In 2004, more than 60,000 California natives sought either Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy in their district (these include the Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, Ventura, San Luis Obispo, San Bernardino, and Santa Barbara counties). In 2006, the first full year the new rules of bankruptcy were enacted, almost 18,000 people filed for bankruptcy, which translates to 71% less from just two years prior.
If you’re currently in debt right now and ready to file for bankruptcy, you’re not alone. Despite a mid-decade revision to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code designed to lessen declarations of bankruptcy, the percentage of those who are bankrupt has steadily been rising, especially in Los Angeles. The coronavirus pandemic is partly to blame for the record-breaking numbers, which has caused many businesses and citizens into an economic limbo. It is almost certain that the numbers will continue growing in the years to come. After all, bankruptcy tends to be what is called “lagging indicators” of economic distress because the procedure to file for it takes quite some time.
While the procedure can be difficult for the average Joe, it can be pretty straightforward with the right help. Whether you’re going through Chapter 7 or 13, a Los Angeles bankruptcy lawyer can help you navigate through the turbulent times.
Here are some things you should know according to a bankruptcy lawyer in Los Angeles, CA.
1. Review Your Credit Reports
Before filing for bankruptcy, any bankruptcy lawyer in Los Angeles, CA will tell you to first go through your credit reports. This is to make sure your credit report is error-free. If you do spot any errors, you’ll be able to address and amend them before you begin the process of filing for bankruptcy.
2. Get Counseling Done As Soon As You Can
If you are going filing for bankruptcy in Los Angeles, you will be required to take credit counseling courses. These are required by the state of California and may take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to complete. Make sure you take the courses as soon as you are able to. Putting it off until the last minute will delay not just your case in Los Angeles but also your bankruptcy lawyer and your trustee as well.
3. Choose A Los Angeles Bankruptcy Lawyer Wisely
Every lawyer will have a different strategy and work ethic, so you need to find one that complements yours. You’ll be working closely with your bankruptcy lawyer, so you’ll want to find someone you get along with and who knows what they are doing. While it may be tempting, especially given your current financial situation, to go for a bankruptcy lawyer who offers discounts or is the most affordable option, this may not be the best for you in the long run. Just like with online shopping, you’ll want to scour the Internet for reviews about different bankruptcy lawyers and any information on how they handled their previous cases.
4. Be Honest With Your Lawyer
Once you’ve decided on a bankruptcy lawyer, you need to be as open with them as possible. Hiding things (for whatever reason) will only make it more difficult to work your case and look for the best possible solution for you.
Have a thorough chat with them and tell them about all of your existing debt, personal loans, current income, and current spending habits. You should also inform your bankruptcy lawyer about all of your assets both in Los Angeles and outside it.
5. Don’t Be Ashamed About Filing For Bankruptcy
There is still some stigma surrounding filing for bankruptcy but for many, it is the right move to make when dealing with mounting debt. You shouldn’t feel bad for making the most logical financial decision for your situation. Bankruptcy can happen even to the most prepared and financially-stable of people.
Talk To Us Today To Learn More
If you’re in need of a knowledgeable bankruptcy lawyer in Los Angeles, the Law Office of R. Grace Rodriguez will be more than able to help you through this complex process. You may visit our main office at 21000 Devonshire St #111, Chatsworth, CA 91311, or contact us at 818-734-7223.