Posts

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 Amazon.com.
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.

san diego bankruptcy lawyer Can bankruptcy stop foreclosure?

Can bankruptcy stop foreclosure?

Can bankruptcy stop foreclosure?

One of the most difficult and traumatic challenges that a person can face is the prospect of foreclosure. A person’s home normally is the center of life. The idea that one’s home might be taken away from him or she can be a most bitter pill to swallow. Considering bankruptcy is the next thought. If you have found yourself facing the prospect of a foreclosure on your home — or if you have already found yourself smack dab in the middle of a foreclosure case — you did not necessarily have to assume that all is lost. In this day and age, there are some options available to you should you find yourself involved in foreclosure proceedings.

Bankruptcy can hold the foreclosure

Chapter 7 versus Chapter 13 has very different effects when your house is getting foreclosed on. In  Chapter 7 bankruptcy, if the borrower’s behind on the mortgage, the lender is simply going to ask the bankruptcy court for permission to ahead with the foreclosure. And that’s done by filing a motion. Those motions are routinely granted and then the lender goes ahead with the foreclosure.

Now, that used to be the standard operating procedure for lenders, but that was before the real estate bubble sort of burst and now there are practical considerations coming into the picture as well as legal ones and lenders are prioritizing which foreclosures. Lenders will go after the larger balance mortgages first. So, someone with a relatively modest mortgage loan um, might stay in their home for months. So far the record, in my practice, I’ve seen, I had one client stay in his home for 20 months before even receiving a notice of default.

Chapter 13 is actually designed to be able to help the homeowner stay in the house and catch up on the mortgage payments that they’ve missed. the best case is a borrower who has to be in Chapter 13 because of some kind of temporary financial setback. Because, if it’s a permanent financial setback, in their income flow they’re just not gonna be able to keep up with all the payments. That is because they’ve gotta make not only the entire on-going mortgage payment but, then they’re gonna have to make the Chapter 13 plan payment for the credit payment, bills and to catch up all the missed mortgage payments. But, for someone who’s had a temporary setback, it’s a wonderful thing.

Is bankruptcy a public record in San Diego?

Filing for bankruptcy is a matter of public record. So the idea that you can keep bankruptcy secret isn’t really true. It is something that you really have to look for to find out about. Who files bankruptcy in San Diego is not easily accessible knowledge. It is not published in the  San Diego newspaper under notices.

If you file for bankruptcy, you must list all of your creditors. Sometimes those bankruptcy creditors might include family and friends who might have cosigned a loan for you. Those bankruptcy creditors will receive notice that you filed. You can find out about a personal bankruptcy on your credit report so some jobs will know filed bankruptcy.  While filing for bankruptcy is not what anyone wants to do, in today’s modern times, many people have filed for bankruptcy.  The last economic storm we went through included many people got caught in the undertow.

However, if you want to keep your bankruptcy filing a secret from your friends or family, the odds are that they may never know. The Bankruptcy Courts and Trustees do not inform others of your bankruptcy filing unless they are in some way related or involved in your case. There is a good chance that many people you know (family, friends, neighbors, co-workers) have filed for bankruptcy in the past and you were unaware. If filing bankruptcy is a viable option for you, embarrassment should not be a barrier to obtaining relief.

Tax bankruptcy discharge

Some tax debt is not dischargeable through bankruptcy. Tax bankruptcy discharge can happen through  Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy if they meet specific criteria. The criteria include five rules: 1) the due date for filing a tax return is at least three years ago; 2) the tax return was filed at least two years ago; 3) the tax assessment (if any, other than the filing of the return) is at least 240 days old; 4) there is no fraud or willful evasion; and 5) the taxes are income taxes (as contrasted with, say, payroll taxes or sales taxes).  Naturally, the tax bankruptcy discharge is first of all contingent on the taxpayer being eligible for a discharge, period. But that’s a whole ‘another page.
1. The Three Year Rule
The tax return (and therefore payment) for a particular tax year must have been due without penalty at least three years before filing for a tax bankruptcy discharge.
 If you filed an extension, the three years are determined by the extension. For example, Adam Smith’s return would have been due on April 15 – or the next business day thereafter – but he applied for an extension out to October 15. If the tax year was 2010, his return would and payment without penalty would have been due October 15, 2011. Unless October 15 fell on a weekend, which I didn’t bother to verify, but you get the idea. Measuring from October 15, 2011, the earliest date his taxes are dischargeable is October 15, 2014 – three years later. But all this assumes Mr. Smith filed his return.

2. The Two Year Rule
The tax return must have been filed at least two years before filing for a tax bankruptcy discharge. In our hypothetical above, let’s assume Mr. Smith procrastinated in filing his 2010 return. October 15, 2011, comes and goes and, well, no tax return. Maybe he owed more than he could pay and figured if he put his head in the sand it would go away. It didn’t. He comes to his senses in time to get his return filed on October 14, 2012. Dodged a bullet, did Mr. Smith. Come October 15, 2014, he’ll still be able to discharge his taxes if he files bankruptcy on October 15, 2014. His taxes were due without penalty for more than three years (measuring from October 15, 2011-October 15, 2014), his return was filed more than two years prior to his bankruptcy filing.

Let’s see how our favorite capitalist did on the rest of his criteria.

3. The 240 Day Rule
Taxes must have been assessed by the IRS at least 240 days before filing. Poor Adam. His CPA fouled up or somehow or other the IRS found fault with his 2010 return filed on October 14, 2012. On February 14, 2014, the IRS files a NOTICE OF ASSESSMENT (or some similarly named form) informing him that his return had errors and that the IRS has assessed an additional…let’s just say $2500, not that the amount much matters. It’s all about the timing. Now our Mr. Smith must wait 240 days beyond the assessment date before he files for his tax bankruptcy, even though he already has satisfied the two-year and three-year rules.  He breaks out his calendar and counts out the days until October when he can safely file his bankruptcy.
4. Fraud or Willful Evasion Rule The tax return must not be fraudulent, and there can be no willful attempt to evade taxes. These are often described separately (4. Fraud; 5. Willful Evasion), creating six instead of five rules. What’s fun about doing it that way is you end up with the so-called “six-gun rule”, i.e., miss one bullet in the chamber and your discharge of taxes in bankruptcy is D.O.A. It probably goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway: tax fraud and tax evasion are two sure ways to risk not only potential civil and criminal penalties but will forever bar the discharge of taxes in bankruptcy.
5. Other Income Taxes: Taxes other than income taxes, such as Trust Fund Recovery Penalties, payroll taxes, and other types of taxes cannot be discharged.  The good news, though, is that even these taxes have a statute of limitations – of sorts. TEN YEARS the IRS has to collect these. Few of us can hold out for that long with tax liens and levies hanging over our heads.

bankruptcy means testing Bankruptcy Means Test for San Diego co.

What is the Bankruptcy Means Test?

The Bankruptcy Means Test is a 2005 addition to bankruptcy law. Created as a way of disqualifying petitions for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, the bankruptcy means test takes into consideration a lot of complex factors to force more people into Chapter 13 than Chapter 7. The creditors’ lobby loves the bankruptcy means test, because it means they get paid more, and more often than they used to.

If you are starting to do your research about bankruptcy then you should not do an online means test   They’re abysmal.  I have never ever seen one that came out correctly. Not a single one in nearly 10 years has been correctly done. Even getting close isn’isn’t good enough. This is not horseshoes or hand grenades.

San Diego County residents who file bankruptcy

First, the bankruptcy means analysis measures your income against median income in the area. If you earn below the median income, there is a better chance the Chapter 7 will work. Most people in San Diego who are thinking about bankruptcy or at least who I speak to earn more than the proposed income of the means test. However, if your income is higher than the median, the bankruptcy means test becomes much more challenging. Don’t try to figure it out on your own.

I take the time to go through the bankruptcy Means Examination with each person who sits down with me to do a Fresh Start Planning Session. For free. It takes me about an hour, and I do it every day, four times a day. An online bankruptcy means test calculator will not give you the answers you need If you’re online trying to do your own Means Test it is the first sign that you’re in enough trouble that you really need to talk to a good bankruptcy lawyer.

So go ahead, research online. Educate yourself. Then please save yourself and more important the stress and ask a bankruptcy lawyer to qualify you. The Bankruptcy Means Test is also supposed to help determine if you would be able to pay off your debts under Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection. Using the bankruptcy means test, and a couple of other forms and formulae, the court will calculate your disposable income. This is done by mixing fixed expenses and estimates for variable other expenses. If it looks like you can pay off the debts within a three to five-year time frame, you’re in Chapter 13, not a 7. Call me to schedule your Fresh Start Planning Session. You’ll get the answers you need, all you have to do is ask.

do i need to file bankruptcyDo you need bankruptcy ? How do you know when to file?

 

 First of all there are no easy answers , but you probably know that…. 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 you might be eligible to file 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 our economy.  The choice of whether to seek bankruptcy relief is difficult and 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. But 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.

95% of the people who come to my office qualify to file bankruptcy. 

 This is what I have found in my over 20 years of practicing bankruptcy law. By the time a person gets to seeing a  bankruptcy lawyer face to face it is bad. No no wants to come and see a lawyer about being eligible for bankruptcy .

One of the first things you might have done to discover if you are eligible to file bankruptcy is  an online means test.  Big mistake (… really

It is virtually impossible for a middle class person in San Diego with a home and maybe a job  to go online and have any clue if they are eligible to file bankruptcy. There are no easy spreadsheets or lists to help you figure this out.  The process usually takes me about an hour to go over all the issues and questions to really understand are you eligible for bankruptcy. In my practice,we have had  many people who file Chapter 7 who were making a salary of $100,000.00 per year. You might ask, how is that possible?  

There are as many variables to the computation in who and how a person can file for bankruptcy, as choices of cereal at the local grocery store. How much do you owe? How close you are to retirement? Who lives with you? What is your house really worth in San Diego? Who knows that these days? It really does take a professional to figure this out.

One of my practices specialties is taking people who didn’t think they qualified for bankruptcy(or sometimes other lawyers who told it was not possible )and making that happen. Then they can move on with their lives. I am good with the difficult situations,that others can’t seem to figure out. So, if you think it is just not possible to file bankruptcy, or you make too much money or aren’t sure if you qualify. Come down to the office and let’s talk.

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
Email: pstaley@paulstaley.com

Copyright © Paul Staley | Bankruptcy Attorney