Everyone deserves a second chance. Fortunately, the laws of the United States give people the opportunity to start over by discharging their debts.
Bankruptcy doesn't have to be expensive or time-consuming. Let us help to guide you through the process.
Bankruptcy is a remedial Federal law that provides people a way to obtain a Fresh Start through the “Discharge” provided under the Bankruptcy Code.
The Bankruptcy Code stops collection actions, and in most cases, discharges your debts, while allowing you to keep most or all of your property.
BANKRUPTCY DOES NOT HAVE TO BE OVERLY EXPENSIVE OR TIME-CONSUMING. IT JUST NEEDS TO BE DONE CORRECTLY THE FIRST TIME.
The Law Office of Thomas H. Armstrong is well-versed in cases under Chapter 7, 11, 12, and 13 of the Bankruptcy Code, as well as other insolvency remedies.
Deciding to file for bankruptcy is usually a difficult decision. While bankruptcy may provide you an opportunity to liquidate or reorganize your financial affairs, Mr. Armstrong’s extensive experience and knowledge of the legal process through Bankruptcy can help you decide whether Bankruptcy is an appropriate remedy for your situation. Mr. Armstrong works to protect debtor's rights and maximize the prospect of a successful bankruptcy proceeding. Mr. Armstrong will work with you to assess all your options, advise as to exemption issues, and make appropriate recommendations based upon sound principles in order to provide you with results you deserve.
Chapter 7 or Chapter 13?
One of the most common questions is whether a person should file for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. In every bankruptcy consultation, Mr. Armstrong discusses your goals and whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is appropriate for you.
Chapter 7 is a liquidating Chapter under the Bankruptcy Code with debtors generally receiving their discharge in approximately 4 months. In Chapter 7 cases, a trustee is appointed to examine the debtor and inquire about their assets to see if there are any non-exempt equity in assets that can be liquidated to pay creditors. Chapter 7 is the most common type of bankruptcy filed. Approximately 95% of all Chapter 7 cases filed end up as “no asset” cases. This means there are no assets other than exempt assets. Exemptions are determined on a state-by-state basis.
On October 17, 2005, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (“BAPCPA”) became effective. To qualify to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case under BAPCPA, debtors cannot be above “median income” as determined under the “Means Test” which is adjusted annually. Mr. Armstrong and his staff look closely at each individual’s income to assess whether they fit into a Chapter 7, thus passing the “means test.” Calculating whether a debtor has disposable income under the “Means Test” is complicated. There are many subtle nuances with the “Means Test” and Mr. Armstrong will help you navigate through this process.
Chapter 13 allows debtors to propose a repayment plan. The Plan does not mean that a debtor has to repay all of their debts, rather, only as much as required according to the Means Test and what the debtor can afford. Additionally, secured loans (such as a vehicle loan or furniture loan) may be modified in Chapter 13. For example, a vehicle loan with a 20% interest rate and $25,000 balance when the vehicle is only worth $15,000, can be reduced to a claim of perhaps $15,000 with a 6% interest rate over 5 years. This can result in a significant savings.
Past due home loan payments may be caught up through the Plan process up to a five year period. Additionally, if there is no value in the home to support a junior deed of trust, that junior deed of trust may be treated as unsecured and stripped off your residence upon completion of your Plan. If the debtor is paying 0% or a small percentage to unsecured creditors, this could be a significant advantage and savings resulting in a very favorable “fresh start” upon discharge.
To explore all of your options, you are best served by consulting with an experienced bankruptcy attorney as opposed to any paralegal.
Chapter 11 Business Reorganization
Mr. Armstrong has significant and positive experience in corporate reorganizations under Chapter 11. This includes debt restructuring, sales of distressed businesses, debtor in possession financing, and confirming plans of reorganization. Mr. Armstrong’s goal is to develop a business plan that may be confirmed as a plan of reorganization. Mr. Armstrong has a proven track record in Chapter 11 cases and has reorganized many businesses.
Mr. Armstrong is well versed in Chapter 12 cases having over 20 years experience in handling Chapter 12 cases both while working at the Bankruptcy Court, and as a bankruptcy attorney following his tenure at the Bankruptcy Court.
In addition to the above, Mr. Armstrong represents creditor committees, creditor clients, and Chapter 7 Trustees from Bakersfield to Modesto.
Mr. Armstrong’s bankruptcy experience began with Lerrigo, Snyder, Nibler, Moss and Berryman in 1985. He became a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Richard T. Ford, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge retired, in 1989 and worked with Judge Ford through 1994. Since that time, Mr. Armstrong has practiced almost exclusively in bankruptcy law. Mr. Armstrong is the past President of the Central California Bankruptcy Association (July 1995-July 1997) and also as the President fo the California Bankruptcy Forum (2005-2006). Mr. Armstrong frequently speaks at continuing legal education seminars, taught at the San Joaquin College of Law and serves as a volunteer Resolution Advocate for the Eastern District of California’s Bankruptcy Dispute Resolution Program. He is admitted to the practice before all courts in the State of California, the Eastern, Northern, and Southern District Federal Courts which include Bankruptcy Courts, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Mr. Armstrong’s goal is to assist you in achieving the results you want in an affordable and competent manner. Please consider a consultation to discuss your individual or business needs.
THE LAW OFFICE OF THOMAS H. ARMSTRONG
Kelsey Seib, Legal Assistant to
THOMAS H. ARMSTRONG
5250 N. PALM AVENUE, SUITE 224
FRESNO, CA 93704
(559) 449-2693 (FAX)
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Thomas H. Armstrong, Attorney At Law
5250 N. Palm Ave. Suite # 224 Fresno, CA 93704
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