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About the Bankruptcy Process
Experienced Orange County Bankruptcy Attorneys
The bankruptcy process varies for each form of a bankruptcy filing. For a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, it is required that you take a "means test". This test was written to determine whether you qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing.
As the majority of debt is discharged on this form of filing, the federal government has put this in place so that individuals do not take advantage of the ability to get rid of their debts unless they truly cannot pay them. The means test does a thorough analysis of your income and expenses.
The Means Test
In personal bankruptcies, there is a specific level of income in California (a median) and if your past six months of income falls below this median, you will be determined to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
If you do not fall below the median California income, the test continues to determine whether you will qualify for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing.
Some individuals choose to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy even when they qualify for Chapter 7. It is very important that you have a skilled Orange County bankruptcy attorney to assist you with the means test and the other aspects of filing, as it is quite complex and errors can mean being denied the option of filing for bankruptcy at all. It is particularly important that the papers submitted are complete and accurate, and your attorney will assist you with all aspects of the filing.
Filing for Bankruptcy
It is required that you gather together all financial information over the past two years and itemize your income and expenses as well as your assets and liabilities. An experienced member of the legal team at The Law Offices of Joseph M. Tosti, APC will assist you with this gathering of data.
It will then be determined which assets will be exempt from seizure in any bankruptcy filing. After this is complete, if filing a Chapter 13, it will be required that a proposed repayment plan is submitted. The Orange County bankruptcy lawyer from our firm will draft this based on your actual capability to pay back the debt. Some debts will have to be paid in full, and others may be reduced down to even 10% of the original amount owed.
Creditor Calls Are Stopped
Once the bankruptcy is filed, there is a "stay" (halt) on all collection actions by creditors. They are no longer allowed to contact you and attempt to collect any of the money owed. This also stops foreclosure proceedings on your home, giving you time to determine how to handle the problem of your mortgage, which may have become too expensive to pay.
Our legal team is experienced and helpful in fighting for loan modifications, and the bankruptcy filing can give the time necessary to make arrangements regarding your home. If you are in Chapter 13, you are required to make the agreed-upon payments.
Reduced or Discharged Debts
If you have filed for Chapter 7, your debts will soon be "discharged" which means you will no longer owe a large number of the outstanding debts you have. You will be free to move on to a fresh start.
If you have filed for Chapter 13, you will have to continue to pay the back debt at the rate that was arranged through the courts, which is ordinarily affordable based on your real income. You continue to pay this off over the three to five years arranged by the court. When it is complete, a court order discharging your debts is issued.
Business Debt Relief through Chapter 11
A Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a complex filing related to all business expenses, debts, and the actual current income of the business. This gives business owners the option to continue to operate their businesses while relieving them of certain types of debt and arranging the repayment of others over time.
You will no longer be harassed by creditors and if you carefully comply with the ordered payments, you have the opportunity to get your business on the road to recovery over time. Also, when the obligations are complete, you will be released by the court from Chapter 11 and back into regular business operations.
Contact Orange County Bankruptcy Attorney Joseph M. Tosti
Bankruptcy filings are difficult but can save you from financial ruin. It is very important that you get legal assistance when you are considering filing for bankruptcy. Errors may cause you to be unable to file for bankruptcy. Our bankruptcy attorneys in Orange County have over 30 years’ experience in this area of law. Contact The Law Offices of Joseph M. Tosti, APC for a completely free case evaluation.
Advice & Guidance Invaluable
“Joe's advice and guidance, before, during, and after my bankruptcy were invaluable!”
“Kathe kept me abreast of the entire process and was very communicative.”
“It was a great experience for what it is, with everything completely done with out complications. Joe tosti law offices is honest , quality attorney.”