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Santa Ana Bankruptcy Attorney

Serving Clients in Orange County & Greater California Who Are Struggling with Debt 

When it comes to filing for bankruptcy, it is not the weapon it used to be. The law changed in 2005 and in net effect, fewer people qualify now for bankruptcy than before. Taxes, student loans, and judgment liens are most times still there after you complete the bankruptcy process. That said, it is still, by far, the most effective debt relief tool available to many people who are struggling with debt.

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Why Hire Fitzgerald & Campbell?

Despite a time when clients are at their lowest, we, at Fitzgerald & Campbell, work hard to ensure that their experience with us is positive. Technology helps us improve response times and case efficiency.

We aim to provide our clients with the highest level of integrity, professionalism, and respect. That is why we empower our staff of legal professionals and bankruptcy attorneys in Santa Ana, CA with the knowledge, authority, and ability to provide our clients an unequaled experience in the pursuit of their unique legal needs.

Call (844) 431-3851 or fill out our online form to set up a free case consultation today. 

Real Client Results

Conquering Your Mountain of Debt Since 1992
  • $1,043,087.06 settled for $492,701.56 Individual
  • Client Saved $27,433.00! UGH, I LLC.
  • $535,175.56 was settled for $375,000.00 Madison 65 Co
  • Client’s debt was reduced by $314,811.00! National Continental Insurance Company
  • $263,963.17 JUDGMENT VACATED! Los Angeles County Superior Court

What Is the Bankruptcy Act of 2005?

The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 went into effect on October 17, 2005, and provides the most significant (and controversial) overhaul of the bankruptcy system in over 25 years.

Backed by the credit card, retail, and banking industries, the new legislation makes it more difficult for people to erase all of their debts in bankruptcy while forcing others on payment plans instead.

What Is the Means Test?

The biggest impact of the 2005 law change was the “Means Test”. This test determines if debtors “qualify” for bankruptcy. The means test is a fairly complex mathematical formula that has been created, taking into consideration where you live and the costs related to your income to determine what your “Means” are. If you are above a certain level of “Means,” it is “presumed” that you do not qualify for bankruptcy. If you are below that number, you are presumed to qualify. 

As of 11/1/23, the maximum gross annual income limits to automatically qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in California are:

  • One Earner: $71,861
  • Two People: $92,781
  • Three People: $105,130
  • Four People: $123,451

Chapter 7 & Chapter 13 Bankruptcy 

If you qualify and have no assets (of significant value) a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a very effective (some debts wiped out entirely), relatively quick (3-4 months average), and financially painless process. 

Chapter 7 is often referred to as a “No Asset” case and is not terribly complex, although each case is different. The only real expense is attorney fees and court costs, so it is generally far less expensive than other alternatives.

Chapter 7 is often referred to as a “No Asset” case and is not terribly complex, although each case is different. The only real expense is attorney fees and court costs, so it is generally far less expensive than other alternatives.

A major hurdle for homeowners, and other secured debts like autos, is that their debts are not going to be forgiven unless they are willing to give up the house or car too. If you want to keep property attached to secured debt, generally you must pay for them.

You can seek bankruptcy protection, which is why many homeowners file a Chapter 13. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a “Plan” is filed, argued, and so ordered by the judge. This Plan lays out what you are going to pay and to whom. They usually last for 3-5 years. 

What Are the Benefits of Filing for Bankruptcy?

Filing a bankruptcy petition can be beneficial in a wide range of circumstances, including:

  • If you are at risk of a foreclosure on your home, declaring bankruptcy can stop this action from going forward and even establish a payment structure that will help you pay off your arrears.
  • Bankruptcy might allow you to take back an automobile that has been repossessed by a creditor.
  • Bankruptcy might allow you to take back an automobile that has been repossessed by a creditor.
  • Large medical bills, especially when combined with a loss of employment can create a nearly impossible financial hole to climb out of. Bankruptcy can help reduce or even wipe away your medical bills.
  • If your utilities have been shut off, bankruptcy will help restore services, so you do not have to live in darkness.
  • Bankruptcy can end wage garnishment, which means you will be able to afford life’s necessities.

How Can A Bankruptcy Attorney In Santa Ana Help Me?

Are you struggling with debt? A bankruptcy attorney can help you tremendously. Although our lawyers have worked with many facing a similar struggle to you, we understand that each situation is unique, and make sure to treat each client's case with the individual attention that it needs.

A bankruptcy attorney can help you in some of the following ways:

  • Providing you with important legal advice
  • Ensuring that you are aware of all of the options available to you
  • Helping to protect your rights
  • Offering emotional support
  • Preventing you from making potentially costly mistakes
  • Negotiating with creditors on your behalf
  • Helping you to rebuild your credit and achieve financial freedom

Contact our law firm today to schedule a free consultation with our bankruptcy attorneys in Santa Ana, and to learn more about what we can to do help you be debt-free and successfully rebuild your credit.

FAQ: Is Bankruptcy Right for Me?

Question #1: When should I file for bankruptcy?

A: The decision to file for bankruptcy is often one of the hardest choices that a person must make in their lifetime. Poor planning can often make the process even harder. It goes without saying that filing for bankruptcy should be a last resort and should only be done when all other methods of satisfying one’s financial obligations have been exhausted. 

However, if your situation has become so severe that you are in danger of foreclosure, garnished wages, repossessions, or are facing debts that you are in no position to pay, then putting off the inevitable can have devastating consequences. Procrastination can cost you your car, your wages, and even your home. Filing your case in a timely fashion might spare you these losses.

Question #2: Will all my debts be forgiven if I file for bankruptcy?

A: Many people mistakenly believe that filing bankruptcy will “wipe the slate clean” and absolve them of all their financial obligations, but that is not necessarily true all the time. 

Even if you file for bankruptcy, you will still need to pay your child support, back taxes, federal student loans, or debts incurred as a result of fraud or theft (writing bad checks, for example). 

If you are not clear on which debts will and will not be discharged, then you need to speak with an experienced attorney or reputable credit counselor before filing.

Question #3: What should I know about the bankruptcy hearing?

A: You must be prepared for the hearing. Failing to show up or properly prepare for your hearing will not buy you more time. If you are not present at the time of your hearing, your case could be dismissed, and you will have to re-file at a future date. You could also be forced to pay court costs. 

Not having all the required forms and documents could result in not getting all your debts included in the bankruptcy, which means that you will still be responsible for them even after you file. It is very important to arrive for the hearing on time and that you bring all your supporting documentation. You will also need to bring a valid photo ID to the hearing.

Suggested Reading:

Please don’t hesitate to contact Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC so we can discuss how filing bankruptcy can impact your individual situation. Call (844) 431-3851 or fill out our online form to set up a free case consultation today. 

Hear From Our Happy Clients

At Fitzgerald & Campbell, your satisfaction is our priority! See for yourself what our clients have to say about working with us.

    "It Was The Right Decision"

    Patricia and Fabiola were both such a great help from the start. It was the right decision to seek legal help when dealing with these debt collectors. The process with Fitzgerald & Campbell was very simple and straightforward, it reduced the stress of my situation greatly for a reasonable price. Highly recommend!

    - C.M.
    "Provided Clarity and Prompt Communication"

    We got involved in a domestication of sister-state judgment (from a vehicle accident in Nevada) that involved a different person with the same name, it was originally served to a different address. Several other attorneys had no clue how to deal with this case, suggesting to get our vehicle insurance involved. Attorney William J. Campbell, Luz Rodriguez and case manager Christina did a great job and provided clarity and prompt communication on how to file a motion to vacate this sister-state judgment. The case is now vacated and dismissed without prejudice. Highly recommended.

    - E.C.
    "Fitzgerald & Campbell is Truly Praiseworthy"

    I was in a difficult and stressful situation. I was sued and served over an old personal loan.
    Fitzgerald & Campbell helped me to settle and lowered the judgment amount in less than a month.
    This firm is outstanding and they care about their clients.
    Thank you, Ms. Patricia Mendez for being so passionate and so helpful about my case.
    Now, am stress free.
    Fitzgerald & Campbell is a truly praiseworthy and highly recommended firm.
    Thank you.

    - E.A.
    "You Are All Amazing"

    Thank you very much, Ma'am for the immediate help.

    You are all amazing!🙏🙏🙏

    - E.A.
    "I Can't Thank Fitzgerald & Campbell Enough"

    I found myself dealing with a judgement and wage garnishment, Fitzgerald & Campbell explained to me what my options were on how to settle and get myself out of this situation. I was supplied and guided on how to fill out proper paperwork and never once had to deal with said creditor myself, Fitzgerald & Campbell did all of the communication between myself and the creditor. I can't thank Fitzgerald & Campbell enough (especially Patricia!) For negotiating a settlement I could pay in full and put this whole ordeal behind me. If you are feeling stranded in a hole with everyone coming at you Fitzgerald & Campbell are there extending a friendly hand to get you out of that hole and back on your feet.

    - S.J.
"I've walked in your shoes! Let me do for you what I learned to do for myself." - Gregory M. Fitzgerald, Managing Partner