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Author Archives: Michael J. Berger

California Bankruptcy Forum Annual Insolvency Conference

Every year, I participate in the California Bankruptcy Forum’s Annual Insolvency Conference.  This is a great way to mingle with California Bankruptcy Court Judges and other bankruptcy attorneys, get lots of relevant continuing education, and have lots of fun.  This year, the conference was held in Napa, California and I brought ALL of my attorneys.  […]

Should Small Business Owners Choose Chapter 11 or 13 Bankruptcy?

In California, many small businesses are facing increased financial difficulties due to tough economic conditions. For companies facing decreasing profits and large amounts of debt, bankruptcy might be the only option. Under current bankruptcy laws, there are two options for debtors who wish to remain in business — restructuring debt in Chapter 11 or building […]

Giving Up Real Estate in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the trustee may sell a portion of the debtor’s property in attempts to repay creditors. Not everything has to be turned over to the bankruptcy trustee, however, as California bankruptcy laws allow the debtor to keep exempt property. Property that is exempt is considered to be the “necessities of modern […]

Your Rights Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

It’s fairly common for consumers who have fallen behind on their payments for various debts to be confronted by collection agencies. Although debt collectors may be intimidating at times, you may need to deal with them, at least for a short period of time. However, this does not mean you must go against your creditors […]

Getting Compensatory Damages for the Willful Violation of the Automatic Stay Under 11 U.S.C. § 362(k)(1)

Do not violate the automatic stay.  If you do, it may cost you thousands of dollars.  This is the lesson that United States Bankruptcy Court Judge Julia Brand and I taught my client Alvaro Garcia’s largest Judgment Creditor and its counsel.  On February 3, 2015, in a case entitled, In re Alvaro Garcia, Case No. […]

How the Liquidation of Assets Works in Chapter 7

Many people fear they will be left with nothing when filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but that is not the case at all. Chapter 7 liquidates your assets and uses the proceeds to pay back creditors. After assets have been liquidated and the creditors paid back, you may then be free of all consumer debts […]

Successful Voluntary Dismissal of a Chapter 7 Asset Case

Shout out to my Associate Attorney Maryam Behrouzi!  Maryam  prepared a Motion to Voluntarily Dismiss Chapter 7 Bankruptcy that was opposed by the Chapter 7 Trustee Elissa Miller and the law firm SulmeyerKupetz,  both of which stood to make tens of thousands of dollars in additional administrative fees if the case was not dismissed. Debtor’s […]

Payday Loans: Not a Sustainable Solution to Financial Problems

For millions of Americans struggling over the past several years due to a sluggish economy and job market, payday loans have become a last-resort option to get money quickly. Although payday loans are easy to obtain and do not require a credit check, making them one of the few viable options for low-income families, they […]

Attorney Uses Long Distance Running to Stay Healthy

Wednesday, December 31, 2014 Attorney uses long distance running to stay healthy By Alex Shively Daily Journal Staff Writer For Michael Jay Berger, staying fit isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon – and then some. At 57, the Beverly Hills bankruptcy specialist is an avid runner who finds time for routine training and, occasionally, more […]

Tips for Dealing with Aggressive Debt Collectors

The Rosenthal Act, a law specific to California, prohibits collections agencies from engaging in abusive activities. But if debt collectors are not following the law and become too insistent, you should know that you have a legal right to make them stop. Debt collectors from collection agencies are prohibited from the following: Calling repeatedly Calling […]


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