Consumer Bankruptcy Lawyers in East Palo Alto, California
Bankruptcy is a legal procedure that allows an individual or business to have some or all of their debts discharged. It is typically considered as an option of last resort, because while it can stave off financial disaster, it has some substantial long-term consequences warranting careful consideration of the costs and benefits. Bankruptcy is a formation of federal law, and goes through federal courts. Therefore, the process governing bankruptcy in California will be roughly the same as it is everywhere else in the U.S. But individual courts have different rules for what property is exempt, so you should consult a local East Palo Alto, California before you file.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in East Palo Alto, California
There are 2 typical types of consumer bankruptcy in East Palo Alto, California: Chapter 7 and 13. Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves a liquidation of some of the debtor's assets, which pays off part of his or her debt. Once this is done, the remaining debt is excused. Fortunately for debtors, many forms of property are exempt from liquidation, including homes, vehicles, necessary personal items, and retirement accounts.
Once all non-exempt assets are sold, and the money from the sales turned over to the creditors, most remaining debt is excused. But some forms of debt cannot be discharged through Chapter 7 bankruptcy. These include child support payments, student loans, and criminal fines, among others. If most of your East Palo Alto, California debts are not dischargeable, you may want to consider options other than bankruptcy.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in East Palo Alto, California
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in East Palo Alto, California is very different from Chapter 7. Whether or not it is a better option is very dependent on the facts of each distinct case. Chapter 13 bankruptcy does not discharge debt. Instead, it restructures it. This involves the bankruptcy court coming up with a new payment plan that supersedes the terms of the arrangements that gave rise to the debt in the first place. This results in a adjusted payment plan that the debtor should find manageable, if he or she can make a few sacrifices.
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Which Type of Consumer Bankruptcy Should I File in East Palo Alto, California
Whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is the right choice for you depends heavily on your distinct situation. If you have a stable income stream, and a lot of non-exempt property, Chapter 13 might be right for you. If you don't have a stable income, and most of your property is exempt, Chapter 7 might be a better way to go.
In any case, it would be a good idea to consult a local bankruptcy lawyer in East Palo Alto, California. Your lawyer can make an educated judgment as to what your best option is, and advise you accordingly (of course, the choice to file for bankruptcy is ultimately yours).