Category Archives: Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy & Your Small Business

  • Oct 6 2017

Financial hardship is difficult for any individual but for business owners, it can be particularly stressful as the line between personal and business finances may become blurred.  You may have racked up a lot of personal credit card debt and may be considering filing for personal bankruptcy, but you are concerned about how bankruptcy will affect your small business. Or, your business could be struggling and you may wonder how a business bankruptcy will...

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What is Pre-bankruptcy Credit Counseling?

  • Apr 13 2017

By: William E. Winfield, Esq. Today, individuals who are seeking relief under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code are required to complete credit counseling with an agency approved by the U.S. Trustee’s office. The purpose of pre-bankruptcy credit counseling is to determine if the debtor qualifies for bankruptcy or whether an informal payment plan is a better option. In any event, credit counseling is necessary even if a payment plan is not feasible....

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The Pitfalls of Hiring a Bankruptcy Petition Preparer

  • Jan 10 2017

By: William Winfield, Esq.  It might sound counter-intuitive, but filing for personal bankruptcy is expensive. Besides paying attorney fees, a debtor must also pay the court costs associated with filing the bankruptcy petition and accompanying documents. Then there are the expenses associated with attending the mandatory pre- and post-filing consumer credit courses. So when presented with the opportunity to save a few bucks by hiring a bankruptcy petition preparer (BPP) to draft your bankruptcy...

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If I’m planning on filing bankruptcy, can I take on more debt?

  • Oct 31 2016

It seems like a perfect plan. If a consumer is about to declare bankruptcy to discharge all or most of his or her debts, why wouldn’t that consumer try to increase his or her credit card debt as much as possible to maximize the benefit granted by bankruptcy protection? The answer is simple.  It won’t work. Generally speaking, credit card debts are dischargeable in bankruptcy. However, a bankruptcy trustee examines a consumers spending in...

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Common Reasons Why a Bankruptcy Petition might be Dismissed

  • May 4 2016

By William Winfield, Esq. 1. Bankruptcy Fraud: It cannot be overstated how important it is to tell the truth and accurately disclose all income assets, debts, and other required information when preparing a Bankruptcy Petition. If a Court finds that a Petitioner committed a willful fraud, the Petition will likely be dismissed. In California, the Court may also impose criminal penalties including fines and incarceration. 2. Failing the Means Test: In order to be granted...

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What You Need to Know About Bankruptcy

  • Feb 3 2016

By: William Winfield, Esq. Bankruptcy is designed to protect individuals, small businesses, and corporations from being overwhelmed by debt.  The process involves reorganization and restructuring of debt so that a significant portion of it is discharged or “forgiven”, and the remainder is repaid at a lower rate. Bankruptcy is designed to enable an individual or company to continue to function and prevent ongoing harassment from creditors. The two basic types of bankruptcy are liquidation and...

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Five Assets That Won’t Be Taken by the Bankruptcy Court

  • Dec 7 2015

By: William Winfield, Esq. When a person files for bankruptcy protection, his or her assets must be collected by the bankruptcy trustee and liquidated to reimburse debtors before the petitioner’s debts can be discharged. In order to keep bankruptcy petitioners from falling below the poverty line, there are certain assets that can be retained as exempt. This is not an exhaustive list, but covers the most commonly used federal bankruptcy exemptions. 1. Homestead exemption: If a...

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What Happens to My Car When I File Chapter 7?

  • Oct 22 2015

   If an individual filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy owns an automobile, that vehicle may become the property of the bankruptcy estate used for the purpose of making creditors whole. If the car has a lean on it from the lending institution, the loan must be reaffirmed or redeemed, or the vehicle must be surrendered.  If the loan is reaffirmed, the individual who took out the loan must sign a contract agreeing to continue...

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When Disfavored Businesses Go To Pot

  • Oct 7 2015

By William E. Winfield, Esq. When Disfavored Businesses Go To Pot Marijuana dispensaries are legal businesses under California law, but the distribution of marijuana is a Federal offense. As a result a Marijuana distribution business is not eligible for Federal Bankruptcy Relief. This issue came up in Colorado recently where Frank Arenas operates a marijuana wholesale business. Mr. Arenas and his wife sought personal bankruptcy relief under Chapter 7 but the case was dismissed...

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Receivership as an Alternative to Bankruptcy

  • Sep 6 2015

By William E. Winfield, Esq. Attorneys and clients considering financially challenged businesses should not forget to consider the benefits Receivership, both as a potential tool for collection of outstanding obligations or enforcement of contracts, but also as a vehicle for financial restructuring. Receivers are typically appointed by the Court in a litigation proceeding at the request of a creditor, co-owner of a business or reap property, or by any adverse litigant.  A party who...

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