Archive for the ‘Bankruptcy’ Category

What if I do not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

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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

What happens to joint credit card debts if I file for bankruptcy?

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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!

If my spouse files for bankruptcy can I still enforce the divorce judgment?

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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!

Can a spouse escape support or alimony via bankruptcy?

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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.

I Was Ordered to Pay for My Wife’s Lawyer Fees. Can I Wipe Them Out if I File for Bankruptcy?

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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.

If I File for Bankruptcy, Will It Impact My IRA account, My Spouse’s IRA Cash Value Life Insurance Accounts, or Jointly-Owned Land?

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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.

We are in the Middle of a Divorce and I was just Served with Foreclosure Papers. What Should I Do?

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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.

If My Husband Files for Bankruptcy Can I Still Enforce the Terms of the Divorce Judgment?

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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.

My Spouse has Just Filed for Bankruptcy in the Middle of Our Divorce Case. What Do I Do Now?

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Living in California is expensive, and divorce can be even more so when bankruptcy is involved. A divorce can trigger a bankruptcy filing for a multitude of reasons, and it quite often turns into a supreme mess. There is no clear winner ad loser in a divorce case, so all parties should try to achieve a compromise and reach a fair property settlement agreement. In many cases, a bankruptcy can help out both spouses if they joint file.
If an ex-spouse files for bankruptcy, the family court can still hear testimony and decided issues relating to support. However, the court requires stay relief for equitable distribution, which involves the bankruptcy court permitting the divorce case to continue. Basically, the family court won’t split up the family home, divide pensions, or apportion any stocks or mutual funds until it receives permission from the bankruptcy court.