FAQs

Bankruptcy FAQ - Filing Bankruptcy in Los Angeles

If you are facing increasing debt and believe that a bankruptcy filing is necessary, you may have endless questions. Although your Los Angeles bankruptcy lawyer will provide detailed answers to each of your questions in person, below are answers to some frequently asked questions.

What is bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a federal court process designed to assist individuals and businesses eliminate their debts or repay them under the protection of the bankruptcy court. Upon filing either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a court order called an “automatic stay” goes into effect. This prevents most creditors from taking any action to collect the debts you owe them or from selling your house in a foreclosure unless the bankruptcy court lifts the stay and allows the creditor to process with their action.

How do I know if I can file for bankruptcy?

There are different factors that will affect your ability to file bankruptcy. During the initial consultation, your Los Angeles bankruptcy lawyer will have a detailed and careful discussion with you to determine what will be in your best interest and provide the most effective debt relief possible. Your Los Angeles bankruptcy lawyer will look at factors such as your income, your interests in real estate, insurance policies, and other assets that may affect what kind of bankruptcy you should file to get the best results for you and your family.

Will a bankruptcy filing wipe out all my debts?

While typically credit card debt, personal loans, cash advances, medical bills and even certain attorney fees are discharged through bankruptcy, certain debts cannot be discharged through bankruptcy. This means you will continue to owe them just as if you had never filed for bankruptcy. These debts include back child support, alimony, and certain kinds of tax debts. Student loans will not be discharged unless you can show that repaying the debt will be an undue burden. This is rarely successfully done. Your Los Angeles bankruptcy lawyer will go over your debt to determine what will and will not be discharged upon filing for bankruptcy.

Can co-signers be protected in bankruptcy proceedings?

Co-signers can be protected in certain bankruptcy filings. If you are concerned about protecting your co-signers, you should consult with your Los Angeles bankruptcy lawyer, Sanaz Sarah Bereliani, to determine which bankruptcy filing is best for your particular situation.

If you decide to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, creditors are still able to proceed with collection efforts against your co-signers, even if debt was discharged against you personally.

However, if you file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a co-signer is protected if the following provisions are met:

  • The debt must be a consumer debt;
  • The debt cannot be incurred in the ordinary course of business;
  • The co-signer cannot benefit from the proceeds of the debt; and
  • The debtor must stick to the Chapter 13 bankruptcy payment agreement.

My house is up for foreclosure. How long can I wait to decide to file?

Do not wait. You should immediately contact your Los Angeles bankruptcy lawyer, Sanaz Sarah Bereliani, to discuss your options. It is important to note that although you cannot reverse a foreclosure once it has occurred, you can stop the sale of a house in a foreclosure by filing for bankruptcy. Although emergency petitions can be filed the week before the sale date, you should typically contact Bereliani Law Firm once you are falling behind on your mortgage payments or have received a Notice of Default as you have the most options.

If I have previously filed bankruptcy, can I file again?

Yes, but whether you file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 will depend on what chapter of bankruptcy you previously filed, whether or not you received a discharge of your debts, and how long ago you have filed bankruptcy. Although you can receive a discharge of debt only once every 8 years, in certain circumstances you file more than once every 8 years for bankruptcy protection. Your Los Angeles bankruptcy lawyer will explain this option to you in more detail after looking at your file.

We Can Help

If you decide to file bankruptcy, you can silence your creditors and reclaim your phone, voicemail and mailbox. But in order to start a new life free of debt, you must hire your Los Angeles bankruptcy lawyer to successfully file for bankruptcy. To schedule a complimentary consultation with a Los Angeles bankruptcy lawyer, please contact Sanaz Sarah Bereliani at (818) 920-8352.