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Being in debt is never a good feeling, and often one that has you asking how you got there in the first place. Sometimes it's caused by not being thrifty with money and taking advantage of credit. Alternatively, you can be good with your money, responsible for all of your bills, but a hiccup in the income causes a domino effect. The outcome for both of these scenarios is an inability to pay down the debt. Now creditors are calling seemingly non-stop and making your life misery. You are not without an option to take care of the issue; contact a Los Angeles bankruptcy attorney about what you can do.

The Basics of Bankruptcy


Bankruptcy is a legal option that allows you to discharge your debt under one of two commonly filed chapters, 7 and 13. Each have the same result in that your debt is cleared at the end, but they are distinctly different in how they perform. Chapter 7 requires liquidation of assets and Chapter 13 consists of repaying your debt over a period of time. Some feel that one chapter is better than the other, but ultimately what chapter you file is at the discretion of your Los Angeles bankruptcy attorney.

One feature of bankruptcy is what is known as the automatic stay. This prevents collectors from pursuing you for money after the petition is filed. In the beginning it is a temporary injunction against all of your creditors, and becomes permanent after you have received a discharge from the court. Creditors are barred from contacting you ever again or risk being fined if you decide to pursue it

Becoming a Petitioner or Filling out the Petition


When you file for bankruptcy, you are voluntarily petitioning the court to grant you relief from your debt. The only person who is bringing this legal action is you, hence the use of the word voluntary. If the court agrees with your request, it grants you freedom from your debts for the rest of your life. This is achieved by filling out the bankruptcy petition that is appropriate for the chapter you are filing under.

Your income, or lack thereof, is the major factor that determines which chapter of bankruptcy you file under. The process begins with the completion of the means test. The test helps you figure out how much money you have left over at the end of the month. There is a threshold for how much money you can have left over for which chapter you file in. Being under gives you the option to file under Chapter 7, and being over requires filing Chapter 13. However, a Los Angeles bankruptcy attorney can assist you with which chapter you ultimately file under.

Bankruptcy does not have to be something to be feared. It's a financial tool that has been used by individuals and corporations alike to relieve financial pressure. Filing for insolvency is not necessarily saying that you are a failure with your obligations so much as it is a device to allow you to live your life without undue financial burdens.

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The Law Office of Michael J. Berger

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