptcy

Dave Ramsey is right when he says that debt consolidation is “nothing for than a con” that addresses the symptoms and not the disease.  However, he misses that mark when he says that bankruptcy is an evil to be avoided. When Congress amended the Bankruptcy Code in 2005, it added a provision requiring debtors to…

Getting Rid of Tax Debts Through Bankruptcy

“You can’t get rid of taxes in bankruptcy.” True or false? A lot of people, even many bankruptcy attorneys, believe that taxes cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.  There are many tax debts that do survive bankruptcy such as “trust fund” taxes (i.e. taxes withheld from an employee’s paycheck).  However, some income taxes can be discharged…

Rebuilding Your Credit After Bankruptcy

I find that people with large amounts of debt are often too obsessed with their credit score. Your credit score will not buy your groceries and I doubt that companies such as General Motors, Texaco or United Airlines gave much thought to their respective credit ratings when they filed for bankruptcy. Nonetheless, your credit history…

Stopping Creditor Harassment

Under the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), creditors cannot “harass, oppress, or abuse any person in connection with the collection of a debt”.  Common examples of illegal harassment are: The use or threat of use of violence or other criminal means to harm the physical person, reputation, or property of any person. The…

Understanding Bankruptcy Basics

What Kinds of Bankruptcy Are There? There are two main types of consumer bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 11 is mainly for large companies like Chrysler and General Motors and for individuals who have too much debt to qualify for Chapter 13.  Chapter 12 applies to family farmers. Chapter 7 is what comes…

Putting Your Tax Refund To Good Use

December is traditionally a slow month for bankruptcy attorneys.  I have always assumed that this is because people want to “have a good Christmas” or not face their bill problems.  January on the other hand tends to be very busy, which is not surprising because getting out of debt often pops up on lists of…