January 24, 2015

Can You Bankrupt Unemployment Overpayments?

By |January 24th, 2015|

Not all debts are dischargeable in bankruptcy.

It would be nice for my clients if they were, but there are limits.

See my page on debt discharge in bankruptcy for more information.

One type of debt that for some reason arises with relative frequency is overpayments made for unemployment.

In California these payments are made by the Employment Development Department (EDD).

There are different ways this debt can arise, but essentially what happens is the government pays you more than you are entitled to under […]

December 27, 2014

Top 10 Los Angeles Bankruptcy Blog Posts of 2014

By |December 27th, 2014|

Another year comes to an end.  It was a busy year for bankruptcy.

Not so much for people filing bankruptcy, but certainly for accessing bankruptcy information.

Below are the most visited posts from my bankruptcy blog in 2014*:

10.  How To Determine Which Debts Are Discharged in Your Bankruptcy Case

When you receive your “discharge” there is nothing the court issues which lists which debts are discharged.  How do you know which debts you no longer have to pay?

Hint:  Ask your attorney


9. How Long […]

Where Does My Bankruptcy Case Get Filed?

By |December 11th, 2014|

You want to file a bankruptcy case and are ready to find an attorney.

Where does your case get filed and where should you look for your attorney?

Do you File Where Your Debts Were Made?

Many believe that you file the case where your debts were incurred, so that, for example, if your debts are all taxes from California and you are currently living somewhere else, your case would be filed in California.


Filing Anywhere in the USA?

Others think you can file bankruptcy […]

November 30, 2014

Bankruptcy Still Exists

By |November 30th, 2014|

Yes, I went there.  I said the “B” word.

Most people would rather get strung upside-down naked and lowered into a pile of fire ants than consider bankruptcy.

And I don’t understand why.

Many times–dare I say MOST times–bankruptcy is by far the easiest, cheapest, most effective and most efficient solution to their financial problems, both short term and long term.

But today I read a post online from someone asking if Chapter 7 bankruptcy still exists, because he was told it did not.

Umm, […]

Bankruptcy and Non-Bankruptcy Debt Solutions

By |November 23rd, 2014|

Different Types of Debts
There are many different kinds of debts and bills.

There are mortgage, credit card, taxes, student loans, payday loans, alimony, child support, as well as debts that might come from negligence or other actions, and many more.

People who find themselves unable to pay their debts are often confused about their options.

Not unexpectedly, the options vary depending on a number of factors.

I have divided the different options into two main categories:  Bankruptcy and Non-Bankruptcy.
Non-Bankruptcy Options

Debt Consolidation
Debt Settlement/Negotiation
Do Nothing

Bankruptcy Options

Repayment Plan […]

Bankruptcy Schedules: List Everyone You Owe, Or Else!

By |November 20th, 2014|

Do I have to list debts I owe to my mother and friends if I intend to repay them?

Yes, you do.  Or else your entire discharge can be permanently denied.

At least in the 7th Circuit judicial district (Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin).

The recent decision by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in In re Sofia Katsman, illustrates this well.
You Cannot Pick And Choose Who Or What To List In Bankruptcy Papers
Ms. Katsman filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.

As is required in all […]

October 8, 2014

Debt Settlement, Consolidation, or Bankruptcy?

By |October 8th, 2014|

Settlement is a nice sounding word.

Settle. Resolve. Put an end to.

But is debt settlement a good choice?

First, let’s take a look at the competition.
Debt Consolidation is Just a New Loan
Debt consolidation is usually a new loan that you take out to pay off all your other (usually credit card) loans.

Thus, no settlement involved here.

The main benefit is you consolidate your multiple different payments into one big one.

But do you save any money?

Well, maybe.

It depends on the terms of the loan, […]

September 28, 2014

Can I Keep My House or Car if I File Chapter 7?

By |September 28th, 2014|

It is an inaccurate myth that you lose all your assets when you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

To the contrary, as I have explained,  with proper legal counsel in most cases you can keep ALL of your assets in Chapter 7, including your house and vehicles.

There are two main factors involved in determining whether you can keep an asset such as your house or car.

The first is whether the Trustee will sell it and the second is whether any creditor secured […]

Want to Stop a Foreclosure? Don’t Do This

By |September 23rd, 2014|

I hope you never find yourself in the situation where you need to stop a foreclosure sale on your home.

But many do.

Bad advice and failure to plan can lead to disastrous results.

I have been practicing exclusively bankruptcy law since 1991 and have gratefully helped a lot of people eliminate or restructure their debts.  However, I’d say about 25% of my consultations these days are with people who tried to “do it themselves” or got horrible advice from a paralegal or […]

Options for Home Equity Loan Defaults

By |September 17th, 2014|

Many homeowners take out loans against their homes to use as they need it.

These loans, or lines of credit (HELOCs) are usually offered with very low, adjustable interest rates, or even interest-only payments, making them even more attractive.

However, the terms for most of these loans have an end date:  A time when the interest rates rise or the minimum payments increase to include principal as well as interest.

Most don’t take out the full credit line all at once.

They use it […]