Sonoma County Bankruptcy Attorney - Expert Personal and Corporate Bankruptcy Lawyers serving Sonoma County, California.

If you are struggling financially and looking to speak with a Sonoma County bankruptcy attorney, you've come to the right place. The Attorney Group can help you eliminate your credit card debt, pay day loans, personal loans, medical bills and other bills and debt. We will stop lawsuits, stop garnishments, stop, bank account levies, stop judgments and stop foreclosures. We have 36 locations to meet you in California.

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A bankruptcy is an opportunity for many debtors to be relieved of constant harassing phone calls from creditors and collection agencies, the threat of lawsuits, levies, seizures and impending foreclosure. Though you should definitely explore other options to getting your debt under control, consulting with a bankruptcy attorney to see if a bankruptcy might be your best option, to determine if you qualify for relief and which chapter is appropriate based on your particular circumstances is essential.

There are many misconceptions regarding bankruptcy. As a consumer or small business owner, you have the option of a Chapter 7 liquidation or a Chapter 13 reorganization.


Chapter 7 Liquidation

Chapter 7 can be utilized by individuals, married couples, businesses and corporations. It is a liquidation of your debts and possible relinquishment of certain assets if found to be nonexempt. In most consumer and small business cases, however, you are able to retain most if not all of your personal assets. Also, filing automatically stays or stops all collection activities.

You do have to qualify for a Chapter 7 proceeding if your debts are primarily consumer and not business by proving that your income is low enough so that you cannot pay your debts. Your monthly income must be lower than the median income for your state. In California, the median income for a single individual is $47,798 and for two, $62,009. Otherwise, your disposable income must be low enough to qualify. This is determined by deducting your monthly expenses from your average monthly income over the past 6 months. If it is too high, you may still consider a Chapter 13 petition.

In any bankruptcy, you must list all of your debts, regardless if you plan on repaying a certain debt or not. You must also have not transferred any substantial property within 90 days of filing or within one year if such transfer was made to a relative or business partner or the court can void it. A list of your monthly expenses and assets is also required.

You are entitled to certain exemptions regarding your personal assets so that the trustee will not seize them for the benefit of your creditors. For example, you can exempt a motor vehicle, much if not all of your home equity, retirement accounts, bank accounts, furniture, tools of your trade and other items. Consult with our expert bankruptcy lawyer about what exemptions are available to you.

You must also take an approved credit counseling class before filing and a personal financial management class before your discharge. Most discharges occur about 4 months after you file. Your unsecured debts, such as credit cards and medical expenses, are dischargeable.

Chapter 13 Reorganization

If your disposable income is too high, or if you wish to continue operating your small business, or you face foreclosure of your home, then a Chapter 13 is an option. You must have a steady income, though, so that your debts, to some degree, are paid within either a 3 or 5 year plan. There are limits to the amount of secured and unsecured debt you have. Consult with your attorney if your debt is unusually high. The length of your repayment plan depends on your income. If it exceeds the state’s median, your plan will likely be 5 years.

A chapter 13 can save your home from foreclosure provided you can make your regular monthly mortgage payments while repaying your arrearages over the life of the plan. Any second mortgage would be discharged at the termination of the plan if all is otherwise successful. Further, you can have past due taxes, student loans and child support payments paid off within the plan as well.

Bankruptcy protection might be the relief you are seeking. Consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney about your particular circumstances and to see if filing for bankruptcy is the right decision for you.


About Sonoma County

Sonoma County, located on the northern coast of the U.S. state of California, is the largest (in area) and northernmost of the nine San Francisco Bay Area counties. Its population at the 2010 census was 483,878. Its largest city and county seat is Santa Rosa.

Sonoma is the southwestern county and largest producer of California's Wine Country region, which also includes Napa, Mendocino, and Lake counties. It has 13 approved American Viticultural Areas and over 250 wineries. In 2002, Sonoma County ranked as the 32nd county in the United States in agricultural production. As early as 1920, Sonoma County was ranked as the eighth most agriculturally productive U.S county and a leading producer of poultry products, hops, grapes, prunes, apples and dairy products, largely due to the extent of available, fertile agricultural land, in addition to the abundance of high quality irrigation water. More than 7.4 million tourists visit each year, spending more than $1 billion in 2006. Sonoma County is the home of Sonoma State University and Santa Rosa Junior College.

Sonoma County is home to several Native American tribes. By the 1830s, European settlement had set a new direction that would prove to radically alter the course of land use and resource management of this region. As of 2007, Sonoma County has rich agricultural land, albeit now largely divided between two nearly monocultural uses: grapes and pasturage. The voters have twice approved open space initiatives that have provided funding for public acquisition of natural areas, preserving forested areas, coastal habitat, and other open space.

Sonoma was one of the original counties formed when California became a state in 1850, with its county seat originally the town of Sonoma. However, by the early 1850s, the town of Sonoma had declined in importance in terms of both commerce and population, its county buildings were crumbling, and it was relatively remote. As a result, elements in the newer, rapidly growing towns of Petaluma, Santa Rosa, and Healdsburg began vying to move the county seat to their towns. The dispute ultimately was between the bigger, richer commercial town of Petaluma and the more centrally located, growing agricultural center of Santa Rosa. The fate was decided following an election for the state legislature in which James Bennett of Santa Rosa defeated Joseph Hooker of Sonoma and introduced a bill that ultimately resulted in Santa Rosa being confirmed as county seat in 1854. Allegedly, several Santa Rosans, not caring to wait, decided to take action and, one night, rode down the Sonoma Valley to Sonoma, took the county seals and records, and brought them to Santa Rosa.

The county lies in the North Coast Ranges of northwestern California. Its ranges include the Mayacamas and the Sonoma Mountains, the southern peak of the latter being the prominent landform, Sears Point. The highest peak in the Mayacamas within the county is Hood Mountain. It has uncommon occurrences of pygmy forest, dominated by Mendocino Cypress. The highest peak of the Sonoma Mountains is Sonoma Mountain itself, which boasts two significant public access properties: Jack London State Historic Park and Fairfield Osborn Preserve.

The county includes the City of Sonoma and the Sonoma Valley, in which the City of Sonoma is located. However, these are not synonymous. The City of Sonoma is merely one of several incorporated cities in the county. The Sonoma Valley itself makes up only the southeastern portion of the county, which includes many other valleys and geographic zones. Moreover, the Sonoma Valley itself includes not only the City of Sonoma, but a portion of the City of Santa Rosa and the unincorporated communities of Kenwood, Agua Caliente, Boyes Hot Springs, and Fetters Hot Springs. Other regions of the county beyond the Sonoma Valley include, among others, the Petaluma Valley, the Santa Rosa Plains, the Russian River, the Alexander Valley, and the Dry Creek Valley.

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LOCATION DISCLAIMER: The Attorney Group has a main office in Anaheim Hills, California. All other addresses are local offices available on an advanced appointment basis for meetings and depositions.