Bankruptcy / Debt Relief

Thousands of Northern Californians Just Like You are Now Virtually Debt Free…

They Have Gone from Debt Stress to Debt Relief by Receiving Their Bankruptcy Discharge

Would You Like To Achieve The Same Financial Freedom and Peace of Mind?

Bankruptcy is often the most viable option for individuals or small businesses seeking to eliminate
or reduce crushing debt, and to achieve a financial fresh start.

The first step in deciding whether or not bankruptcy is the right answer in your particular case is to confer with a competent bankruptcy attorney.

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The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Ogilvie & Associates is conveniently located at 1330 West Street in Redding, California.  Over the years, we have represented clients filing hundreds of bankruptcy petitions.  After their free initial consultation, many clients express a great sense of relief in understanding for the first time their debt relief options.

At the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Ogilvie & Associates, attorneys and staff are dedicated to dealing with clients and potential clients with courtesy and respect in helping each to understand their options, the system, and their rights and responsibilities under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.  We represent debtors in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy in the Eastern District of California- Sacramento Division.  We are located in Redding, and serve clients in the counties of Shasta, Tehama, Glenn, Siskiyou, Modoc, Trinity, Yolo and Sacramento.

In addition to Bankruptcy, other Debt Relief services are available including collection lawsuit defense and negotiating debt settlement.

Bankruptcy Overview

Bankruptcy is governed by Federal Law, which also incorporates aspects of State Law. Both are subject to case law interpretations. The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 made significant changes in bankruptcy law and procedure. Former bankruptcy law not modified by the 2005 Act remains applicable. The 2005 Act made filing bankruptcy more difficult, but in most typical consumer cases, bankruptcy still remains a viable option for most people who are unable to pay their debts.

The 2005 Act established a “means test” for most consumer debtors. This requires that the court consider the debtor’s income when determining whether or not a debtor is eligible to discharge debts in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If the debtor has too much disposable income pursuant to the means test, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be required.

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves a monthly payment plan; a Chapter 7 does not. A detailed means test analysis is needed to determine whether or not a debtor is eligible to file Chapter 7. The 2005 Act notwithstanding, most bankruptcies filed today are still Chapter 7 bankruptcies.

Bankruptcy will discharge most unsecured debt. A discharge is a court order that says you do not have to pay applicable debt. Exceptions to discharge are: most taxes, child support, spousal support, most student loans, court fines and criminal restitution, personal injury caused by drunk driving or under the influence of drugs. Other unsecured debt, including credit card debt, which you owed on the date you filed bankruptcy is usually dischargeable. Some older income taxes are also dischargeable in bankruptcy, subject to numerous rules, regulations and exceptions.

Debt secured by collateral which you choose to surrender in bankruptcy is also wiped out. For example, if you wish to surrender in bankruptcy your car, that debt can be wiped out. On the other hand, if you wish to keep your car, or other security for a secured debt, you generally must continue to pay that debt.

Bankruptcy law provides the debtor with a “fresh start.” To promote this fresh start, bankruptcy law applies state exemption law to allow you to keep certain exempt assets. For example, if you qualify to receive the California exemptions (and not all people do), then home equity in the amount of either $75,000, $100,000 or $175,000 is usually exempt depending upon ones age, status, family size and other factors. Exemption analysis planning is an essential part of any pre-bankruptcy consultation.

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which requires a court-approved Chapter 13 Plan requiring a monthly payment to a Chapter 13 Trustee, is often a valuable tool for some debtors. For example, if a debtor is ineligible to file a Chapter 7, because of the means test or other reasons, but still needs to stop collection action, a Chapter 13 may be the answer. A Chapter 13 also enables eligible debtors to cure a mortgage foreclosure, which has not yet gone to sale, by curing mortgage arrearage over the three to five year payment plan. Likewise, for debtors who have too much non-exempt property which they wish to keep, a Chapter 13 will result in stopping collection action and allowing an orderly payment of debts required to be paid, while discharging remaining debts at the completion of the Chapter 13 plan.

Consideration of the bankruptcy option begins with the free initial consultation in our office with a discussion of your assets, debts, income, expense and other financial considerations. You will then be given a take out questionnaire to detail your assets, debts, income, expense and other financial information. After careful analysis and discussion we will prepare all necessary documents for filing with the court. Under the 2005 Act, a telephonic or internet “credit counseling” with a US Trustee approved agency is required prior to filing bankruptcy. This brief session is arranged by our office. You will also be required to attend a brief hearing here in Redding. You will also be required to complete an approved Debtor Education class also arranged by our office.

From the moment you retain me as your attorney, we will take all creditor calls which you can refer to this office. This relieves you from having to talk directly to sometimes obnoxious collectors.

As you can see, particularly after the enactment of the 2005 Act, bankruptcy issues can be complex. There are many exceptions to most rules. Anyone considering bankruptcy should consult a qualified attorney. Bankruptcy is often a viable option to stop creditor harassment and eliminate debt, but it must be done correctly.

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DISCLAIMER

The general information presented on the website does not constitute the giving of legal advice in your specific case. The law is complex, and the facts of your particular situation may contain exceptions to general rules. You should avail yourself of the option of the free initial consultation to discuss the particular facts in your case. Do not take legal action upon reliance of the information contained in this website without first conferring with a licensed attorney.