Should I file for Bankruptcy?


If you are reading this, you are likely asking yourself this very question.   If you are drowning in debt, unable make the minimum monthly payments on your credit cards, and unable to make alternative arrangements with your creditors, then bankruptcy may be your next option.  Contact this office now to schedule a consultation.   

What do I need to file for Bankruptcy?


The first step is to consult with an attorney to determine whether you qualify for a bankruptcy, and for which chapter.  Contact this office now to schedule a consultation.   


Assuming you qualify, individual debtors are required to take a credit counseling course within 180 days prior to filing bankruptcy.  In addition, you will need to take an inventory of your real and personal property, as well as of your debts.  Save those collection letters and billing statements you are receiving in the mail.  Do not throw them away!  Your attorney will need to know about every bank account, vehicle, house, condo, piece of furniture, family heirloom, etc., in which you have an interest on.  Your attorney will need to have information on every credit card account, personal loan, mortgage, tax lien, loans from family and friends, etc.


Do I need to take a credit counseling course to file for Bankruptcy?


You must participate in a credit counseling program, and obtain a certificate of completion within 180 days prior to filing.  There is no grace period for this requirement, and there are very limited exceptions to this requirement.  The credit counseling courses are available online, for your convenience.  Contact this office for a list of qualified credit counseling companies.


Will Bankruptcy wipe out all of my debt?


The answer to this question depends on the type of debt you are seeking to discharge in your bankruptcy.  The goal in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to receive an Order of Discharge from the Bankruptcy Court.  This order relieves you from having to pay your pre-bankruptcy debts.  However, even when you receive a discharge order, you may still be obligated to pay certain debts; such as taxes, student loans, domestic support obligations, debts incurred by fraud, and others.  If you are considering bankruptcy, but are not sure whether your debts will be discharged, contact this office for a consultation.

Will Bankruptcy ruin my credit?


The answer to this question depends on what your credit score was prior to filing.  Those with low credit scores before bankruptcy see dramatic positive changes to their credit score after their bankruptcy case is complete.  In addition, after bankruptcy, individuals have more money in their pockets, because they are no longer burdened with high credit card payments.  Ultimately, after bankruptcy, individuals are able to obtain financing for a car, as well as have the ability to purchase their own home.     

How long will my Bankruptcy be on my credit report?


The amount of time a bankruptcy will remain on your credit report depends on the chapter.  For a Chapter 13 with a completed plan, the bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for 7 years.  For a Chapter 7, the bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for 10 years. 

What kind of rights does a Creditor have in a Bankruptcy?

When a Debtor files for Bankruptcy, a protective stay is automatically placed on the Debtor and their estate.  This prevents you from moving forward with your efforts to collect on a debt that was owed to you before they filed their bankruptcy case.  Whether you were suing them, have hired a collection company, or obtained a money judgment against them in court, you are prevented from moving forward with your collection efforts. 


Your options moving forward, depend on several scenarios.  If you are a creditor, and someone who owes you money has filed for bankruptcy, contact this office as soon as possible to discuss your options as a creditor in their bankruptcy case.   





101 W. Broadway

Suite 1770

San Diego, CA 92101



Monday through Friday 

9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


(619) 630-5282


(619) 393-0650

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This site is for information only.  The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice.  While we invite you to contact this law firm, contacting this law firm does not create an attorney-client relationship.  The information on this website is legal information, not legal advice and is not a substitute for a consultation with a licensed attorney.  Michelle Patterson, Esq. is an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of California, and in the Federal Districts of the Southern and Central Districts of California (San Diego, Los Angeles, Riverside, and Orange Counties.)   


*Payment Plans are available for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy clients, based on ability to pay.    

**Testimonials or endorsements on this website do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. 



Notice Regarding Debtors and/or Bankruptcy Filers: This office is a debt relief agency under the Bankruptcy Code. This office helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.


Notice Regarding Creditors:  For applicable cases in which this office is retained by a creditor, Federal law requires this  office to advise you that communication with this office could be interpreted as an attempt to collect a debt and that any information obtained will be used for that purpose.