An Overview of Bankruptcy
The Bankruptcy Process in Orange County, CA
The term "bankruptcy" carries with it many negative connotations. Unfortunately, this causes many people to turn away from this option. In reality, bankruptcy may be an acceptable option to remediate the debts that are overwhelming you. Bankruptcy is not the right option for everyone, which is why our Orange County bankruptcy lawyers are so adamant about providing legal counsel in order to determine the right option for each of our clients. People are faced with the option of bankruptcy after not being able to handle their debts after a considerable amount of time.
In this struggling economy, there are many legitimate reasons why you and your family might be struggling to make ends meet. There may have been a loss of employment, a serious injury or other major change in life circumstances. If this has happened to you, The Law Office of Bruce C. Bridgman is here to assist you. Having a bankruptcy lawyer on your side can prove to be a considerable advantage. An attorney can evaluate your finances and determine the best option for you, they can help you avoid common pitfalls in the application process and they can also introduce alternatives to bankruptcy that you did not know were available.
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Evaluating Your Financial Situation
After thoroughly evaluating your financial situation, you're ready to make a decision as to which chapter of bankruptcy you should file for, or if you should attempt to find an alternative to bankruptcy first. If you have chosen to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will first need to pass the means test. An attorney can help you file a petition with the bankruptcy court in your jurisdiction. According to the United States Courts, debtors who wish to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy will have to submit the following information: schedules of all assets and liabilities, list all income and expenditures, give a statement of financial affairs and provide a schedule of all contracts and leases that have not yet expired. An attorney can help you gather the necessary information.
If you do not meet the means test requirement for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, then you can still file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 13 bankruptcy petitions are filed in a similar manner as Chapter 7 petitions. There are filing fees that, if the debtor fails to pay them, their case may be completely dismissed pursuant to 11 United States Code § 1307(c)(2). Individuals who are married must also decide whether they are filing jointly with their spouse or separately as individuals. If you successfully file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will then have an administrator (a third-party trustee) assigned to your case to help ensure that the debts are restructured and paid properly.
Appealing a Bankruptcy Decision
You have the right to appeal a bankruptcy court's decision to deny your petition for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you successfully appeal your case, the appellate court can decide whether to affirm your appeal, modify your case or reverse the decision regarding bankruptcy. One reason for an appeal may be because you forgot to include some type of asset for exemption or there was an error in the information on your original petition such as your income or expenditures.
If you would like more information on the bankruptcy process, an Orange County bankruptcy lawyer from our firm would be happy to explain it to you. We are here to help clients understand the process better so that the filing process can be conducted more smoothly. If bankruptcy is not the right option for you, you can be sure that our firm will advise you of the alternatives that are available to you. To get in touch with our firm, contact an Orange County bankruptcy lawyer from The Law Office of Bruce C. Bridgman.