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Irvine Bankruptcy Lawyer / Bankruptcy Planning

If you are struggling with overwhelming debt, bankruptcy might be an effective solution to deal with your troubles head-on and help you make a fresh start. With some careful planning, you can achieve a successful bankruptcy outcome that discharges as much debt as possible, without making common mistakes that could penalize you or get your case dismissed. The Law Office of Charles A. May can help. We help people file for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Orange County, Los Angeles, and throughout Southern California.

Below we have outlined some important areas that could impact the timing of your bankruptcy and that you might want to plan for. If you are thinking about bankruptcy, call our office now to start a conversation about the steps you’ll want to take, and get the help you need to make a fresh start. Contact our dedicated  lawyer today.

Are You Suing or Going to Be Sued?

Lawsuits can impact a bankruptcy filing, and they cut both ways. If you intend to file a lawsuit that could net you compensation if you are successful, that money belongs to your bankruptcy estate, unless it is otherwise exempt. Talk to your bankruptcy attorney about any potential claims you might have, as the timing of those claims could affect the timing of your bankruptcy.

In contrast, if you think you will be sued to collect a debt or for other reasons, the timing of a bankruptcy filing could affect whether a lawsuit could be filed, or if one that is underway could be stayed. It is best, whenever possible, to avoid having a judgment entered against you, even though such judgments can sometimes be discharged in bankruptcy if the underlying debt is dischargeable.

Are You Set to Inherit?

If you are a potential heir to an estate of someone who has recently passed away, you should let your bankruptcy lawyer know. Whether this occurred before you filed or within 180 days since your petition was filed, money or property you receive might be included in your bankruptcy estate if not properly exempted. Either way, you might need to amend your petition. If you have not yet filed for bankruptcy, an upcoming inheritance could impact whether or not you should file and/or when you should file.

Are You Paying Off Debts or Transferring Property?

Some people think they can run up big bills on their credit cards right before filing for bankruptcy. Other people think they should pay off certain loans before they file, such as personal loans from their parents or friends, so those people they care about don’t get their loans wiped out in bankruptcy. Both ideas can be mistakes. Personal lenders are in the same group as other unsecured creditors like your doctor’s office or the credit card company, and you can’t make payments right before bankruptcy that prefer one creditor over others in the same class. It is up to the bankruptcy court and trustee to decide how these creditors get paid, and they could demand that “preferential transfers” be returned and placed back into the bankruptcy estate.

Even worse, the court might think that certain transfers were done fraudulently to hide money from the trustee, which would be bad for your case. That is why it’s important to talk with your bankruptcy attorney before paying off any loans or making any transfers. In Irvine and Southern California, The Law Office of Charles A. May can advise you and help you plan accordingly before filing your petition.

Are You Hoping for a No-Asset Bankruptcy?

If you are filing for Chapter 7 protection, one goal is to make full use of the California bankruptcy exemptions so you can keep your house, your car, your retirement and pension, cash, jewelry, and personal property to the greatest extent allowed by law. A large part of preparing your Chapter 7 filing will involve going through all of your assets and making the most of the bankruptcy exemptions available to you. Working with a bankruptcy attorney helps ensure this process is conducted to your maximum benefit.

Call The Law Office of Charles A. May in Irvine for Help

Bankruptcy is meant to get you out of debt and make a fresh start. However, this is only meaningful if you don’t lose everything you have along the way. Working with a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney will help you protect what you want to protect and keep what you want to keep, done the right way without putting your bankruptcy at risk. For help with bankruptcy planning in Orange County, Los Angeles, and throughout Southern California, call The Law Office of Charles A. May to discuss your situation and your goals with a dedicated bankruptcy lawyer.

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