As a bankruptcy attorney in Sacramento California, we see the same initial questions asked time and time again. It's quite normal for individuals who are struggling with debt and considering a California bankruptcy to be concerned about obtaining a mortgage or credit cards in the future, losing all their possessions, or hurting their credit. By consulting an experienced bankruptcy lawyer, you'll have access to expert legal counsel that will be able to absolve these fears and other myths, as well as, answer questions that emerge that are unique to your financial and personal situation.

Will I Be Forced to Sell All My Possessions?

No, you will not be forced to sell all your possessions, however, you may have to sell some depending on how much property you actually own. There are two sets of "exemptions" which allow you to safeguard certain property from the "bankruptcy estate". Your bankruptcy estate is comprised of your property. If it is not covered under exemptions it could be sold by the bankruptcy trustee to raise money to pay down your debt.  Bankruptcy exemptions can cover all or part of the value of your home, your vehicle, certain wages, and retirement, tools of the trade, and miscellaneous assets from entering into the bankruptcy estate, depending on the value of the item that you are seeking to exempt.

Can I Use Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions in California?

California is known in bankruptcy law terms as an "opt-out" state which means you cannot use federal bankruptcy exemptions. Instead, you must choose from one of two sets of bankruptcy exemptions, commonly referred to as section 703 or section 704.

Will Bankruptcy Stop Collection Attempts?

Yes, from the time you file your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the automatic stay goes into effect, which prevents any creditors from conducting any collection attempts. All creditors that you include in your bankruptcy will be notified of your petition for bankruptcy protection. The automatic stay generally lasts until your bankruptcy is completed, but creditors may file a motion to lift the stay. If a California bankruptcy judge grants the motion then your creditor will be able to resume collection attempts including foreclosure proceedings on your home or repossession of property.

Can Filing bankruptcy in California Stop a Lawsuit?

If you've been served with a summons to court as part of a lawsuit, you can halt the proceedings, eliminate the debt, and have the lawsuit dropped in some occasions. Once you file for a bankruptcy, the judge will most likely postpone the trial until after your bankruptcy case has been resolved. Because there are consequences that can arise from waiting too long after a lawsuit or judgment, you should consult a bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible to help decrease the chances of having a lien placed on your property. Criminal trials, on the other hand, will not be affected by your bankruptcy case.

How will filing a Fairfield bankruptcy differ from a Citrus Heights bankruptcy?

Both Solano County and Sacramento County fall under the jurisdiction of the US Bankruptcy Courts in the Eastern District of California, so bankruptcy proceedings there will proceed the same. While some bankruptcy court districts handle certain issues differently, all California bankruptcy exemptions apply across the state. You must file bankruptcy in the district in which you reside. A strong case for hiring a bankruptcy attorney in Sacramento California is that your bankruptcy lawyer will have an intimate knowledge of local rules and procedures in your district.

Should I Hire a California Bankruptcy Lawyer?

The personal and financial effects of bankruptcy can be long-lasting. If you're considering bankruptcy, contact a bankruptcy attorney. Sacramento is home to many great bankruptcy firms that will allow you to ensure your bankruptcy is handled in your best interest.