I’m a Los Angeles bankruptcy lawyer. I know a few things about money. I also know a lot more about people who don’t have any. Let me share a few Los Angeles Bankruptcy stories. This is all about about where others went wrong.

LOS ANGELES BANKRUPTCY STORIESDuring the past 30 years I have practiced bankruptcy law in Los Angeles, California. Los Angeles is aptly known as the world’s Bankruptcy Capitol.  Practicing law in L.A. has provided me with a wonderful laboratory to study why people file bankruptcy. Roughly half my Los Angeles Bankruptcy clients might have avoided bankruptcy if they knew what I know about people who already filed one. In this series, I’m going to share some real case histories. Maybe it will help someone.

My Los Angeles Bankruptcy clientele has covered people from every conceivable walk of life. A sampling of my clientele includes major lottery winners, doctors, lawyers, actors, financial advisors, ministers, dentists, priests, rabbis, politicians, teachers, fortune tellers, housewives, gardeners, parking attendants, nurses, factory workers, military, and even a few heiresses.

You can learn from other people’s Bankruptcy mistakes. I sure have. Most of these things defy plain common sense. I have learned that people often let their emotions overrule logic.  If you avoid doing the things on this list, the chances are very good you’ll never be my client:

  • Don’t co-sign a loan.
  • If married, don’t have ‘his and hers’ separate bank accounts and separate credit. (Most married couples who come to us have kept separate individual accounts, and we rarely see couples who manage all of their money jointly.)
  • Don’t build a dream house, (it’s an easy way to lose the house you live in, the one you’re building, plus your marriage).
  • If you are in business, you need to keep accurate, up to date books and daily business control (or else you may be the last person to know why you lost your business).
  • If you own a business, don’t put family on your payroll.
  • Don’t buy a business with money that you have borrowed against your home or withdrawn retirement savings.
  • Pay cash for your RV, boat and other toys, or else don’t buy them
  • You shouldn’t buy a small business



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Leon Bayer and Jeffrey Wishman are Los Angeles Bankruptcy attorneys. They have been practicing bankruptcy lawyers in Los Angeles for 37 years and are Certified Bankruptcy Specialists by the State Bar of California. These are lawyers who bring experience, skill and creativity to the highly complex area of bankruptcy law. At this Los Angeles law firm, the your initial consultation with an expert is free. Mr. Bayer is a coauthor of Nolo's The New Bankruptcy: Will It Work for You?, authors the “Ask Leon” series on Nolo’s Bankruptcy, Debt & Foreclosure blog, and writes on bankruptcy topics for Nolo’s website. In addition, Mr. Bayer devotes a significant number of hours to volunteer legal services. The State Bar of California has commended Mr. Bayer for this work every year since 2004.