Elk Grove Bankruptcy Lawyer Honored With Super Lawyers Designation
With the everchanging status of economic impacts that everyone is facing, having high quality legal counsel in your corner can be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful financial future. As inflation reaches numbers that we have never seen before, having your personal finances in control are more important than ever. Elk Grove Bankruptcy Attorney Pauldeep Bains understands that the current need for reliable and knowledgeable counsel is highly important.
With a background in Economics from the University of California, Davis, Mr. Bains provides a specialized detailed analysis of his clients’ finances that comes from his dedication to helping people that need a fresh financial start. Mr. Bains is an award-winning Bankruptcy Lawyer who focuses his time and expertise on both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy cases.
What To Look For In Your Elk Grove Bankruptcy Attorney
- Concentration on Bankruptcy in Elk Grove
The act of filing for Bankruptcy relief is filed through the Federal Court system. Within the United States Bankruptcy Court, where you actually file generally depends on where you live. The Bankruptcy Courts are broken out into various districts. With the expansion of online advertising, attorneys can advertise in Elk Grove without never having visited the Bankruptcy Court where Elk Grove residents file.
Make sure when you are looking for your Bankruptcy Lawyer, the attorney has an actual footprint in Elk Grove. Elk Grove residents will file Bankruptcy in the Eastern District of California, specifically through the Federal Court located in Sacramento. Speak with your Bankruptcy Lawyer to ensure he or she regularly practices in that courthouse. By doing so, you can be confident that the Bankruptcy Lawyer that you hire understands the nuances that take place in this local court.
- Offers a Free Consultation
Without speaking to a knowledgeable Bankruptcy Lawyer, making the tough decision to file for bankruptcy relief is unwise. In order to fully understand how the Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 process will effect---both positively and negatively---your financial future, discussing your finances in detail with a top-quality Bankruptcy Lawyer should be one of the most important things you do. Confirm whether your Bankruptcy Lawyer offers you a free consultation where you can discuss options and strategies. Money is generally tight when someone is considering filing for Bankruptcy relief so paying for a consultation appointment might not be feasible.
- Informative Website
Being able to read pertinent information regarding bankruptcy topics is invaluable when making the decision to file for Bankruptcy relief in Elk Grove. The internet is filled with information that deals specifically with filing for Bankruptcy---some of it being accurate and some not so much.
Ensure that your Elk Grove Bankruptcy Lawyer has a helpful website that you can use as a trusted resource to educate yourself on various bankruptcy topics. If you are unable to trust the attorney’s website, trusting the actual attorney and their staff might be difficult to do.
- Practices Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcies
Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy filings offer incredible benefits for those that are filing. However, how both of those chapters function and which one is more beneficial in your particular situation requires analyzing the facts along with the Bankruptcy Code. Elk Grove Bankruptcy Lawyers that practice both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are able to analyze which Chapter is best suited for you and thoroughly explain how and why.
Some attorneys only offer services in one particular Chapter. If that’s the case, they would be more inclined to advise you that whatever Chapter they offer is the better suited one for you. For attorneys that offer both services, they can truly understand your situation and put you into the best possible situation moving forward.
- Discusses Other Options
Maybe bankruptcy isn’t even your best option. Having a good understanding of not only your Bankruptcy options---but also non-bankruptcy options---is a crucial part of making an educated decision. Make sure your Bankruptcy Lawyer is able to go through both bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy related options for your particular situation. You never want to feel pressured into choosing an option without knowing all of the available options that you have. Make sure you ask your Bankruptcy Lawyer what options are available to you if you choose not to file either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
- Excellent Online Reviews
Who is better suited to tell you how your Bankruptcy Lawyer has treated past clients and colleagues---other than direct comments from those people? Reading online reviews is a great way to hear from past clients and/or colleagues who have actually dealt with the lawyer in the past. If you can’t find any reviews, that could be a problem. If you are seeing significant bad reviews, that could also be a problem. However, if you find that the lawyer has 5-star reviews from reputable review sites such as Yelp and Google, that is a great sign.
- Flexible Appointments
When hiring an attorney for assistance with a bankruptcy filing, make sure your schedule and the attorney’s schedule coincide together. If you prefer phone appointments, ensure that your Bankruptcy Attorney offers appointments over the phone. If you prefer in-office appointments, determine if your Bankruptcy Attorney allows for you to come into the office.
Furthermore, check how flexible and simple booking appointments with your Bankruptcy Attorney is. Oftentimes, the process of filing for bankruptcy relief in Elk Grove is needed to be done by a certain date. Confirm with your attorney whether he or she will be able to meet that deadline and if so, whether there would be an additional fee for that. Find out when your case is planning to be filed with the Bankruptcy Court. It is unwise to hire your Elk Grove Bankruptcy Attorney expecting the case to be filed by a certain date and be told later that the actual filing won’t be until much later.
- Extremely Knowledgeable
Hiring a Bankruptcy Lawyer in Elk Grove that doesn’t have superior knowledge in finances and bankruptcy would be unwise. Trusting the future of your finances that will have a long-term impact on you, your family, and your future should be very carefully treated. If the Elk Grove Bankruptcy Lawyer that you hire doesn’t show to you that he or she possesses all of the necessary knowledge and tools to put you in the best position possible, you might want to continue looking. Hire a lawyer that you are certain understands the Bankruptcy Code to a high degree.
Important Questions To Ask Your Elk Grove Bankruptcy Attorney
Once you have finally made the decision to meet with a bankruptcy lawyer and have determined which attorney you are going to conduct a consultation with, what should you even ask this attorney? This sounds simple enough but the reality of it is that most people don’t know what to actually ask once they are sitting down with a bankruptcy lawyer. They are nervous and scared of what is to come. In a lot of situations, they have never had a meeting with a bankruptcy lawyer in the past and they are uncomfortable speaking with a stranger about their intimate finances. Having a plan is important and below we will discuss some important questions you should ask your bankruptcy lawyer.
- Is filing for bankruptcy my best option?
Filing for bankruptcy should be used as a last resort when you are struggling with your finances. That being said, one should make a list of all possible options---good or bad---and go through each option with a realistic outlook on it. By pursuing that particular option, what will the likely result be? Once you have gone through each option, you should now be able to determine which option is your best option, whether that option be bankruptcy or not.
In order to fully assess whether bankruptcy is the best option for you, your bankruptcy lawyer will need to look at a full financial snapshot of your particular situation. Once the facts are presented, your bankruptcy lawyer should now be able to analyze each option and determine which option is your best option. Have your bankruptcy lawyer go through each of these options with you so you fully understand whether bankruptcy is in fact the best option.
- What Chapter of bankruptcy is better suited for me?
Determining what Chapter of bankruptcy to file is a crucial decision you and your Elk Grove Bankruptcy Attorney will make. In order to fully make this decision, your bankruptcy attorney will examine the facts of your personal situation in detail. Once they have the necessary facts in place, the attorney should then be able to walk you through which Chapter of bankruptcy is better for you.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is commonly known as a liquidation chapter. Here, you are authorizing the Bankruptcy Court to liquidate your non-exempt assets in exchange for a discharge of your dischargeable debts. In order to get into Chapter 7, your household income level will need to be below a certain threshold. As long as you pass that income test (referred to as the Means Test) and there are no other reasons why you can’t file for Chapter 7, you are eligible to file Chapter 7.
In most cases, your bankruptcy lawyer should be able to exempt all of your assets and once exempted, those assets are not at risk of being taken from you. However, if you do have non-exempt assets, the Court will look to liquidate those assets and use those funds to pay your creditors. Upon completion of this, the debts that are eligible for discharge (i.e., credit cards, personal loans, medical bills, etc.) will be discharged. The normal Chapter 7 case takes approximately 4 months.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a different approach to get a similar result, the discharge. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you are entering into a 3-to-5-year repayment plan administered through the Bankruptcy Court. There are certain debts that you will be required to pay during this term. On the flip side, there might be certain debts that you are not required to pay at all---or maybe just a certain percentage. Once you complete this payment plan, all debts that are eligible for discharge will be discharged. The normal Chapter 13 case lasts anywhere from 3 years to 5 years.
- Do I qualify to file bankruptcy in Elk Grove?
The biggest factor to consider when determining whether you qualify to file for bankruptcy relief is your income level. The test that you will likely need to complete is what is commonly referred to as the Means Test. This test will require an examination of the prior 6 months of your income. The purpose of this test is to determine whether or not Congress feels you should have disposable income remaining each month to pay at least some of your unsecured dischargeable debts (i.e., credit cards, loans, medical bills, etc.). If the result of the test shows disposable income, you likely would not qualify for a Chapter 7. However, you would be able to continue forward with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead.
Even if you do qualify for Chapter 7, there are other things to consider when deciding whether to file Chapter 7. There are situations wherein a person could qualify for Chapter 7 but doing something other the Chapter 7 is actually in their best interest. This is why it’s very important to speak with a knowledgeable Elk Grove Bankruptcy Attorney before making any decisions.
- What’s going to happen with my assets when I file bankruptcy?
What happens with your assets upon the bankruptcy filing depend on several factors. For one, what will happen with your assets depends on whether you are in a Chapter 7 case or a Chapter 13 case. In a Chapter 7 filing, you are able to exempt certain assets, possibly all. If exempted, you will get to keep the assets. If non-exempted, those assets would be liquidated and those funds will be used to pay your creditors. If you are filing Chapter 13, you still use exemptions on your assets but generally speaking, none of the assets are taken from you. Any non-exempt assets would factor into the payment plan you are entering into.
- What documents and information will I need to provide if I am going to move forward with a bankruptcy filing?
When filing for bankruptcy relief, it’s important to know that you will be disclosing your financial affairs to your bankruptcy lawyer and ultimately the Bankruptcy Court. Thus, your bankruptcy lawyer will need certain documents and information from you. Below is a list of common items you’ll need to provide to your bankruptcy lawyer: Last 2 tax returns; 6 months proof of income; 3 months of bank statements; Current statement of retirement accounts, mortgage statements, and car loans; Valuations of cars and homes; List of all creditors; Copy of social security card and photo identification.
- Will all of my debts be eliminated if I file bankruptcy?
This will depend on the types of debt that you actually have. The bankruptcy code is written in a way that provide exceptions on certain types of debt. Please refer to 11 U.S.C. § 523. Common debts that are not discharged in the bankruptcy proceeding are child support, alimony, certain taxes, and student loans.
If you are filing for Chapter 7, the debts that are not discharged will survive the bankruptcy and you will still owe them once the bankruptcy case is complete. However, if you file for Chapter 13 relief, some of the debts that are not eligible for discharge will be required to be paid in full within the confines of the Chapter 13 Plan. For example, let’s say you have $15,000.00 of delinquent child support payments. If so, that amount will be required to be paid in full within the Chapter 13 case.
- How long will the bankruptcy process take?
This again ultimately depends on which Chapter you file. If you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and don’t have any non-exempt assets, it is common for your case to be completed within 4 months. If you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy but do have non-exempt assets that are liquidated, it is common for you to still receive your discharge in approximately 4 months but the case will take upwards of 12 months to complete and close. On the flip side, if you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the case will generally last however long the payment plan is plus an additional 6 months. Meaning, if you are in a 3-year Chapter 13 Plan, the case will generally take 3.5 years to complete.
Find An Elk Grove Bankruptcy Attorney Near Me
Making the decision to file for bankruptcy relief—or even consider it---is a big decision and requires a deep level of analysis. While it is good to conduct your own research and educate yourself on the bankruptcy process, it’s still very important that you speak with a professional who is able to review your financial situation and provide you your best option to move forward with.
Many residents of Elk Grove are facing financial difficulties that can have life long impacts if they are not resolved. Here with our legal team, attorney Pauldeep Bains regularly helps citizens of Elk Grove out of financial hardships and sets them up for a prosperous financial future. Please click HERE to schedule your free consultation with Elk Grove Bankruptcy Lawyer Pauldeep Bains or call us at 916-800-7690 and request to schedule your free consultation.