Big Bear - Running Springs - Lake Arrowhead Bankruptcy Lawyer Attorney

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Call for a free consultation today. Whether or not you retain me, I will be happy to answer any quick questions you may have right now over the phone. Evening and weekends are available. I look forward to meeting you. - James



Chapter 7 Bankruptcy vs. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

The biggest difference between Chapters 7 & 13 bankruptcies is the repayment of your debt. Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves a court-ordered repayment plan where a portion of your debt back is repaid to your creditors. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there is no repayment plan and certain debts can simply be eliminated. 


Bankruptcy Tip:  What is an Automatic Stay?

It is the automatic stay that "stops" your creditors.  When you file for bankruptcy, the automatic stay stops lawsuits filed against you and most actions by your creditors.  Thus, the automatic stay is one of the most powerful tools you will have when filing for bankruptcy.

The automatic stay may help you with utility disconnections, foreclosure, evictions, wage garnishments, etc.  However, the automatic stay will not help you with tax proceedings, child or spousal support actions, criminal proceedings, 

Typically, a creditor can get around the automatic stay by simply asking the bankruptcy court to lift  the stay.  The most typical situation arises when a lender asks the court to lift the automatic stay in order to foreclose on your property.  Thus, a bankruptcy can delay a foreclosure, but it generally cannot stop it from happening.


After Bankruptcy:  Tips on rebuilding your credit score

Bankruptcy will be on your credit report for 10 years, but you can start rebuilding your credit much sooner than that.    If you re-affirmed a car loan or a mortgage, being current on your payments will help improve your credit score.   If you open up a secured credit card, that will help rebuild your credit as well.   

Get a car loan as soon as possible after the discharge.   First, make sure it's a reputable licensed car dealer who does "in-house" financing.   Then, make sure that they have the ability to report to credit bureaus.  If they are not able to post the loan on your credit report, try another dealer.  The car itself can be very inexpensive, but be prepared to pay a high interest rate.  You will also have to put a large percentage as a down payment, usually 50%.   For example, if you're buying a $3,000 car, be prepared to put $1,500 down.  However, by being current on all your payments, at the end of the loan, your credit score will improve.

You can also ask someone with good credit to get a second card in your name.  Credit card issuers will always grant a second card to a "spouse" or family member.  By being "linked" with someone with good credit, your credit score should improve.

Of course, don't lose sight of common sense:  Start saving your money and don't fall in the debt trap again.    In general, in as little as 2 years after your discharge, you should be able to apply for a home loan if you wish (as per FHA guidelines).



Should I file bankruptcy with an attorney in the first place?

If you are not sure whether you should file for bankruptcy, look at these issues and if one ore more apply to you, you are a good candidate for bankruptcy:


    1. Creditors and collection agencies call or write you or your relatives.

    2.  You have 2 or more bills where you are 30 days behind or more.

    3.  You have lawsuits filed against you by your creditors, or your creditors are threatening to sue you.

    4.  You are unable to pay large hospital bills.

    5.  Even though you are making payments, your debt stays the same.

    6.  You lost all or part of your income 

    7.  You were involved in a divorce or separation and receive less money as a result

    8.  Wages were garnished or your bank account was frozen

    9.  Your lender threatens to start or has started a foreclosure action against your house

    10.  Your auto lender is about to repossess or has repossessed your vehicle

    11.  You have a substantial amount of  debts such as credit cards, medical bills, repossessions or utility bills.

    12.  You would not be able to repay most of your debt in the next 5 years.




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Our Bankruptcy Lawyer - Attorney office in San Bernardino is a very short drive from San Bernardino, Redlands, Yucaipa, Beaumont, Cherry Valley, Calimesa, Highland, Running Springs, Lake Arrowhead, Mentone, Devore, Crestline, Big Bear Lake, Loma Linda, Colton, Grand Terrace, Riverside, Moreno Valley, Bloomington, Rialto, Fontana, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Montlair, Claremont, La Verne, San Dimas, Pomona, Wrightwood, the high desert - Hesperia, Victorville, Apple Valley, Barstow. The hiring of a Bankruptcy Lawyer - Attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely upon information on this website. This web site is designed for general bankruptcy information only. The California Bankruptcy Lawyer information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. This is an lawyer advertisement for my bankruptcy attorney legal services. We are a federally designated debt relief agency pursuant to Title 11 of the United States Code.