California Bankruptcy Lawyers

Ontario Bankruptcy Lawyer

Trusted Bankruptcy Attorneys Serving Clients in Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange and San Bernardino Counties

No one is immune from financial problems and downturns. The economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to financial hardships for many people facing unemployment, income reduction and other stressful challenges. You may think there is no way out from your mounting debt, but getting a fresh start is a real possibility through the use of a powerful legal tool: bankruptcy.

Filing for bankruptcy can take the burden of outstanding debt off your shoulders while protecting you from creditors. The California bankruptcy attorneys at Amicus Legal Group can determine whether bankruptcy is the right solution for you and provide guidance throughout the legal process. We can help you obtain financial relief so that you can take control of your future.

We handle the details so you can secure your future.

When you hire Amicus Legal Group to handle your bankruptcy case, we treat you like an extended member of the family. We are aware that there is a certain stigma and fear of embarrassment associated with bankruptcy, but you can rest assured there is zero judgment from our side. Our empathetic lawyers view bankruptcy as a lifeline that can protect your assets and help you achieve the lasting debt relief you deserve.

The Bankruptcy Landscape in Southern California

Southern California’s dynamic, cosmopolitan lifestyle and year-round warm weather are among the many things that make it a desirable place to live. But living in this region is expensive and comes with significant financial pressures. The year 2019 saw a 2.7 percent increase in bankruptcy filings in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Central District of California compared to 2018. A little over 36,930 people and businesses sought bankruptcy protection from creditors in 2019.

IN 2019:

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Statewide bankruptcy filings increased by 1 percent to 67,148 during the same period from 2018 to 2019.

Individual bankruptcy filings rose 2.7 percent, while business owner filings saw a 2.9 percent increase in the California district court, which is the largest bankruptcy court in the country. It covers the counties of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Orange, Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino.

Nationally, 722 companies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May 2020, marking a 48 percent increase compared to the same month in 2019. Court data shows that total consumer and commercial bankruptcy filings for Chapters 7, 12, 13 and 15 decreased 43 percent and 28 percent respectively that month. Experts believe the numbers reflect the various forms of government assistance that have provided some people with relief from the economic effects of the pandemic.

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Types of bankruptcy

The two main types of bankruptcy California residents can file for are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Some individuals that run a business or have other unique needs may be eligible to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The knowledgeable California bankruptcy lawyers at Amicus Legal Group will evaluate your financial situation and help you choose the bankruptcy option that makes the most sense for you.

Types of bankruptcy

The two main types of bankruptcy California residents can file for are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Some individuals that run a business or have other unique needs may be eligible to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The knowledgeable California bankruptcy lawyers at Amicus Legal Group will evaluate your financial situation and help you choose the bankruptcy option that makes the most sense for you.

About Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 is the most commonly used type of bankruptcy as it provides immediate protection from creditors. It is a liquidation bankruptcy that discharges most unsecured debts without the debtor being personally obligated to pay back creditors.

Not everyone qualifies for this type of bankruptcy protection. You must pass a means test in order to be eligible for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing in California. The key requirement is that you need to make less than the median income for your household size.

Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves a trustee selling nonexempt assets to various creditors. The bankruptcy court then grants the debtor a discharge, which eliminates the debtor’s liability for most outstanding debts including medical bills, credit cards, personal loans, utility bills and more. Many people are fearful that filing for bankruptcy means they will lose everything they own. However, debtors can actually keep their exempt property.

About Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 is also called reorganization bankruptcy or a wage earner’s plan. It is a useful option for debtors who have a steady income and want extra time to catch up on missed mortgage payments.

When you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your debts are restructured into a court-supervised repayment plan that lasts three to five years. At the end of the repayment period, you will have paid back all or part of your outstanding debt, and any remaining unsecured debt can be discharged.

After your necessary living expenses are accounted for, most of your disposable income will go toward paying your unsecured debts. The benefit of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that it enables you to keep your home even without exemptions, as long as you stay on track with payments.

About Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Chapter 11 bankruptcy is typically used by struggling businesses. It is a complex process that may require several years for completion. This type of bankruptcy protection may be suitable if your income level is too high for a Chapter 7 filing, but you have too much debt to choose Chapter 13 bankruptcy. While Chapter 11 bankruptcy involves a repayment plan, it allows creditors to vote for or against the proposal.

Advantages of Filing for Bankruptcy

Halt collections activity, get the relief you need and give yourself room to breathe.

Filing for bankruptcy in California results in an automatic stay that immediately halts all collection activities against the debtor, including wage garnishment and repossession. It can have the following benefits:

  • Preventing eviction, foreclosure or repossession so that you can keep your home.

  • Stopping debt collection lawsuits against you.

  • Putting an end to creditor harassment.

  • Eliminating or reducing credit card debt, medical bills and other debt for good.

  • Allowing you to catch up on missed payments and get your finances back on track.

Your credit will recover

many people think that bankruptcy can permanently damage their credit rating. Bankruptcy stays on a person’s credit history for up to a decade. However, your credit score is likely to recover sooner than you expect. You can take steps to rebuild your credit and counteract past negative credit report items with positive actions over time.

Your credit will recover

Many people think that bankruptcy can permanently damage their credit rating. Bankruptcy stays on a person’s credit history for up to a decade. However, your credit score is likely to recover sooner than you expect. You can take steps to rebuild your credit and counteract past negative credit report items with positive actions over time.

Los Angeles Attorney John-Paul

Why it is Important to Hire a California Bankruptcy Lawyer

Bankruptcy laws and the legal system in general can be complicated to navigate. Even though bankruptcy may seem like it just involves filling out forms, there can be real lasting harm if you do not understand how to properly protect your assets. For example, you could end up losing your home.

With a skilled California bankruptcy attorney handling your case, you can rest assured that everything will be done correctly with your best interests in mind. The bankruptcy lawyer will:

Walk you through every step of the bankruptcy filing process so that you know what to expect

Determine the best way to handle your debt based on your unique financial situation

Determine whether bankruptcy is the right option for you

Explain the differences between bankruptcy chapters

Answer all your questions thoroughly and honestly

How Do I Know Whether Bankruptcy is Right for Me?

Filing for bankruptcy is a financial decision that should not be taken lightly. Because there are many factors and considerations involved, it is difficult to decide whether bankruptcy is right for you until you discuss your financial situation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.

Filing bankruptcy may be the most responsible option.

Some people may view bankruptcy as a desperate, final attempt to get out of overwhelming debt that they cannot afford to pay. A more accurate characterization of bankruptcy is a process that provides debtors with a responsible and proactive way to regain control of their finances. Rather than avoiding paying back what is owed, it involves either eliminating debt or restructuring it into a manageable payment plan, depending on your financial circumstances. With a clean slate, you can then take steps toward a more secure financial future.

Schedule a Consultation

The bankruptcy process can seem intimidating at first, but we will be there with you every step of the way, answering your questions and keeping you updated about the status of your case. While our office is based in Ontario, we serve clients throughout the Los Angeles area including Riverside County and San Bernardino County.

Schedule an initial bankruptcy consultation with Amicus Legal Group to speak to a qualified California bankruptcy attorney today.

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Client Testimonials

Five Star California Law Firm
Mr. Serrao worked on my DUI charge earlier this year and all I can say is WOW! Not only did he keep me updated with the case but his knowledge of the process helped calm my nerves, which was very important to me. He showed care for me as a client and I can’t thank him enough. I would recommend him to anyone in need of a quality criminal defense attorney.
Derrick J.

Occasionally you meet another attorney who is so impressive both personally and professionally that you want to be affiliated with them in any way you can both personally and professionally. That is how I feel about John-Paul. I not only consider him one of the finest attorneys I know, but I now proudly call him my friend. He is among the very best.

David Booth

John-Paul took my civil case when no one else would because other lawyers didn’t have confidence in my daughter who has special needs to testify, if needed. John-Paul won her case against the school district without a jury because he cared about my child, believed she was honest and deserved justice. He still doesn’t mind taking my calls whenever I have a question regarding her case.

Dionne L.

John-Paul is a superb attorney. He was my mentor when I was in law school, and now as an attorney I still go to him for advice on complex cases. When my brother required representation I referred him to John-Paul. That is how highly I think of JP as an attorney. I would highly recommend him to anyone who needs representation.

Kit Westbrook

I had the pleasure of working a very large scale drug case with Mr. Serrao, representing co-defendants. Mr. Serrao was a pleasure to work with. Highly skilled and very aggressive in his advocacy on his client’s behalf. I highly recommend Mr. Serrao for anyone looking for a criminal defense attorney.

Babak Farahan

John-Paul is an extremely effective criminal defense attorney. The one thing that makes him stand out from other defense attorneys is that he talks to his clients to learn the circumstances surrounding their incident and then he makes a forceful and articulate argument in defense of his clients. I recommend my clients to John-Paul when they are in need of a criminal defense attorney because I know he will stand up for them.

Stephen Rinka

Attorney John Paul-Serrao helped us to win our case against the insurance company after we were involved in a traffic accident where our car was rear ended, we tried to handle it ourselves with the insurance company and they did not want to cooperate with us, so we hired Mr. Serrao and he was able to get us a settlement above with the insurance company was willing to pay. I would highly recommend him.

Lupe G.

John-Paul is well known in our community as a smart and effective criminal defense lawyer who is sensitive to his clients’ situations and responsive to their needs. I refer my clients to him with confidence when they need help with the criminal justice system.

Lawrence Brock
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