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Bankruptcy Lawyer

The thought of filing for bankruptcy can be scary or depressing, but it does not have to be either. U.S. bankruptcy laws exist to protect people from financial ruin and help them make a fresh start when they are in over their heads with their personal or business finances. Bankruptcy is not something to be ashamed of or run from. It is there for you when you need it. Likewise, The Law Office of Charles A. May is here for you when you need us. You may have countless concerns, fears, and uncertainties when it comes to the question of filing for bankruptcy. Rest assured, you have come to the right place. Our mission is to provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions about your financial future. Call our bankruptcy lawyer for a free consultation to discuss your situation and find out how we can help in Santa Ana.

What Is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a legal process that provides relief to individuals and businesses facing insurmountable debt. When you file for bankruptcy, it allows you to either eliminate your debt or create a repayment plan under the protection of a federal court. While bankruptcy can impact your credit score temporarily, it is often a fresh start for many people who are burdened by unmanageable debt.

There are many different forms of bankruptcy under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The main types of bankruptcy are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 for consumers, and Chapter 11 for businesses.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 is commonly referred to as “straight bankruptcy” or “liquidation bankruptcy.” In this process, non-exempt assets are sold to repay as much of your debt as possible. The remaining unsecured debts are then discharged, effectively erasing them. Chapter 7 is usually suited for individuals with a large amount of unsecured debt like credit card bills or medical expenses. We go through all of the California bankruptcy exemptions with the goal of filing a “no-asset” case where you get your debt discharged without having to sell any assets.

To be eligible for Chapter 7, you need to pass the “means test,” which assesses your income against the median income for a household of your size in California. If you are below the state median or have more expenses than income and cannot pay your debts, you can qualify to file Chapter 7.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 is often referred to as “reorganization” bankruptcy, “debt adjustment,” or a “wage earner’s plan.” Unlike Chapter 7, you keep all of your assets and do not have to worry about exempt versus non-exempt property. However, you must commit to a repayment plan, approved by the court, that spans either three or five years, depending on your level of disposable income. Chapter 13 can be ideal for those who have a steady income but are struggling to meet their debt obligations and do not qualify for Chapter 7. Chapter 13 can also stop a foreclosure, pull you out of a mortgage default, and make your home loan payments more affordable.

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Chapter 11 is primarily used by businesses, but can also sometimes be used by individuals who do not qualify for Chapter 7 or 13. This option allows for the restructuring of business debts and operations. Businesses that have the potential for profitability but are burdened by high debts and operational overhead may consider a Chapter 11 reorganization. The owner remains in control as the “debtor in possession” with all the powers and duties of a trustee, keeping the company running while working out a plan to deal with debt and become a better-performing business for the future.

Contact The Law Office of Charles A. May for Help With Bankruptcy

At The Law Office of Charles A. May, we are committed to guiding you through the intricacies of bankruptcy law in Santa Ana, California. Whether you are considering Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, our dedicated team is here to help you explore your options and identify the best path for your financial future. Call us today for a free consultation. We are here to help!

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