Bankruptcy Costs

How much are bankruptcy costs?

Many people who call our  San Diego bankruptcy office will ask us about bankruptcy costs before they even have been set up to meet. They see bankruptcy lawyer after bankruptcy lawyer telling how much less expensive their bankruptcy cost is compared to the next bankruptcy lawyer. It is terribly confusing and hard to make sense of.
We’ve also seen our competitor’s advertisements on TV or heard them on the radio spouting bankruptcy cost  prices, so we completely understand “Call us now, no money down.” “We can do your bankruptcy for $995.” “$300 to start your bankruptcy.”   As a firm, we think quoting prices without really knowing the specific situation leads to huge misunderstandings and distrust.

There is no “one size fits all” in bankruptcy costs.

If giving our clients a “one size fits all” pricing for bankruptcy legal representation worked, we certainly would do it! You wouldn’t have to come in to speak to a lawyer. It wouldn’t require one hour of meeting time to discover exactly what your situation is and how the law might apply to you. If we did a one size fits all pricing you might not even have to talk to a lawyer – you could talk to a paralegal and never even see a lawyer.
 We look at it this way: If I were on the other side of the desk and coming to see a law firm for a problem that was making me lose sleep, I would want to see a lawyer — not a paralegal. Paralegals are forbidden, by law from offering legal advice and that’s what I’d be seeking. And, we know that if it’s bad enough for you to be reading this website, then, truly, it’s bad for you. 
So back to the initial point: the only way we can know how much to bankruptcy costs for you is for you to come in, sit down face to face and discuss your individual situation. That meeting is free, and you will speak to Paul.
One’s financial situation is kind of like weight loss: sometimes they need to lose 10 pounds, sometimes they need to lose 150 pounds. You’ve probably had to lose weight at one time or another. The plan of attack varies from case to case. Sometimes all you need to do is cut out the sodas, other times well, Jenny Craig….to surgery. When you have a consultation with us, we can promise you is that the price that we quote for you will be fair. We are not the most expensive bankruptcy law firm in town nor are we the cheapest. But we’re certainly one of the most thorough firms you’ll find. We take that hour consultation and use it to your advantage, and then price your personal case directly in line with your situation.

Get The Guidance You Need

If you are considering filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you need clear and experienced guidance. When you hire a bankruptcy attorney to help you  protect your home, car or property. Taking the wrong action, however, can seriously impact those results. There are important things not to do, such as:

  • Do not transfer assets or change titles
  • Do not repay debts to family members
  • Do not run up your credit cards
  • Do not choose to do nothing

When bankruptcy trustees can review transactions up to four years, things clients do leading up to filing can complicate issues.

Do Not Wait To Get A Free Consultation

The most important thing to do when facing a serious financial crisis is to get the advice of an experienced lawyer. To schedule your free consultation  call our office 619-235-4095. Paul will set up an online consultation.

 Bankruptcy during  the Coronavirus shutdown

In San Diego the Coronavirus is growing and the number is likely to grow as more people are able to be tested. While the public health threat is the priority, there are also  the economic impact it will have. Businesses around the world are shutting down to the public, and the stock market has dropped to historic lows. Uncertainty causes panic.  This in turn causes a snowball effect – or an avalanche, depending on which event we mean. As serious as it is, it is looking like it has a finite shelf life. So, does the pandemic create the needto file bankruptcy during the Coronavirus shut down? If you find yourself unemployed or with medical bills that are out of reach timing has never been more key.corono virus bankruptcy
Bankruptcy in San Diego is a powerful weapon against creditors. But filers typically only get one shot at it. It’s crucial that filing bankruptcy during the Cornovirus shutdown to make it count. For some, things are inevitably going to get worse before they get better. Take care of the family and those around you . Those that consider bankruptcy during the Coronavirus shut down may be wise to wait until you have reason to believe that at least the worst is past. The hard truth is there is a limit to what creditors can do, during the next few months.  One can only file Chapter 7 (the most common chapter of bankruptcy) at eight-year intervals. (*/For the vast majority of filers, it’s a once in a lifetime experience.) 
Current income shortfalls may last months, though. That means more and more unpaid bills will pile up, for many. But consider this one brief example. Let’s say John and Jane Deer worked in a restaurant and hotel, respectively, but were laid off. They filed bankruptcy today. That’s because even though they are current on their car payments and rent, they can no longer pay their credit cards, student loans AND all their other expenses.  But if one of them became ill due to the Coronavirus  and became hospitalized, they will have big medical bills. Until we see some light that this is ending, waiting though difficult,it is to your advantage.


Governor Newsome has proclaimed that California cities may enact local their own local rules on evictions. The City of San Diego has done that by unanimous city council vote. It imposed a moratorium on evictions related to the coronavirus outbreak. An article in the San Diego Union Tribune published online March 17, 2020 reports that a renter must show “proof of loss of income or burdensome medical bill” in order to qualify for this local relief. The  city will “work to make sure” [landlords] “were financially shielded” from the effects. (Ibid.) The council apparently did not provide the SDUT any further details. Landlords have no protection from foreclosure if they cannot collect enough rent to pay their mortgaged properties. Landlords may find themselves eligible for and in need of bankruptcy services.
Not all eviction proceedings will be covered by a local exception. These will slightly complicate a bankruptcy proceeding, but landlords have a bit of an advantage in bankruptcy court.
Here is a bit of good news. Federally-backed mortgage lenders (that’s HUD, FHA, FREDDIE MAC and FANNIE MAE), as of March 19,2020, have declared a sixty-day moratorium on foreclosures. (Credit: articles released by the Associated Press March 19, 2020 and articles appearing in the Wall Street Journal, Politico and USA Today on March 18, 2020.)
Those whose assets are in immediate danger of being seized by creditors probably cannot wait. They should take care, though. Some (not my clients, of course) file bankruptcy and get only a brief reprieve. All they do is set up a temporary roadblock to creditors. For example, secured creditors like auto and mortgage lenders can still repossess or foreclose even during a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. (It’s different in a Chapter 13 with an approved plan.) The lender just has to jump through an additional hoop to get it done. If you have significant cash savings and / or other non-exempt assets (not retirement accounts) AND a creditor sues you, your assets could be in jeopardy.


Reach out to ALL of your lenders – credit cards, mortgage, auto and student loan. When you are able to get through, explain your situation and request lender(s) defer your payments. Lenders are sensitive to the pressure to accommodate borrowers as sort of a carrot-and-stick strategy by the government. If you’re successful, you can ride out the temporary hardship with a bit less anxiety, a little more cash in your pocket and your credit score unaffected. (You will have made your payments “as agreed” if they are deferred.)
We can schedule for IN-PERSON MEETINGS. We’ll  just have to make sure we calendar yours on a later date than the governor lifts the “shelter in place” order. OR, we can conduct the consult via video chat / screen-sharing services like ZOOM, GO TO MEETING, FaceTime and SKYPE.

san diego bankruptcy attorneys

San diego bankruptcy law firm – Paul Staley

San Diego bankruptcy law firm – The first step is the call

When you make an appointment with the Law Office of Paul Staley, you’re making an appointment with Paul himself. Not a paralegal or legal assistant with a questionnaire and a clipboard. You’ll be meeting with the only one among San Diego bankruptcy attorneys who “wrote the book” on bankruptcy. Paul’s book “The Bankruptcy Lifeline: What Your Creditors Hope You Don’t Know” is available for download at
A client considering bankruptcy need not wonder whether his or her case is a good one. Yet seventy percent of all Chapter 13 cases end in failure. Paul has what he refers to as a “zero failure rate.” He backs up his professional analysis with a common sense guarantee. Paul’s outlook is straightforward. The client gets a Discharge. Every client, every case. Or the client gets a refund. You’ll find that outlook goes to a radical extreme. And Paul says “It’s about time.” Paul has been in practice for over twenty-five years now. He’s never had to issue a refund for a failed case. Among San Diego bankruptcy attorneys, Paul Staley is the first to guarantee his clients’ results.

Choosing the Right Chapter Can Make All The Difference.

Paul is convinced that too many cases are filed under the wrong Chapter.  That, in turn, results in too many cases failing. About twenty-five percent of all bankruptcy cases filed are filed as Chapter 13s.  He has described Chapter 13 proceedings as “the three-to-five-year poverty plan.” That’s because the Chapter 13 trustee becomes a stand-in for the creditors.
He [the trustee] (yes, we still have no female Chapter 13 trustees) becomes the surrogate for creditors. And the Code demands that ALL of the debtor’s disposable income go toward paying the creditors. Oh, and the trustee’s administrative fee of ten percent. These guys don’t work for free. (Yes, they’re both “guys” as of this writing.) In Paul’s practice over the past twenty-one years, he has put fewer than one percent of his clients in Chapter 13s. That’s not to say he thinks no one belongs in Chapter 13.

Among San Diego bankruptcy law firms, Paul conducts the free consultation differently. Differently how?

1 – Different, firstly, because he conducts the free consultation in person rather than delegating it to a non-attorney. He believes he is uniquely qualified to do what’s most important during that meeting – effective legal thinking.  And legal thinking requires applying a complex Bankruptcy Code to your unique situation. He respects other San Diego bankruptcy attorneys’ choice to delegate that meeting. Often that’s done by having an “interviewer” conduct the “intake interview.” That means the interviewer is not an attorney but at a minimum (a) speaks English (or the client’s language) and (b) can use a calculator. Paul has a lot of experience doing damage control after plenty of cases initiated in high-volume “mills.” One such typical scenario looks like this. A different attorney crams a case through based on information that an interviewer either missed or misunderstood.

How else is my consultation with Paul different?

Different – secondly – in that Paul devotes a full hour to the initial interview, sometimes longer. Real talk: he’s found that it’s impossible to collect enough information, analyze it and give the client a certain opinion any faster than that. Clients who come to Paul from other San Diego bankruptcy law firms confirm that Paul’s is the San Diego Bankruptcy law firm which does this process best. He’s a believer in the old adage that “You can do it right or you can do it over.”
Paul does a complete Means Test work-up, digs deep into the client’s unique situation. He frequently, talks about “what if?” scenarios with the client. Paul makes sure that by the end of that first meeting, the client knows the best way forward.

Complete legal analysis.

When you make your appointment for your fresh start plan Paul will do a complete legal analysis of your financial situation. He will not cut corners. You will speak to a lawyer who has experience in bankruptcy law, not a paralegal.  Expect to spend about (or maybe we should say at least) an hour with Paul. In this meeting, Paul performs a complete means test not just an overview. You can ask questions about different solutions to your problems. This test is the only way to truly determine if you qualify for bankruptcy. A fair and reasonable price for this much time and expertise is about $300-$400. But Paul provides this comprehensive analysis at no charge. Why? Because it is truly the only way he can give you the real facts about your financial situation.

Complete confidentiality.

Paul guarantees that when you come and speak to him about your financial situation, he provides receive complete confidentiality. What you say to him stays with him. There is no reason to be embarrassed or worried about any of your information ever leaving our San Diego bankruptcy law firm. If you do decide to go forward with filing bankruptcy (then financial information will become public record). More on just how “public” public really is we discuss elsewhere.
It’s time to call. Lower your blood pressure, ease your stress. Get some peace of mind. Stop wondering if picking up the phone means admitting failure. It doesn’t. You’ve done all you can on your own. It’s time to let someone with bigger shoulders than you help take that burden. Should you file bankruptcy or hold out? When you meet with Paul, you get clear, certain and thoughtful answers. Then you can make an informed decision about what to do next. Paul’s direct line is 619-235-4095. Call today to speak to Paul about meeting with him to discuss one of the most important next steps in your life.


Bankruptcy Help In San Diego

Getting bankruptcy help: Considering bankruptcy? no one wants to…

Capitalism without bankruptcy is like Christianity without hell.”

Are creditors constantly calling you? Does the thought of opening your mail stress you out? Are you worried that utilities may be shut off or your car repossessed? Do you lie awake at night because you’re afraid of losing your home? Have you already dipped into savings or, worse, your retirement funds just to pay bills and buy groceries? These are all signs that it may be time to seriously consider filing bankruptcy.

Now, probably more than at any other time in the last fifty years, people are having financial trouble because of events beyond their control, such as recession, layoffs, and small business owners suffering acute drop-offs in sales. No one assumes anymore that the need to file bankruptcy is somehow a reflection of the moral character of the person filing. For centuries,
bankruptcy has been the ultimate relief valve for those in direst of straits. Americans seem pretty unanimous in continuing to believe that bankruptcy is a valid, valuable tool in this

Ninety-six percent of the people who consult with me just happen also to be candidates for filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This fact has always been something that surprised me. I’m not a
new-age type of guy, but people’s gut reactions to “I think I need a lawyer to file bankruptcy” are usually right.

The choice of whether to seek bankruptcy relief is difficult, and it can be close to heartbreaking. Many people experience shame and anxiety over filing bankruptcy. They are sometimes afraid that filing bankruptcy makes them look irresponsible or like people who don’t want to pay their bills. However, the truth is that there is no shame in filing bankruptcy. Some people need bankruptcy, and bankruptcy law exists to make sure that people having serious financial trouble can survive.

The first thing to do is call for a free bankruptcy consultation, then you get bankruptcy help or at least get a good idea what your financial options are

How To Stop Collection calls -San Diego Bankruptcy

Stop Collection calls

How To Stop Collection Calls-San Diego bankruptcy law

If debt collectors are calling you it is stressful. It is a good idea to know what they can and can’t do when they call you.  These days more and more people do have bad debt.  You are not alone. In turn, more and more unscrupulous debt collection agencies are trying to collect on that debt.

In California, debt collectors can be one of two things: (1) a collection agency, which is a third party collector (“third”, because you are the first and the lender, is the second) or (2) the original lender or a “successor”, like when a mortgage moves from one service to another. Under FEDERAL debt collector law, only THIRD-PARTY collectors are regulated, by the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.  Under California debt collector law (the Rosenthal Act), regulation extends to even the original lender. To keep things from getting confused, we’ll stick with federal law unless I specify otherwise in this blog.

I spent my first two years of law school working part-time at a collection agency.  I know how this game is played. I know what the rules are. 

What Debt Collectors Must Not Do:

Debt collectors from collection agencies cannot do any of the following:

  • Call you repeatedly or contact you at an unreasonable time (the law presumes that before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. is unreasonable).
  • Place telephone calls to you without identifying themselves as bill collectors.
  • Contact you at work if your employer prohibits it.
  • Use obscene or profane language.
  • Use or threaten to use violence.
  • Claim you owe more than you do.
  • Claim to be attorneys if they’re not.
  • Claim that you’ll be imprisoned or your property will be seized.
  • Send you a paper that resembles a legal document.
  • Add unauthorized interest, fees, or charges.
  • Contact third parties, other than your attorney, a credit reporting bureau, or the original creditor, except for the limited purpose of finding information about your whereabouts. Unless you have asked collectors in writing to stop contacting you, they can also contact your spouse, your parents (if you are a minor), and your co-debtors.
  • Continue to contact you after you’ve told them – even just orally on the phone – not to contact you further.

 What is the solution :

Well, the easiest one is to tell them to stop. You know what the rules are. Remind them. Sometimes that is all you need. Secondarily start taking notes on when they called and what they said. Make sure you get the name (probably a fictitious name, but even those must be registered with the California Department of Consumer Affairs.) Better yet, record the call.  Hey, they’ve already told you that “This call may be recorded for…purposes”, right? If you want to be extra careful (‘cuz recording a telephone conversation without the other person’s consent is a crime) you might just add, “Oh, yes it might.”

If the collector doesn’t comply, demand in writing that they stop calling (and writing.) Then report the collector to the Department of Consumer Affairs.  If you want to ratchet up the pressure, call your debt collector law attorney and sic him on the collector.

This may be just a short term solution because not all debt collector law is written to protect the person who owes money.  Alas, the collector can still do stuff other than contact you.  And sometimes – I think seldom, but sometimes – the creditor takes their cue to file a lawsuit from whatever resistance they’re getting from the borrower.  Meaning, if you order the collector to call off its dogs – i.e. to stop contacting you – the creditor may just raise the stakes itself by filing a lawsuit.

Bankruptcy offers a permanent and certain end to the creditor’s right to do anything to collect money from a borrower.  For the creditor, it’s “Game Over.”

One of the immediate benefits of filing any type of bankruptcy action is that you no longer have to deal directly with your creditors. However, it may take some time for your creditors to get the word that you have filed for bankruptcy. There are a couple of ways you can get the collection calls to stop immediately after your attorney files your petition.

You can choose to be proactive and notify each of your creditors that you have filed for bankruptcy. Provide them with the contact information for your attorney, and ask that they direct any questions or concerns directly to your legal counsel. Your attorney will handle any necessary communication with the creditors, at least until the court has approved your petition. You may even arrange for your attorney to contact the creditors after you have retained them. If you take this route, make sure you have provided the attorney with all the names and addresses of the creditors.

You may also choose to respond to any telephone calls from your creditors by verbally informing them of your actions when they call. As with the written notification, be prepared to provide the collection agent with your attorney’s contact information. By law, once the creditor is informed verbally or in written form that you have entered a bankruptcy petition, there is to be no further direct contact with you.

Should a creditor choose to continue contacting you directly, report the telephone calls to your attorney? He or she can take the appropriate action to stop the calls immediately. This may mean your attorney will file a motion or proceeding in Court to have the creditor punished for its misbehavior, but often the issue is resolved informally.

Creditor harassment is serious. Let us know if it’s a problem for you. We can help stop it.

San Diego Foreclosure Attorney

Facing foreclosure :

Can I Keep My Home Or Car After I File For Bankruptcy?

Many people wonder what happens to assets like a home or a vehicle in a bankruptcy auction. The good news is that, in many cases, you have an excellent chance of keeping your car and your home, even if you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection.

If your plan is to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, keep in mind that the ultimate goal is to settle your debts with all your creditors. This means that over the period of a few years, you will be making regular payments to them via the courts. Once your case is filed, foreclosure and repossession processes are halted, at least temporarily. Once your Chapter 13 Plan is confirmed, and you make the payments as required, foreclosure and repossession processes are dead in the water. No more worries for you, except making the plan payment!

With a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there is also an excellent chance you will be allowed to keep your car. This is because the court will look at the current value of the vehicle, not the original purchase price. Often, this means the asset is actually a liability if there is more owed on it than it is worth. If there is equity in the vehicle, often that can be kept by you using “exemptions.” With your home, the court will also look closely at the current market value, plus consider the amount – if any – of equity you have in the property. It is not unusual for both these assets to be exempted from sale in order to settle any portion of the debts detailed in the bankruptcy petition.

Keep in mind that if you are filing a Chapter 7 and you are behind on your mortgage or car payments, the lender(s) still have the option of exercising their right to repossess the assets. This is true even if the court has ruled those assets are “exempt” from sale in order to pay off a portion of your total indebtedness. So, stay current on these payments, even if you can’t pay your credit cards in addition to them.

Exemption planning is a critical part of getting your bankruptcy done right. It takes special skill, knowledge, and experience to walk this tightrope well. We have all of that. We can help you! Call today.

bankruptcy advice Bankruptcy Advice:Thou Shalt Not

Thou Shalt Not: San Diego bankruptcy advice

*Thou Shalt Not: Delay in getting bankruptcy advice if you’re in financial trouble. Lawsuits can be filed and creditors can take advantage of how overwhelmed are most ordinary people when they’re sued. Inaction by you is good for them. Get yourself informed, pronto.

*Thou Shalt Not: Feel guilty about the predicament in which you now find yourself. It’s normal, natural to feel bad, like there is some moral defect in you that caused your economic implosion. This is more than just warm and fuzzy here: very often, debtors continued to go deeper and deeper in debt out of guilt and only making the situation worse.

Examples: Taking balance transfers on credit cards (you know the “victim”, the card to which you transfer a big balance, is not going to go quietly away);

Taking loans or outright withdrawals against retirement plan(s) to make mortgage payments, on homes which now turn out to be either losing value or at best not holding it. Those retirement loans have to be repaid. And retirement withdrawals are a double whammy: you pay taxes, and a 10% penalty right off the top. You may have just poured good money after bad money if it’s to hold onto a home. Especially if you’re already upside down in the home. Lots of people don’t realize that even in bankruptcy, you can usually keep all your retirement.

*Thou Shalt Not: Pay off personal loans to family members, close business associates, or friends.When you think you might have to file bankruptcy. These so-called “insider transactions” are “preferential transfers”, and they really irk the bankruptcy trustees. Such payments can be voided, and the relative, associate, or friend can be forced to hand over the money to the bankruptcy trustee.

*Thou Shalt Not: Take cash advances on credit cards and soon (like, within a year) expect they’ll routinely discharge in bankruptcy.

*Thou Shalt Not: Pay for elective/cosmetic surgery with a credit card, and anticipate the debt will be routinely discharged. If the creditor is paying attention, discharge of that debt could well be challenged.

*Thou Shalt Not: Travel for luxury, or buy luxury goods with a credit card, and anticipate that debt will be routinely discharged in bankruptcy.

*Thou Shalt Not: Use your credit cards for ANYTHING within ten weeks prior to filing bankruptcy (one can sometimes get away with paying for some dire necessities in reasonable amounts.)

*Thou Shalt Not: Say anything to anyone about your finances that is inconsistent with what you said, or will say, in your bankruptcy papers. Example 1: credit application overstates income, bankruptcy papers list accurate (read LESS) income. Result: if the discrepancy is discovered in the bankruptcy proceedings, big trouble. Example 2: you’re involved in litigation over something, most commonly in Family Court, regarding financial issues (support, etc.), and you list information, in writing, signed by you under penalty of perjury, that is inconsistent with the paper submitted or to be submitted to the Bankruptcy Court. People tend to be sort of casual at times, or less than thorough, about the information submitted in Bankruptcy Court. Sometimes they even…GASP! LIE!! I can’t explain why, but sloppiness and downright untruthfulness are common enough that one must be very vigilant to get the information right.

how much does bankruptcy cost

How Much Does bankruptcy cost in San Diego?

Bankruptcy Cost in San Diego

The shortest and best answer I can give about bankruptcy cost in San Diego  is that it’s less expensive to do it once and really well. The most important thing to realize before getting mired in legalese is that choosing the wrong lawyer will end up costing you far more. I usually see these cases when I am called on to do damage control. Often I can pull the burning and injured from the fire that a badly-made case is. But not always. 

Why is there such a big difference in bankruptcy costs  on the Internet?

Good question. I don’t envy those trying to figure this out. If the case is simple enough to be figured out by a high school graduate who collects the client’s information and has the attorney in charge sign off on the case, then the client’s bankruptcy cost really should be among the lowest out there. The trouble is that those “simplest cases” are not really very common. If you were attracted to the content on our web site, it’s likely that you’re more sophisticated than the average person. Most of the time, that translates into a more-sophisticated bankruptcy case.
“Everybody knows they get what they pay for.” So if they have a chart for their salespeople (and yes, they will be salespeople, not lawyers) it may go something like this: $799 case = unemployed with one creditor. $899 case: unemployed with up to three creditors. $999 case: earns minimum wage, up to three creditors, zero positive cash flow. And on and on it would go. 
To be fair, there are large practices that are legit, busy and competent. It isn’t that the size of the firm is always inverse to the quality of the service. But those larger firms that are legitimate, busy and competent aren’t going to be offering their services at a bargain basement price.
It can be tempting to opt for the lowest quote if you think you need bankruptcy. Given your current financial situation it is certainly easy to rationalize that. But the fact is that the service you receive will NOT be the same, and in all likelihood you will end up at best feeling alone and dissatisfied and at worst have to call in one of our top-gun lawyers to fix the problems the earlier lawyer created. My firm has had to do this more than a few times this year. Trust me,it is far more common than you think.
So, a good starting point is to hire an expert first time around so that you don’t end up having to pay twice. It would be all too easy to trot out low-ball numbers on what a bankruptcy may cost, but the honest answer is somewhat akin to “How long is a piece of string?”
But to give you some firm idea, and not to dodge the question, here is a rough range of bankruptcy cost in the San Diego area :
Chapter 7 – $1000 to $4000 plus filing fees.
Chapter 13 – $3800+

Bankruptcy cost usually depends on: Is your bankruptcy complicated ?

The reason for the wide range is that bankruptcy cost  is dependent upon many different factors. The more creditors there are, the greater the likelihood of an adverse filing against you – in the bankruptcy court – by one or more of those creditors. Complicating factors can also include: owning your own business, marital status, home ownership, and/or the amount in your IRA or 401(K), debt recently incurred, transfer of assets by you to someone else, to name just a few. The complete list of variables is much, much longer. Any one of them can be a case-breaker if it isn’t identified and dealt with the right way.
“I worked with Paul after a nightmare with another lawyer. Paul was fast, professional and got the job done! Since the work was completed I’ve had questions over the years and Paul has always answered my questions without charging me a dime. I would not hesitate for even one second to work with Paul again.” Shannon

You really are unique, so is your financial situation.

Each bankruptcy case is unique. That is why you need an expert in the first place. A cookie-cutter solution just won’t do.
In all cases we will first arrange a consultation with a Bankruptcy Attorney who will be able to apprise you of likely bankruptcy cost before proceeding. He will assess your specific circumstances. You will know your options, even if bankruptcy doesn’t turn out to be one of them.  You will have the security on knowing you heard it from a bankruptcy lawyer and you received professional advice.We do have payment plans.
We’d be falsely modest if we didn’t tell you: we’re the real deal. We’re not one of those bankruptcy firms you may see quoting “low cost pricing” like flashing neon on their website. You remember what they say: “If it sounds too good to be true it usually is.” Our aim is to be transparent to make the process as painless as possible.
So do it right the first time. Save yourself time, money and hassle and get a no-fee consult today to see how we can help.

Do I have to have a Bankruptcy lawyer?

…or, fully understanding your rights during bankruptcy

Sound legal advice, preparation, and understanding of your rights are absolutely essential. There is no legal requirement that you be represented by an attorney in bankruptcy court, nor that you have an attorney prepare your bankruptcy documents. However, the risk of loss through error is high if you are without competent legal advice.

There are options besides being represented by an attorney or having bankruptcy lawyer attorney prepare your documents, of course. There are paralegals and other persons who may prepare your documents for you at what appears to be a discounted price. Several of my clients have discovered the hard way, having previously attempted these proceedings without an attorney, that they got just about what they paid for. Remember, too, that, at the time of this writing among bankruptcy preparers only an attorney can carry professional liability (read “MALPRACTICE”) insurance that will cover any loss to the client resulting from errors in the attorney’s planning, preparation of the documents or conduct at hearings.

It has been my experience that an attorney is much less likely than a
nonprofessional to make a costly error. I am pleased to report that no client of mine has ever had occasion to complain of a loss resulting from an error by my office.

Hiring a San Diego bankruptcy attorney?

Five questions for a San Diego Bankruptcy Attorney

1.  Question: It seems like there is a lot of information and documents called for and I’m not very organized, not really a “paper person.” Canquestions for a san diego bankruptcy atttoreny someone help me?

ANSWER: Yes. Many of Paul’s clients have been inundated with demand letters, ugly phone calls, even lawsuits and it has become a nightmare to keep it all organized. Paul recognizes that it’s not just the logistics of gathering all the necessary things into one place, but it’s also the sense of being overwhelmed that makes it difficult for some clients to organize. Paul will help you streamline your “homework” so you can help him help you.

2.  Question:  Who will be with me at the meeting of creditors – Paul, or someone working for him that I may not yet know?

ANSWER: Paul always accompanies his clients to every event the client’s case involves. While many of his contemporaries hire “appearance attorneys” to show up at the meeting of creditors and keep track of what additional requests the trustee makes, Paul shows up in person. You’ll never have to wonder who will be there. This also seems to result in a much more efficient meeting since Paul is unfailingly prepared. It also means there are almost no continuances needed for Paul’s clients. As nerve-wracking as it is anticipating the meeting, Paul figures the clients deserve to only have to do it once if a continuance can be avoided.

3.  If I have a question about my case – either while we’re getting it ready or after it’s filed, will I be directed to a subordinate or will I be able to talk to Paul?

ANSWER: Paul does not use subordinates. Every client who wants to talk to Paul gets to talk to Paul, not someone else. Also, each client has Paul’s personal cell phone number. He might joke that he does sleep and take some time off. Paul believes that each client should have as much access to him as they need. Many lawyers think clients will abuse the privilege of unlimited access. That hasn’t been Paul’s experience though.

4.  What if after my case is filed it is challenged and I don’t get a discharge? Do you guarantee your work?

ANSWER: Paul does guarantee his work, and was the first San Diego Bankruptcy Attorney to do so. His promise to each client is that if the client has been truthful with me in the preparation of his / her case and yet the case fails, I have a responsibility to refund the client’s fees.  In the over twenty years in practice, Paul has never had to refund a client’s fees. He is confident he can and will maintain that track record, including your case, too.

5.  Who will be with me at the reaffirmation hearing? Will there be an additional cost?

ANSWER:  You probably know the answer to the first half: Paul will be with you at the Jacob Weinberger U.S. Bankruptcy Court at any reaffirmation hearing. Bankruptcy rules require bankruptcy lawyers to appear with the clients but, still, some don’t show, and many of those that do charge an additional fee. The additional fee is permitted, i.e. the rules allow the lawyers to charge the additional fee. Paul doesn’t charge extra for this appearance.

Bonus Question: Are you a lawyer?

A number of  San Diego bankruptcy law firms have made a lot of money by paying only one or two attorneys to handle an enormous caseload. How do they do this? They hire support staff to handle almost everything. In fact, some firms will schedule new clients to meet with support staff rather than lawyers at the first meeting. These firms can hire a charming salesperson for a lot less money. I do not object to supporting staff, but your first consultation requires legal thought and analysis, which cannot and should not be done by a salesperson.

paul staley bankruptcy lawyer
The Law Office Of Paul Staley provides legal advice and representation for residents of San Diego County. The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this or associated pages, documents, comments, answers, emails, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information on this website is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
Paul Staley
Bankruptcy Attorney
1901 1st Ave., FLR 1 San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: +619 235 40 95

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