Riverside Bankruptcy Attorney Provides High Quality Bankruptcy Representation to Creditors and Debtors
Addressing debt-relief issues for clients across California’s Inland Empire
Many debtors face heavy burdens of debt that they either can’t pay off or can’t realistically pay on the terms demanded by their creditors. The lawyers at the Law Offices of Michael Jay Berger have decades of experience helping Californians navigate the bankruptcy process. I am a California board-certified specialist in bankruptcy in recognition of my experience and expertise in the field. My firm represents individuals and businesses in the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metropolitan area and throughout the Inland Empire.
Guiding individuals and families through personal bankruptcy cases
There are two types of bankruptcy available to individual debtors: a debt discharge under Chapter 7 or a debt reorganization under Chapter 13.
In a Chapter 7, also known as a liquidation, the debtor’s assets — except those exempted by law — are sold and the sale proceeds are distributed to creditors. Then, the bankruptcy court discharges the debtor from all or most of the remaining debts. Some people fear that filing for bankruptcy will cause them to lose their homes and other things of value. In actuality, most individual Chapter 7 bankruptcies are “no asset cases,” in which all of the debtor’s property is exempt from liquidation. To qualify for Chapter 7, debtors (with a few exceptions) must show either that their income falls below the state median income or that their household expenses are too high to pay their debts, using a complex formula known as the means test. I can determine if you qualify for Chapter 7 and guide you through the process.
The other type of personal bankruptcy is Chapter 13, also known as a wage earner’s plan. It allows people with steady incomes to restructure and pay off their debts over time while keeping ownership of their assets, including their homes. Debtors can choose Chapter 13 if they don’t satisfy the Chapter 7 means test and if their secured and unsecured debts are below maximum amounts set by law. A court-confirmed plan may call for repayment of a portion of unsecured debts over a three- to five-year period, after which the remainder will be discharged. Secured debts remain in force, but certain ones can be rescheduled to be payable over the term of the plan. My office has successfully prepared and secured confirmation of hundreds of affordable Chapter 13 plans.
I analyze my clients’ financial situations and needs in order to help them decide which of these options is right for them.
Protecting businesses from creditors in bankruptcy court
Businesses in the Inland Empire can use Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 to obtain debt relief. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the business ceases operations and a court-appointed trustee liquidates business assets to pay creditors. Businesses are not required to satisfy the means test but neither are they allowed to claim exemptions. In a Chapter 11, a company can stay in business while paying off debts according to a schedule approved by the court and by a committee of creditors. Small businesses may be able to take advantage of Subchapter V, which provides for a simplified and less expensive Chapter 11 process. I will analyze your business debts and assets to determine which procedure is best and will guide you and your business through the entire bankruptcy process.
Contact a bankruptcy attorney in California’s Inland Empire
The Law Offices of Michael Jay Berger helps individuals and businesses in the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metropolitan area achieve debt relief through bankruptcy. Call me at 310-271-6223 or contact me online to schedule a free consultation at my Riverside office.