Thomas F. Miles, Attorney and Counselor at Law
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San Diego California Bankruptcy Law Blog

Impact of bankruptcy on your credit score

Due to our usage of credit cards and taking out loans for homes, vehicles and education, it is not uncommon for residents in California and elsewhere to deal with debt. While some debt is usually manageable, when it accumulates and is not controlled by a steady income individuals could suffer from this growing debt. In these matters, filing for bankruptcy might be the best option to obtain a fresh financial start.

But, filing for bankruptcy does not mean the individual will not be impacted in other ways. Depending on the type of bankruptcy filed for, a debtor could be looking at several years of them working to rebuild their credit. For those filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it is expected that the filing will remain on their credit score for 10 years.

Guiding you through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy

While some amount of debt may be manageable and necessary, as many people seek to own a home and personal vehicle, securing them with personal loans and mortgages can rack up debt fast. When debt becomes overwhelming and one cannot pay their bills on time, it might be beneficial to consider the options available to them to address their growing debt.

Bankruptcy is often treated like a negative thing or as something to avoid. While it is not a process to aspire for, it is a very resourceful tool for an individual or family suffering financially. At Thomas F. Miles, Attorney at Law, our experienced legal team understands the ins and outs of the bankruptcy process, helping those in the El Cajon area determine which bankruptcy he or she should file for.

What to do if you get calls after filing for bankruptcy

Individuals who file for bankruptcy in California need to follow a strict set of guidelines. Once the court approves your bankruptcy, an automatic stay goes onto all of your accounts, helping you attain some relief from most outstanding debts. 

One reason many people pursue bankruptcy is that they become tired of constantly receiving phone calls from creditors. Although these creditors need to follow certain rules, many callers do not abide by them. Once you begin the bankruptcy process, these calls should stop. However, that does not always happen. If you still receive calls, then you need to be proactive. 

Am I eligible to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

Deciding to file for bankruptcy can be a major step in reclaiming one's control of finances. San Diego residents who are considering how bankruptcy may serve their needs may be familiar with the two main forms of individual bankruptcy: Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This brief post will introduce readers to the eligibility requirements for filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but readers are asked to discuss their eligibility for the process with their trusted bankruptcy attorneys.

First, businesses cannot file for Chapter 13. There are other options for corporate entities that require the support of the bankruptcy courts. Chapter 13 is only for individual filers and people who choose to file with their spouses.

Make sure your estate plan matches your wishes

Time stops for no one, and before a California resident may realize it their children may be grown and they may be prepared to end their career in order to embrace retirement. When a person reaches that point in life, they may feel confident that the wealth they worked so hard to earn is sufficient to provide them with what they need until they pass on. Many in this situation hope that there is something left over when they eventually meet their end so that their loved ones may inherit something from their estates.

When death eventually comes, a person's estate plan is the guiding tool that instructs others on where the decedent's assets should be allocated and gifts should be made. Over time, a person may make changes to their estate plan to ensure that it meets their changing wishes and is representative of their desires for the disposition of their wealth and assets.

A review of the requirements for filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy

In order to pursue bankruptcy protections under a Chapter 7 filing, a San Diego resident must meet the requirements of the process. This post will generally discuss how a person may qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but readers are asked to consult with their personal bankruptcy attorneys to discuss specific questions as this post does not provide legal advice.

In order to pursue Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a person's income must be sufficiently low when subjected to the means test. The filer's income must either be lower than the state's median income or their disposable income must be insufficient to repay their creditors. If a filer can repay some of their unsecured creditors they may not be able to pursue Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

What do you need to do to create a charitable trust?

Oftentimes, when San Diego residents begin the process of inventorying their property and assets to create an estate plan, they consider to whom they would like their wealth to pass. They may choose family members or dear friends who supported them through their lifetime. They may also want to give to organizations that do good work for causes the estate planner believes in.

A person may leave some of their wealth or assets to a charity through a charitable trust. Charitable trusts are often split-interest trusts, meaning that they may benefit two different entities over the course of the trust's existence.

2 tips for avoiding probate

The probate process, or the steps involved in establishing the validity of a will in court, can sometimes prove long, involved and expensive, but the process is also often largely avoidable. If you wish to keep your estate in the hands of the people you value most and avoid making your beneficiaries wait longer than they must to receive their inheritance, there are steps you can take that may help you do so.

More specifically, if you want to avoid probate, consider:

Understanding a pre-foreclosure sale

Owning a home is a dream that many families in San Diego entertain. Once they are able to save up enough money to make a down payment on the home of their wishes, it may seem as though their challenges related to homeownership are over. Although some people are able to keep up with their mortgage payments and retain the residences that they worked hard to purchase, others are unable to make their monthly payments and risk losing their homes to foreclosure.

Previous posts here discussed foreclosure and how it may happen. Previous posts have also touched on some of the ways that a person may stop the foreclosure process. Some of our readers may want to learn more about how to rid themselves of the homes that they can no longer afford before the foreclosure process starts: this process is known as a pre-foreclosure sale.

Can you discharge student loans in bankruptcy?

Certain debts are eligible for discharge in individual bankruptcy proceedings. Debts to mortgage lenders, credit card companies and others may be consolidated and repaid through various bankruptcy filings. However, some debts are not eligible for discharge or are very hard to discharge through traditional bankruptcy processes.

For example, student loan debts fall into the category of debts that are next to impossible to discharge through Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In order for a student loan debtor in California to have their education debts discharged they must show that repayment of those loans would impose an undue hardship upon them.


Thomas F. Miles, Attorney and Counselor at Law
152 West Park Ave
El Cajon, CA 92020

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