Bankruptcy Attorney Mission Valley

Bankruptcy Attorney Mission Valley (7)

In a difficult economy, it can be very challenging for job applicants to distinguish themselves from other people applying for the same position. Often, people will pursue a degree in the field in order to be more qualified than other applicants. In many cases, these individuals do not have the resources available to fund their education, so they have to take out student loans.

Once they have finished their schooling, many people experience significant problems trying to find adequate employment. Some will take lower paying jobs in an effort to make ends meet, while others will remain out of work while they continue their search. Despite these challenges in finding suitable employment, these individuals will still have to make payments on their student loans once they become due. This can create severe financial issues for individuals who are already experiencing problems paying their bills.

Student loan debt is unique as it is often not dischargeable under the bankruptcy process, except in cases of undue hardship. This may be a difficult standard to meet. Bankruptcy may still allow these people an opportunity to organize their finances in order to repay their student loans.

Some legislators have been considering making some changes to the laws to require colleges and other secondary schools to have a more personal stake in the loans that their students take out. This would require the institutions to educate borrowers on the impact that the burden of student loans will have on their future. They would also mandate that schools with high rates of default on loans be penalized, which could force the schools to better assist their students with l adequate employment opportunities after they have received a degree.

Individuals who are not current with their payments may find themselves facing collections actions from their lenders or servicers. Borrowers need to take these notices seriously, as further financial problems can result. Additional fees, costs and interest will be incorporated into the balance which will create further hardship.

If you have questions about dealing with your student loan debt, you should discuss your concerns with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. An attorney will be able to provide you with an overview of all of the possible options that you will need to consider, and help you determine which course of action is best for your financial situation. Most importantly, do not delay or ignore your student loan debt.

Preparing to Meet with Your Bankruptcy Attorney

1. Do you have loans that are “secured” with your property? Yes / No 
Examples of secured loans are your mortgage and your car loan.

2. Do you have debts that are exceptions to discharge?Yes / No 
Examples of debts that are not dischargeable are student loans and child support. Note: Some debts that are not dischargeable in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be dischargeable in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. An experienced bankruptcy practitioner can help you determine whether certain debts will be discharged in a Chapter 13 case.

3. Are you past due on your mortgage or car payments? Yes / No

4. Do you anticipate incurring additional debt in the near future? Yes / No

5. Have you filed bankruptcy within the last eight years? Yes / No

6. Are some of your debts “cosigned” or guaranteed by others? Yes / No

7. Do you have any debts to family members or close friends? Yes / No 
You must list those debts on your bankruptcy schedules because all of your debts must be listed.

Copyright © 2019 Chris Bush, Attorney at Law.

DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

Bankruptcy Glossary

Bankruptcy law is primarily federal law and varies little from state to state. The United States Constitution grants to Congress the power to establish uniform bankruptcy laws throughout the United States, which ensures uniformity in how bankruptcy proceedings are conducted, encourages interstate commerce, and promotes national economic security. The individual states do, however, retain jurisdiction over certain debtor-creditor issues that are not addressed by or do not conflict with federal bankruptcy law, such as which property remains exempt from creditors' claims.

Bankruptcy law provides two basic forms of relief: (1) liquidation and (2) rehabilitation, also known as reorganization.

  • Chapter 7 Liquidation. Most bankruptcies filed in the United States involve liquidation, which is governed by Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code. In a Chapter 7 liquidation case, a bankruptcy trustee collects the debtor's nonexempt property and converts it into cash. The trustee distributes the resulting fund among the creditors in a particular order of priority described in the Code. Not all creditors will receive the full amount owed through this process, and some may receive nothing. When liquidation and distribution are complete, the bankruptcy court may discharge any remaining debts of an individual debtor. If the debtor is a corporation, it ceases to exist after liquidation and distribution, and there is therefore no real reason for further discharge because the creditors cannot seek payment from an entity that no longer exists.
  • Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 Rehabilitation. In a rehabilitation or reorganization, the option courts often prefer, creditors may be provided with a better opportunity to recoup what they are owed. Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code governs this type of bankruptcy. Chapter 11 usually applies to individual debtors with excessive or complex debts, or to large commercial entities like corporations. Chapter 13 usually applies to individual consumers with smaller debts. (Farmers and municipalities may seek reorganization through the Code's special chapters, Chapters 12 and 9, respectively.) Reorganization provides a greater opportunity to retain assets if the debtor agrees to pay off debts according to a plan approved by the bankruptcy court. If the debtor fails to do so, however, the court may order liquidation.

Means Test. Debtors must meet a means test to determine if they are financially eligible for straight Chapter 7 liquidation. In brief, if a debtor can repay out of his adjusted current monthly income $1000 each month to unsecured creditors, over a span of 60 months, he may not avail himself of Chapter 7 and must go into Chapter 13.

Voluntary Bankruptcy. In most instances, the bankruptcy case is filed by the debtor, which is considered a voluntary bankruptcy. Once the debtor files the bankruptcy petition, he or she is immediately entitled to relief from creditors through the bankruptcy procedure known as the automatic stay. The automatic stay freezes all debt-collection activity and forces the creditors to allow the bankruptcy proceeding to determine how payment will be made.

Involuntary Bankruptcy. Under Chapters 7 and 11, creditors, too, have the option of filing for relief against the debtor, which is known as an involuntary bankruptcy. Involuntary bankruptcies are allowed only when there are a minimum number of creditors and a minimum amount of debt. The debtor has the right to file a response, after which the court determines whether the creditors are entitled to relief. If the court dismisses the involuntary bankruptcy filing, finding that it has no merit, the creditors may have to pay the debtor's attorneys' fees, damages for any losses the debtor experienced because of the bankruptcy, and even punitive damages to punish the creditors for the frivolous or abusive filing of a petition.

Lawyers specializing in bankruptcy law can help both debtors and creditors overcome obstacles to the repayment of debt. Their expertise often extends beyond bankruptcy to include debt repayment and collection options that can circumvent the need for a bankruptcy filing. The following are just some of the areas in which bankruptcy lawyers can assist their clients.

Collections and repossession are remedies sought by creditors against debtors who have defaulted on their obligations. Collections include any technique to get the debtor to make up the remaining debt, including use of a collection agency or the courts. Creditors may also have outstanding debts legally recognized, and then enforced against a debtor's property involuntarily with garnishments, liens, or levies. Repossession of collateral is another technique used when property is pledged to secure a debt.

Commercial bankruptcy is a remedy available to businesses that are unable to pay their debts. Options include liquidation, in which many of the business's assets are sold and the proceeds are divided among the creditors, and reorganization or restructuring, in which the business continues to operate according to a plan that allows for at least partial payment to creditors.

Consumer bankruptcy is a method through which individuals may be able to get out from under insurmountable debt and make a fresh start, albeit with a negative impact on their credit ratings. As in commercial bankruptcy, there are two options: liquidate assets to pay off creditors, or file a wage-earner plan that allows the debtor to retain more assets while working to pay off his or her debts.

Creditors' rights include a full range of options available to creditors to collect unpaid debts. These rights include collection actions, repossession, foreclosure, garnishment, replevin, attachment, obtaining a court judgment, liens, and forcing the debtor into involuntary bankruptcy.

  1. Discharge is the bankruptcy term for wiping out many of the debtor's remaining debts at the conclusion of the bankruptcy proceeding. A discharge is available to only certain debtors, however, and only certain debts are dischargeable.
  2. Foreclosures are the actions taken when a mortgagor fails to make the required mortgage payments on time and the lender, or mortgagee, forces the sale of the property — often the debtor's home — to pay off the debt. Foreclosures can be either judicial, which requires court involvement, or pursuant to a clause in the mortgage that allows for such sales.
  3. Garnishment is a creditor's remedy aimed not directly at the debtor but rather at a third party who owes money to the debtor or holds some of the debtor's property. The garnishment process notifies the third party that the creditor intends to apply the third party's property to satisfy the debtor's debt. Typical garnishees, as the third parties are called, include the debtor's employer and the bank in which the debtor has his or her accounts.

Reorganization and restructuring are methods by which a bankrupt business may reorganize itself in order to keep operating and pay off creditors at least part of what it owes. This commercial bankruptcy option has many advantages over liquidation, which requires selling off many assets and after which the business ceases to exist.

  1. Workouts are non-bankruptcy agreements between debtors and creditors in which the creditors agree to take less money than the full amount owed or accept payments over a longer period of time than originally anticipated. Workouts have the advantages of being voluntary, less complicated, and less negatively perceived than bankruptcy.

Copyright © 2019 Chris Bush, Attorney at Law.

DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

Bankruptcy Glossary 
We provide a glossary of some key bankruptcy terms for your convenience.

Preparing to Meet with Your Bankruptcy Attorney 
Before meeting with your attorney, it is wise to prepare information relating to your case. This checklist provides different types of information you may be asked to bring to an initial meeting with your bankruptcy attorney.

Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 
The following article discusses the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005.


It is quite common for students to go into debt to finance their college education. Many are leaving school with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt, facing pressure to find a high-paying job in an increasingly competitive job marketplace.

Unfortunately, student loan repayment obligations do not always match the reality of the situation. These individuals now face uncertainty about their financial future.

Mission Valley attorney Chris Bush has more than 12 years of experience in bankruptcy matters. He devotes a significant portion of his practice to helping individuals formulate plans to deal with overwhelming student loan debt. When creditors take action against debtors through a lawsuit, it is time to take legal action. The financial stakes are extremely high.

Exploring Defenses to Student Loan Litigation

If you are being pursued by creditors for unpaid student loans, and you are being threatened with a lawsuit, contact Chris Bush as soon as possible. This is a serious matter that requires a prompt and carefully considered response.

There may be many defenses to student loan litigation. Attorney Bush can review your financial situation and the details of your student loan contracts to determine your specific options. There may be an income-based repayment plan or debt forgiveness option.

Did you know? When you file bankruptcy, an automatic stay goes into effect, immediately stopping all creditor actions against you. Even though bankruptcy does not usually relieve student loan debt, it can stop any pending lawsuits against you, even any pending student loan lawsuits.

Student loan debt is not automatically dischargeable through bankruptcy. If you are struggling with student loan debt, there may be legal options available to help you deal with your financial situation. Find out more about your student loan debt options.

Contact a Mission Valley Bankruptcy Lawyer

Contact us by e-mail or call toll free at (619) 295-3322 to speak to a student loan debt lawyer. A free initial consultation is available.

Free Initial Consultation *

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

Bankruptcy and Student Loan Debt Resolution

Chris Bush, Attorney at Law

San Diego Bankruptcy and Student Loan Debt Resolution Attorney Chris Bush appears in courtrooms almost every week, defending the interests of people just like you and advocating for your right to a fresh start. Find out which consumer bankruptcy option or debt resolution plan is best for you and your family by calling (619)678-1134.

Learning about your student loan resolution options could bring you one step closer to a better financial picture. Call us or complete the form below today.

Chris Bush, Attorney at Law
2727 Camino del Rio South, Suite 135
San Diego, California 92108

Phone: (619)678-1134



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Tuesday, 01 July 2014 00:00


Written by

Attorney Chris Bush advises clients on their debt relief options. Contact him for answers to your specific questions about Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 debt reorganization, or call to request a free consultation: (619)295-3322.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can bankruptcy do for me?

Bankruptcy is an option when you owe more money than you can be expected to pay in the near future. We have come a long way since the time of debtor's prison when your creditors could have you jailed until you paid a bill. Today, the law allows an honest debtor to have a court "discharge" or cancel most or all of his or her debts in order to make a fresh start. This form of bankruptcy is sometimes called "straight" bankruptcy, or Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

You can use bankruptcy to discharge your debts no matter how you got into debt as long as you were honest. Perhaps you or your spouse lost a job and have not been able to pay your rent or make your car payments for several months. Or perhaps you have been unable to make your credit card payments due to a divorce, or you have medical bills as a result of an illness or injury.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy usually means that most, and sometimes all, of your debts will be canceled. Except for debts that you must pay. Going through bankruptcy generally stops your creditors from "garnishing" or taking your wages. This means your employer cannot be forced to give part of your salary to your creditors to help pay off your discharged debts.

Bankruptcy, however, will not solve all of your money problems. If you are out of work, bankruptcy can cancel your old debts, yet you still must find a way to pay new bills and ongoing expenses.

What happens to my property when I go through bankruptcy?

Most of your possessions will be exempt under the law, which means they cannot be sold to pay your creditors. We will help you make a list of your exemptions. If the Trustee or your creditors object to any items on the list, the court will hold a hearing.

If my loan payments are discharged, will my co-signer have to pay?

Yes. A co-signer is a person who made a legal agreement to pay off your debt if you fail to do so. And, he or she is responsible for the debt even if you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Your creditors cannot ask your co-signer to pay off a loan if you have a Chapter 13 plan.

Can all my debts be discharged or cancelled?

Bankruptcy filings can address many of your debts, including credit card bills, medical bills and loan payments. But the law says that some debts cannot be discharged even if your creditors do not object to having them canceled.

Debts that are rarely discharged:

  • Most income taxes and related penalties and interest.
  • Student loans unless a bankruptcy judge rules that repayment will be too difficult for you or your family.
  • Any domestic support obligations.
  • Debts that arise as a result of willful or criminal activity.

How long does it take to go through bankruptcy?

After your bankruptcy papers are filed, you can stop paying your creditors even though your debts will not be discharged for about four months. However, if any creditor objects to have a debt canceled, it may take longer.

Approximately 30 days after your bankruptcy papers are filed, a "meeting of creditors" is held. Creditors do not have to attend because they are represented by the Trustee. You must be present and testify under oath. The Trustee and any creditors who attend the meeting can ask questions about your assets. You must be honest. Your discharge may be denied if:

  • You lied about your assets.
  • You intentionally gave false information on the bankruptcy forms or to the Trustee, such as purposefully failing to list a creditor.
  • You failed to obey a court order.
  • You transferred or hid an asset to keep your creditors from getting paid.
  • You failed to provide any requested documentation.

Once the judge has decided any disputes between you and your creditors, your debts will be discharged within 90 days.

How do I start a bankruptcy action?

You will have to file a bankruptcy petition with court fees with the nearest United States Bankruptcy Court.

Additionally, you must provide substantial information on the bankruptcy petition. For instance, you will need to provide information concerning your income, bank accounts, tax returns, real estate, personal property and much more. You will be required to provide tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs and other financial records.

Can I file straight bankruptcy at any time?

Yes, as long as your debts were not previously discharged in a Chapter 7 less than eight years ago.

As soon as you file the proper bankruptcy documents in court, you can stop making payments on your old bills, except for alimony and child support. This is allowed even though your debts may not be canceled officially for several months, although this may not apply to most secured debts.

The law says your creditors are not allowed to garnish your wages, repossess collateral or sue you without court permission. They cannot bother you with letters or telephone calls asking for payment. If your creditors do not believe that you have filed bankruptcy, ask them to call your lawyer or check with the bankruptcy court.

What if I have a major debt problem before all my debts are paid?

You might have a long illness or lose your job. You can switch from a Chapter 13 debt reorganization plan to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. When you file straight bankruptcy, the court may cancel some or all of your remaining debts.

What if I just need more time to pay my debt?

An alternative to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a Debt Reorganization Plan or Chapter 13. These plans allow you to pay off part or all of your debts over a period of time under court supervision. These plans can be completed anywhere between three and five years.

You can use a Chapter 13 plan if you have steady income. This means you can be a wage earner, the owner of a small business or someone who receives a pension, Social Security or welfare benefits.

Once you file under Chapter 13, all court actions stop and cannot proceed without bankruptcy court approval. Creditors also are not allowed to write or telephone you demanding payment.

Have more questions about whether bankruptcy is right for you? Contact San Diego bankruptcy attorney Chis Bush at (619)295-3322 to schedule a free initial consultation.

Free initial consultation * Available 24 hours a day * Evening and weekend appointments possible

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Clients with Student Loan Debt

Clients with Student Loans

Some information I need to evaluate your Student Loan options is contained in your National Student Loan Data System Report. Instructions for obtaining this report are available on my web site at Simply print/save the reports as a PDF, of all pages. Please DO NOT "DOWNLOAD" THE REPORT from the link - this creates a text file that is very difficult to read; please print the web page as a PDF file - the summary page of all loans AND the individual reports for each loan. Samples of these pages can be viewed by clicking the respective links in the previous sentence. I look forward to reviewing this report with you and assisting you with the management of your Student Loan debt.

I have prepared a brief questionnaire for you to fill out to provide me most of the information I will need. Please click this questionnaire link and provide me with the information listed. I would also like to see copies of your most recent pay stubs or other income information.

My office is located at 2727 Camino Del Rio South, Suite 135, San Diego, CA 92108. The main entrance to the building is on the right/west side. I am on the first floor; when you enter the building, turn right and I’m in the suite at the second door on the left. If the suite door is locked, please call or text at 619-678-1134 and I will let you in. (Unfortunately, I usually can’t hear a knock at that door.) I look forward to meeting with you and assisting you on your path back to financial freedom.