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Irvine Bankruptcy Lawyer / Discharge of Debts

In the field of bankruptcy law, we talk about getting debts discharged, including what debts are dischargeable and which ones are non-dischargeable. As a consumer considering filing for bankruptcy, you might be wondering what exactly it means to have your debt discharged. We address this topic below with the hope that you will feel better informed and have a clearer understanding of the benefits Chapter 7 bankruptcy can provide. For a more individualized discussion tailored to your circumstances, or for immediate assistance in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing in Orange County, Los Angeles, or across Southern California, call The Law Office of Charles A. May for a free consultation with a knowledgeable and dedicated lawyer.

What Is a Discharge of Debts?

A discharge of debts in bankruptcy essentially wipes out certain debts, freeing you from personal liability. This means you are no longer legally required to pay the discharged debts, and creditors cannot take any action against you to collect such debts. The purpose is to give you a clean slate, making it easier to rebuild your financial life.

In the realm of consumer bankruptcy, both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 result in a discharge of debts, although the two approach the matter quite differently.

  • Discharge of Debts in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Under Chapter 7, most unsecured debts such as credit card debts, medical bills, and personal loans can be discharged. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is “straight bankruptcy”; after selling your non-exempt property to pay your creditors, any remaining unsecured debt is discharged. By working with a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney, you may be able to exempt enough property to have a “no-asset” case, where your debt is discharged without having to sell off any assets.
  • Discharge of Debts in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Chapter 13 allows you to reorganize your debts and set up a repayment plan lasting either three or five years. You’ll have to pay back a small portion of your debts as part of the plan, but at the end, any unsecured debts that remain may be discharged.

Debts That Cannot Be Discharged

Not all debts can be wiped clean. In both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, some debts are generally non-dischargeable, including:

  • Student loans (unless undue hardship can be proven)
  • Child support and alimony
  • Debts obtained through fraud or deceit
  • Certain taxes and fines
  • Certain civil court judgments
  • Secured debts (home mortgages, car loans, boat loans)

Obtaining Debt Discharge in Irvine With The Law Office of Charles A. May

Filing for bankruptcy and receiving a discharge of debts is a legal process that is fairly straightforward but requires expert assistance to ensure success. The Law Office of Charles A. May is here to guide you, counsel you, and be with you at every step providing not only professional assistance but also comfort and security. Here is a simplified overview of the steps to a discharge of debts in bankruptcy:

  1. Consultation: The first step is to consult with a skilled and knowledgeable law firm like the Law Office of Charles A. May.
  2. Filing the Petition: Our team of dedicated professionals will file the appropriate bankruptcy petition (Chapter 7 or Chapter 13), along with all required schedules and statements outlining your financial situation.
  3. 341(a) Meeting: Known as the ‘Meeting of Creditors,’ you will be asked questions about your debts and finances under oath. This is a quick meeting and nothing to fear; we prepare you for what to expect and are by your side at the meeting.
  4. Court’s Decision: After evaluating your case and documents, the court will issue a decision on your dischargeable debts. The entire Chapter 7 bankruptcy process typically takes only a few months from start to finish.

Take Control of Your Financial Future With The Law Office of Charles A. May

Navigating the complexities of debt discharge can be overwhelming. At The Law Office of Charles A. May, we pride ourselves on offering personalized service to guide you every step of the way, clarifying any confusion, and ensuring you are well-informed. Remember, bankruptcy is not the end; it is a new beginning, and obtaining a discharge of debts is a crucial part of that fresh start. For more information or to get started today, call our office for a free consultation. Our bankruptcy law firm serves individuals and families throughout Orange County, Los Angeles and across all of Southern California.

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