Category Archives: Bankruptcy Basics

5 Signs That You Should Wait to File Bankruptcy

A few years ago, I wrote an article called 5 Signs That It May Be Time to File Bankruptcy.  It proved to be very popular and a number of my colleagues requested permission to use in on their websites.  There are also instances when the timing of a bankruptcy filing is nearly as important as the…

Bankruptcy, Discharged Debt and 1099 Forms

In January and February of each year, employers, lenders and businesses send out tax forms to people that need them to file their tax returns.  You might receive receive a W-2 form showing how much money you earned from a job or maybe a 1098 form sent by your mortgage lender to show how much…

Can’t Afford Attorney Fees? You Might Have Legal Insurance.

One of the hardest things facing someone who needs to file for bankruptcy is figuring out how to pay for legal fees.  Sometimes people will pay their bankruptcy fees with a tax refund.  Some people save up the money that was going toward credit card minimum payments.  For still others, they might have access to…

The Bankruptcy Automatic Stay

One of the most important important reasons people file for bankruptcy is the automatic stay.  Think of the automatic as a federal court order that prohibits of any attempts by creditors to contact you or to collect a debt.  It goes into effect the moment your bankruptcy petition is filed with the court, thus it…

Getting Back Garnished Wages

Sometimes a client waits to see me until after a creditor has obtained a judgment and is having money taken out of the client’s paycheck.  Although I always want to file a bankruptcy before a client receives notice of a wage garnishment, it may be possible to get some of the money back after the…

Removing a Judgment Lien in Bankruptcy

Judgment creditors will often place a lien on the judgment debtor’s home as one of the first steps taken to collect the judgment.  In California, the creditor creates the lien by recording an Abstract of Judgment at the county recorder’s office.  Although lawsuits and having a lien placed on your home are serious matters, bankruptcy…

Should My Wife File For Bankruptcy Too?

Question:  I live in California and have a lot of debt from when my business failed,  My wife wasn’t really involved in the business and we want to protect her credit rating. Does she have to file for bankruptcy with me if I file? Answer: The general rule is that the bankruptcy discharge only protects…

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…