Hundreds of thousands of Americans file for bankruptcy every single year and seek relief from overwhelming debt and financial insecurity. Declaring bankruptcy is the first step towards taking control of your financial situation and working towards recovery. Being buried in debt is overwhelming and stressful, and making the decision to file for bankruptcy can be difficult. There’s no need to add extra stress to an already complicated situation, with the help of a qualified and experienced Sacramento bankruptcy attorney you can get your financial situation under control quickly and be on the road to financial recovery.
There are two main options available to California residents looking to file for bankruptcy – Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 bankruptcy wipes out your debt and gives you a fresh start. With this option you will work with a trustee that will list and sell all of your assets and use the money to pay off your creditors. In Chapter 7 there are certain items that are exempt that you can protect from creditors and will be allowed to keep, including:
- Vehicles up to $1,900
- Your property – house, condo, mobile home, boat, apartment, etc.
- Personal property – appliances, clothing, furniture, jewelry, heirlooms and art. There are dollar limits in place for personal property
- Tools, instruments, books, equipment, etc. – up to $5,000 total
- Public benefits like unemployment, worker’s compensation and financial aid
- And more!
To keep non-exempt property, a debtor must pay the trustee the value of the non-exempt property. There are also certain federal exemptions to inquire about in addition to those allowed in California.
Under Chapter 13 bankruptcy you will restructure your debt and a follow a repayment plan for 3-5 years to pay off all your creditors. This type of bankruptcy is best for people who can afford their debt but need some time to pay it off – it’s also suited for people who are trying to prevent a home foreclosure, pay back taxes, stop interest from accruing and more. The main difference between these two main bankruptcy options is that Chapter 13 reorganizes your debt and provides you with a payment plan, while Chapter 7 liquidates and eliminates your debt and gives you a fresh start.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by your debt and looking into filing for bankruptcy, it’s important to work with an experienced Sacramento bankruptcy attorney who can guide you through the process and help you navigate the paperwork and decision-making. Even if you have a really simple case, it’s still a good idea to work with someone who has experience with bankruptcy filings and can offer you a personalized service. When you meet with potential candidates you should have an honest conversation, explain your situation and ask the lawyer(s) what the rate for the service will be. In California the court filing fee for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is $335, and for Chapter 13 bankruptcy it is $310. Working with a professional Sacramento bankruptcy attorney offers many benefits, including that a lawyer can spot issues with your case as they come up and plan accordingly to avoid complications.
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy in Sacramento, or in the surrounding areas, please don’t hesitate to connect with our team at Gale, Angelo, Johnson & Pruett P.C. You can give us a call at (916) 290-7778 to schedule a consultation and discuss your questions and concerns, or you can fill out the form below with more information about your unique situation. A member of our team will get in touch with you soon – we look forward to assisting you.