Bankruptcy can be an emotionally draining experience. You and your family may fear what bankruptcy will do. The Patel Law Group of Santa Ana, California, understands the fears and pressures surrounding a pending bankruptcy and is here to help you through a troubling experience.

What You Need to Know About Bankruptcy

Maybe you’ve lost your job, had a costly medical procedure, or have had some type of financial set back making it difficult to pay your bills, and your debt is growing. You might be considering bankruptcy. Here is some information from Santa Ana bankruptcy lawyer, Ashish Patel.

Is bankruptcy my only option?

Before deciding whether to file for bankruptcy, Mr. Patel suggests lining up your creditors and see if you can negotiate lower payments to avoid filing. However, he warns, this may not be possible in some cases.

Do I need a Santa Ana bankruptcy lawyer to file for bankruptcy?

Technically, no, but Mr. Patel advises that it may be in people’s best interest to do so since they will be dealing with attorneys on a regular basis who may or may not help them. The goal is to wipe out all unsecured debt (credit cards, medical bills) and receive a discharge. A discharge means that a person is no longer legally liable for their debt. He adds without the technical knowledge of bankruptcy law and the process, people may not successfully discharge all of their debt.

What should I look for when hiring an attorney?

Affordability may be a consideration for some which is important, says Mr. Patel. Another thing to look for is experience. How long have they been in practice? However, the most important thing is finding someone who understands your situation. “It’s a shock, no one expects their life to be in a financial bind,” says Mr. Patel.

What options are available in bankruptcy?

The two most common types of bankruptcy available to most people, according to Patel, are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. To determine which type is more appropriate for your situation, he suggests consulting a Santa Ana bankruptcy lawyer.

I heard filing for a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy will hurt my credit. Is that true?

In the short term, says Mr. Patel, your credit might take a bit of a hit. However, he adds, “It doesn’t hurt your credit as much as it did ten years ago.” By declaring bankruptcy, especially with Chapter 7, allows you to discharge unsecured debt quickly. In the long run, it is a good way of cleaning up your credit so you can have a new start.

For more information about filing for Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy and related considerations, you can contact Mr. Patel, a bankruptcy lawyer in Santa Ana for a free consultation at the Law Office of Ashish Patel.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Let us help you understand if Chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for you. It is often called a "straight bankruptcy," or "liquidation bankruptcy," and is the most common chapter. Approximately two-thirds of all bankruptcies filed each year are Chapter 7s.

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding, you, the debtor, seek a discharge, which is a document mailed to you by the clerk of the bankruptcy court toward the end of the case. The discharge is the document, which essentially states that you are no longer legally responsible for repaying your creditors.

You will pay a price for the privilege of receiving a Chapter 7 discharge. There are three primary components to every Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding including assets, liabilities, and income. We'll help you understand each one.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

You may benefit from a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and The Patel Law Group will advise you if this is best for you.

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is often referred to as the "individual debt adjustment" chapter. It is the chapter selected in approximately one-third of all the bankruptcies filed around the country each year.

Once again you, the debtor, seek a discharge, which is the document mailed to you and all creditors by the clerk of the bankruptcy court toward the end of the case, advising that you are no longer legally responsible for repaying discharged debts.

In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceeding, you plan to repay in full or part of the amount owed to creditors over time. You declare that your household generates a certain sum each month and that your household spends a certain amount each month on rent or mortgage, car payments, utilities, food, and the like. You then confirm that you may have a small net amount left over each month to offer as repayment to creditors.

Are you a small business owner in need of bankruptcy advice and protection? Chapter 11 bankruptcy is primarily a reorganization for businesses such as corporations and partnerships, or for individuals with large debts and assets who do not meet the strict asset/debt limitations of Chapter 13.

You may also benefit from the greater flexibility and options that Chapter 11 offers. It can be extremely useful, even in lower debt cases and is often very helpful in real estate cases where you are trying to find ways to catch up on past due payments.

Let us help you buy some time, when selling a piece of property that has equity, or when dealing with delinquent taxes. Chapter 11 will benefit you in other scenarios where you need time to catch up on payments but want to keep your business running.

If you would like more information, or would like to discuss your situation with a bankruptcy attorney, please contact The Patel Law Group today.