Southern California Bankruptcy Lawyers
You can get the fresh start you need and deserve. Our law office is here to help you get there.
Helping people like you in Irvine and beyond find meaningful debt relief
Does this sound like you? You work hard, but you simply can’t keep up. You struggle every month to pay the mortgage or rent, keep the lights on and pay the bills, but every month you fall farther and farther behind. You do not have a safety net, and a job loss, extended illness, or unexpected expense could send you over the brink and into financial ruin. You are stressed and you worry, and no wonder; Your challenging financial situation puts you at a very real risk of losing everything you have.
You do not have to let this debt overwhelm you. The Law Office of Charles A. May is here to guide you through your problems and find an effective solution. Bankruptcy was made for people like you – people who are dealing with overwhelming debt and desperately need relief. Our nation’s bankruptcy laws can protect you from aggressive bill collectors who want to sue you and take your home and car and everything of value. Bankruptcy can erase those debts and let you make a fresh start so you can live the life you once dreamed of without sleepless nights and a feeling of dread every time you open the mail.
Get the help that so many of our country’s most well-respected and successful artists, entertainers, businesspeople, and even U.S. presidents have used to help them when they need it. The Law Office of Charles A. May is here to guide you, assist you, and take over the task of pulling you out of debt. Get started today in a free consultation with our skilled and knowledgeable Irvine bankruptcy lawyer.
Who Is Charlie May?
Charlie May is the lawyer you want when you are struggling with financial problems in Irvine or Southern California. Charlie has been practicing law since 2006, working with many prestigious law firms and companies to help individuals and businesses solve their financial issues. With an advanced degree (Master of Laws) in Taxation, Charlie has the high level of knowledge and skill needed to solve his clients’ most complex problems.
Since founding The Law Office of Charles A. May, Charlie has turned his skills toward helping everyday individuals and families who are battling debt. Whether you are an hourly employee or a small business owner, Charlie is here to treat you with respect and provide “service with a smile,” guiding you to a successful outcome and helping you get your life back on track. At The Law Office of Charles A. May in Irvine, we believe everyone deserves a second chance, and we are here to give you yours.
Chapter 7: Make a Fresh Start
There are several different “chapters” of bankruptcy law, and each one serves different needs. Chapter 7 is often the most attractive to individuals and families with overwhelming debt such as credit card debt, medical debt, or personal loans they cannot afford to repay. In Chapter 7, all of those bills can get wiped away, letting you start over with a clean slate. Not every debt can be discharged in Chapter 7, and not everyone can qualify. Charlie May can determine whether Chapter 7 is right for you and can shepherd your case through bankruptcy expertly and efficiently so you emerge ready to make a fresh start.
Chapter 13: Pay Off Your Debts Comfortably Over Time
Chapter 13 offers significant relief to people who do not qualify for Chapter 7 or whose debts are not eligible for discharge under Chapter 7. Chapter 13 is also ideal if you are behind on your home mortgage and facing foreclosure. Even if you have already been served with a notice of default, Chapter 13 can put a halt to those proceedings and allow you to catch up on your house payments over a three or five-year period. Chapter 13 puts all of your debts together into one repayment plan, allowing you to adjust many debts downward and receive a discharge of others at the end of your plan. Your creditors are bound to abide by an approved plan and cannot hound you for collections while you are complying with the plan.
Chapter 11: Restructure Your Business on the Path to Profitability
Chapter 11 is used primarily by businesses on the brink of insolvency. Filing for Chapter 11 gives you immediate protection and allows you to stay in business while you reorganize your finances and operations to deal with your creditors and get your company healthy again.
California Bankruptcy FAQs
If you are in a bind and considering whether to file for bankruptcy, you likely have a lot of questions running through your mind. Below, we hope to put your mind at ease by answering some of the questions we hear most often in our practice. If you have other questions or are thinking about filing for bankruptcy in Orange County, Los Angeles, or elsewhere in Southern California, contact The Law Office of Charles A. May for a free consultation with a skilled and compassionate Irvine bankruptcy attorney.
Do I need a lawyer to file for bankruptcy?
While it is not legally required to have an attorney when filing for bankruptcy, having a knowledgeable bankruptcy lawyer by your side can greatly enhance your chances of a successful outcome. Bankruptcy law is complex and involves intricate legal procedures, paperwork, and negotiations with creditors. A skilled attorney can help you navigate the process, protect your rights, and ensure that you make the best decisions for your financial future. As just one example, working with an attorney knowledgeable about California bankruptcy exemptions can help you achieve a “no-asset” bankruptcy where you receive a discharge of debt without losing any property in the process. Mistakes can be costly, which is why having an attorney makes sense.
At The Law Office of Charles A. May, our team has a deep understanding of California bankruptcy regulations. We’re here to guide you every step of the way and help you achieve a fresh start.
What Is the Meeting of Creditors?
The Meeting of Creditors is a required step in the bankruptcy process. It is an opportunity for your creditors to ask questions about your financial situation and the details of your bankruptcy petition. That said, the meeting of creditors is nothing to fear. Creditors rarely attend these meetings, and when they do, their questions are typically straightforward.
In most cases, the meeting of creditors, also known as a 341(a) Meeting, after the Bankruptcy Code provision where it appears, is about a five-minute meeting with the bankruptcy trustee who asks you basic questions to verify the information you already provided in your bankruptcy petition and supporting documents.
Our dedicated team will thoroughly prepare you for this meeting, making sure you have all the necessary documents and information. We will also attend this meeting with you to counsel and advise you as needed. Your well-being and confidence during this process are our priorities.
Will I have to go to court for my bankruptcy?
In most bankruptcy cases, the only meeting you need to attend is the meeting of creditors. The bankruptcy court process is generally not adversarial, so you will not ever be inside a traditional courtroom. Some exceptions exist in the case of adversary proceedings or contested matters, but these typically don’t come up in the average Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 consumer bankruptcy.
How much will my bankruptcy cost?
The cost of bankruptcy can vary depending on your specific situation and the type of bankruptcy you file. Filing fees with the bankruptcy court are currently $338 for Chapter 7 and $313 for Chapter 13, along with some other incidental costs that could another $100 or so to your costs. Installment plans are available.
As far as legal fees go, our firm offers a free initial consultation where we can assess your case and provide you with a clear understanding of the potential costs involved. We believe in transparency, and there are no hidden fees. Our fees are competitive, and we work with you to find a payment plan that suits your budget, should the need arise. We understand that financial difficulties can make it challenging to afford legal services, which is why we strive to make our services accessible to all.
Can I file again if I already have a bankruptcy on my record?
The ability to file for bankruptcy multiple times depends on several factors, including the type of bankruptcy you previously filed and how much time has passed. Generally, after a Chapter 7 discharge, another Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be filed again after eight years, while Chapter 13 can be filed sooner, after just four years. After a Chapter 13 discharge, you could file another Chapter 13 two years later or a Chapter 7 four years later.
Part of the initial bankruptcy process includes financial counseling and education to help prevent future financial difficulties, but we understand that more troubles cannot always be prevented. We can review your situation and advise you on the best course of action. If you have previously filed for bankruptcy, we can help you understand your options and work toward a more stable financial future.
Will my friends, family, and people in the community find out I filed for bankruptcy?
Only if you tell them about it. True, bankruptcy is a public proceeding, and anyone who goes to the effort to search through the filings could find out you filed for bankruptcy, but the only people who are specifically told about your bankruptcy by the court are your creditors and any co-debtors, if applicable. In some cases, your employer might find out if the trustee requests wage withholding as part of your Chapter 13 repayment plan. A bankruptcy will also appear on your credit report for several years, so companies running a credit check will know about your bankruptcy.
How long does a bankruptcy stay on my credit report?
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will be removed after ten years, and a Chapter 13 will disappear after seven years.
Contact The Law Office of Charles A. May for Effective Debt Relief in Irvine and Across Southern California
You deserve a brighter future, and The Law Office of Charles A. May is here to get you there. From our office in Irvine, we help people in Santa Ana, Costa Mesa and throughout Orange County, Los Angeles and all of Southern California. Call us today to get started. Our Irvine bankruptcy lawyer offers a free consultation so you’ll know where you stand and how we can help you. We truly look forward to meeting you and giving you the help you need.