Santa Ana Bankruptcy Attorney
Filing for bankruptcy is not an easy decision to arrive at, but it can be a decision that can bring serenity and calm into your life. An important part at arriving at this decision is having the knowledge your need to make an informed decision that will benefit your financial and emotional well being. Our Santa Ana bankruptcy attorney, Norma Duenas, can help guide you through this process and give you the tools you need to make a decision that is right for you.
The first steps toward making this decision is learning about bankruptcy and understanding how it will impact your particular situation. Our office offers a free initial consultation to discuss your current financial situation and any concerns you may have about wage garnishments, lawsuits, creditor calls, creditor letter, and foreclosure.
What Are The Steps I Need to Take to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Our office guides you step by step through the process of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy can feel stressful and anxiety producing when you don’t understand the process or what to expect next. Our focus is on keeping you informed and simplifying the process for you.
- Step 1- The first step in filing for bankruptcy is to schedule a free consultation to discuss your current concerns and get your questions answered. Our office offers a free consultation with a Santa Ana bankruptcy attorney. Prior to your consultation you will fill out a client questionnaire. This questionnaire will help the attorney evaluate the best options for you including alternatives to filing for bankruptcy. The questionnaire provides important information to the attorney that can help them determine whether bankruptcy can help you or what type of bankruptcy you qualify for.
- During the consultation the attorney can go over any questions or concerns you have about filing for bankruptcy.
- Step 2– Decide if bankruptcy is a good option for you. If you decide to move forward with filing for bankruptcy you can retain our office with an initial down payment. You can make monthly payments toward your fees. During this period you can refer any creditor calls to our law office. You will also have access to the attorney to address any questions or concerns you may have about creditor calls or lawsuits.
- Step 3-Preparing documents to file for bankruptcy. Our office will guide you on the documents that are needed to file your bankruptcy. You can submit your documents via our online portal. You will be provided with instructions on completing your credit counseling course. We will review your documents and schedule you for a document review session to complete your bankruptcy petition. Once you bankruptcy documents are complete you will review and sign your petition.
- Step 4-Your case will be filed in bankruptcy court. Once your case is filed in bankruptcy court you will be notified of your 341 hearing and given instructions on completing your debtor education course. You will also be asked to provide some additional documents that the trustee assigned in your bankruptcy case is requesting.
- Step 5-Attend Your 341 Hearing. As part of filing for bankruptcy you must attend a 341 meeting of creditors. The trustee assigned to your bankruptcy case will swear you in and ask you questions regarding the petition and documents that were filed in your case. We will prepare you prior to your hearing with the questions that the trustee normally ask at the hearing. The attorney will attend the hearing with you and will provide any additional documents that the trustee requests at the hearing.
- Step 6– Wait for your discharge. After your 341 hearing you will need to wait approximately 2 to 3 months to receive your discharge. You will receive a letter from the bankruptcy court informing you that you have received a discharge in your bankruptcy case. The discharge indicates that you are no longer liable for the debts that are dischargeable in your bankruptcy case. Our office will also call you to inform you of the discharge of your case.
How Can Bankruptcy Help You Deal with Creditors?
Bankruptcy law is a very powerful tool that can help you deal with creditors and their efforts to collect payments from you or to seize your property. It can help you address:
One of the primary methods that creditors use to collect on debt that they have obtained a judgment on is a wage garnishment. A creditor can garnish up to 25% of your disposable earnings. Bankruptcy can stop put a stop to your wage garnishment and in some cases you may be able to receive back the funds that the creditor garnished. When you file for bankruptcy the automatic stay prevents creditors from continuing to garnish money from your pay check. You can learn about options on how to stop a wage garnishment by going to:
When a creditor obtains a judgment against you they will try to collect their judgment via a bank levy. If they are able to determine where you are banking they will serve your bank with a notice that requires the bank to levy your bank account and turn those funds over to the sheriff’s office. You will not receive prior notice of the bank levy before your bank account is frozen. Generally creditors will try to have the bank levy served on the days that you are likely to be paid. Once your account has been levied you cannot pull those funds from the account. When you file for bankruptcy a creditor cannot place a bank levy on your account. The automatic stay protects you from a bank levy. You also may be able to obtain the funds back that were levied from your account. For more information on how to stop a bank levy you can go to:
If you have fallen behind on your mortgage, bankruptcy can offer you the opportunity to get back on track. Chapter 13 bankruptcy gives you the ability to set up a payment plan for the mortgage arrears that you have fallen behind on. It stops the foreclosure process and gives you the breathing room you need to pay back your mortgage arrears through a plan. As long as you file for bankruptcy protection prior to the sale of your home, you can stop the foreclosure process. It is a powerful tool that can give you the protection you and your family need to stay in your home. For more information on stopping foreclosure you can go to: