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Click here for a statement regarding the new Federal Bankruptcy Law.


Why People File Bankruptcy

People file for bankruptcy protection for all kinds of reasons. And more often than not, the reason is beyond anyone's control. Loss of a job, illness, and divorce are the most common events that force someone into bankruptcy. During the past several years, the Bay Area has also suffered its share of economic hardship from the inevitable harsh effects on tourism since September, 2001, and the ebb in the dot.com industry. Bankruptcy is nothing to be ashamed of. It is a legal tool available for your protection when things don't work out as you had planned. It allows you to regroup, to maintain your self-respect and to get a fresh start.

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Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13

Most people who are considering bankruptcy generally have two options: Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Determining which Chapter to file is something that we will do together when you come in for your consultation. Chapter 7, or straight bankruptcy, is filed when a person has a bunch of dischargeable debt (like credit cards, medical bills, personal loans) and has property that we can protect. Keep in mind, though, that in spite of what a lot of people think, it is very often possible to file a Chapter 7 without risking the loss of certain property like your house or car. And in some circumstances, it is also possible to file Chapter 7 and discharge certain kinds of taxes.

Chapter 13 is filed, for example, when a person is facing a foreclosure on a house, or repossession of a car and intends to keep that house or car. Or if someone has taxes that can't be discharged in a Chapter 7 that they need to pay back, but they need to pay the taxes back on their own terms rather than those of the IRS. There are lots of other reasons why a person might file a Chapter 13 which are too complex to go into here. But one thing is for sure: Chapter 13 is a wonderful legal tool available for people who cannot file Chapter 7 for one reason or another but who still need the protection of the bankruptcy laws.

How Bankruptcy Works

The process for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 works quickly. I ask you to come into my office for a consultation. I promise you I will make it as comfortable as possible. I will do an intake – I'll ask you a lot of questions about your income, expenses, assets and debts. I will not hand you a stack of papers for you to fill out on your own. We will do this together. We'll look very closely at the types of debts you have, whether or not a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 would work best, and whether there are any alternatives to bankruptcy that might work even better for you. Once I know what we would be doing, I can quote you my fee, and we can take it from there.

For additional information, please go to the FAQs and then call or e-mail me for a consultation.

Stephanie
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The Law Offices of Morris & Woerner, P.C.
Stephanie Morris and Dean Woerner, Attorneys at Law
1627 Twentieth Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
415.550.8799 (Phone)
415.970.1598 (Fax)
415.948.9039 (Mobile)

Stephanie@StephanieMorris.com
 
 

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