Palm Springs Bankruptcy Attorney
At the Law Office of Robert L. Firth, I have handled hundreds of bankruptcy cases in the Palm Springs area in Riverside County and throughout Southern California. When clients who are considering bankruptcy come to me, they are usually worried about the future and possibly embarrassed or upset about decisions made in the past. My role as your bankruptcy lawyer is to effectively deliver the assistance and protection the bankruptcy system provides, while helping you create a fresh start for your future. I am unique as an attorney because not only can I assist with your bankruptcy filing and appearances, I can also help you to repair your credit after your bankruptcy case has concluded.
There are two primary types of bankruptcy to consider, Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, and each has unique benefits & costs. There is no cookie cutter approach to bankruptcy, and during our consultation we will explore all options for your unique situation.
COACHELLA VALLEY CH 7 & 13 BANKRUPTCY LAWYER
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Also known as “liquidation” bankruptcy, this Chapter of the bankruptcy code allows you, the debtor, to cancel most or all of your debts. In turn, this also provides a 3rd party trustee to sell any of your property which is over the bankruptcy exemption limit, (which is quite generous in California), to pay your creditors.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: In this scenario you may restructure your debts, while eliminating some, and agree to a repayment schedule over 3 – 5 years. This option allows you to keep your property even if you are over the exemption limits. In a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy you may also be able to rid yourself of the second deed of trust on you home, (called a ”lien strip”), if you home is worth less than the first deed of trust.
It is important for you to know that prior to filing for bankruptcy, you should not attempt to purposely run up credit cards bills or hide & transfer assets. These actions can have a severely negative effect on your case and can result in future lawsuits or actions against you.
YOU SHOULD BE SKEPTICAL OF DISCOUNT & “COUPON” BANKRUPTCY LAWYER ADVERTISING
Generally, there are no legitimate attorneys who will only charge $800 or less for handling a bankruptcy case to completion. Many of my current bankruptcy clients come to me after paying the “Coupon” lawyer who did not perform the necessary work to complete the case. In this scenario, they end up paying far more for not doing it right the first time. Most times you’ll see billboards or Internet advertising with a low price displayed to get you in the door. This low price is really just the cost of filing your case with the bankruptcy court and doesn’t represent the cost of appearances before the bankruptcy court, attendance at the mandatory creditor’s meeting or effort to stop post-filing collection calls. Before you retain me as your bankruptcy attorney, you will know the entire cost of the bankruptcy from beginning to end. My goal is to be as transparent as possible, while offering fair & flexible payment arrangements.
I offer a free initial consultation for new bankruptcy clients, however to make the best use of our time it’s important that you come to me with a completed client information form, which we will send to you prior to our meeting. Please contact me today to schedule an appointment and discuss what documents we’ll need to review together on our initial consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q- What is the difference between Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
A- Chapter 7 is a debt liquidation bankruptcy that eliminates or reduces most debts. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a debt repayment bankruptcy that results in a three- or five-year debt repayment plan.
People who want to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy must meet a means test that takes into account their Income and ability to pay debts. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is often used by people who have significant income and assets and who are not eligible for Chapter 7 relief or want to protect assets from liquidation.
Q- Can I restore credit after bankruptcy?
A– Yes, and you can do it faster than you may think. People are often surprised to find that credit card companies, auto lenders and other credit providers are willing to provide credit to people who have had a bankruptcy. In fact, many creditors actively fight for the business of recent Chapter 7 bankruptcy debtors because they know their debts have been discharged and they can’t file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy again for at least eight years.
Q- Can I keep some of my property?
A- Yes, certain assets are exempt from liquidation. Homes and cars of a certain value are exempt from liquidation. Most people are surprised at how much of their property they can actually keep.
Q- Can my employer fire me if it learns about my bankruptcy?
A- No. Employers may not discharge an employee because he or she filed for bankruptcy.
Q- What debts are dischargeable?
A- Most forms of debt are dischargeable through Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Credit card debts and medical bills are dischargeable. Federal income tax debts may also be discharged if they are at least three years old and/or meet additional requirements.
Q- Are there any debts that cannot be discharged?
A- Yes. Certain debts like child support, student loans, judgments against you as a result of drunk driving or fraud, and some income taxes may not be discharged.
Q-. If I have a car which has a loan against it, can I keep it?
A- In almost every case, the answer is yes, but you will have to file a “Reaffirmation Agreement” which must be reviewed and approved by the bankruptcy judge assigned to you case.
Q- Do I need a lawyer to file bankruptcy?
A- Anybody can represent themselves in court, but have you heard the old adage “Never bring a knife to a gun fight”? A good bankruptcy lawyer knows how to structure your case so you can take maximum advantage of your exemptions and get you the maximum benefits from your bankruptcy. Your creditors have legal counsel. You should too.
Q-How Can I Learn More about Bankruptcy?
To speak with an experienced attorney about bankruptcy and other debt relief services, contact the Law Office of Robert L. Firth in Cathedral City, California. We represent clients throughout Riverside County and the surrounding areas.