Sample Bankruptcy Cases from Wine Country Family Law & Bankruptcy Office
NOTE: The example cases on this page do not constitute a guarantee, warranty or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.
Small Business Owner Bankruptcy
My client ran a small business for several years but was struggling to stay afloat. I filed an individual chapter 7 bankruptcy for my client who was able to save business and personal assets and keep the business afloat. $163,000 in credit card and medical debts were discharged.
Homeowners Facing Foreclosure
My clients, a married working couple with three young children, filed chapter 13 bankruptcy when they could no longer afford to pay both their first and second mortgages. Their mortgage was behind by nine months. They are now paying off their substantial mortgage arrears in their five year bankruptcy plan and are paying nothing to their unsecured creditors (credit card companies). In addition, their second mortgage lien of almost $200,000 was “stripped”, turning the previously secured mortgage debt into an unsecured debt to which no money will be paid.
Recently Divorced Client
My client, a parent of two young children, incurred significant debt while restructuring their life after divorce. Although my client significantly downsized many aspects of their life, the outstanding debts were still too much to handle. I filed chapter 7 bankruptcy for my client and discharged over $50,000 in unsecured debt while losing no assets.
Construction Industry Client
My client, a self-employed building contractor, came to me after suffering long months of little to no work in the construction trade. My client was no longer able to pay all of the bills while waiting for seasonal work to come in. I filed chapter 7 bankruptcy for my client and wiped out $81,000 in credit card and repossessed vehicle debts. I was also able to negotiate a nominal pay-off in exchange for the title on my client’s car. The car had a loan of $2,500 against it and was worth $4,500. My client received title to the $4,500 vehicle for a mere $500!
Recently Divorced Widow
My client’s spouse passed away due to cancer a couple of months prior to contacting me. My client was unable to pay all of the creditors on the very limited income coming in. Creditors were harassing my client within days following my client’s spouse’s death. I filed chapter 7 bankruptcy for my client which immediately stopped the phone calls from the creditors and allowed my client proper grieving time. $46,000 in credit card debt and medical bills were discharged.
Client Being Sued
My client came to me when it was apparent that the civil lawsuit filed against my client was not going to go away on its own. My unemployed client knew that paying the legal fees in order to defend such a suit was not an option. In addition, my client had substantial credit card and other bills that were not being paid. I filed chapter 7 bankruptcy for my client. The civil suit against my client was dismissed due to the bankruptcy and my client discharged $12,000 in other unsecured debt.
Recently Laid Off Civil Servant
My client, a long-time public safety worker was laid-off from what was once a very secure government job. My client had significant monthly obligations to meet based on the prior income. However, unemployment compensation was not enough to cover mounting debts. I filed chapter 7 bankruptcy for my client and discharged $38,000 in credit card debt. My client retained the primary residence, along with two rental homes, cars, trucks, and motorcycles. My client was also able to transfer liability for co-signed adult children’s loans to the co-debtor’s only.
Young, Single Parent with Car Repossession
My client, a young single parent who was a low wage earner, co-signed an auto loan for another person. The car was repossessed and the creditor was pursuing my client for the balance due. My client couldn’t afford to have wages garnished to pay the debt while solely supporting a young child. I filed chapter 7 bankruptcy for my client and wiped out $19,000 of credit card and auto loan debt.
Separation from Domestic Partner
My client recently suffered a job loss and then a break up with their partner. My client was unable to pay the credit card bills with unemployment income only. I filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy for my client and wiped out over $80,000 in unsecured debt.
Baby Boomers Supporting Live-In Adult Children
My clients, a middle aged couple, were the sole support of their two adult children and their grandchildren, while only one of my clients was employed and the other spouse was disabled. Over the course of several years, my clients ran up significant debt trying to support a household of nine. Although my client had a well paying job in the tech industry, that income only went so far in trying to support so many of his family members. My clients were extremely stressed out over their family and financial situation.
They decided to give up their house in bankruptcy and rent for much less than they were paying on their mortgages. As a result of my clients filing chapter 7 bankruptcy, one of the children and family found subsidized housing elsewhere and the other adult child applied for governmental assistance in order to help with the household expenses. They lived rent and mortgage free in their house for several months while the home surrender was pending. Over $75,000 in unsecured debt was discharged in their case and they now all live in their own rental units.
Senior Citizen Clients Who Tried “Debt Consolidation”
I had a chapter 7 case where my clients paid over $32,000 in less than two years to a debt consolidation company and realized little to no “debt consolidation”. My clients were retired with limited income and could no longer afford to pay such outrageous payments in an attempt to negotiate their debts. Although the debt consolidation company assured my clients that they would take care of the debts for them, the creditors were calling my clients non-stop and harassing them. My clients were frail and in failing health. They felt they had no other option but to file bankruptcy in order to protect their health and emotional well-being. I filed chapter 7 bankruptcy for my clients and the creditor calls stopped. My clients report that their health has been improving ever since.