Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Armen Adzhemzyan

Los Angeles, CA 90071


169 Hits since 2010-01-09


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Listed: 2012-01-25


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blue01_next.gif Bankruptcy

What do I need to Know Before Filing Bankruptcy

Are you in financial trouble?  If you are experiencing financial issues and are considering bankruptcy here are a few things that may be helpful in your search for a competent bankruptcy attorney.

What is the difference between filing a bankruptcy chapter 7 or chapter 13

In the United States Bankruptcy court there are 2 types of bankruptcy filings that usually occur.  Chapter 7 is liquidation and Chapter 13 is reorganization.  Whether you file a chapter 7 or chapter 13 depends on your financial situation.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation of all your assets. After the 2005 New Bankruptcy rules they developed the means test.  This test qualifies you and is based on the medium income of the county you are filing.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcies are reorganization bankruptcy designed for debtors with an income to pay back a percentage of your debts through a repayment plan.  If you do not pass what is call a means test in chapter 7 you may decide to file a chapter 13 to reorganize you debts.  There are other benefits for filing a chapter 13, it could help you catch up on your arrears or you may qualify to strip your unsecured junior liens from you home.  Check with your local bankruptcy attorney for answer to your particular situation.

Means Test

Means Test is used to assist a debtor filing for bankruptcy chapter 7 to determine if they are eligible to file under the chapter 7 guidelines.  This is determined by the medium income in debtors county and state.

Terms You Will Want To Know When Talking To A Bankruptcy Attorney


Something you own that has value.  An asset can be something as simple as tools you use to work on you home, a security deposit with you landlord, or a 401 plan with your employer or more complex asset is your home, timeshare and car.

Automatic Stay

From the moment that a bankruptcy clerk from the court stamps you petition all you creditors activity to collect debts, obtain judgments, or obtain your property are put on hold.  This is the protection provided to you as a person or company under the Bankruptcy law in the United States.

Bankruptcy Discharge  

This is a notice you received from the bankruptcy court court letting you know your case is ended.  A bankruptcy can end because the Trustee files a motion to either dismiss the case or convert it to another Chapter, or the Judge discharges the debts and/or approves the Chapter 13 plan of repayment or Chapter 7 filing.


A conversion occurs when you file one Chapter of bankruptcy and convert over the another Chapter after you have filed.


You bankruptcy case can be dismissed at anytime if you fail to follow bankruptcy law federal and local rules and/or fail to file any required documents.


Many debtors are afraid to file bankruptcy because they think they may lose everything they own.  There are what is called “exemption” that allow you to keep some of your property.  Each state has own exemption allowance.  (see you local bankruptcy attorney for your local exemption).

Personal Property

Personal property is everything else you own that is not real property.

Chapter 13 Plan

This plan is a plan that shows the court how the debtor wants to repay his/her debts.

Reaffirmation Agreement

This is an agreement filed with the Bankruptcy Court when you want to continue paying the debt and the creditor agrees to the payment terms.

Real Property

Real Property is considered anything that is attached to God’s green earth.  A mobile home is usually not attached to the earth because it sits on wheels.  Therefore, a mobile home is considered personal property, unless the wheels have been remove and it physically sits on the earth.

Relief from Automatic Stay

This is a court order requested by the creditor to lift the “automatic stay” that was put on the property when debtor filed the bankruptcy petition.

Secured Debt

This is a debt you owe for an item that could be taken away from you if you don’t pay the bill for instance.  If you don’[t make your house payment the creditor you owe can repossess it.


This is a real “live” person that works for Bankruptcy Court.  When you attend the Trustee assigned to your case.  He/she will review your bankruptcy petition, ask you some questions, ask questions of any creditors who may be present, and then tell you if he/she will review you bankruptcy petition.

Unsecured Debt

This is a debt you owe a creditor that cannot be taken away from you.  For instance anything you charge on a credit card is an “unsecured debt”  If you don’t pay your credit card this month they cannot come and take anything you bought with the creditor card. All they can do is harass you to pay your bill.

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