bankruptcy petition






The Judicial Conference has approved a fee increase effective June 1, 2014.

The fees for filing a chapter 7 case will increase from $306.00 to $335.00.

The fees for filing a chapter 13 case will increase from $281.00 to $310.00

This is a $29.00 increase in the filing fees.

The fees for filing an adversary proceeding will increase to $350.00 (Debtors are not charged filing fees for adversary proceedings).

Chapter 11 filing fees will increase to $1,717.00.

It gets more and more expensive for folks to achieve any relief from their debts.


151985627_f76043167b_sIn my practice, I see it all the time: an elderly couple come to talk about their debts. Inundated by credit cards and living on a fixed income, they see no help in sight.

But, their retirement can’t be garnished and the credit industry can’t get at it (in most cases). Social security is almost completely protected from creditors. And, so is the house: a credit card company can’t force you to sell your home even if you owe them a lot of money. At least not in California, and, I would guess, most other states as well.

So, what possible benefit can there be to an elderly couple to file bankruptcy? Here are four good reasons why not to file:

1. It’s humiliating. We were all taught to pay our debts; and no one wants his or her neighbors to know that they can’t handle their economic obligations.

2. It costs money. The attorney and the court have to be paid.

3. It “ruins” a perfectly good credit score.

4. It sets a bad example for the children.

Those are very good reasons not to file; but the benefits far outweigh the detriment. Four of the many advantages to filing a bankruptcy:

1. It stops the collection calls and letters.

2. It will, ultimately, improve your credit score.

3. It teaches responsibility: facing your economic problems and doing something.

4. It is one of the best forms of estate planning there is. Imagine you pass away with credit card debt and no cash to pay it. Your house will have to be sold to cover those charges! But if you file bankruptcy, your house is exempt from being sold – you get to keep it – and the credit card debt goes away! Now, should you die, your children or loved ones get to keep the house.

All in all, bankruptcy can be a wonderful tool to free you to enjoy the rest of your life. See an experienced bankruptcy attorney to discuss your financial situation.

Your House Is In Foreclosure: What Should You Do? Part Two

by Dana Wilkinson, Attorney at Law

In Part One, I discussed some of the options you may consider when your house (or other property) is in foreclosure, namely mortgage modifications and short sales.  This post will focus on whether a deed in lieu of foreclosure, or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be the right move for you. A deed in lieu […]

Debt Creates Isolation!

by Rachel Lynn Foley, Esq.

Are you or have you ever been in debt?  I am talking about the kind of debt that swallows you whole. The kind of debt you obsess about counting.   As you continue to count each dollar you owe, the tighter your chest becomes.  The debt continuing to squeeze until you can’t breathe anymore.  Your obsession […]

Four Steps to a Successful Chapter 7 bankruptcy

by Douglas Jacobs, Esq.

A chapter 7 bankruptcy can be easy or difficult. Here are four steps to making it go quickly and smoothly: 1. Hire a competent knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney that you can talk with. Provide your attorney every piece of information and all of the documents she asks for. Remember that the attorney is on your side: […]

Can Bankruptcy Rescue You from a Financial Scam?

by Jonathan Ginsberg, Esq.

Has anyone ever offered you $500, $1,000, $2,000 or more for you to sign your name – no strings attached? Assuming you are not a celebrity working an autograph show, cash offers like this are not likely to happen.  Yet I hear stories about these “too good to be true” offers at least once or […]