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Bankruptcy Law

bankruptcy law

A California Bankruptcy Attorney You Can Trust

With over 20 years of experience and a 98% success rate, our lawyers have helped thousands of California residents and eliminated millions of dollars. If you want to get out of debt fast, contact us now!

People in debt are scared by the thought of filing bankruptcy. For years, the word “bankruptcy” has had a negative connotation. Many of this is due to false stereotypes and horror stories. Bankruptcy, however, is not necessarily a bad thing. It is a big step to resolve serious debt problems that require immediate action or, otherwise, problems will get worse. A qualified and experienced attorney is the first step to easing daily struggles that involve debts, foreclosures, and repossession. 

There are different chapters in the United States Bankruptcy Code. Currently, there are chapters 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, and 15. Each chapter allows different types of debt relief for different types of individuals and entities. The ultimate question is to decide which Chapter is right for you. The best answer is to have a comprehensive consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney because bankruptcy requires complex analysis. 

For many years, Tenina Law has helped its clients to file for bankruptcy. While Tenina Law focuses on all currently existing chapters, many will end up considering Chapter 7, known as the personal bankruptcy case, Chapter 11, reorganization, and Chapter 13, individual reorganization. We have listened to our client’s problems and concerns and were successful to achieve great results for them. 

Business bankruptcy is also an option for small and large corporations, LLCs, partnerships, and sole proprietorships. Several benefits of business bankruptcy include shielding owners of the corporation from future liability to shareholders and other creditors and preventing unnecessary lawsuits against the corporation. The most common solution for business entities is to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It is important to note, that corporations, unlike individuals, do not receive a discharge of their debts in Chapter 7. 

While debtors are our primary clients, we also represent creditors in bankruptcy proceedings. A creditor is someone who has a right to payment from the debtor who has filed for bankruptcy. As a creditor, your option also depends on which chapter of the Bankruptcy Code was filed, how your claim arose, and, if applicable, what the debtor’s intentions are with respect to the property.


Are You in Search of a California Bankruptcy Attorney?

With over 20 years of experience as a California bankruptcy attorney, Alla Tenina has extensive knowledge of both debtor and creditor bankruptcy cases. She will carefully evaluate your financial situation and provide guidance on whether bankruptcy is the appropriate path for you. Additionally, she will assist you in selecting the most suitable bankruptcy chapter for your current circumstances.

Every case is unique, and Los Angeles bankruptcy lawyers are seasoned professionals who excel in identifying and addressing the specific issues in your case.


Which Type of Bankruptcy Is Right for Me?

Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy are different chapters within the US Bankruptcy Code. These terms are commonly used by bankruptcy attorney and courts to refer to specific bankruptcy filing options.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7, also known as liquidation, provides individuals with a fresh financial start. Contrary to common misconceptions, Chapter 7 does not necessarily result in the loss of all assets. Many clients in Los Angeles can retain their homes (unless there is substantial equity), vehicles, and other assets while eliminating credit card debt, medical bills, and other dischargeable obligations. The automatic stay goes into effect immediately upon filing for bankruptcy, halting all creditor collection efforts.

During the bankruptcy process, your bankruptcy attorney will review your household’s net income and expenses, a step also undertaken by the bankruptcy trustee. If your disposable income exceeds the legal standard, you may not qualify for Chapter 7. In such cases, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be a better option, allowing you to repay a portion of your unsecured debt over a period of time while still benefiting from significant debt relief.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 offers a debt restructuring program that allows individuals to catch up on secured debts by making manageable payments towards arrears over a period of three to five years through a Chapter 13 plan. For example, if someone has fallen behind on mortgage payments and faces foreclosure, Chapter 13 enables them to repay the delinquent amount over several years while making regular monthly mortgage payments, effectively halting the foreclosure process.

Chapter 13 can be particularly advantageous for homeowners who have experienced job loss and fallen behind on mortgage payments. It provides a solution by allowing them to repay the debt over a period of three to five years, effectively preventing foreclosure.

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What to Expect During the Bankruptcy Process

At our bankruptcy law firm in Los Angeles, we believe in providing our clients with transparency and minimizing surprises throughout the bankruptcy process. From the initial free consultation to the discharge of bankruptcy, here’s what you can expect when working with us.

First Free Consultation

Our Los Angeles bankruptcy lawyers will offer you a free consultation to assess your situation and determine the best bankruptcy option for you. During this consultation, we will collect necessary information and documents to evaluate the need for bankruptcy and determine the most suitable chapter for your case.

After deciding to retain our services, we will provide you with a list of documents to bring to your next consultation and request a deposit. We will then conduct an audit of your file, similar to the process conducted by the bankruptcy trustee. Drawing from our experience working at the Los Angeles bankruptcy trustee’s offices, we can identify potential issues during this audit.

We will schedule another meeting after the preliminary audit, during which we will review the documents, address any questions you may have, and proceed with completing the necessary paperwork for filing the case once the remaining pre-filing bankruptcy attorney‘s fees and case costs have been paid.

Bankruptcy Hearing

Upon filing the case, we will promptly inform you of the case number and the hearing date, also known as the “meeting of creditors.” This hearing involves an examination conducted by the Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy trustee. We will schedule an appointment with you to thoroughly prepare for the hearing and provide representation during the process.

Contrary to popular belief, creditors rarely attend these meetings, and even if they do, their involvement is usually limited. The meeting of creditors is primarily intended for examination purposes, where the trustee reviews your bankruptcy paperwork and asks you questions. If needed, a translator will be provided during the hearing.

Hearings in Los Angeles typically last between one and one and a half hours, with most clients waiting for their turn. The examination itself usually takes only a few minutes. Once the examination is complete, clients are free to leave.

Bankruptcy Discharge

In Chapter 7 cases, if there are no assets to distribute, the trustee will file a No Asset Report after the meeting of creditors. You can expect to receive a discharge approximately 3-4 months after the hearing.

Before receiving a discharge, Los Angeles bankruptcy filers must complete online debt management counseling. If necessary, we can provide you with the required financial instructions for this counseling class.

Life After Bankruptcy Discharge

Following the hearing, you can resume your normal routine. We will ensure that you understand the discharge once it is received by mail (both you and we will receive it) and address any further questions you may have.

That’s it. After receiving your discharge, it’s time to move forward and resume your normal life.


Los Angeles Bankruptcy FAQs

What is an Automatic Stay in bankruptcy?

An Automatic Stay is a legal provision that goes into effect when a bankruptcy case is filed, halting most collection actions by creditors against the debtor.

How does bankruptcy affect mechanic liens?

Bankruptcy can potentially eliminate mechanic liens if they are considered unsecured debts, but if the liens are secured by property, they may survive the bankruptcy process.

What are the implications of property liens in bankruptcy?

In bankruptcy, property liens can be classified as either secured or unsecured, with secured liens typically surviving the bankruptcy process and unsecured liens potentially being discharged.

What are the tax implications of a charged-off debt in bankruptcy?

A charged-off debt in bankruptcy may have tax implications, as it can be considered taxable income unless an exception applies, such as insolvency.

What are the strategies for removing second and third mortgages through bankruptcy?

In certain circumstances, second and third mortgages can be removed through a process called lien stripping in Chapter 13 bankruptcy if the value of the property is less than the outstanding balance on the first mortgage.

What are the bankruptcy considerations for rental and investment properties?

Rental and investment properties can be subject to different bankruptcy rules and treatment compared to personal residences, and factors such as equity, income, and exemptions can impact their treatment in bankruptcy.

How should international assets be handled in bankruptcy?

International assets can present complex issues in bankruptcy, and their treatment depends on various factors, including the specific bankruptcy laws and agreements between different countries.

Does my spouse need to file for bankruptcy as well?

Spouses are not required to file for bankruptcy together, but individual circumstances, joint debts, and shared assets should be considered to determine the best course of action.

Do I have to go to court if I file for bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy typically involves court proceedings, including attending a meeting of creditors (341 meeting) and potentially attending hearings if disputes arise, although the specifics may vary depending on the type of bankruptcy filed.

Should I file for bankruptcy before or after my divorce, considering timing?

The timing of filing for bankruptcy in relation to divorce depends on several factors, such as the type of debts, joint or individual liabilities, and state laws, so it’s important to consult with professionals to make an informed decision.

How can social stigmas associated with bankruptcy be debunked?

Social stigmas surrounding bankruptcy can be addressed by understanding that it is a legal process designed to provide a fresh start to individuals facing overwhelming debt, and by promoting education and empathy to dispel misconceptions.

Can bankruptcy help lift my driver’s license suspension?

Bankruptcy may help lift a driver’s license suspension if the suspension is related to unpaid civil judgments or certain types of debts, but the specifics depend on the laws of the jurisdiction where the bankruptcy is filed.

What is the concept of “cram down” on auto loans in bankruptcy?

“Cram down” refers to the ability to reduce the principal balance and interest rate on an auto loan to the value of the vehicle in Chapter 13 bankruptcy, potentially providing debtors with more affordable loan terms.


Call Tenina Law for Bankruptcy Law Assistance

If you find yourself in a challenging financial situation and require expert assistance in navigating bankruptcy law, Tenina Law is your trusted partner. With a wealth of experience and knowledge in this specialized field, our dedicated team is ready to provide the guidance and support you need. By scheduling a consultation with us, you can embark on a journey to understand your rights, explore potential solutions, and pave the way for financial relief. Take the first step towards a brighter future by reaching out to us today and let Tenina Law be your advocate during this challenging time.

Our team at Tenina Law is committed to helping individuals like you who are struggling with financial difficulties. We understand that bankruptcy can be a complex and overwhelming process, which is why we strive to simplify it for you. By discussing your specific circumstances during a consultation, we can analyze your options and formulate a tailored plan that aligns with your needs and goals. 

Don’t let financial stress consume your life—contact Tenina Law today and let our experienced bankruptcy law professionals guide you towards a fresh start. 


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