The bankruptcy practice at Katz Law provides effective legal representation to both Debtors and creditors alike. Our founder, Lior Katz, has represented creditors for many years in thousands of bankruptcy cases. Lior has appeared in hundreds of bankruptcy court hearings, and has argued hundreds of Motions. With a vast knowledge of bankruptcy from the creditor’s side, Lior has used this knowledge to also represent Debtors who are facing financial difficulties and are in need of bankruptcy protection.
The filing of a bankruptcy provides individuals who had found themselves in difficult financial situations with a breathing ground and a “fresh start.” The protection of the bankruptcy code from creditors begins as soon as a bankruptcy is filed. For example, income is protected from being garnished, bank accounts are protected from being seized, any foreclosure on your property has to stop, and your car will be protected from being repossessed.
Your property is protected by what is called “the automatic stay” pursuant to 11 U.S.C. 362. The automatic stay applies to almost all new bankruptcy cases and stops almost all creditors from taking action to collect debts that you owe. It is “automatic” because the court order applies automatically to most new cases. Sometimes, if multiple bankruptcy cases are involved, the automatic stay needs to be re-imposed, or extended, by a motion filed the Court. It is called a “stay” because the court order “stays” or stops the creditors from collecting on the debts owed to them. Some of the protections that you will receive by filing a bankruptcy are the following:
- Generally, a creditor (such as a credit card company) cannot being a lawsuit against you to collect on a pre-bankruptcy debt after you file bankruptcy.
- If you are involved in a lawsuit that is currently pending, bankruptcy protection may stop most civil litigations.
- A creditor that has a judgement against you will normally not be able to collect on the judgement. Bankruptcy may also allow you to get-rid of any judgement recorded against you.
- If you are facing foreclosure of your home, the foreclosure will have to stop if you file a bankruptcy, even if the bankruptcy is filed hours before the foreclosure sale.
There are several types of bankruptcies (“Chapters”) that could be filed, depending on your eligibility. At Katz Law, we will evaluate your situation and determine which of these chapters apply to you. The most common bankruptcies are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases, and the differences between the two are as follows:
- Chapter 7– the purpose of a Chapter 7 is to liquidate assets, pay off creditors (if sufficient funds exist to pay off creditors), and erase debt such as credit card bills, medical debt, some judgements, and in rare occasions student debt. The goal of a Chapter 7 is to provide a “fresh start” and can often be completed in a few months after the filing. However, not everyone qualified for a Chapter 7. For more information about how Katz Law can help you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and to determine if you qualify for a Chapter 7, click here.
- Chapter 13– the purpose of a Chapter 13 is to reorganize, not liquidate like in Chapter 7. As such, the filing of a Chapter 13 allows you to keep property, such as your home, by proposing a “plan” to cure any default on the mortgage. A Chapter 13 may also allow you to modify the amount that you owe on rental property. Depending on your income, you may also be able to “erase” unsecured debts owed to creditors. Chapter 13 cases are much lengthier than Chapter 7 cases, and may take anywhere between 3 and 5 years. They are also much harder to navigate, and it is highly recommended that an attorney be retained to help with the process. For more information about Chapter 13 cases, click here.
If you are experiencing financial difficulties, have large debts that are owed, and/or are facing a foreclosure on your property, please contact us now by calling (310) 444-9444 or emailing [email protected].
In addition to representing debtors in bankruptcy, Katz Law also represents creditors. Katz Law’s founder, Lior, has represented creditors in thousands of cases and can you help you if you are a creditor in need of bankruptcy representation. To learn more about our creditor representation practice, click here, call us at (310) 444-9444 or email us at [email protected].