Leventhal Law Group, P.C., in Woodland Hills, California, serves clients in the San
Fernando Valley area. Communities include Northridge, Van Nuys, North Hollywood,
Encino, Santa Clarita, Valencia, Palmdale, Lancaster, Mission Hills, Thousand Oaks,
Simi Valley, Calabasas, Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Porter Ranch, Reseda, Tarzana, Malibu
and counties that include Los Angeles County and Ventura County.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves liquidating your assets and using the proceeds to pay
some of your debts. The remainder of your debts are discharged — and you owe nothing
more. At the Leventhal Law Group, P.C.in Woodland Hills, California, I help people
file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
The Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Process
I will walk you through the bankruptcy process, explaining what happens at each stage
and what you will need to do. Your Chapter 7 bankruptcy (also known as "liquidation
bankruptcy") will require you to take the following steps:
Credit counseling. Attend a required credit counseling session no more than six months
Submit petition with the bankruptcy court. You will also need to supply lists of
assets and debts, statements of current income and expenditures, your most recent
tax return, a certificate documenting your attendance at the credit counseling, pay
stubs, and your most recently filed tax return and other information.
Identify exempt property. You will also need to identify property that is exempt
under California law — that is, property that is not subjection to liquidation by
the bankruptcy trustee. This is the property you get to keep!
Automatic stay issued. Once you have filed this petition, the court will issue an
automatic stay that stops most collection actions against you. In fact, once you
have retained me as your attorney, you can immediately begin referring all creditor
calls to me.
Meeting of creditors. About 30 days after filing your case, the court schedules a
meeting of all your creditors, known as a 341(a) meeting. Creditors are able to ask
you questions about your finances. It is important to have your attorney present
at this meeting.
Means test. The trustee decides whether you are eligible for Chapter 7 or Chapter
13, applying the means test.
Non-exempt property sold. Your house and car may be foreclosed or repossessed, depending
on the amount of equity you have. The proceeds are distributed to your creditors.
Take required financial management class.
Discharge hearing. Although rare, sometimes a discharge hearing is held before a
Call a Los Angeles-area bankruptcy law firm at 818-347-5800 for a free initial consultation.
Reaffirming Debt and Keeping Your Car or House
Secured debts such as a car loan or home mortgage can be reaffirmed during the bankruptcy
process. In choosing to reaffirm a particular debt, you are making a promise to repay
the amount owed. Accordingly, these debts will not be discharged in bankruptcy and
you will be allowed to maintain your car, your home or other item which is secured
by your promise to repay.
Please note that Chapter 7 debtors may only receive a discharge once every eight
Keeping Costs Down
I ask Chapter 7 bankruptcy clients to submit much of the required information via
a secure website. This allows me to keep costs down and gives me more time to answer
questions about the process.