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Author Archives: Michael J. Berger

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 […]

The Importance of Business Valuations in Chapter 11 Bankruptcies

When a business seeks debt reorganization under Chapter 11, assessments must be made of the assets, debts, claims and general worth of the company. These valuations are difficult in normal times. The recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has added greater complexity. With the upheaval in financial markets, it is all the more critical to […]

How Does Filing for Bankruptcy Affect Your Credit Rating?

If you are facing insurmountable debt, bankruptcy may be the best option for righting yourself financially and getting a fresh start. The downside is that a bankruptcy filing will stay on your credit report for a lengthy period of time. However, there are ways that bankruptcy can put you on a better financial footing that […]

Understanding Bankruptcy Fraud and Its Consequences

While the bankruptcy law is intended to give people a fresh start by wiping out their debts, at the same time it contains protections against abuse of the system. Debtors filing for bankruptcy are required to completely and accurately disclose their assets, income, debts and other finances. The law includes sanctions for a debtor who […]

Tips for Dealing with the Emotional Stress of Bankruptcy

Of course, no one wants to go into bankruptcy, and the stress surrounding the decision to do so is understandable. But when you are faced with crushing debt, harassing calls from collection agencies and continual financial uncertainly, you may be left with no other logical choice. You need to know that you are not alone. […]

How Chapter 13 Helps You Pay for Your Bankruptcy Attorney

When you are considering filing for bankruptcy protection, you have to decide whether the best option is Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Either way, the assistance of a qualified attorney is vital to a successful outcome, which raises another question. How do you pay legal fees when you’re bankrupt? The answer may lie in the […]

New Law Increases California Homestead Exemption up to $600,000

There is good news for California homeowners who are considering filing for bankruptcy protection. A new state law raises the homestead exemption — the amount of home equity that can be shielded from creditors in a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 — to a minimum of $300,000 and a maximum of $600,000. The increase was […]

Using Cramdowns to Advantage in Subchapter V Bankruptcy

Subchapter V is a simplified form of Chapter 11 bankruptcy that was created to make the reorganization process more accessible to small businesses. One advantage of Subchapter V is the reduction of a company’s debts through use of a procedure known as a cramdown. Subchapter V bankruptcy has become especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic. […]

Chapter 11 Relief Is Well-Suited to Times of Economic Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic has been financially devastating to individuals and businesses alike. The purpose of Chapter 11 bankruptcy is to give companies in financial crisis the ability to continue operating while restructuring their debt payments over time. In short, it gives a business the pause it needs to catch its breath and start working to […]

Using Lien Stripping to Reduce Secured Debt in Chapter 13

In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, unsecured debts are discharged after successful completion of a partial repayment plan. However, secured debts — those based on mortgages and other liens — remain in force. Fortunately, there is procedure called lien stripping that allows you to convert some mortgage debts to unsecured ones and thus to discharge them. […]


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