Top Bankruptcy Lawyer With Office In Roseville, CA
As many people living in Roseville and the surrounding areas are facing financial difficulties with the everchanging economic picture we are constantly enduring, filing for bankruptcy relief is becoming a very realistic possibility. When bills are piling up and payments are being missed, many people don’t know what they should do or what options they actually have. Those people need someone they can trust and will not judge them for the position they are currently in. They need someone who is highly knowledgeable and thoroughly familiar with the local rules of the Bankruptcy Court, the local Trustees, and the local Judges. Moreover, they want to have someone on their side who is going to make the process as simple and streamlined as possible rather than adding more stress to their current situation. Local Roseville Bankruptcy Lawyer Pauldeep Bains has built his career on these same principles, compassion, intelligence, and efficiency.
At Bains Legal, PC, local Roseville Bankruptcy Attorney Pauldeep Bains understands that people that enter his office are in a very vulnerable time in their lives. Therefore, Mr. Bains takes the time to fully understand your personal situation and the goals that you are looking to accomplish. At no time during your case does Mr. Bains pass your case off to an assistant as many attorneys regularly do. When you hire Bains Legal, PC, you hire Attorney Pauldeep Bains.
Moreover, local Bankruptcy Lawyer Pauldeep Bains has won several awards that directly showcase his ability as one of the top Bankruptcy Lawyers in California, such as the Top 40 Lawyers Under 40 by the American Society of Legal Advocates, the 10 Best for Client Satisfaction in Bankruptcy by the American Institute of Legal Counsel, and the Clients’ Choice Award in Bankruptcy by AVVO.
Roseville Bankruptcy Lawyer Pauldeep Bains’ Primary Focus Is Bankruptcy Law
Attorney Pauldeep Bains started his legal career in Roseville and truly understands the financial hardships and successes of the local community. Moreover, the central and primary of focus of Bains Legal, PC, is assisting clients file for relief under the Bankruptcy Code. The Bankruptcy Code and other related relevant codes are very complex and require the utmost focus from your attorney to fully comprehend. Therefore, you should be extremely weary of hiring an attorney that is practicing multiple areas of law. As it is true that some areas of law are related and you can see an overlap, you don’t want to hire an attorney that is showcasing their firm as a “one-stop-shop” for all law related matters. You want the attorney you hire to be spending the majority of their practice with a focus on bankruptcy.
Mr. Bains devotes his entire practice to debt relief and bankruptcy matters. Mr. Bains spends his complete focus on this area of law because he truly feels that every one of his clients deserve it. You aren’t going to hire your primary care physician to do your knee surgery so why would you hire your family law or criminal law attorney to do your bankruptcy?
What is a Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is the process that Congress has granted to individuals and businesses that are having financial difficulties get a fresh start. While under the protection of the United States Federal Bankruptcy Court, debtors (i.e. person filing for bankruptcy relief) are able to discharge their personal obligation to pay back certain debts. Once they’ve eliminated those certain debts, they are now able to focus on rebuilding their finances. The two most common types of bankruptcy cases that people file are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Cases.
Roseville Bankruptcy Lawyer Pauldeep Bains Has Successfully Filed Hundreds Of Chapter 7 Cases
What Is A Chapter 7?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases are governed under Chapter 7 of Title 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. A Chapter 7, also known as a Liquidation Chapter, is a type of bankruptcy that involves the debtor’s assets being liquidated in order to pay creditors. A debtor is required to list all of their assets and the fair market value of said asset as part of their bankruptcy petition. The Trustee assigned to their particular case will review your assets and make a determination whether he or she will be liquidating any of those assets in order to pay the creditors. However, that determination is not simply up to the Trustee to decide. They must abide the rules that govern exemptions. Each debtor that files bankruptcy is allowed to exempt (i.e. protect) a certain amount of assets from the Trustee’s reach. Once “exempted”, that particular asset cannot be part of the liquidation.
Example: Shawn files a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and owns $30,000.00 worth of assets. In the state that Shawn lives (i.e. Nevada), he is able to exempt $18,000.00 of assets. Therefore, the Trustee is only able to liquidate the $12,000.00 worth of assets that Shawn could not protect. The remaining $18,000.00 worth of assets are safe and cannot be liquidated.
What Assets Can I Exempt in California?
Here in California, clients get to choose from two different exemption schemes in order to protect their assets. The amount of assets that an individual protects from the Trustee’s reach depends on the type of assets that they actually own. For the most part, a client that has over $30,000.00 equity in their primary residence will use the 704 Exemption Scheme (located in California Code of Civil Procedure §§ 704.010 - 704.730). The reason they will use this scheme is because it allows a significant amount of equity to be protected in their home. However, it does not leave much to protect of other assets (not pictured below). The amount of equity that you get to protect in your home actually saw a major change in 2021. See below for the breakdown of protecting equity in your own home:
The higher of $300,000.00---or the median sales price for the prior calendar year in the same County the house is located in---capped at $600,000.00.
On the other hand, if you do not own a home or if your home does not have any equity in it, you would have no use for the above-mentioned exemption scheme. In that situation, you would likely use the 703 Exemption Scheme (located in California Code of Civil Procedure § 703.140(b)). This scheme gives you a much smaller homestead exemption but in addition gives you a Wildcard Exemption. This Wildcard Exemption can be used to protect anything you’d like (i.e. cash, a checking account, a boat, a baseball card collection, etc.). The amount of the Wildcard Exemption can be seen below:
Homestead Exemption – $29,275.00
(C.C.C.P. § 703.140(b)(1))
Wildcard Exemption - $1,550.00 + any unused amount of the Homestead Exemption
(C.C.C.P. § 703.140(b)(5))
Therefore, if you do not own a home or don’t have any equity in the home that you do own, you are able to use the full $30,825.00 as a Wildcard Exemption.
Roseville Bankruptcy Lawyer Pauldeep Bains has an excellent understanding of both exemption schemes and is generally able to fully protect all of his client’s assets from the Trustee. When hiring a bankruptcy attorney, make sure they are fully competent in the exemption schemes that will be used to protect your assets. Attorney Pauldeep Bains has been hired by several clients that filed bankruptcy with another attorney or on their own and then realized their assets were going to be liquidated because they were not properly advised. Mr. Bains was able to substitute into these cases and recover a favorable outcome for these clients.
To get a full understanding of what assets would be safe and what assets would be at risk in your Chapter 7 case, contact Roseville Bankruptcy Attorney Pauldeep Bains by calling 916-800-1406 and set up your FREE no-hassle consultation.
What Debts Can I Discharge In My Chapter 7?
By filing for bankruptcy relief, the goal for the debtor is to receive a discharge order at the end of the case. As mentioned above, the discharge order is a Federal Court Order eliminating your personal obligation to pay back certain debts. Debtors should be aware of the fact that some debts survive the bankruptcy and are not eliminated upon the entering of the discharge order. The most common types of debts that are not discharged are alimony/child support payments, student loan obligations, and certain tax debt. That being said, below is a list of common debts that are discharged in your Chapter 7:
- Credit Card Debt
- Unsecured Loans
- Bills from Hospitals, Doctors, etc.
- Payday Loans
- Deficiencies owed on a car repossession
- Second Deeds of Trust from Home Foreclosures
- Old cell phone bills
- Prior landlords and an outstanding bill owed to them
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Explained By Award Winning Roseville Bankruptcy Lawyer Pauldeep Bains
What Is A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is a reorganization chapter wherein the debtor enters into a Court administered repayment plan to pay back a portion of his or her debt. Chapter 13 cases are governed by Chapter 13 of Title 11 of the United States Code. The bankruptcy code requires the repayment plan be anywhere from 3 to 5 years. The debtor is required to propose a plan that is in align with the bankruptcy code and the local rules of the Bankruptcy Court. The amount of the payment plan is determined by several factors, including the debtor’s monthly disposable income, the types of debt the debtor has, and the goals the debtor is trying to accomplish.
Confirming A Chapter 13 Plan With A Local Roseville Bankruptcy Lawyer In The Eastern District Of California
When the debtor files his or her Chapter 13 case, the debtor will also be required to file a Chapter 13 Plan. That plan will propose to pay a certain amount each month and designate how much each particular creditor is to receive. Since each Bankruptcy Court has a set of their own Local Rules, it is always wise to hire a bankruptcy attorney that is familiar with the Local Rules of the Court that you will file with.
Moreover, each Trustee within the District and each Judge within each Bankruptcy Court have additional requirements that are generally only learned from regularly practicing in front of them. Therefore, when hiring a Bankruptcy Lawyer, you should make sure that the lawyer you hire regularly practices within your designated District.
Roseville Bankruptcy Lawyer Pauldeep Bains has spent his entire legal career practicing Bankruptcy Law within the Eastern District of California, the district that all residents of Roseville and any surrounding city fall under. The Bankruptcy Court located within this district is at 501 I Street, Sacramento, CA 95814. Mr. Bains regularly practices at this Federal Courthouse and has spent countless hours in front of the 5 bankruptcy judges within that courthouse. Moreover, Mr. Bains has been filing chapter 13 cases that are assigned to both of the local Chapter 13 Trustees for several years and has a detailed understanding of confirming a plan in front them.
How Does The Chapter 13 Plan Operate In The Eastern District Of California?
The Chapter 13 Plan varies depending on which district you are filing for relief in. The Chapter 13 Plan that is required in the Eastern District of California breaks the Plan down into 7 different classes of creditors. We will discuss the 6 most used classes below:
Class 1 – This is the section of the plan that you would commonly place a delinquent mortgage. For example, if you have a mortgage that you are delinquent $10,000.00 on, that mortgage payment would be included in this section of the plan. You would have upwards of 60 months to pay the delinquency amount in full.
Class 2 – Here, you place any secured claim that you are either modifying as part of your Chapter 13 Plan or that will mature prior to the Chapter 13 Plan completing. The two most common claims that are placed in this section are 2nd mortgages that you are “stripping” or car loans that will mature in less time than the Chapter 13.
Class 3 – In this class, secured claims that are you surrendering your interest in will be placed. For example, if you have a car loan that you wish to surrender as part of your Chapter 13, you would place that claim in this section.
Class 4 – The claims that are placed in Class 4 are not paid through your Chapter 13 Plan. These claims are actually paid directly from the debtor to the creditor. However, claims can only be placed here if you are current on the payments when the case is filed, the loan will mature after the completion of the Chapter 13 plan, and you are not attempting to modify the claim.
Class 5 – The most common type of claim that is placed in Class 5 is your tax obligations. Certain tax obligations are designated as priority debt and must be paid in full during your Chapter 13 case. Those debts will be placed here in Class 5.
Class 7 – All of the general unsecured creditors (i.e. credit cards, medical bills, personal loans, etc.) are placed in the last class of claims, Class 7.
Facing a Foreclosure? We can help!
With the COVID-19 Pandemic, most homeowners did not have to worry about making their mortgage payments. However, with us hopefully being on the brighter side of that situation than we have been in the past, foreclosures are now going to play a much bigger role. So, if you are dealing with missed mortgage payments, what can we do help?
Roseville Foreclosure Attorney Pauldeep Bains can evaluate your situation to determine your options. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is a great solution in most situations. Here is how that would work:
By filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, an automatic stay goes into place. In plain English, the automatic stay forbids the mortgage company to sell your home. While now inside of the Chapter 13, we can now look to reorganize your missed mortgage payments over a three-to-five-year court administered payment plan. As long as those payments are timely made, the house cannot be sold.
Let’s say a person is $20,000.00 behind on their mortgage payments. Let’s say each monthly mortgage payment is $1,000.00. Without considering any other facts, here is how that chapter 13 payment plan would like:
$383.33 per month to cover the $20,000.00 delinquency and attorney fees.
$1,000.00 per month to cover the ongoing mortgage payment.
$120.00 per month (approximately) to cover the Court appointed Chapter 13 Trustee’s fee.
Total = $1,503.33 per month (over 60 months)
So rather than having to come up with $20,000.00 instantly to stop the foreclosure, this person could file a Chapter 13 case prior to the foreclosure occurring and ultimately pay $1,503.33 per month for 5 years to save the home.
Avoid Bank Accounts Being Levied
After debts are accumulated and payments start being missed, creditors begin their collection attempts to get their money. As these phone calls and letters begin coming in, the fear of losing your money to these creditors increase. One of these fears is a bank levy.
In order for your bank accounts to be levied, several steps must first occur and fortunately for you, Roseville Bankruptcy Lawyer Pauldeep Bains completely understands these steps. Once the creditor realizes they need assistance collecting their money, they will either sell the account over to a collection agency or bring on a civil attorney. Eventually, either the creditor’s attorney or the collection agency’s attorney will initiate and file a lawsuit against you. That lawsuit will comprise of a Summons and Complaint. Here, they will describe your default on the payments and demand payment in full.
Once that lawsuit is filed with the Court, they must serve you the lawsuit. Without proper service, the lawsuit is at a standstill. However, after you are served a copy of the lawsuit, you are now on the clock. Pursuant to the designated rules, you now have 30 days to file an Answer to that lawsuit. The Answer would be your response to the allegations that were made in the Summons and Complaint. Unfortunately, it is quite common for people to not file an answer within the given time. If the Answer is not timey filed, the next step would be for the creditor or collection agency to request a Default Judgement. This request is simple in nature: The defendant didn’t respond to the lawsuit within the given time so we should win. Given that these are statutory deadlines, the Judge would honor the request and issue the Default Judgement.
Once they have the Default Judgement in place, they would then be able to request an actual Judgement for Money. At this point, one of the three things a creditor would generally attempt to do is Levy a Bank Account. They would need to notify the Court of where your bank accounts are located at and request from the Judge that they are able to withdraw funds from that account in order to satisfy their judgment. They would then serve the Order to the bank and the bank manager would be required to pull the money from your account the following business day. Once levied, those funds go to pay the judgement that’s in place.
In order to stop these levies requires a speedy and swift action by you. Roseville Bankruptcy Lawyer Pauldeep Bains has stopped numerous bank levies through his career and is ready to act quickly on your behalf. With Mr. Bains’ aggressive and quick approach, he can save the funds in your bank account and protect your financial wellbeing.
Do I Qualify for Bankruptcy?
The option to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is not for everyone. The process of actually qualifying for these options involves a detailed analysis of your financial picture. In a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you are advising the Court and your creditors that your financial hardship is serious enough that your income is not sufficient to pay any of your general unsecured debt. In a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, the outlook is quite different----you are advising the court the Court and creditors that while you do suffer a financial hardship, you do have some disposable income in order to support a reorganization of the debt and enter into a court managed payment plan. The income qualification standards for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy centers around the Means Test and forward-looking Budget prediction.
What is the Means Test?
The Means Test is a method the Bankruptcy Court uses in order to determine what they feel your available disposable income is after factoring in certain deductions and expenses. To do this, the Means Test requires an analysis of your prior 6 months of income. One of the common sources of income the Means Test does not require to factored into the analysis is income derived from Social Security. The end result of the test will leave you with an amount that is designated as your monthly disposable income. If that number is low enough, you do in fact qualify for Chapter 7. However, if it’s not, the Bankruptcy Court would allow you move forward with a Chapter 7 and you would in turn have the option to move forward in a Chapter 13 case.
How Does My Budget Factor In?
Once the Means Test is complete, another qualification standard that must be analyzed is an actual budget. This is similar to the Means Test in that it looks at your income and expenses to determine what your disposable income is. However, it differs quite a bit in how it’s actually performed.
For one, the Budget is going to estimate to the best of your knowledge your income looking forward---not the prior 6 months. Thus, if you have had certain changes that have occurred in the prior 6 months, you would be able to factor those in when completing your budget. Second, the budget allows you to estimate your reasonable and necessary expenses moving forward and not be required to use the standardized amounts as shown in the Means Test. The court would be able to determine if these numbers are reasonable and necessary, however.
The budget is crucial in a Chapter 7 because it would show the reality of whether you can actually afford to pay your general unsecured debt or not. In a Chapter 13, the Budget would need to show that you can afford to pay the monthly Chapter 13 payment plan that you are proposing to pay. If your budget does not show that you can afford to pay it, the Court would not be able to confirm your Chapter 13 Plan.
Meeting of Creditors aka 341 Hearing
Once a bankruptcy case is filed, the person filing the case, the Debtor, has certain requirements that they must abide by. One of these stringent requirements is that the Debtor must attend a Meeting of Creditors (aka 341 hearing). This requirement is set forth in 11 U.S.C. 341. It is at this hearing the Debtor will be testifying under penalty perjury and answering certain questions posed to them. The majority of the time all of these questions will be asked by the Trustee, a court appointed person administering the case. Creditors or creditors’ attorneys could appear at this hearing and also ask questions, however, it is uncommon that this actually happens in the real world.
Having a competent hearing on your side at this hearing is important. Without being properly prepared for this hearing, the actual hearing could end up being extremely stressful and rather damaging. Roseville Bankruptcy Lawyer Pauldeep Bains has an extreme amount of experience at these hearings. Mr. Bains ensures that each and every of his clients are fully prepared for this hearing.
What Should You Do Now?
Properly preparing for bankruptcy is crucial to ensuring your bankruptcy case is successful. Our office provides FREE in office and phone consultations to anyone who is interested in learning more about bankruptcy, how the process ultimately works, and how and whether filing for bankruptcy relief could help you. If you are interested in speaking with Roseville Bankruptcy Lawyer Pauldeep Bains, please reach out to our office to schedule your free consultation. You can do so by CLICKING HERE or calling 916-800-7690 and schedule your free consultation.
We help clients in the following areas: Roseville, Rocklin, Lincoln, Wheatland, Loomis, Auburn, Granite Bay, Antelope, Citrus Heights, Folsom, El Dorado Hills, Sacramento, Elk Grove, South Sacramento, West Sacramento, Natomas, Fair Oaks, Gold River, Rancho Cordova, Woodland, Davis, Lodi, Yuba City, and Marysville.