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Our Bankruptcy Philosophy

Consulting with a California bankruptcy attorney at the Law Offices of Hagen & Hagen does not necessarily mean you will be filing bankruptcy.

We would not put someone in bankruptcy if his or her financial difficulties do not warrant the filing of bankruptcy, if filing bankruptcy would produce negative results that outweigh the corresponding positive results, or if he or she is uncomfortable about filing bankruptcy. We provide our clients with a thorough analysis of their financial circumstances, present them with various options, and make certain recommendations as to whether to, how to, and when to proceed. We will not hesitate to recommend against a bankruptcy filing if the circumstances so warrant.

The decision of whether to file bankruptcy or not file bankruptcy is primarily a function of three criteria.

One should consider carefully the following three criteria:

  1. The size of the dischargeable debt. The higher the amount of debt, the more likely bankruptcy will be advisable. If the debtor only owes $10,000, the decision to file bankruptcy is more difficult than if the debtor owes $100,000.
  2. Annual income. The lower the debtor's earnings, the lower the likelihood that the debtor will be able to earn his or her way out of the financial difficulties. If the debtor earns $100,000 per year or greater, the decision to file is more difficult than if the debtor earns only $20,000 per year or is unemployed.
  3. Credit status. Good credit is a valuable resource, worthy of protection. If the debtor's credit score is strong, the decision to file is more difficult than if the debtor's credit report already reflects numerous derogatory references.

No one of the above factors controls the decision to file or not file bankruptcy. All three factors are relevant and must be balanced when making the decision.

Filing bankruptcy does not solve all of one's financial problems, but it may be an effective tool.

Filing a bankruptcy petition does not put food on the debtor's table. No one hands the debtor money with which to pay his or her mortgage, taxes, utility bills, or other obligations. But by relieving the pressure of creditors' calls and letters, and by discharging the debts owing to one's credit card companies, doctors and hospitals, trade suppliers, judgment creditors, creditors holding deficiency claims arising from a repossession, foreclosure or voluntary surrender, former landlords, and others, the debtor will be in a better position to devote his or her energies, time, and resources to providing for his or her family and for himself or herself.

Some obligations are not dischargeable in bankruptcy, such as the trust fund portion of an employer's payroll taxes, recent income taxes, student loans (with some exceptions), past and future alimony and child support; liability created in a driving under the influence incident, unpaid fines and penalties such as traffic tickets, and criminal restitution awards. If the debtor owes such obligations, bankruptcy may nonetheless still be advisable. Chapter 13 allows an individual debtor or husband and wife debtors to restructure mortgage arrearages, accrued taxes, alimony arrearages, child support arrearages, and liability created in a driving under the influence incident obligations over a period of up to five years.

Don't wait until it is too late. Please contact the Law Offices Of Hagen & Hagen today to discuss your situation.

We represent clients throughout Southern California, including Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, Santa Barbara County, Ventura County and San Luis Obispo County. We see clients from all over the greater Los Angeles area, including Santa Monica, Long Beach, Anaheim, Pasadena, Orange, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Garden Grove, Irvine, Yorba Linda, Riverside, San Bernardino, Pomona, Torrance, Simi Valley, Mission Viejo, Ontario, Glendora, and Covina.We are a debt relief agency.  We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the bankruptcy code.

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