Living in LA can get expensive so using credit cards and accruing debt is totally normal, but the question on everyone’s mind is ‘how to manage debts in Los Angeles?’ Sometimes, our debt can pile up and become too much for us to ever pay off. When this happens, you know you’re in serious trouble.
If this sounds like you, then we’re here to help. Let’s discuss what your options are when it comes to debt management in Los Angeles.
Option A: Debt settlement companies
If you’ve started searching the internet on how to manage debts in Los Angeles, two popular options might have come up: debt settlement companies and bankruptcy lawyers. The short answer is you should always avoid debt settlement companies and go straight for a bankruptcy lawyer in LA.
Debt settlement companies claim that they’ll be able to talk to your creditors into settling your debts for pennies on the dollar. If you’re current on your payments, they’ll tell you the creditors won’t settle unless you stop making payments. Then they tell consumers to make payments to them while they negotiate with creditors to cover their monthly fee and to act as savings for future settlements of your debt.
What they don’t tell you however is that creditors don’t always settle and they can’t guarantee they will. Also, if you’ve stopped making payments, your debt will continue to grow and your creditors may also report these late payments to credit reporting bureaus, negatively impacting your credit score.
The better route: Hiring a bankruptcy lawyer in LA
Meanwhile, an LA bankruptcy lawyer will be able to go over all your possible options with you. They can help you figure out if you should try to settle your debts or if you should do something else like filing for bankruptcy. A debt settlement company will simply try to convince you to hire them, since their main goal is profit and not necessarily to help you.
Bankruptcy law in LA can be tedious and complicated, so getting a lawyer who specializes in this kind of thing will ensure you that all possible options will be available to you. In the event that you get sued, your bankruptcy lawyer will be there to protect you.
There are many things that a bankruptcy lawyer in Los Angles will do for you from bankruptcy planning and preparation as well as helping you through the bankruptcy process. These include things like:
- Consider alternatives to bankruptcy
Decide which type of bankruptcy to file – Whether you’ll be going for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13; these two accomplish different goals and serve different purposes.
- Apply the means test to see which kind of bankruptcy you qualify for
- Value your property
- Choose and apply exemptions that vary from state to state
- Determine discharge of debts
- Complete the schedules and other paperwork
- Guide you through the bankruptcy case
- Provide accurate and complete testimony – You must sign your paperwork under penalty of perjury, telling the court that as far as you know the information is correct. At your meeting of creditors and when you’re in court, your attorney will be with you to ensure that your testimony is correct and complete.
- Negotiate with your creditors – In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your attorney can negotiate a reaffirmation agreement with a secured creditor that will you to keep your house or car. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your attorney will negotiate with your creditors on payment terms, the value of collateral, and interest rates.
- Modify a Chapter 13 repayment plan
Los Angeles debt management and guidance every step of the way
When it comes to debt management in LA, attorneys are good at helping you decide what the best course of action is and that your case gets through the process smoothly. As opposed to debt settlement companies, your attorney will still be there to help with post-bankruptcy discharge violations, like if a creditor attempts to collect a debt that was wiped out by the bankruptcy.
Aside from this, a good bankruptcy lawyer in Los Angeles will also be able to provide you with some useful tips that can help you take advantage of your fresh start and help rebuild credut after bankruptcy.
If you’re in need of help with debt management in Los Angeles contact The Law Office of R. Grace Rodriguez. We’ll help you through the intricacies of bankruptcy law in LA and find peace from your debt issues. Call us today and find out how we can help you manage your debts.