Balita Midweek, Wed. - Fri., February 29 - March 2, 2012 What is bankruptcy?
THE RECESSION has left many of us financially devastated. You have lost your job, your home, or both. Perhaps you had thought you had done every- thing right, and had purchased a home, had a savings account and a manageable amount of debt. Then the recession hit and the rules changed. Many Americans now find themselves teetering on the financial edge.
As a result of these uncertain times, bankruptcy filings are at an all-time high. It is a process for individuals and businesses to eliminate debt. There are two types,
Chapter 13 for wage earners that have some disposable income to pay a percent- age of their debts on a payment plan, and Chapter 7, that discharges all unsecured debt, (credit cards, medical bills, any- thing that is not secured by collateral, like a home mortgage or an automobile contract, other than moneys owed to the government.
L.A. mayor is Democratic gab chairman
LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Los Angeles
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa boosted his national profi le Wednesday as Democrats announced he will chair the party’s convention that offi cially puts President Barack Obama forward for reelection. The appointment as head of the early September party event reaffi rms Villaraigosa, 59, as one of the Hispanic community’s most important political leaders in the United States, at a time the White House is courting the Latino vote, which is forecast to play a key role in the November election. “Mayor Villaraigosa has dedicated his career to civic engagement and empowering people at the grassroots,” Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a US congresswoman from Florida, said in a statement.
“And that’s exactly what we need to be successful at this convention -- input and engagement from Americans across the country.”
The mayor said during a conference call with the media that his appointment as convention chairman represents an effort by Democrats to “include a cross- section of people.” “It’s not just about voting,” Villaraigosa
said. “It’s about getting people engaged at every level of our democracy.” He predicted his infl uence could help Democrats win Latino votes in the November election. “Well, having a Latino convention chairman will help the party reach that critical voting bloc,” Villaraigosa said. Among the candidates likely to be popular with Latinos is Obama, he said. “I expect that the president is going to get an overwhelming percentage of the Latino vote,” he said.
When a television reporter from Charlotte, North Carolina -- where the convention will be held -- asked how Democrats would deal with allegations of Villaraigosa’s marital infi delity and nepotism, convention chief executive
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Chapter 7 A Chapter 7 is a quick and painless way to elim- inate dischargeable debt, and get a fresh start. Bankruptcy wipes the slate clean, and enables you to re-build credit. Bankruptcy does not take away your home or personal property, The standard exemptions cover the personal prop-
Atty. PAUL M. ALLEN
erty of most people who file bankruptcy, . If you own money on a secured debt, like a car loan for instance, you can choose to pay the creditor a lump sum that equals the current value of the car, or you can give the car back and discharge any bal- ance still owed, or continue to make your regularly scheduled payments and keep the car.
Before you decide to file, it is important to discuss your options with a qualified bankruptcy attorney from our team. Not everyone will be qualified to file for Chap- ter 7. If your disposable income is high you will be required to file for Chapter 13 reorganization. In addition, it is important to
be aware that not every debt is dischargeable in bankruptcy. While it will eliminate debts like medical expenses, credit cards, and other unsecured debt, it will not take care of spousal support ob- ligations, student loans or recent income tax. If your taxes were due more than 3 years ago and you meet other criteria you may have your state and federal income taxes discharged in bankruptcy.
A Chapter 13 is a fi- nancial reorganization. It is also sometimes referred to as a “wage earner” bankruptcy, be- cause you must have a reliable source of in- come in order file. When you file for Chapter 13 relief, you will be proposing a re- payment plan that will you will follow for the
next 3 to 5 years. Your actual payment amounts will be based on what your dis- posable income is, using a means test to determine payments. If your take home pay is high, you will pay a higher percent, than if your take home pay is low. In order to qualify, you must have a steady income, and must meet debt limit requirements. Your total secured debt must not have more than $1,010,650, and total unsecured debt must not exceed $336,900. (No limits in Chapter 7). If you have secured debt like a house
or a car, Chapter 13 will enable you to catch up on missed payments, and stop a
repossession or foreclosure action. This is a particular good option for so many Americans who are facing foreclosures of their homes.
While bankruptcy is a viable option, it is not for everyone. Everyone’s financial situation is unique, so it is important to discuss your options with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer from the law offices of Paul M. Allen.
Contact the Law Offices of Paul M. Allen for more information and guid- ance on filing Bankruptcy, or any other financial challenges you may have. We have helped thousands get back on solid financial ground, and we can help you too. Whether you require a bankruptcy, loan modification, or need help stopping wage garnishments or harassing creditor phone calls, we are here to assist you. We have three offices to serve you: Glendale (818) 334-5445, Cerritos (562) 356-9931 and West Covina (626) 262- 4446. When you visit our any of our of- fices, you will receive guidance and a free consultation, so contact us today. We are a federally designated debt relief agency that when appropriate, helps clients to file for bankruptcy.
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