The twin goals of filing a personal bankruptcy are to keep all of one’s assets and to discharge all of one’s debts. Before you decide whether to file a personal bankruptcy, Mr. Hansen will: (a) describe the process in detail; (b) assist you in determining, if there is a better alternative; and (c) explain, if there is any risk you will forfeit an asset or not be able to discharge a debt.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- KEEPING YOUR ASSETS
- DISCHARGING YOUR DEBT
- OVERVIEW OF THE 3 – 4 MONTH PROCESS
- FEES AND COSTS
KEEPING YOUR ASSETS
Most individuals considering bankruptcy do not have many assets to begin with. In these cases, the bankruptcy process does not take away any of your assets.
Even if you have an asset like a home with equity or an IRA or a car that is paid off, bankruptcy law allows you to keep many assets by claiming an “exemption” in your property. Prior to filing and with a high degree of accuracy, Mr. Hansen will explain, if any of your assets are at risk.
Mr. Hansen also specializes in complex, personal bankruptcies. In these bankruptcies, potential debtors have assets they would have to surrender, if not for sophisticated asset and exemption planning. Protecting assets is one of Mr. Hansen’s strong suits.
DISCHARGING YOUR DEBT
In a personal bankruptcy, most kinds of debt are dischargeable. A discharge means no creditor can try to collect the debt.
The three most common types of debt in individual bankruptcy cases that are not dischargeable are taxes, domestic obligations, and student loans.
However, there are exceptions to the exceptions. For example, Income taxes (state and federal) can be discharged, if they are more than 3 years old.
Before you file, Mr. Hansen will explain which, if any, debts may not be dischargeable.
OVERVIEW OF THE 3 – 4 MONTH PROCESS
While it may be obvious, the first thing you need to do is contact Mr. Hansen. Sometimes, picking up the phone or sending an email can be difficult. People do not like to admit they may need help, because they believe it is a sign of personal failure. IT IS NOT.
Initially, Mr. Hansen will spend some time talking with you over the phone to determine if the legal services he offers are a likely match with your problems. He will then set up a time to meet with you either in person or over Skype or Zoom. There is no charge for this meeting. After the meeting you will need to decide whether you want to employ Mr. Hansen as your attorney.
If you employ Mr. Hansen, you will spend time searching for and providing financial information and documents to him. In return for the discharge of your debts, bankruptcy law requires complete financial disclosure. Mr. Hansen will prepare all necessary papers that are required by the Court. This process usually takes between 2 – 3 weeks.
About 30 days after the case filing, Mr. Hansen and you will personally appear at your 341(a) hearing. This does not take place in court, but in a conference room. (During the Pandemic, the 341(a) hearings have been conducted over Zoom.) A bankruptcy trustee looks at all your paperwork to make sure you included everything. If the trustee has any questions, he or she will ask you. For the typical debtor, the hearing last 5 minutes or less.
You then wait 60 days for entry of your discharge. During this 60-day period, a creditor can object to your discharge. There are limited grounds upon which a creditor can object; and an objection is rarely made.
About 3 – 4 months after employing Mr. Hansen, you will receive your discharge and your case will be closed.
Attorney’s Fees and Costs
Generally, to file bankruptcy you are required to pay $335 to the bankruptcy court. (It is the same charge for joint cases.) There is an approximate $15 fee per person to run a credit report. Mr. Hansen charges a flat fee of $350 for these costs although they are usually a bit more.
For a single-filer, individual bankruptcy, Mr. Hansen charges a flat fee of $1,500. For joint cases ( spouse and spouse), Mr. Hansen charges a flat fee of $2,000. If a case is complicated, Mr. Hansen will charge more. Most cases are not complicated.
Get In Touch
3465 Camino Del Rio S, Ste 250
San Diego, CA 92108