Answers To Your Bankruptcy Questions

Attorney Parisa Fishback and the Fishback Law Corporation in Irvine are pleased to provide the following answers to questions frequently encountered in our Orange County bankruptcy practice, helping consumers throughout Southern California find debt relief through Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. We hope this information is helpful to you.

What is the Chapter 7 means test?

The means test is used to determine whether you qualify to file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If your current monthly income is below the state average, you may qualify automatically; otherwise, you may need to take the means test to determine your eligibility. The means test is a complicated formula based on factors such as your income and family size.

If you find that you do not qualify for Chapter 7, you can still likely find effective debt relief under Chapter 13.

How can I stop creditors from calling and harassing me?

There are many things you can do if you are being hounded by creditors and bill collectors. For one thing, you can tell them you have a lawyer (if you have retained one), and after that they will have to communicate through your attorney and leave you alone. Once you file for bankruptcy in Orange County or Southern California, the Central District Bankruptcy Court enforces an automatic stay of any collection efforts, including foreclosures, garnishments and repossessions. Also, you have rights against creditor harassment and illegal conduct by bill collectors under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and California law.

How long will a bankruptcy stay on my credit report?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy stays on your credit report for up to seven years, and a Chapter 7 bankruptcy stays on your credit report for 10 years. It is impossible to remove this item from your credit report any earlier, despite claims you may hear from so-called credit repair companies. However, there are many steps you can take following bankruptcy to immediately begin restoring your credit. The Fishback Law Corporation goes above and beyond merely assisting you with your bankruptcy and provides real help and advice in establishing and rebuilding credit, at no additional charge to you.

What kinds of tax debt are dischargeable in bankruptcy?

In most cases, federal and state income tax debt is dischargeable if the debt relates to a tax return with a filing deadline (including extensions) that is more than three years old, and if the return was filed at least two years ago. Also, the tax assessment amendment, if any, must be more than 240 days old. There are other requirements as well, prohibiting discharge for a fraudulent tax return or where the taxpayer is guilty of tax evasion. If you have tax debt that you cannot afford to pay off, contact our office to discuss your options. It is important to act quickly, because if the government secures a tax lien on your property, your problem becomes more complicated and possibly impossible to resolve.