Category Archives: Bankruptcy Exemptions

US Supreme Court Decision in In re Law Limits Courts’ Discretion to Paint Debtors with the “Bad Faith” Brush

Nearly a year ago, The Supreme Court held in Law v. Siegel (In re Law), No. 12-5196, 571 U.S. ___ (March 4, 2014), that despite a debtor’s misdeeds, the Bankruptcy Court still has to follow the Bankruptcy Code and can’t just dispense its own sense of justice ad hoc. This same reasoning was recently applied […]

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Reverse Mortgages and California Bankruptcy

As many of our clients filing personal bankruptcy get older, we often see clients who have taken reverse mortgages on their homes. Either because they needed income to live on or to deal with a spouse’s end-of-life care, I meet with a growing number of bankruptcy clients who have turned to these types of loans […]

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Can The Bankruptcy Trustee Take Money That I Win In a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

No one ever wants to be involved in an accident, but unfortunately, they happen all the time. As the medical bills and other expenses start to pile up because of an injury and/or inability to work, many seek relief by filing for bankruptcy to manage all of the debts that they have accumulated during this […]

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California Bankruptcy Exemptions Given Modest Increase

Those filing personal bankruptcy in California in 2013 can now protect a little more of their assets in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and potentially pay a little less into a Chapter 13 plan. That’s because the California bankruptcy exemptions have been increased modestly as of January 1, 2013. I’m not complaining as this is the […]

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Why a Sole Proprietor Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Had Better Retain a Good Bankruptcy Lawyer

My simple advice to self-employed business owners needing to file bankruptcy, is to consider filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy. But let’s say that there is some reason why the debtor cannot file a Chapter 13–for example, she has debts greater than the limits set for Chapter 13. If you own and operate a small business as […]

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How to Place a Value on Your Assets in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy (or in Chapter 13 for That Matter)

Often prospective clients come to our San Jose offices for a free bankruptcy consultation armed with legal “expertise” they have garnered from sites pertaining to bankruptcy all over the internet. One of the principle fears that these folks convey to me is the idea that if they file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, they will lose everything […]

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California’s “Wild Card” Exemption Protects Miscellaneous Assets in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

UPDATE: Good news! As of January 1, 2013, the California bankruptcy exemptions have been increased, allowing debtors to protect more of their assets in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Myths and misunderstandings about bankruptcy abound among the general public. In fact, misinformation about bankruptcy law is so prevalent that it often seems that I spend much of […]

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Can I Leave My House or My Car Out of My Bankruptcy?

This has to be one of the most frequent initial questions I get from prospective clients seeking bankruptcy advice in the Bay Area. The question of whether one can choose not to include or leave out a particular asset, like a home or a car, from one’s bankruptcy stems from a commonly held fear that […]

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How Do I Place a Value on My Small Business in Bankruptcy?

No doubt it’s because I practice debtor’s bankruptcy in San Jose, which has traditionally had more than its share of entrepreneurs and small business owners, many of my bankruptcy clients are self employed. Because every debtor, whether in Chapter 7 or 13 must list all of his or her assets and provide a value for […]

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