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How to File Bankruptcy in California

Bankruptcy in California


Who Can File Bankruptcy in California?


When residents of California find themselves overwhelmed by debt, they may be able to get relief by filing for bankruptcy.  While the circumstances surrounding each individual claim for bankruptcy will be slightly different, many of the rules which govern bankruptcy proceedings in California will apply to all cases.  In order to ensure you are eligible to file for bankruptcy in California, you will need to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.  The following are just some of the requirements which you must meet in order to be eligible to file bankruptcy.

  1. You must have been a resident of California for a minimum of one year
  2. You must have unsecured debt
  3. You must not have filed bankruptcy in the last 6 years


What Do I Need To Know Before Filing For Bankruptcy in California?


Some of the most important things for you to know before filing bankruptcy are:

  1. You will most likely lose some of your assets as a result of filing bankruptcy
  2. Filing bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for 6 years or more
  3. You will be required to take credit counseling courses in order to receive bankruptcy relief
  4. Bankruptcy can give you a fresh start if you are consumed by debt


What Type of Debts Can Be Discharged As Part of a Bankruptcy Proceeding in California?


Not all debts can be discharged under California bankruptcy laws.  If you have what is known as secured debt, your debt will not be dischargable under the law.  Secured debt is any debt which is secured by any type of physical property or asset.  This includes items such as a mortgage or car loan.  On the other hand, any unsecured debts such as credit card debts or medical bills may be discharged under California bankruptcy laws.


Will I lose my house and car if I file for bankruptcy in California?


This depends upon two factors.  The first factor is whether or not your home or vehicle are still being financed, and whether or not you are in good standing with the financing company.  Since secured debts such as home and car loans can not be discharged as part of a bankruptcy proceeding, you will need to stay current with your payments in order to keep this property.  The second factor is the value of your home or car.  While you are entitled to protect your home and car from liquidation during your bankruptcy proceedings, this protection only extends to a certain dollar amount.  If the value of your home or vehicle exceeds this dollar amount, you may be required to sell these items and purchase less expensive items in their place.


Do I really need to hire an California bankruptcy attorney to represent me?


There is no statute which requires you to hire a California bankruptcy attorney in order to file for bankruptcy however, this is certainly in your best interest.  The bankruptcy system is extremely complex.  In order to ensure you receive the fresh start that you are looking for, it is always best to work with a competent attorney.

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