. I have lived my whole life as a member of this community.
A branch of the Bankruptcy Court is located right in in Woodland Hills. I have been representing clients in Valley bankruptcy cases for about 33 years. I have had my own law firm office in the Valley for about 23 years. My presence as a San Fernando Valley Bankruptcy Lawyer is well established within this community.
The San Fernando Valley has a huge diversity. Our clientele is drawn from the owners of small businesses, professional people, people who used to be wealthy, people who have never been wealthy, and everybody in between. People that come to us for help with their debt problems have widely different levels of knowledge and understanding of the bankruptcy process. Working folks, doctors, lawyers, engineers, bankers, business owners, loan officers, government officials, teachers, airline pilots—we’ve helped them all over the years.
But with so much wrong information about bankruptcy rattling around in the media and on the web, we’ve found that one of our jobs is to make sure that our clients understand how bankruptcy really works before, during and after a case is filed and eventually discharged. Those of you who follow our Human Guide to Bankruptcy and this blog probably already know a great deal. And if you subscribe, you’ll get regular articles and updates by email. So, for now, let’s take a brief look at how bankruptcy works.
Bankruptcy begins with the filing of a Petition in the Federal bankruptcy court, seeking relief under one of the various chapters of the Bankruptcy Code. Of course there are other important papers and forms that must be filed at the same time. Branches of the bankruptcy court are located in almost all major cities. Under the bankruptcy law, people are referred to as “individuals” or “persons” to distinguish them from corporations or other business organizations.
The moment the Petition is filed, bankruptcy law imposes an Automatic Stay which operates as a restraining order against the creditors. In most cases this stops bill collectors from bothering you, lawsuits, foreclosures, even the IRS. It creates a cooling off period while the court system sorts things out.
When a bankruptcy is successfully completed, the court issues a Discharge. A Discharge is a permanent order from the court enjoining (prohibiting) creditors from trying ever again to collect on a debt that has been discharged.
Most individuals seek relief under one of the two predominant kinds of bankruptcy cases—called Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. When appropriate, Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows a person to be legally excused from repaying most types of debts (but there are certain exceptions.)
Chapter 13 is generally described as Reorganization. In a Chapter 13 Reorganization, a person pays some or all of his or her debts under a structured payment Plan carried out under court protection and supervision. When the Plan term (usually 3 to 5 years) has been completed, the individual receives a discharge and all debts handled under the plan are resolved according the specific Plan terms. As a Valley Bankruptcy Lawyer, we have seen a large increase in the number of Chapter 13 filings.
Whatever your background and situation may be, know that there are caring professionals at Bayer, Wishman & Leotta who will explain how bankruptcy might work for you. Our job is to ensure that your financial future will make sense and be full of hope. So bring your questions to us and we will make sure you get common sense answers that you can understand. We hope you will consider us if you need a Valley bankruptcy lawyer.
Bayer, Wishman & Leotta is a full service bankruptcy firm. We have offices in Downtown Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley and Long Beach, California. Our attorneys are Certified Specialists in consumer and small business bankruptcy and you may reach us at (800) 477-3111. Check us out on AllExperts.com. Also, for lots of valuable bankruptcy information, look for us at TheBankruptcyGuide.net, our Human Guide to Bankruptcy. If you need to find a San Fernando Valley Bankruptcy Lawyer, we hope you will consider us!