At The Law Offices of Chen & Tran, we help individuals and families that are struggling to make ends meet while making their monthly debt payments. For those facing a mountain of debt, it can be overwhelming to try and pay for their basic bills like housing and utilities while also keeping up with credit card payments. Whether this is due to a loss of a job, reduced hours at work or unforeseen expenses in general – we can help.
As a bankruptcy attorney, there are several ways that we help families throughout California to get out from under their debt. Whether you want a clean slate and a fresh start or a manageable way to make payments, there are solutions for accomplishing both. If you are interested in declaring bankruptcy, we recommend that you call 213-632-8009 to schedule a consultation and discuss your options for doing so. This way we can review your situation and make a recommendation for the best way to proceed in order to accomplish your goals.
Here is what you need to know about bankruptcy.
When you file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you are proposing a repayment plan for the courts’ approval. This is a good solution for people in the 92504 area that want to repay their debt, but need to do so in a manageable way. Unfortunately, many credit card companies simply refuse to negotiate, and lower monthly payments when asked. While this is their right, it can make it impossible for people to keep up with payments that want to pay their debts. In this scenario, once the court has approved the repayment plan the creditors are obligated to accept it.
The first step in filing for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is to meet with Chen & Tran in our Riverside, California law office. Bring your income documents for the past six months and anything that you have on your debts such as statements or online print outs. While creating a plan for repayment, we need to calculate what your current income is by reviewing the past several months. This is important because your tax returns may show significantly more money per year, but if your job situation has changed we need to go off of current and realistic income numbers.
Next, we need to document what your non-debt expenses are. As a bankruptcy attorney, we want to know about all of your expenses. This includes your rent or mortgage, utility bills, cell phone bill, insurance, medical expenses, food, gas, child support, tax payments, etc. While these bills are not debts, they must be paid in order for you to live and therefore must be included in the calculations. After we have added up your living expenses, we will deduct them from your actual income to determine what your disposable income is.
The amount of income you have that is disposable (free cash) on a monthly basis is what you can afford to spend on debt payments. One of the main reasons that clients visit The Law Offices of Chen & Tran is for help in structuring a repayment plan. Knowing how much money is disposable every month is the first step in creating this plan. The bankruptcy court wants to know that whatever plan they agree to is sustainable, so it is important to accurately calculate both income and monthly expenses.
The final step is to make a proposal for how much you will pay on a monthly basis towards your debts and how long you will make the payments for. For example, the proposal could say that you will pay $500 a month towards debts for the next three years. Typically, this leaves a portion of your debt unpaid. If the court approves your proposal at the end of your repayment term, the remaining debt will be wiped out. It is important for people throughout the Riverside area to remember that in order for this type of bankruptcy to work; the payments must be made on time during the repayment period.
As a bankruptcy attorney, Chen & Tran also helps people that want a clean slate and don’t want to make any more payments. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can wipe out the majority of your debts. There are some debts that cannot be included such as taxes and student loans but for the most part, once your bankruptcy is approved you can continue in life without worrying about making debt payments.
In order to qualify, people in the 92504 area need to meet specific income requirements. This is based on the median income for the area for your family size. As long as you are at or below the median income for your area, you can qualify for a Chapter 7. If you are above that threshold, you will need to work with a bankruptcy attorney to help you to qualify. Those that don’t, can file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and make monthly payments.
In a Chapter 7, any allowable debts that you include in the filing can be wiped out. If they are tied to an asset, the creditor has the right to take the asset back and sell it. For example, if you list your new car, the bank can take the car back and resell it. If you want to keep your home and your main vehicle, you can request to do so but will need to continue to make the payments on those items as agreed in order to keep them for the long term. The exception to this is that if you have too much equity in your home, you may be forced to sell it in order to pay off some of your debts. Working with a bankruptcy attorney, can help you to avoid having to sell anything that you don’t want to.
If you live in California, filing bankruptcy may be more common than you think. A lot of families have struggled with debt and used this as a solution to start anew. The key is to work with an experienced bankruptcy attorney that knows how to navigate through the system and structure your bankruptcy in a way that protects you and your family while accomplishing your financial goals. If you live in Riverside or the 92504 area, call 213-632-8009 for your consultation. At The Law Offices of Chen & Tran, we provide dependable legal representation so that you can get the fresh start you are looking for.
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