Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney

Call 909-915-0181 or 760-835-9353

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National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys  

Attorney Edgar P Lombera

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney

Chapter 7 bankruptcy with 30 debts or less

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is a form of bankruptcy that allows you to liquidate your unsecured debt.  Common examples of unsecured debts are credit cards, medical bills, payday loans, signature loans, repossession deficiencies, and judgments.  If you stop paying unsecured debt there is not any property that the creditor can take from you because there is no collateral.

How Chapter 7 Works

A chapter 7 bankruptcy case begins by filing a petition with the bankruptcy court in the district where the individual lives or where the business debtor has its principal place of business or its principal assets. The debtor is required to file schedules of assets and liabilities, including current income and expenses, and a statement of financial affairs. A husband and wife may file a joint chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, or a spouse may file individually. Joint petitioners pay only one filing fee.

Filing a chapter 7 banruptcy petition "automatically stays" most creditor actions against the debtor and the debtor's property. This stay arises by operation of law and requires no judicial action. While the stay is in effect, creditors cannot initiate or continue lawsuits, repossessions, or wage garnishments.

One schedule filed by individual debtors lists "exempt" property. Federal bankruptcy law provides that an individual [vs. business] debtor can protect certain assets from creditor claims because this property is exempt under federal bankruptcy law or the laws of the debtor's state. Married couples may only claim one set of exemptions.

A chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee is appointed when the case is filed. The trustee's duties are to examine and verify the accuracy of the debtor's bankruptcy papers and to identify assets which are not exempt. The trustee sells the non-exempt assets which have value and distributes the net proceeds to the creditors. If an asset has a loan against it, the debtor can keep the asset if the equity is exempt.

A "meeting of creditors" is held about 30 days after the petition is filed. The debtor must attend the meeting, and if a husband and wife filed jointly, both must attend. You must bring a government issued picture I.D. and your social security card to the meeting. Creditors may appear and ask questions regarding the debtor's financial affairs and property, but creditors rarely attend. The trustee conducts the meeting, and the debtor must cooperate and provide the records the trustee requests. Otherwise, the debtor could be denied a discharge.

The bankruptcy court clerk issues the discharge, usually a few days after 60 days has elapsed from the first date set for the creditors meeting. A copy of the discharge is mailed to the debtor and all the creditors listed in the debtor's schedules.

Role Of The Trustee

The case trustee is appointed to administer the case and liquidate the debtor's non-exempt assets. In the most cases, all of the debtor's assets are exempt or subject to valid liens, so a trustee usually has no assets to sell. These are called "no asset" cases. If the debtor has non-exempt assets or if the trustee later recovers assets to liquidate for distribution to unsecured creditors, the creditors are given an opportunity to file a form stating the basis of their claim against the debtor or the debtor's assets.

The filing of a chapter 7 bankruptcy petition creates an "estate," and the trustee becomes the temporary legal owner of the debtor's property. The estate consists of all the debtor's legal or equitable interest in property, including property owned or held by another person. The estate includes tangible and intangible assets, such as insurance claims or lawsuits for damages.

The trustee can sell non-exempt property as well as property with a market value in excess of the sum of any security interest or lien and the allowed exemption the debtor holds in the property. Objections to debtor's exemption claims must be filed within 30 days of the date a creditors meeting is completed.


A chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge releases the debtor from personal liability and prevents the creditors from taking any further action against the debtor or his property to collect the debts. As a general rule, individual debtors receive a discharge in over 99 percent of chapter 7 bankruptcy cases.

A creditor has two options to oppose the discharge: file a complaint objecting to the debtor's bankruptcy discharge; or file a complaint to determine if the creditor's debt is excepted from the discharge. A creditor may pursue one or both of these remedies by filing a complaint with the bankruptcy court. The time limit for an adversary action is very short, just 60 days from the first date of the creditors meeting, unless extended by court order.

The grounds for objecting to a chapter 7 bankruptcy discharges are narrow, and the creditor or trustee objecting to the discharge has the burden of proving the case. In general, the grounds for denying a discharge are: the debtor failed to keep and produce adequate financial records; the debtor failed to explain satisfactorily a loss of assets; the debtor committed a bankruptcy crime; the debtor failed to obey a lawful order of the bankruptcy court; or the debtor fraudulently transferred, concealed, or destroyed property that would have been property of the estate.

Once a discharge is granted, the trustee, a creditor, or the U.S. Trustee may later file a complaint to revoke a chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge if they can prove: a) the discharge was obtained through the fraud of the debtor; or b) the debtor acquired property that is property of the estate and knowingly and fraudulently failed to report the acquisition of such property or to surrender the property to the trustee. Generally, this complaint must be filed within a year after the discharge was granted.

Certain types of debts may not be discharged in a chapter 7 bankruptcy such as alimony and child support, most taxes, student loans made or guaranteed by a governmental unit, debts for death or personal injury caused by the debtor's operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated from alcohol or other substances, and debts for criminal restitution orders. To the extent that these types of debts are not fully paid in the chapter 7 bankruptcy case, the debtor is still responsible for them after the bankruptcy.

Debts for money or property obtained by false pretenses, debts for fraud while acting in a fiduciary capacity, debts for willful and malicious injury to another or to the property of another, and debts arising from a property settlement agreement incurred during or in connection with a divorce will be discharged unless the creditor timely files an adversary complaint. The creditor must file the complaint within 60 days from the first date of the creditors meeting. The presumption is in favor of the discharge, and the creditor normally has the burden of proof to show that such debts should be excepted from the bankruptcy discharge.

Secured Debts

Secured creditors normally retain the right to seize their loan collateral, even after a discharge is granted. The debtor must decide whether to keep the asset. If a debtor returns the collateral, and if a discharge is granted, the debtor will have no further liability to the creditor.

A debtor wishing to keep the asset, such as an automobile, may "reaffirm" the debt or redeem the property. A reaffirmation is an agreement between the debtor and the creditor where the debtor promises to pay all or a portion of the money owed. The reaffirmed debt will still be owed after the discharge. In return, the creditor promises as long as payments are made, the creditor will not repossess the automobile or other property. If the debtor defaults on the payments, the creditor may repossess and sell the collateral. Unfortunately, if the sale price is not enough to pay off the debt, the debtor will still owe a deficiency to the creditor.


What Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Can Do

Chapter 7 bankruptcy may eliminate most kinds of unsecured debt. Some examples of unsecured debts Chapter 7 may eliminate are credit cards; medical bills; most personal loans; judgments resulting from car accidents; and deficiencies on repossessed vehicles.

In addition to getting rid of your debt, Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to typically keep all of your property. As long as your car and mortgage payments are current, and there is no significant equity in your property, we should have no problem making the arrangements for you to reaffirm the debt. Keep your home, keep your car, keep your personal belongings, but eliminate your debt; that is our goal with Chapter 7.

Stop Creditor Harassment

If creditors are bothering you at work, harassing your family, friends and neighbors, or calling at all hours, you can put an end to it immediately. Upon retaining our services, we provide you with a special telephone number so that you can refer your creditors to us. We will keep the creditors off your back, and you can stop paying your creditors immediately.

Eliminate Repossession Debts

After a vehicle finance company repossesses your car they auction it to reduce their loss. You are still responsible for the balance on the car, called a 'deficiency balance'. San Bernardino Lomberalaw Bankruptcies can eliminate your liability for the entire deficiency balance. Remove the risk of lawsuits and garnishments by filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

Stop Garnishments with a San Bernardino Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is one of the most effective ways to immediately stop garnishments. Garnishments can diminish your hard-earned income making it nearly impossible for you to afford basic necessities. By filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy and stopping the garnishment, you will be able to use your income for more important necessities in life and start saving for your family's future.

Keep Your House, Car and Personal Belongings- Reaffirming

Mortgage lenders and automobile finance companies are usually more than happy to keep accepting your current monthly payments both before and after a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This is called reaffirming your debt. They are in the finance business to make money, not to repossess your property. When the finance company reaffirms the debt, they have the comfort of knowing that you have no other outstanding debts, you cannot file Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcies for another eight years, and they can continue to collect the principal plus interest under the original loan agreements

Rebuild Your Credit

Many of our clients are able to purchase a vehicle on financing the day they receive their bankruptcy discharge. Often times you will pay a percentage point or two higher than a person with unblemished credit, but ask yourself how low of an interest rate would you be able to get in your present situation. You should be able to finance a home within two years after receiving a bankruptcy discharge, as long as you can provide a minimum down payment and show the ability to make the monthly mortgage payment. Many consumer debtors receive credit card solicitations within months of receiving a bankruptcy discharge.

Low Fees

If you need your case filed quickly due to a garnishment, foreclosure or threat of repossession we may be able to file your case almost immediately and offer you a payment plan tailored to your situation.

We offer a very low flat fee.

San Bernardino Chapter 7 bankruptcy with 30 debts or less

Price: $995.00 plus costs.

In order to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must pass a bankruptcy means test. With offices throughout Texas, Bailey & Galyen bankruptcy lawyers provide a free consultation to explain the law and the process and to determine if bankruptcy is right for you and the best option for your situation.

Call The Law Office of Edgar Lombera- San Bernardino Bankruptcies at 909-915-0181 for immediate help! Cities Supported: San Bernardino, Redlands, Yucaipa, Colton, Muscoy, Fontana, Rialto, Banning, Big Bear, Crestline, High Desert, Hesperia, Adelanto, Victorville, Grand Terrace, Rancho Cucamonga, Los Angeles, Upland, Ontario, Pomona, Chino, Montclair, Riverside, Moreno Valley, Corona, Cathedral City, Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, Coachella Valley

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