Bankruptcy Attorneys in Orange County
Perhaps you’re here because of financial difficulties and harassing creditor calls (or worse – collection lawsuits). For the majority of our clients, bankruptcy is the last resort. Unfortunately, many come to this decision after making costly mistakes that could have been avoided if they’d only met with a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney earlier.
Bankruptcy is a complicated process and it is a serious matter. There is no one-size-fits-all solution and Zinser | Hayes is not a bankruptcy “mill” offering dangerous boilerplate solutions to its clients. The lawyers at Zinser | Hayes strategize with you to create a custom solution to your financial issues.
For answers to some of the more common bankruptcy questions, watch our videos or read our Frequently Asked Questions links. Call today for a complimentary consultation to see if bankruptcy can help you create a fresh start. The attorneys at Zinser | Hayes represent clients in the bankruptcy courts in Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Los Angeles Counties.
Should I wait until I have tried everything before I call a bankruptcy lawyer?
It is better to talk to an attorney sooner rather than later. We can help you decide whether bankruptcy is right for you before it is too late. Bankruptcy may make it possible for you to:
- Eliminate the legal obligation to pay most or all of your debts. This is called a “discharge” of debts. It is designed to give you a fresh financial start.
- Stop foreclosure on your house or mobile home and allow you an opportunity to catch up on missed payments. (Bankruptcy does not, however, automatically eliminate mortgages and other liens on your property without payment.)
- Prevent repossession of a car or other property, or force the creditor to return property even after it has been repossessed.
- Stop wage garnishment, debt collection harassment, and similar creditor actions to collect a debt.
- Restore or prevent termination of utility service.
- Allow you to challenge the claims of creditors who have committed fraud or who are otherwise trying to collect more than you really owe?
Can I stop foreclosure on my home?
You may be able to stop foreclosure on your home, as long as you do not wait too long. Each case is different, and it is better to talk to us sooner rather than later.
How much does it cost to file bankruptcy?
It now costs $335 to file for bankruptcy under chapter 7 and $310 to file for bankruptcy under chapter 13, whether for one person or a married couple. The court may allow you to pay this filing fee in installments if you cannot pay it all at once.
You must receive budget and credit counseling from an approved credit counseling agency within 180 days before your bankruptcy case is filed. The agency will review possible options available to you in credit counseling and assist you in reviewing your budget. Different agencies provide the counseling in-person, by telephone, or over the Internet. If you decide to file bankruptcy, you must have a certificate from the agency showing that you received the counseling before your bankruptcy case was filed. Most approved agencies charge between $5-$50 for the pre-filing counseling. However, the law requires approved agencies to provide bankruptcy counseling and the necessary certificates without considering an individual’s ability to pay. If you cannot afford the fee, you should ask the agency to provide the counseling free of charge or at a reduced fee.
How will this affect my credit rating?
There is no clear answer to this question. Unfortunately, if you are behind on your bills, your credit may already be bad. Bankruptcy will probably not make things any worse.
The fact that you’ve filed a bankruptcy can appear on your credit record for ten years from the date your case was filed. But because bankruptcy wipes out your old debts, you are likely to be in a better position to pay your current bills, and you may be able to get new credit.
If you decide to file bankruptcy, remember that debts discharged in your bankruptcy should be listed on your credit report as having a zero balance, meaning you do not own anything on the debt. Debts incorrectly reported as having a balance owed will negatively affect your credit score and make it more difficult or costly to get credit. You should check your credit report after your bankruptcy discharge and file a dispute with credit reporting agencies if this information is not correct.
Filing for Bankruptcy
Types of Bankruptcy
Limits of Bankruptcy