Bankruptcy Lawyer Ventura, CA
Debt can be a significant burden, often leading to substantial financial struggles. Whether it's due to living beyond one's means, job loss, unexpected expenses, or inadequate financial planning, there are countless reasons why individuals fall into debt. Knowing you're not alone can be a comfort. And even better, knowing that there's help available. A bankruptcy lawyer's role is crucial in helping individuals navigate the complexities of bankruptcy. By providing necessary guidance and advice, they can help you understand your options and work towards improving your financial situation. If you're struggling with debt, it's important to reach out to a lawyer who can support you, like myself at the Law Offices of Eric Ridley.
Benefits of Filing for Bankruptcy
Filing for bankruptcy isn't always an easy decision, but it can offer a fresh start. Bankruptcy helps discharge unsecured debts like credit card balances and medical bills, providing much-needed relief and the chance to rebuild financially. However, there are specific eligibility requirements that you'll need to meet to qualify.
What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the most common form in the U.S., can involve liquidating your assets to repay debt. HOWEVER - over 90% of people who file Chapter 7 do not give up any assets! Yes, you can keep your car in Chapter 7, and in most cases we can protect your house as well. This process can discharge most of your debts, relieving financial pressure. But, it requires understanding a set of complex procedures, which is where I come in as an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to help.
Qualifying for Chapter 7 bankruptcy depends on meeting certain income requirements, among other factors. You must have a certain amount of disposable income after monthly expenses, and you'll need to pass the "means test" which compares your total debt to your income.
Other elements, such as previous bankruptcy filings or outstanding child support payments, can also affect your eligibility. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves completing a petition and several court-required documents. After filing, an automatic stay comes into effect, halting creditors from contacting you.
Then, you attend a meeting of creditors and complete a debtor's education course. Afterward, your assets are sold off to repay your debts, leading to a discharge from court and providing you a fresh start financially.
What is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 13 bankruptcy offers an alternative that is often more attractive to those who have a regular income but are unable to keep up with their debt payments. It is often referred to as the "wage earner's plan." Involves creating a debt repayment plan that lasts from three to five years.
This plan, once approved by the court, allows you to pay off your debts in manageable monthly installments. This can include secured debts like mortgages or car loans, which are not discharged under Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A significant benefit of Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the ability to retain possession of your valuable assets, like a house or a car, as long as you stick to the repayment plan.
The eligibility for Chapter 13 bankruptcy also differs from that of Chapter 7. You must have a regular source of income and your debt must not exceed a certain amount. Additionally, you must be up-to-date on your income tax filings. The process for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is somewhat similar to Chapter 7. You will need to complete a petition, submit detailed financial statements to the court, and work closely with a court-appointed bankruptcy trustee to develop your repayment plan.
The plan then requires approval from your creditors and the court. It's recommended to work with a bankruptcy lawyer to ensure a smooth process and to understand all your rights and obligations under this type of bankruptcy.
I’m Here to Support You.
Facing financial difficulties is tough, but you don't have to go through it alone. If you're in Ventura, CA, and need help understanding bankruptcy options, feel free to reach out. Remember, your consultation is free. Call me today at (805) 307-7713 or contact me online for a free initial strategy session and get the help you deserve.