Bankruptcy FAQ

Helping You Get Free From Debt
  • What Is Bankruptcy?

    Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding for individuals or businesses who have insufficient funds to repay their creditors. Filing for bankruptcy not only helps people get many of their debts discharged, but also puts a stop to creditor harassment, foreclosure attempts, and repossession efforts.

  • What Is the Difference between Chapter 7 & Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

    Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves liquidating one's non-exempt assets to repay as much as possible to one's creditors. Once the funds are depleted, the remaining unsecured debts will be discharged. Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves restructuring one's debts into a repayment plan that lasts for three to five years. After successful completion of the plan, the debtor is released from the obligation to pay the remaining unsecured debts.

  • Which Type of Bankruptcy Is Right for Me?

    If your disposable income is low enough to pass the “means test,” you may file for Chapter 7. Otherwise, you will need to file for Chapter 13. You may also choose to file for Chapter 13 if you wish to keep your assets, rather than losing them through liquidation. Our certified bankruptcy specialists in San Diego can evaluate your situation and help you make an informed decision about which chapter is right for you.

  • Will Bankruptcy Eliminate All My Debts?

    While many types of debts can be discharged or eliminated, there are some debt obligations that will not be wiped out by filing for bankruptcy. Those debts that are nondischargeable include certain unpaid taxes, money owed for alimony or child support, debts that resulted from "willful and malicious" harm, and student loans. The types of debts that can be discharged include credit card bills, personal loans, late utility bills, and medical bills.

  • Will I Own Anything After Bankruptcy?

    Although many think that they cannot own anything for a specific amount of time after the bankruptcy process, this is not true. Individuals are allowed to keep all of their "exempt" property, as well as anything they obtain subsequent to filing for bankruptcy. An exception to this rule is receiving a property settlement, life insurance benefits, or an inheritance within 180 days of your bankruptcy. If that money or property is not exempt, it will need to be used to pay your creditors.

  • Do I Need an Attorney to File for Bankruptcy?

    While it is not required for you to have a legal representative in order to file for bankruptcy, it is highly advisable. Working with a skilled legal team can help you avoid mistakes and make it more likely to obtain a successful outcome. At Debt Relief Legal Clinic, our San Diego bankruptcy lawyers have the knowledge and experience to effectively guide you through the bankruptcy process.

  • What Will Happen to My Credit Score When I File Bankruptcy?

    Filing for bankruptcy can cause your credit score to drop initially. However, if you are able to keep up with your payments and do not accrue additional debt, you can slowly begin to rebuild your credit. The bankruptcy will also eventually fall off your credit report after a specified period of time. 

  • Can I Keep My Home and Car in Bankruptcy?

    Most people who file for bankruptcy can keep their primary residence and vehicles as long as they are able to keep up with the payments. There are bankruptcy exemptions that may be able to cover the equity of your vehicle and home, which can prevent them from liquidation in a Chapter 7. If you are filing for Chapter 13, you will most likely be able to keep your home while repaying any debts using a payment plan.

  • Do I Need an Attorney to File for Bankruptcy?

    You are not required to have an attorney when filing for bankruptcy. However, having an attorney can make the process easier and less stressful. Your lawyer can help you with all the paperwork, explain how bankruptcy laws work, and work with trustees and creditors on your behalf. Your attorney can be there to answer any questions you have and resolve disputes that can arise. 

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Why Hire Our Firm?

We Help You Find Relief from Debt
  • Certified Bankruptcy Specialist

    Attorney John C. Colwell has been recognized by the State Bar of California as one of 12 certified legal specialists in San Diego County for Bankruptcy Law.

  • Experienced

    Our attorney has over 35 years of experience and has dedicated the firm to consumer bankruptcy.

  • Bilingual

    Our legal team is bilingual and serve our clients in English and Spanish.

  • President of NACBA

    John C. Colwell has been a member of NACBA for 25 years and is currently the president.

  • Personal Approach

    We are a family-oriented business, committed to helping you get relief from debt.

  • Affordable

    We offer free consultations and take online payments for your convenience.

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