If you are neck deep in debt and your creditors are continuously contacting you for payment, and there is no way you can afford to pay them, contact Thomas Hogan Law Office Oakland. Our bankruptcy attorneys will review your circumstances and advice you of your options. If there is no viable alternative, our attorneys will suggest bankruptcy. We advise all our clients to consider bankruptcy as the last option. Also not all debts can be discharged through bankruptcy. If your debts are those that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, filing for bankruptcy will serve no purpose. Here are the answers to some of the most common questions related to bankruptcy law:

Filing for Bankruptcy in Oakland: Chapter 7

Individual debtors usually file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you have no source of income and your financial position is unlikely to improve in the near future, you should seriously consider filing under Chapter 7. Most Chapter 7 filers receive a discharge. The trustee will pay off your debts by selling your assets. You can retain some of your assets. These assets are known as exempt assets. Depending on how you apply the exemptions available to you, you may be able to retain some valuable assets. The Oakland bankruptcy attorneys of Thomas Hogan Law Office have assisted many debtors get a Chapter 7 discharge.

Means Test

The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act makes it much harder for individuals to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 allows debtors to wipe out their obligations after forfeiting their non-exempt assets. Bankruptcy courts previously had broad discretion to decide who can file for it or for Chapter 13 which has much less generous terms. The Act has introduced a means test in place of the judicial discretion. When you contact Thomas Hogan Law Office for Chapter 7 filing, our Oakland office bankruptcy attorneys will first determine if you qualify for filing a Chapter 7 under the Means Test.

Filing for Bankruptcy in Oakland: Chapter 13

Chapter 13 is best suited if you have a regular source of income. A Chapter 13 proceeding can only be filed by individual debtors. To be eligible for filing under Chapter 13 of the bankruptcy code, you must be an employee, self employed or operating an unincorporated business. Chapter 13 is also referred to as the wage earner’s plan. You must demonstrate that you have sufficient income after deducting certain slowed expenses to meet the repayment obligations under the Chapter 13 plan. The bankruptcy attorneys in our Oakland location can assist you file a Chapter 13 petition and help you prepare a payment plan that will be approved by the bankruptcy court. If you have a source of income, you should consider filing under Chapter 13 whereas if you do not have a source of income, you should file for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7.

Debt Settlement

In a debt settlement, you attempt to settle the debt for less than the full amount of debt. If you want to enter into a debt settlement with the debt collector, you must request a meeting with the debt collector. During the meeting explain to the debt collector your present financial position and the other debts that you have to pay. Follow up this meeting with a letter and make an offer of what you think is the best you can pay for the debt. You should keep in mind that debt collector will not generally accept the very first offer you make. You should be ready to increase it slightly. Be prepared for a long negotiation. If the debt collector accepts your offer, you should get it in writing. You must ensure that the debt collector accepts your offer as full and final settlement of the debt. When you make the payment, make sure you keep a record of the payment. Our Oakland bankruptcy attorneys are experienced  in settling debts and assist you accordingly throughout the process.

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