Santa Clarita Estate Planning, Bankruptcy & Business Law
Free Consultations 661.360.1211
Dedicated & Versatile Santa Clarita Attorneys

Santa Clarita Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorneys Serving Santa Clarita & Encino

If you are in debt and want fast financial relief, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be for you. Chapter 7 is available for individuals and businesses; businesses that file Chapter 7 must shut down immediately, while individuals file Chapter 7 to obtain a discharge of their debts, often referred to as the "fresh start." We call the Chapter 7 discharge a "financial reboot."

For individuals, Chapter 7 is designed to eliminate most kinds of unsecured debt, including credit card debt, medical bills, personal unsecured loans, debts from failed businesses, judgments resulting from car accidents and breaches of contract, and deficiencies on repossessed vehicles or foreclosed junior liens.

To determine whether your specific debts are dischargeable in Chapter 7, and whether your assets will be protected from liquidation by exemptions, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced Santa Clarita bankruptcy attorney. At Donahoe & Young LLP, a highly experienced attorney will conduct a thorough analysis of your situation, address your concerns, and discuss the options that best fit your personal situation.

Chapter 7 Eligibility

Not all individuals qualify for Chapter 7. Unless your income is demonstrably below the median for your family size (and has been so for at least 6 months), eligibility is determined by a rather complicated "Means Test." Donahoe & Young LLP will guide you through the "Means Test" to determine if Chapter 7 is an option for you.

As long as someone qualifies under the Means Test, Chapter 7 can provide debt relief, no matter how large the debt or whether you are technically insolvent. There are restrictions on repeat filings, and a pre-filing class must be completed (which most people take online in 2 hours or less).

Discharge Under Chapter 7

The main purpose of Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to eliminate certain debts to give people a "fresh start." Once this has taken place, the debtor will not be held liable for those debts any more or in any way. In Chapter 7, however, a discharge is only available to individuals, not to corporations, LLCs, or other entities. It is important to remember that total honesty and complete transparency are necessary during every step of the Chapter 7 process.

At Donahoe & Young LLP, we are proud of the fact that no Donahoe & Young LLP Chapter 7 individual debtor-client has ever had his or her discharge denied.

Dischargeability of Debts

In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, most unsecured debts are discharged - but not all.

Here is a list of debts that are typically not discharged:

  • Debts not listed in the schedules filed in the bankruptcy case
  • Debts for luxury goods or services incurred within 90 days of filing
  • Student loans - unless payment would constitute undue hardship
  • Taxes that are less than 3 years old
  • Fines for violating the law, including criminal fines and traffic tickets
  • Spousal and child support
  • Debts for personal injury caused by driving while intoxicated

In addition, a creditor may ask the Bankruptcy Court to determine that a debt is non-dischargeable because the debt was incurred by fraud, defalcation by a fiduciary, willful and malicious injury, larceny, or embezzlement. Under these circumstances, the creditor can file an "adversary proceeding" (essentially a lawsuit within the bankruptcy) to obtain a judgment that a debt is non-dischargeable. Donahoe & Young LLP has successfully defended many such actions for debtors and has successfully prosecuted many such actions for creditors.

Allow one of our experienced bankruptcy attorneys to lead you through the complete process from beginning to end. We will be by your side every step of the way, from your initial consultation to the entry of your discharge.

Contact our Santa Clarita bankruptcy lawyers today if you are interested in Chapter 7 bankruptcy and want more information.