Many times when people are faced with impending debt, they start looking for shortcuts to save money–using coupons and sales to buy groceries and other necessities, making sure to turn off all lights and appliances when they are not being used, or letting a few bills slide in hopes of catching up on the payments later. The first two are great ways of saving money! The last one can often land you in deeper trouble than you were in before!
When you have fallen noticeably behind on your utility bills, utility companies will shut off your utility. Fortunately, there are some requirements that utility services must follow before shutting off your utilities. The power cannot be shut off on days when the utility office is closed, which includes holidays! If there are members of the household whose health is dependent on a power supply, a utility representative must visit the house before the utilities are disconnected. Utilities services must also notify recipients before the utilities can be shut off.
I also have good news, courtesy of SignOn San Diego!
In reaction to stories from around the state that people were being cut off because the bad economy had made it difficult for them to pay their bills, the California Public Utilities Commission told utilities they had to take steps to prevent needless cutoffs.
In particular, the commission said power companies, including San Diego Gas & Electric, must give people at least three months, and up to a year, to get their bills up to date.
But what about people who have already had their utilities shut off and are seeking debt relief? More good news! “The bankruptcy laws require the utility company to restore the service of any utility that was terminated prior to the filing. A bankruptcy filing prevents the utility company from terminating an individual’s service.”
That’s right, Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy provide debt relief and can restore your utilities! You simply need to pay a security deposit within 20 days of filing to ensure your utilities stay on. Contact me or visit our Lancaster office for a free consultation! Bankruptcy attorney David Lozano is dedicated to keeping you debt free and powered up!
Wondering what a creditors meeting is? (Lancaster attorney David Lozano is here to answer all your bankruptcy questions!)
Filing bankruptcy is just the first step in the bankruptcy process. There is also a 341 meeting–or creditors meeting, which usually takes place 20 to 40 days after you file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. At this meeting, you and your attorney discuss your financial situation with the bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case. You are asked questions under oath about your income, assets, and debt to verify the legitimacy of your bankruptcy claim.
A 341 meeting must be held to give creditors a chance to dispute your bankruptcy claim. While you, the client, are required to be at this meeting, attendance is optional for creditors. At the meeting, creditors may request that a specific debt not be discharged if they feel you have the funds to pay the debt. In the majority of cases, however, creditors choose not to attend.
I like to assure my clients that a 341 meeting is just part of the standard procedure when filing bankruptcy. The purpose of the meeting is simply to get you, your attorney, trustee, and creditors on the same page. It is not an inquisition and as your bankruptcy attorney, I will be there to assist you in answering questions and guiding the proceedings when necessary. Contact me for a free consultation or stop in at our Lancaster office. It is my goal to make your bankruptcy experience as stress-free as possible!
Business owners often devote a full 40-hour work week to managing their business. This simply goes with the territory of owning a company, but I’ve found small business owners go a step further. They spend more than the allotted 40 hours a week making sure every project and final piece of paperwork is in order, down to the last minute detail!
Many small business owners will cancel or reschedule personal plans when a situation at work arises that needs their immediate attention. In fact, a small business owner’s personal life and business affairs are usually so entwined it is hard to tell where one ends and the other begins.
It is in cases like these–when the business is not a corporation, partnership, or a limited liability company (LLC)— that it falls on the owner to file bankruptcy if the business is in danger of going under. It is also important to understand that filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 for a business is different than filing personal bankruptcy.
In Chapter 7 business bankruptcy, ownership of the business is transferred to the bankruptcy lawyer, who is responsible for ceasing operations and liquidating the business’ assets with the proceeds going to the creditors. Chapter 13 business bankruptcy gives the owner more time to sell assets. The benefit of this is that the owner may be able to sell the assets for a better deal than what the assets would be sold for with Chapter 7 business bankruptcy.
When small business owners must file business bankruptcy it can seem like asking the owner to give up an arm or a leg. I know how attached small business owners can be to their company, and I do everything in my power to ease the process. Contact me for a free consultation to determine what needs to be done for your small business!
We can all agree that a good credit score is handy to have. So why would you risk the score you have by filing bankruptcy?
To be frank, you risk more by doing nothing. Your credit score is already hurting or you probably wouldn’t be in the pickle you’re in, right? Look at it this way: filing bankruptcy is like putting a bandage and antibiotic on a wound. If you do nothing, that wound will get infected!
So you file bankruptcy, but what about your credit report for the next 10 years? Contrary to what a lot of people think, all is not lost. Just because a bankruptcy is on there doesn’t mean you can’t improve your credit score in the meantime. In fact, the more you do to regain a healthy credit score the less likely creditors will be to concern themselves with what happened in the past. They will be more interested in whether you are staying current with your payments and managing your credit responsibly from here on out!
In fact, keep in mind that you are a better credit risk after you file for bankruptcy. Why is that? Because after you file for bankruptcy, creditors know that you can’t file again for eight years in the case of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and somewhat less than that in the case of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Instead of worrying that you will file for bankruptcy, creditors will know that you are already in the process of rebuilding your credit.
So put a bankruptcy bandage on your debt so that you can begin the healing process. Bankruptcy lawyer David Lozano is your best choice for filing bankruptcy in Southern California. Please give me a call–you’ll be happy you did!
Want to know if you qualify for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy? (Los Angeles bankruptcy attorney David Lozano will help you find out!)
Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are the two most common bankruptcy plans that people file for. Chapter 7 is known as classic bankruptcy because it eliminates debt in one fell swoop! Chapter 13 is a reorganization plan, which is filed by people who simply need more time in order to catch up on their payments.
To determine whether or not you are eligible to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the bankruptcy court performs a “means test” to evaluate your income. The court compares the income you earned over the last six months with the median income of average Californians with the same household size.
If it turns out that you do have the means to repay your debt when given an extended payment period, the bankruptcy court will approve you to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy. But if for some reason you don’t qualify for Chapter 13, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is available as a back-up plan! One way or another, with David Lozano’s help you’ll be debt free and sitting pretty again soon!
Want to avoid burdening your loan co-signer when you file bankruptcy? (Southern California bankruptcy attorney David Lozano is here to help!)
If you meet a friend for dinner and agree to go dutch, it would be rude to then stick your dinner company with the bill. It’s the same situation if you file bankruptcy without consulting the co-signer of a loan that has not been paid in full. While your debt may be eliminated with Chapter 7, the co-signer will still be held responsible for the full amount of the loan!
Creditors don’t acknowledge that one of the co-signers has been absolved of his or her share of the loan. Their only concern is collecting their dues, whether or not the co-signer has to pay double his or her share! Whoever the co-signer may be– a family member, friend, partner, or ex– they don’t deserve to be stuck with your portion of the loan as well as their own!
Does this mean you can’t file bankruptcy if you’ve co-signed on a loan? Not at all! By filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy you can qualify to receive an extension on your payments, so that you can pay off your portion of the loan. Contact me for a free consultation on settling your debt without burdening your co-signer with the bill! It is the responsible thing to do!
Want to keep your home, car, and personal possessions despite your debt? (Los Angeles bankruptcy attorney David Lozano can make it happen!)
Bankruptcy laws were designed to benefit you, the average Californian! Bankruptcy is granted by a federal court to either businesses or individuals who are in debt and need a fresh start or an extension on their payment deadlines. There are several kinds of bankruptcy options, such as Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, but deciding which type to file is simple with bankruptcy attorney David Lozano’s assistance!
David Lozano will outline what is involved in the bankruptcy process step-by-step before you file bankruptcy so that you know what to expect. A concern that has been raised thousands of times by clients is whether they will lose their home, car, or other possessions which they hold dear. I am happy to tell you that as long as you are upfront about listing all the assets you own, there is very little risk of losing your possessions and property.
The idea that bankruptcy automatically leads to the loss of your possessions is a myth! In most cases your home, car, and personal possessions are exempt from being repossessed. David Lozano wants you to know beforehand what is going to happen when you file bankruptcy in order to ease your worries! So stop by one of our offices in West Covina, Ontario, or Lancaster for a free consultation!
In the blog prior to this, I revealed the truth about debt settlement agencies. Today I want to shed a little light on another service known as a credit counseling service. Now, perhaps you think I’m just partial to bankruptcy since I’m a bankruptcy attorney. Well, you’re right! Bankruptcy is a solution to the problem, not a temporary fix or way to delay the final decision of what to do about your debt. That’s the reason I chose the this job. I want to truly help people settle their debt!
So what’s so bad about credit counseling services? Instead of giving you a list of reasons why I think their service is a hoax, let me tell you the facts. Credit counseling services give advise (for a fee) about how to manage your finances by budgeting your money, paying bills in a prompt manner, etc.
The downside to this is that you’re probably already past the point where managing your finances would do any good. This kind of advise would have been useful before you were buried up to your eyebrows in debt. On the upside, it makes for good future reference– when they’ve helped you get debt free.
After the financial lesson, they try to negotiate with your creditors to get them to lower the amount of money you owe. If you’ve read my previous blog post, this might sound familiar. It’s the same thing debt settlement agencies try to do, the key word being “try”. Just as with the debt settlement agencies, there are no guarantees that the credit counseling service can lower your payment.
On the plus side, credit counseling legislation has recently enforced new rules about the criteria credit counseling services must meet to be exempt under Code section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4). Some of the rules include, the service must meet the needs of the client and must charge reasonable fees. (To see more of the credit counseling legislation go to the IRS website at www.irs.gov.)
Incidentally, the Law Offices of David Lozano already enforce such policies and has done so for years! I consider these and the other criteria in the new legislation to be no-brainers.
If those reasons weren’t enough to convince you, here’s one more for you to take into consideration. There’s something crucial that bankruptcy attorneys offer, which credit counseling services do not. Bankruptcy attorneys can inform you about Chapter 7, Chapter 13, provide legal advise on all of the options available to you as well as offer financial management advise. Credit counseling services are not qualified to give legal advise!
Now that you know the facts, you will be able to make an informed decision about which service you choose to help you overcome the overwhelming debt you’ve been struggling with. Just to make things convenient for you, here’s how to contact me. Together we can get you debt free in no time!
You see advertisements for debt settlement agencies all the time. With a debt settlement plan, if you agree to pay your debt through them, the agency will try to negotiate with your creditors for a lower payment. As you may be able to tell, there are a few flaws in their claim (at least for you!).
Debt settlement agencies do not guarantee their client that they can, in fact, lower the amount of debt you owe, nor do they take into account interest fees or late charges. In the end, you could very well owe more that you did originally while the debt settlement agency cashes in!
The idea of filing bankruptcy is oftentimes seen as having a negative connotation, but I’m here to tell you the rumors you hear about the perils of bankruptcy are false! Bankruptcy claims like Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are designed to help those who have incurred debt get a fresh start! There is no “trying” to settle your debt and no interest fees or late charges either!
The process of helping people file bankruptcy is one I’ve gone through thousands of times. After a free debt consultation, clients leave my office feeling gratified in their decision and reassured about settling their debt. If you’re going through a difficult time because of debt, contact me. I’ll be happy to take your call!
Chapter 7 or Chapter 13–Part 2 (Hint: West Covina bankruptcy attorney David Lozano is here to provide advice!)
The key to deciding which bankruptcy claim is right for you comes down to the specifics of your unique circumstances. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 were designed to be compatible with the common circumstances seen in bankruptcy, so it’s simply a matter of selecting the best fit if you qualify for both. It’s kind of like choosing which pair of jeans to wear. Sure, they both get the job done, but only one of them makes the cut when you want to look your best–or get your finances and life in order!
Some things to take into consideration when choosing the best bankruptcy plan for you include what kind of assets, mortgage loan or car payments you have. Are you responsible for any dependent children? Is there a divorce involved? Another important question to ask yourself is whether you are simply behind on your bills and need a little bit of leeway in order to catch up. The factors are numerous, but together we will figure it all out.
Depending on these and many other circumstances, Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 may be just the solution you’re looking for! You’ve probably been financially responsible all your life and just got hit with medical bills or got laid off unexpectedly. Whatever the reason, filing bankruptcy provides the means to get back on track with a fresh start!