San Jose Bankruptcy Lawyer

A personal bankruptcy in California begins when an individual files either Chapter 7,11,12 or 13.  The debtor may exempt certain property from the bankruptcy proceedings.  The exempt property list includes homesteads, household furniture, clothing, interest in an automobile, insurance polices, and a general $15,000 exemption, and other items including “tools of trade.”  Individual states can however, “opt out” of certain exemptions and thus the exemptions can vary widely from state to state.  An automatic stay takes effect immediately when the debtor files; this stops any garnishment or collections from proceeding until the bankruptcy is resolved.  This automatic stay normally is in effect throughout the bankruptcy case.  

Main Reasons for the Denial of Debt Discharge

Following a successful discharge of debts, a debtor will be absolved from all legal liability and receive a “fresh start.”  However, a discharge can be denied for a variety of reasons including: failing to list assets or debts, destroying financial records, failing to explain a loss of assets, and any misleading statements to the court.  

San Jose Bankruptcy Lawyer

Which Type of Bankruptcy is for Me?

There many forms of bankruptcy and they area each named after a specific chapter in the bankruptcy code.  The most common type of bankruptcy is    Chapter 7 and is often referred to as straight bankruptcy.  With chapter 7 bankruptcy you have the ability to discharge most of your personal debts.  The majority of people who file for Chapter 7 do not lose anything, however those people who own assets beyond the state exemption amount may have some items liquidated but that is rare.  A San Jose bankruptcy lawyer can advise you on your particular circumstance and discuss your current assets and if any might be at risk of liquidation.  

What About Chapter 13 Bankruptcy ?

Chapter 13 can be the right choice for those who are struggling with mortgage but want to keep their home.  Before filing any papers or making any decisions, it’s important to discuss your options with a San Jose bankruptcy lawyer.  This form of bankruptcy allows you to have a manageable payment plan for your overdue bills and after your cost of living expenses, the remainder is used to repay your debt until it is discharged. A San Jose bankruptcy lawyer can help you negotiate the details of this type of a payment arrangement.