by Jennifer Hendrickson

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Santa Rosa Bankruptcy Attorneys Hendrickson Law Group, PC

What's one piece of advice I would give a potential client?  Shop for bankruptcy attorneys like you would shop for a doctor.  Most good bankruptcy attorneys have experience in another area of the law with a good working knowledge of how bankruptcy will affect the other areas of their life.  I am especially experienced in dealing with homeowners who owe more on their home than it is worth ("under water").  I have experience in analyzing loan documents, deeds of trust, loan modification applications (I've prepared or reviewed more than I care to count), and getting trustee sales stopped.  I take into account the income tax implications of modification and short-sales.  Also, family law support orders need to be considered - along with any estate and retirement planning measures you have taken (do not spent your retirement money on paying credit card debt!). 

In today's climate, there are a lot of Bankruptcy Attorneys preparing simple Chapter 7 petitions.  Unfortunately, when this happens to a home-owner it may end up costing the debtor hundreds of thousands of dollars because unsecured debt on land and the underlying lien(s) are left intact.  If you own real property, including vacation homes, rental units, your own home, or bare land - get a second opinion from an attorney with experience in filing both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 plans who is familiar with the local trustees, and can advise about potential courses of action and how you can benefit. 


Bankruptcy is a legal tool you can use for debt relief.  With bankruptcy, you can:

bulletEliminate credit card debt.
bulletStop a Foreclosure or Trustee Sale.
bulletHalt a Civil Lawsuit.
bulletPrevent or stop wage garnishments.
bulletStop constant phone calls
bulletGet a fresh start after a divorce
bulletGet a fresh start if you want to get married 
bulletStart using your money to benefit YOUR life, not that of your creditors or the bank
bulletStop throwing money away on debt you will never pay off
bulletStart saving for emergencies
bulletStart saving for retirement
bulletProtect your retirement account
bulletStart to afford medical insurance coverage

Most of all, you can get relief from debt: a fresh start.

In order to get started, prior to meeting a bankruptcy professional, you need to collect all of your bills, identify all of your creditors and their addresses, determine your monthly payments, and complete a Debtor's Counseling Session. It is important to identify all creditors before you meet with a bankruptcy attorney, but even if you don't know all the details, you can still benefit enormously from talking over your situation and getting your questions answered by a debt relief professional.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 is a liquidation of your debt.  If you cannot afford to both meet your monthly living expenses and service your debt, then Chapter 7 may allow you to liquidate your debt.  Under Chapter 7, you may be able to completely wipe out your unsecured debt, and sometimes even tax debt.

Under Chapter 7, there is a "means test" you must pass in order to determine whether you qualify for this plan.  If you do, then Chapter 7 can liquidate most of your consumer debt.  There are some types of debt that are not excused under Chapter 7, including taxes, student loans, child support and alimony.  Call (707)540-6199 to set up an interview with a bankruptcy professional to determine whether you qualify.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Not everyone will qualify for Chapter 7, or a liquidation bankruptcy.  Or, you may have debts that were not discharged under Chapter 7, but you may still have difficulty meeting those obligations.  Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a process that allows you to reorganize your debt and pay back a portion, according to a schedule approved by the Bankruptcy Court.  Once you have completed your Bankruptcy reorganization, then the remainder of your debt is discharged.

Chapter 13 is an often overlooked, highly under rated tool to deal with many  important issues. If you owe taxes to the IRS or the State of California, if you had a hardship that caused you to get behind on your mortgage, if you have an underwater first mortgage with a second mortgage on your home, or if you are behind in child support payments, a Chapter 13 may be exactly what you need to get caught up on your finances. Although it requires being in bankruptcy for a while, you may be able to get all the benefits of a Chapter 7 liquidation while getting the time you need to repay other debts.

The key to a smooth and efficient transition into a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is setting up the proper plan for repayment.  Let us help you quickly and efficiently put together your Chapter 13 plan.

Chapter 12 Bankruptcy

Chapter 12 is a provision of the Bankruptcy Code reserved primarily for family farmers and commercial fishermen (and women).  This Chapter of the Code give the Judge and Trustee more flexibility in working with your plan, including monthly, quarterly or even annual payments (to reflect the seasonal nature of your income), and mortgage assistance provisions. Perhaps most important, the court can order a modification of your mortgage in a Chapter 12, which is not available in any other chapter of bankruptcy.

Chapter 12 Bankruptcy is a powerful legal tool that recognizes the sometimes seasonal nature of farming and gives the bankruptcy judge far more power and flexibility in crafting a plan to discharge or modify your debt.  As a Chapter 12 debtor, you can modify your mortgage through bankruptcy, remove "unsecured" liens on your property, get relief from your creditors, and modify payments on vehicles and farming equipment.  Chapter 12 is not for everybody, and not many people qualify as a Chapter 12 debtor. Call today for a free consultation.  

Bankruptcy may not be advisable to you, depending on your debt level, financial circumstances, current assets and current income and income potential.  A free bankruptcy consultation can advise you on whether bankruptcy is the right alternative for you and how to use the bankruptcy laws to your advantage.  Bankruptcy is designed to give you a fresh start, but you have to make all the correct decisions before you file your petition.  Calling Santa Rosa Bankruptcy Attorney is your first correct decision. There is no obligation to see what bankruptcy can do for you. In fact, sometimes, waiting is appropriate, or even doing nothing, but you can't know for sure until you speak with a bankruptcy professional to assess your individual financial situation.


829 Sonoma Ave., Suite 8
Santa Rosa, CA  95404

Copyright 2010-2016 Hendrickson Law Group, PC. The information contained on this website is provided for informational purposes only. Therefore, any information on this website should not be construed as legal advice. You should not act or rely upon this information without seeking formal professional counsel specific to your case. Any offer to provide free consultation is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship between Jennifer Hendrickson, Attorney at Law, and you. Also, any transmission of information from this website or communication via e-mail does not constitute or create an attorney-client relationship between us and any recipients. All liability is expressly disclaimed with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all the contents of this website. To the extent this is considered attorney advertising, as that term is defined in the Business & Professions code, a copy of this advertisement is available for review with the responsible attorney, Jennifer Hendrickson. We may be considered a Debt Relief Agency under Bankruptcy Code section 528.