Thursday, October 29, 2020

My California Bankruptcy Blog

Welcome to California Bankruptcy Central, my California bankruptcy blog. Wait,don't go if you live in another state! It doesn't matter where you live--bankruptcy is a federal affair and there are few differences (exemptions and median income amounts among them) between states.

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer but I did need to hire one.

I am a bankruptcy filer and have been where you are now. I filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the Central district of California and was successfully discharged. I learned a lot of things the hard way and this blog is about sharing them with you. Nothing here is intended to be legal advice. Please consult with an attorney for your legal needs.

Two things you need to know:

A. Much of what you read about bankruptcy on the internet is not true. Have you ever wondered why a google search sometimes returns the most insane results that are not what you want and sometimes you cannot even understand what the heck you are reading?

It's because many of the authors on the web don't know what they are talking about. They don't write well and often they don't even live in the United States!

All I'm trying to say is be careful of believing anything you read on the internet. I encourage you to also verify anything I have to say by consulting with an attorney.

B. The "New" bankruptcy is not "New" anymore. The bankruptcy laws were changed in 2005 so can we please stop calling them new? The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 made it more difficult for consumers to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy but not impossible. Not even all that hard for most.

Prior to 2005, debtors of all incomes could file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7. Under the current laws, a debtor's income is calculated and compared to the median income of their state. If the debtor's income is above the median income amount of the debtor's state, the debtor is subject to a "means test."

If the debtor does not pass the "means" test, they have to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, instead of a 7, which means that they will have to repay some of their debt.

Many, many people still qualify for a Chapter 7 and I will have more about the means test in another post.

Again I urge you to check out what I learned about selecting a bankruptcy attorney if you are in the market for one:check out my Bankruptcy Attorney Tips.

Good luck to all,


Sunday, February 25, 2018

How to Get Out of Credit Card Debt

Best Way to Get Out of Credit Card Debt

If you've thought long and hard about filing bankruptcy due to mounting credit card debt only to conclude that you don't want to go that path, you are far from alone. It's a big step, which is why many people decide to go another route. But do you know the best way to get out of credit card debt? There are a number of methods, actually. Keep reading to explore some of the most common.

Getting Out of Credit Card Debt

First of all, know that paying off your credit cards in full will take great discipline, but you can do it if you set your mind to it.

1. Evaluate your debt. Like many debtors, you may have been ignoring (intentionally or otherwise) the amount you owe and the amount of interest you've been paying. What you find may shock you, but you need to be truthful with yourself if you're going to dig out.

2. Negotiate better interest rates if you can. Some lenders would rather work with you to create a more manageable payment plan than risk having you file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, in which case they probably won't see any payments at all. If you're late on payments already, they may also be willing to offer a settlement at a substantial savings. Just know that if you choose to do this, you might have to pay taxes on the amount that was forgiven. This strategy will also negatively affect your credit rating.

3. Pay more than the minimum amount on the credit card with the highest interest first, while paying the minimum on the others. Once you have the highest one paid off, start paying more than the minimum on the next card with the highest interest while paying the minimum on the others. Repeat this process until your credit card debt is eliminated. Alternatively, you could follow this same formula, but pay off the card with the lowest balance first. Seeing a credit card completely paid off faster can help you stay motivated to keep going.

4. Stop using your cards, unless, of course, there's an emergency. Get into the habit of paying cash - for everything. You'll not only be saving money in the long run, but you'll also be more aware of your spending, as parting with cash is psychologically more impactful than paying with plastic. Paying cash for purchases shouldn't take long to get used to; you don't actually need to carry the green. You can also use and ATM card. Just make sure your bank balance can support your purchases.


These are just a few of the best ways to get out of credit card debt. Truth be told, though, many debtors will give up and fall further behind and eventually decide to file bankruptcy anyway. A successful chapter 7 bankruptcy can relieve you of most types of debt, and filing sooner rather than later can save both headaches and heartaches, not to mention money Talk to a bankruptcy attorney to determine whether getting out of debt on your own is realistic or if filing bankruptcy is a better option.

Whatever you decide, best of luck to you!


Tips for Finding a Good Bankruptcy Lawyer

Thursday, February 22, 2018

How to Save Money During Bankruptcy Series - Post 1

How to Save Money During Bankruptcy Series - Post 1

Last year, the Orange County Register reported that Bankruptcy filings were at a 10-year low in Southern California, and that's great news. However, there are still people struggling to make ends meet, over-extending themselves and accumulating insurmountable debt. The struggle continues.

Whether you're trying to overcome debt, saving up for bankruptcy or have put the ordeal behind you, you need to find ways to cut your expenses. That's why I’m starting a How to Save Money During Bankruptcy series here on my blog. During my own bankruptcy, I had to think long and hard about saving money, often choosing between things like milk and toilet paper at the grocery store. It was difficult, but I managed to tunnel out by saving money on necessities such as printer ink.

How to Save Money on Ink (for an Inkjet Printer)

Printer ink is expensive. But did you know that if you have an inkjet printer, you can easily refill your own ink? I buy my ink on eBay for a few bucks shipped, (you can also find it on Amazon) and it usually comes with a syringe and a plastic glove or two.

You see, those ink cartridges have a little sponge inside and a couple of holes under the paper label from the manufacturer. Which hole(s) you use will depend on the specific cartridge, but instructions for filling them can be quickly found on the internet. And, more than likely, your seller can instruct you on the correct holes to use.

What You Need

Your spent cartridge
Scotch tape
Plastic gloves
Black or colored ink (whichever one is empty)

Refill Your Inkjet Ink

1. Peel back the paper label on the ink cartridge
2. Fill your syringe with the ink
3. Inject the ink into the correct hole for your specific cartridge
4. Let sit 15 minutes so the sponge absorbs the ink
5. Wipe any excess ink off the cartridge
6. Tape the paper label back in place
7. Insert the cartridge into your printer


Ink should be refilled at the first sign of faded print. If you wait until the cartridge is completely empty, the sponge will dry out and become unable to absorb the new ink.

Fill very slowly. If you inject the ink too quickly, you are likely to overfill and will have to sop up the extra ink.

Wear plastic gloves on both hands. Often, the ink will come with only one glove. I always get ink on my other hand, and it won't thoroughly wash off for several days.

Place paper towels or newspaper under the cartridge you are refilling. The ink may seep out the other side, and you don't want to stain your counter. I also use a plate to make sure this doesn't happen.

Don't buy empty cartridges online. I went this route for a while, and while they were cheap, the sponges in them were usually already dried out.

I fill my cartridges about four or five times before discarding them altogether. Each refill will render less use, as the sponge will eventually dry out. After doing this a few times, you'll just instinctively know when to replace them with brand new product. When you do need to buy a new ink cartridge, be sure and look for deals on Amazon or eBay. I haven't paid full price for printer ink in years.

I'll be back with more money saving tips for during and after bankruptcy.

Wishing you a fresh start,