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Author Archives: Michael J. Berger

Repairing Your Credit After Declaring Bankruptcy

Many people try to avoid bankruptcy because they fear it will ruin their credit rating. While it is true that bankruptcy takes an immediate toll, it does not last forever. Your credit report will show your bankruptcy for seven or 10 years but the impact of the bankruptcy lessens over time. And with your debt […]

What is the Trustee’s Role in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

When a person or business files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the petition and related paperwork provide the court with information about the debtor’s assets and liabilities, income and expenses and general financial condition. The court then assigns a trustee, whose role is to review the bankruptcy petition and other documentation and to supervise and administer […]

Using Bankruptcy to Avoid Home Foreclosure

When default on mortgage payments leads the lender to threaten foreclosure, you need to take prompt action to protect your home. Bankruptcy is an effective way to block foreclosure while allowing you to devise plans for getting back to financial solvency. Filing for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 causes an automatic stay […]

How Does Filing for Divorce Affect Your Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy and divorce unfortunately sometimes go hand in hand. Severe financial pressure in a marriage is one of the leading causes of divorce, and the breakdown of a marriage can have ruinous financial effects. Depending on your finances and the state of your relationship, bankruptcy and divorce proceedings can each significantly impact their respective outcomes.  […]

Setting Aside Default Judgments in California

If a creditor goes to the trouble to sue you, they mean business. If for any reason you do not respond to a summons and complaint within the time required by California law — usually 30 days — the creditor can seek and obtain a default judgment. The court typically awards the creditor the amount […]

What Can Cause Your Chapter 7 Petition to be Denied?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy offers consumers a chance to be relieved of crushing debt and to get a fresh financial start. However, the law is not intended as a cover for fraud, deception or other conduct abusive of the bankruptcy system. Debtors who seek the law’s protection are held to high standards of good faith and […]

Obtaining Debtor-in-Possession (DIP) Financing During Chapter 11

Financially distressed businesses often lack enough cash to continue operating and can no longer borrow to meet their ongoing expenses. Creditors may cut them off from further advances, causing the business to default on its obligations. This has happened with great frequency during the COVID-19 pandemic, as many companies have seen drastic and devastating impacts […]

How Often Can You File for Bankruptcy?

If we have learned anything during the pandemic era, it is that things are more fragile than they seem. Global economies can be stopped in their tracks, threatening the financial health of millions of individuals. Many people who filed for bankruptcy in the past may find themselves in dire financial straits due to COVID-induced job […]

COVID-19 Complicates Estimation of Future Income for Subchapter V Reorganizations

The Small Business Reorganization Act (SBRA) offers a simpler and more affordable alternative to the traditional Chapter 11 bankruptcy process, which historically has been of little use to modest-sized companies. The SBRA procedure, known as Subchapter V, allows such businesses to create three- to five-year repayment plans based their “projected disposable income.” However, the recession […]

Which Set of California Bankruptcy Exemptions Are Most Favorable?

There is a common misconception that you must give up all your property in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In reality, filers usually can retain all or most of their assets by taking advantage of federal or state bankruptcy exemptions. In California, bankruptcy filers must use one of the state’s two different sets of exemptions. Which […]


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