Bankruptcy Blog

Modesto Bankruptcy Attorney

If you are looking to claim Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must make sure that you qualify. In order to meets the requirements for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must first pass the means test and go through credit counseling. Unless you pass the means test, you will not be able to declare Chapter 7 bankruptcy. As long as you pass the means test and obtain a certificate from credit counseling, you are on the road to a debt free life. By calling one of our Modesto bankruptcy lawyers you can find out whether or not you pass the means test.

Is there any other relief if I don’t qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

If you do not qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy there is also a Chapter 13 bankruptcy called reorganization. When you file a Chapter 13, a plan is created where you make payments to a bankruptcy trustee, which allows you to pay off portions of your debt based income and expenses. One advantage of this plan is the ability in certain circumstances to strip the second lien or second mortgage off of your property.

To find out how one of our Modesto bankruptcy attorneys can help, give us a call!

Call us for an in-depth consultation in our Modesto, CA bankruptcy office.

Call us for an in-depth consultation with one of our experienced bankruptcy lawyers at (209) 214-6600. We normally keep regular hours Monday through Friday from 9am – 6pm, but if the weekend works better for your schedule, just give us a call and we will setup an appropriate time for you. We will make sure you get your problems resolved.

Thomas Hogan Law Office Modesto

1207 13th St. #1 Modesto, CA 95354
Phone: (209) 214-6600
Hours of operation:
Monday: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Tuesday: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Wednesday: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Thursday: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Friday: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Saturday: Flexible, give us a call
Sunday: Closed

If one spouse files for bankruptcy and the other spouse does not file, then the credit card company will “go after” the spouse who did not file. When spouses obtain a credit card, they usually sign a contract holds both parties jointly and severally liable. Basically, this means that if one spouse should die or files for bankruptcy, then the other spouse is liable for the entire credit card debt. The credit card companies do not care whether it is fair to collect the debt from you or from your ex-spouse, even if the charges were incurred by your ex-spouse. The credit card company is possessed with only one objective, and that is to collect money.

Our attorneys have many years of combined experience in helping clients navigate through their bankruptcy cases. We are well versed in helping you to maximize your bankruptcy protections and to keep your personal assets to get a fresh start. Call (209) 214-6600 to speak with a Modesto Bankruptcy Attorney today!

Section 523(a)(5) of the Bankruptcy Code now makes all support obligations non-dischargeable (the debt cannot be eliminated). In addition, all property settlement debts that are owed to a spouse, former spouse, or a child of the debtor are non-dischargeable in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Therefore, a non-debtor spouse is no longer technically required to file an adversary complaint to block a debtor spouse from trying to bankrupt debt that is owed under a property settlement agreement. However, it is my professional opinion that a prudent non-debtor spouse should still file an adversary complaint. A non-debtor spouse should make certain that a debtor ex-spouse is not successful in his or her efforts in trying to discharge marital debts that are owed under a property settlement agreement. Due caution should be exercised until the bankruptcy laws on these issues are settled.

We have represented clients for the past 30 years experience in helping them navigate through their divorce decree and bankruptcy cases. We are well versed in helping you to maximize your bankruptcy protections and to keep your personal assets. Our bankruptcy attorneys look forward to helping you get a fresh start.

Call (209) 214-6600 to speak with an Attorney today!

Any support, whether it is called family support, alimony, or child support, is made non-dischargeable (the debt can’t be eliminated) in bankruptcy by the Bankruptcy Code. The spouse who receives the support does not have to file any type of proofs of claims or objections to the Bankruptcy Court to enforce her rights to continue to receive support. In most cases, once a debtor files for bankruptcy, all creditors must stop all actions to collect their debts. This block is called an “automatic stay”. The automatic stay does not apply to the enforcement of the collection of child support or alimony. These types of obligations have a super priority under the Bankruptcy Code.

The attorneys of The Law Office of Thomas Hogan specialize in bankruptcy & divorce. Call (209) 214-6600 to speak with our Modesto Bankruptcy Attorneys.

Divorce can be a war of attrition. The family court often requires the husband to pay the wife’s counsel fees, which could be $10,000 or higher. This can definitely take a toll on someone’s morale and pocket.

It’s common to hear about ex-husbands filing for bankruptcy after a divorce is over, and often the husband will list the wife’s lawyer fees as a debt on his bankruptcy schedules. Consequently, lawyer’s fees as a dis-chargeable debt in bankruptcy become a big issue. The key question is whether the counsel fee debt is declared as a support obligation or property settlement claim.

The California Bankruptcy Court recently declared obligation to pay spousal support and attorney fees as non-dischargeable pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §523(a)(5). Van Aken v. Van Aken, 2005 Fed. App.0001 (6th Cir. 2005).

If an ex-husband attempts to discharge a counsel fee award, it is imperative that the wife files an adversary proceeding with the Bankruptcy Court. This request calls for a Court hearing over the dispute, and the Court decides whether the counsel fee award is support and non-dischargeable. Likewise, the Bankruptcy Court could determine the counsel fee award was a form of equitable distribution that can be discharged. The Court could also order the payment terms be restructured. It is important to note that if a non-debtor spouse ignores a spouse’s bankruptcy filing, disastrous results could ensure. No objection typically means the debtor spouse will successfully discharge a counsel fee obligation. Call us for help with bankruptcy after divorce.

In general, filing for bankruptcy will not affect your spouse’s property. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the Trustee will be able to take your owned property if it is not exempt. The Trustee can’t take your spouse’s property.

The answer is a little more complicated when jointly-owned property comes into play. The Trustee can take only your portion of the property or all of it depending on the nature of your ownership. Selling the jointly-owned property may be required to divide it between the joint owner and the Trustee.

You should be able to keep your SEP, IRA and 401(k) plans. In many states, IRAs are exempt, save for deposits made within six months before filing. EISA plans are also protected if their documentation contains spendthrift protection.

In California, a life insurance’s cash value exemption is capped at a certain amount, provided you meet the property beneficiaries and meet other requirements. Call the professionals at (209) 214-6600 to help you in your time of need.

Once a divorce is filed, there are growing fears that the family will fall apart. It is a sad reality that many families simply can’t pay for the mortgage or other major expenses when they split up. Filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy stops the foreclosure, and enables the family to propose a debt restructuring plan and a payment plan on the mortgage rearrangements. At the very least, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will buy the family time to find a decent apartment within their means.

Alternatively, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy could give a family some time to put their home on the real estate market. A family receives the except equity in their home if it’s sold at a sheriff’s sale, but only after the sheriff’s fees, bank’s lawyer fees, and the mortgage are fully paid off. It is always recommended that an financially constrained family sells their home in a “distress sale” rather than loses it in a sheriffs’ sale.

Thomas Hogan’s Law Office specializes in bankruptcy & divorce and we are prepared to help help you. Call (209) 214-6600 to speak with our Modesto Divorce Attorneys.

Section 523(a)(5) of the Bankruptcy Code now makes all support obligations non-dischargeable in all chapters. In addition, all property settlement debts owed to a spouse, former spouse, or a debtor’s child are non-dischargeable in a Chapter 7. Therefore, a non-debtor spouse is no longer technically required to file an adversary complaint to block a debtor spouse from trying to bankrupt debt owed under a property settlement agreement. However, it still makes sense for a non-debtor spouse to file an adversary complaint. A non-debtor spouse should be completely certain that the debtor ex-spouse does not discharge marital debts owed under the agreement. Due caution should be exercised until the bankruptcy laws on these issues are settled. The ability to pay and the balancing tests have been eliminated from Section 523(a)(15) of the Bankruptcy Code, and Section 523(c) of the Code was amended so a property settlement discharge proceeding is no longer required to be brought into the bankruptcy court. It is important to emphasize that these types of debts still remain dischargeable in a Chapter 13 case. Therefore, most future bankruptcy litigation over family law debts will be contested in a Chapter 13 case rather than a Chapter 7 Case.

The Law Office of Thomas Hogan is a bankruptcy & divorce law specialist who is prepared to help help you. Call (209) 214-6600 to speak with our Modesto Divorce Attorneys.

Bankruptcy Concerns

Written on: August 14th, 2013

It is not uncommon for potential bankruptcy clients to come in for a consultation with their own pre-conceived ideas that are not always fact.  It is always our goal to get these concerns out in the open so we can try and relieve some of the burden  and get down to the facts. Below I have listed a few of the most widely held concerns that I have been asked about:

1)      That once a bankruptcy is filed, I can not keep any assets- that the home, cars and dog will have to go- this is not the case- actually, in most cases, we are able to protect all of the clients property and all of the debt is wiped out in the bankruptcy filing.

2)      That once a bankruptcy filing takes place that they will not be able to get any credit for next 7-10 years- not true- in many cases, once the bankruptcy has been completed and the debt discharged, most individuals receive offers of new credit right away- low balances to start, but generally decent interest rates- this allows individuals the ability to begin rebuilding their credit right away.

3)      That once a bankruptcy is filed, I can not keep my financed home or car(s)- also not true- as long as your payments are current on your financed assets,  you can keep them and continue to pay the lenders- this will allow the individual to continue rebuilding their credit post bankruptcy.

4)      That once a bankruptcy is filed, I will not be able to buy a house for 7-10 years- not true- it is a common rule of thumb that once a bankruptcy has been discharged, after two years, individuals would be eligible for FHA insured loans with competitive interest rates.

5)      That if an individual is married, they can only file bankruptcy if their spouse files- this is also not true- individuals have the right to file a bankruptcy singly even if they are married- community assets held by the married couple must be considered in the bankruptcy filing to ensure the assets are protected and then the individual can achieve debt relief. It is , in most cases, best to file jointly, but it possible for married individuals to file singly.

It is our goal at the Law Office of Thomas Hogan to get all the facts and concerns from our potential clients and do our very best to put them at ease during this difficult time- no one ever wants to have to proceed with a Bankruptcy filing, but in some cases it may very well be the best decision for getting a clean start.

Sacramento, CA — With the presidential election coming up along with the ballot voting for the new tax hike in November and the overwhelming budget deficit,  Governor Jerry Brown and his Democratic Party lawmakers have been inundated with threats and warnings on what will happen if the proposed tax hike to cut the deficit should fail come November.

California's New Budget -- Sink or SwimA $91.3 billion state budget has been created and on the other hand  $6 billion worth of cuts has been signed by the lawmakers and Governor Brown in case their initiative fails. That would mean less funding for the local police, shorter school years, and potential tuition fee increases in the California State University systems and the University of California.

The new state budget has been designed so that the people will vote for the tax initiative or else  it or else the consequences will be pretty much catastrophic. These budget cuts will impact the public education system a whole lot and the public school districts are already struggling despite accounting for more than half of the state’s expenses. In the new proposed plan,  the school year could be reduced from the current 175 days to 160 days (of course, there will be some happy students when they hear this). If in case this goes through, California will be 20 days behind from the national average of the 180 days school year.

This new budget plan did not also sit  well with the Republican Party. State Sen. Anthony Canella, R-Ceres, questioned why the budget for education must be reduced to $5.4 billion when the state revenue for this year is higher than that of last year’s. He further added, “maybe you’ll let the kids out of school but the teachers will still be employed and in addition to that, they’ll get their full retirement for the year.

Connie Conway, Assemblyman Republican Leader has this to say, “It’s a disgrace that Democrats  are playing politics with the budget to sweeten the appeal  for ill-fated  taxes at the ballot box.”

Despite the rabid comments of the Republicans based on the recent polls, Governor Brown’s initiative was leading with 52% in favor of the tax initiative and 35% opposing it but the scary part is that the voting is still in November and opinions might change.

Part of the initiative is to provide additional funding to the public universities provided that the tax initiative passes voting and that the schools do not increase their tuition fees. Schools like the University of California are agreeing with Governor Brown’s plan and has agreed to not pursue the 6 percent tuition increase this fall.

According to UC spokesperson Dianne Klein, ” We do think that it’s a positive step toward bringing stability to funding for the University of California but it’s going to take some extraordinary measures to balance our budget without a fee increase.” But if the initiative fails come election day, the California State University and University of California school systems will end up $250 million short of funding from the state which will then create a situation for a mid-year tuition fee hike.

California is almost in dire straits, with Stockton going belly up and being gang banged by economic problems, it is not hard to imagine that the entire state of California might as well end up filing for bankruptcy one of these days. With the new California budget, people are caught between the devil and the deep blue see in their choices. It’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t.



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