Thomas F. Miles, Attorney and Counselor at Law
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Be fully informed before filing for personal bankruptcy

Some California consumers who are experiencing financial difficulties procrastinate filing for bankruptcy because they feel embarrassed and even unworthy for being in such a situation. What they may not realize is that millions of others have had similar problems and regained financial stability by taking the important step to file for personal bankruptcy. However, there are certain things a consumer must know in preparing for this important opportunity.

Because each state has its own laws concerning certain aspects of personal bankruptcy, it is important to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney who is fully informed about those laws as they relate to the federal Bankruptcy Code. The lawyer will be able to explain what protections are offered by bankruptcy, answer questions and provide information that will allow a client to make informed decisions. Relevant information includes an explanation of the types of assets that may be exempted in bankruptcy.

In many instances, the filer is able to keep his or her home, and obtaining clarity concerning this issue is certainly important. Matters that may come into play include whether the property's value has decreased, whether there is a second mortgage on it, and more. An attorney can explain the laws related to homestead exemption and the circumstances that will allow a client to keep his or her home. The type of bankruptcy filed depends on the filer's income level and the amount of unsecured debt. There is an option suitable for those without a regular income and also one for individuals who earn a reliable income but are unable to meet their current financial obligations.

There are two primary options for personal bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Code. The circumstances of each individual are unique, and determining which option is suitable may need some guidance. An experienced California bankruptcy attorney can explain the requirements for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. While Chapter 7 involves the liquidation of assets to pay creditors, Chapter 13 bankruptcy provides consumers with  the opportunity to continue paying debts over an extended time according to a court-approved payment plan.

Source:, "Bankruptcy And You -- Important Things You Need To Know", Accessed on March 30, 2016

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Thomas F. Miles, Attorney and Counselor at Law
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