Bankruptcy, Frequently Asked Questions

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Can I keep my house/car/secured assets if I file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?Generally speaking, as long as you are current with your payments on secured debt and continue to make your payments as called for under the loan contract, you will be allowed to “reaffirm” the debt and keep the asset.  If there is substantial equity in your house or car, you need to ensure that there are sufficient exemptions to protect the asset from the Trustee who would be interested in selling it.Do I have to go to court?

There is generally one hearing that you have to attend.  It is in front of the appointed trustee and is not before a judge.  Clients of the firm are represented by an attorney at these hearings.

Can I save my house if I am delinquent in my payments?

You may be able to save your house in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.   You would need to have sufficient income to meet your regular monthly expenses, including your regular mortgage payment, plus an additional payment (generally over 36 months), which will bring your mortgage current.

My house is worth substantially less than is owed on it.   Can I file a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy and force the mortgage holder to modify my mortgage?

No, the bankruptcy process does not require a mortgage holder to modify your mortgage.

Can I discharge back income taxes in a bankruptcy?

You can discharge delinquent income taxes if they meet certain qualifications:

  1. The taxes must be at least 3 years from their due date, including extensions;
  2. The tax returns must have been filed for at least 2 years;
  3. There must be at least 240 days since the last tax assessment:
  4. The tax return must not be fraudulent: and
  5. The taxpayer cannot be guilt of tax evasion.
Will I be forced to sell everything that I own?Bankruptcy law lets you keep equity in many assets.  In California, there are two exemption schemes.  One is based on having equity in a home and one allows you to decide which assets to protect.   An experienced attorney will know which exemption scheme is best for you.Why do I have to pay all of the costs and fees before I file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?Unfortunately, any one you owe money to at the time you file is considered to be a creditor of your bankruptcy and any unpaid fees are discharged in your bankruptcy.Do I have to list everything that I own and everybody that I owe money to or can I leave things out?A bankruptcy petition is a federal court pleading and is signed by the debtor under the penalty of perjury.  One of the requirements is that you certify that everything you own (all of your assets) and all of your debts are listed on the schedules.

Can you stop the harassing phone calls?

Once you retain the Law Offices of Craig Zimmerman, you can advise your creditors that you have retained our offices that they should direct all calls to our offices.   This will generally stop the calls to you as the creditors will contact us.

Why should I retain your office?

The Law Offices of Craig Zimmerman is an experienced consumer debtor law firm that is dedicated to helping those in debt find the most appropriate way to resolve their debt situation.  Everyone on our team has the same goal, to provide the best client service and representation to each and every client.

Do you offer payment plans?

Yes.  We will work with you and tailor a payment plan to fit your budget.