The letters have been coming for months, but you haven’t had the courage to open them. In the upper-left corner, the return address blares “Internal Revenue Service.” You set them in a pile at the edge of your desk, each time thinking “I’ll look at it tomorrow, when I have more time.” But then a month passes, and then another, and another…
You open your paycheck and are stunned to see less than you expected – much less. For a moment, you’re furious, but then you see the item on the pay stub and your stomach drops: wage garnishment.
What on Earth do you do now?
No one is perfect. And financial matters aren’t everyone’s forte. Unfortunately, whether you’re a math-minded person or not, you still have to keep on top of your finances.
Luckily, if things get out of control, you have options to speak to a bankruptcy specialist located in Mission Hills.
Local Bankruptcy Certified Specialists
If your debts have become unmanageable, you may want to consider filing for bankruptcy. This process allows a business or individual to discharge their debts and start fresh.
In California, you can file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code. Chapter 7 allows a debtor to liquidate (or sell) a portion of their assets and use the proceeds to pay of their creditors.
A common misconception about Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that you will have to forfeit your car or your house. This is not usually the case. Only non-exempt properties can be claimed by the state.
Too often, people balk at the thought of filing for bankruptcy; they assume it is a black mark that will stick with them forever. This is not true. While bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for several years, this is often a more sensible choice than continuing to let your score drop month after month.
An attorney can go over your finances with you and determine if bankruptcy is right for you. Filing for bankruptcy without a lawyer’s help is a monumental task and leaves you vulnerable to errors. Your case could be dismissed due to technicalities, pushing you further behind on your payments and compounding your debt.
Working with a bankruptcy attorney ensures that your filings will be accurate, and you have the weight of an expert behind your case.
Finding a Bankruptcy Attorney in Mission Hills
If you’ve never hired an attorney before, the process can be intimidating. Simply typing “bankruptcy lawyer, Mission Hills, California” will return a bevy of advertisements, but how do you know which practices are legitimate? How do you know which lawyers are any good?
One of the best ways to search for an attorney is through your local bar association.
You can search the State Bar of California’s online database with the peace of mind that all your returns will be legitimate. You can even specify an area of practice for your search – in this case, bankruptcy.
You can also contact a certified referral agency. The State Bar of California, lists many referral services in the Los Angeles metro area, including The Los Angeles LGBT Center and Legal Match California.
If you doubt your ability to afford a lawyer, contact Community Legal Aid. They match clients with accredited attorneys who are willing to work for low or no fee.
Advising with Integrity
At the Law Offices of Larry D. Simons, we advise Mission Hills residents and lead them through the bankruptcy process. We are Certified Specialists in bankruptcy, a claim that not every lawyer practicing bankruptcy law can make.
If you would like to learn more how Chapter 7 bankruptcy could be the right choice for you, make the call to speak to an attorney in our Mission Hills office right now.
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