San Luis Obispo Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyers

Debt Relief Through Chapter 7

Planning for Chapter 7 bankruptcyChapter 7 bankruptcy is a form of liquidation that allows a person to obtain relief from most of their debts. If you are struggling with debt and wish to start a new financial chapter in your life, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be the right course of action for you.

If you are interested in pursuing this debt-relief option, it is essential that you seek the help of our skilled legal team at the Law Offices of R. Morgan Holland, L.C. For over two decades, we have helped thousands of struggling individuals find debt relief. There is hope for you, too. Call our Santa Maria bankruptcy lawyer to learn more.

Contact the Law Offices of R. Morgan Holland online or call (805) 762-4465 for a free consultation with a Chapter 7 attorney. We serve clients in Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo, and beyond!

Am I Eligible for Chapter 7?

If you are struggling against debt, Chapter 7 might be an option for you, however, not everyone can file.

In order to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must:

  • Pass the means test.
  • Complete a credit counseling course approved by the U.S. Trustee 180 days prior to filing.

You must also ensure that you have not:

  • Had debt discharged via Chapter 7 in the last 8 years.
  • Had debt discharged via Chapter 13 in the last 6 years.
  • Had a previous Chapter 7 case dismissed in the last 180 days for specific reasons such as failing to comply with court orders.

If you would like to explore filing for Chapter 7 as a solution to your debt, reach out to our Santa Maria Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer at the Law Offices of R. Morgan Holland. We have decades of experience handling a variety of matters related to bankruptcy.

The Chapter 7 Means Test

In order to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, an individual must meet certain requirements. Mainly, the filer must prove that they do not have the adequate disposable income to repay their creditors through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy payment plan.

To determine this, a person must pass a "means test," which compares their monthly income to the state's median income for their household size. If your monthly income is under California's median income for your household size, you automatically pass the means test and can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

California Median Income for Chapter 7

Below is a chart for the California Median Income levels for those filing Chapter 7 after May 1, 2021:

Household Size Monthly Income Annual Income
1 $5,244.83 $62,938.00
2 $6,952.92 $83,435.00
3 $7,727.92 $92,735.00
4 $8,877.50 $106,530.00

If your household size is not covered in the chart above, reach out to to our Chapter 7 attorney in Santa Maria for guidance.

Need to know more about the California median income? Call (805)762-4465 to schedule an appointment. We are backed by over 30 years of experience and are ready to help you!

Allowable Expenses in Chapter

If your monthly income is greater than California's median, the means test will take into account your essential, or "allowable," expenses. You will want to gather documentation of your expenses from the past six months. The income left over after your allowable expenses is considered your disposable income that you can put toward repaying the debt.

Some examples of allowable expenses in a California Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing include:

  • Mandatory employment deductions, including union dues, uniforms, or retirement plans
  • Health, disability, or life insurance
  • Court ordered payments for alimony or child support
  • Child care expenses
  • House or car payments
  • Certain healthcare costs

What Happens When You File for Chapter 7?

The moment you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the automatic stay will protect you from creditor harassment and wage garnishment. This can give you the peace of mind you and your family need.

It typically takes four to six months to complete a Chapter 7 case. At the end of the process, you will recieve a discharge of your qualifying debts.

Our San Luis Obispo bankruptcy attorney can guide you through the entire process, attending creditor meetings with you, defending you from creditor harassment, and handling all the paperwork so that you are always aware of your rights and legal options.

Exemptions in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in California

Debtors often have concerns about losing their property when they file for Chapter 7. However, California's bankruptcy exemptions can allow debtors to keep most or all of their assets. The state of California offers debtors two exemption systems, which each offer different exemptions for your homestead, personal property, vehicle, wages, and other assets.

Our attorneys can help you determine which exemption system will provide you the best protection.

Reach Out to a Santa Maria Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer!

Since 1988, our law firm has become known for providing high-quality legal services to clients facing massive debt. With thousands of successful cases behind us, we have the legal resources and experience required to protect your interests, both inside and outside of court. But you don't have to take our word for it. Take a look at what some of our previous clients have to say about the top-notch and client-focused services they received from us.

Call (805) 762-4465 to request a free case evaluation with a Chapter 7 attorney in Santa Maria. We can determine if this option is right for you, how long your case will take, and how much it will cost.