“We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.”


(209) 475-0499


(209) 475-0499

Stockton Bankruptcy Lawyer

Chapter 7 & Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Stockton Bankruptcy Lawyer

You are not alone, thousands of people are seeking help from the bankruptcy court.

If you find yourself in over your head in debt, the creditors are constantly howling at your door interrupting dinner meals, leaving threatening messages and embarrassing you at work. Every day the mail brings a new avalanche of bills and creditor letters, all marked “OVERDUE” in red lettering. Each ring of the phone is another collection agency greedily demanding payment now.

Bankruptcy is a tool, and when used properly can stop the harassing telephone calls from collection agencies, foreclosures, wage garnishments, liens and other unpleasantries of owing money to bank and creditors. Bankruptcy can help you get back on track, get out of debt and get a fresh lease start and lease on life.

Bankruptcy is a legal process that many individuals and businesses turn to when they are facing overwhelming financial difficulties and are unable to meet their debt obligations. Bankruptcy provides a structured way to address these financial challenges and potentially obtain relief from debt.

There are different types of bankruptcy, including Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, and Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, each with its own set of rules and requirements. Chapter 7 typically involves the liquidation of assets to pay off debts, while Chapter 13 allows individuals to create a repayment plan to gradually pay off their debts over time. Chapter 11 is primarily used by businesses to reorganize and continue operations while repaying creditors.

Bankruptcy can be a complex and emotional process, and it’s often a last resort for individuals and businesses struggling with debt. It’s important to consult with a qualified attorney or financial advisor to understand your specific situation and explore all available options before pursuing bankruptcy. Additionally, bankruptcy laws and regulations can vary by jurisdiction, so it’s important to seek advice that is tailored to your location and circumstances.You have questions. You are scared that you are going to lose your house to foreclosure, your car to repossession, and your paycheck to garnishment. Our bankruptcy attorneys at Law Office of Robert W. Fong can help you get out of this mess. Call (209) 475-0499 today for a free bankruptcy consultation with a Stockton bankruptcy lawyer.

Contact Stockton Bankruptcy Lawyer

Stockton bankruptcy lawyer Robert Fong is committed to helping people protect their assets while discharging their debts in Bankruptcy. Stockton bankruptcy attorney at the Law Office of Robert W. Fong will determine if Bankruptcy is a viable option for you, and if so, provide proficient, accurate, and protective representation. Robert W. Fong has represented thousands of people in Bankruptcy cases, and has over 20 years of legal experience. We have the experience that is necessary to properly evaluate, prepare, and file your case.

If you are having financial hardship, have fallen behind on your bills and are being harassed by creditors call (209) 475-0499 for a FREE confidential bankruptcy consultation. Protect your legal rights. Call NOW.

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(209) 475-0499
Stockton Bankruptcy Lawyer

Stockton Office

Law Office of Robert W. Fong
1151 West Robinhood Drive, Suite B15
Stockton, CA 95207
Phone: (209) 475-0499

Bankruptcy Information

Five Benefits of Bankruptcy

Before discussing the benefits of bankruptcy, it is important for you to understand that most people hope to avoid the road to Bankruptcy, but with thousands of individuals adversely affected by layoffs, pay cuts, and with the record high unemployment rate, millions of Americans are turning to and considering Bankruptcy. Consultation with experienced Stockton bankruptcy lawyer is encouraged to shed light on your specific situation.

Discharge Debt

Bankruptcy affords an individual a discharge of the financial obligation he or she has accumulated. It provides the debtor immediate relief by resolving the debt through division of the unexempt assets among the creditors, and providing the debtor a clean slate with new beginnings and opportunities.

Keep Your Home

In most cases you can keep your home. Most state Bankruptcy laws dictate that your home is exempt from liquidation as long as your equity stake is within the designated amount. Your home is only subject to liquidation if the equity in your home surpasses your state’s threshold, meaning you own more equity in your home than your state permits.

Stops Creditor Harassment

The third benefit of Bankruptcy is that your creditors will finally stop harassing you, no more surprise visits and phone calls. By law, they can no longer contact you, and if they do, the court can penalize them.

New Beginnings & Opportunities

Once your case is closed, your road to new beginnings and opportunities opens. You will have the opportunity to apply for new loans and credit cards. Though you will have to prove you’re a responsible debtor at first to receive great interest rates, this process will allow you to rebuild your credit. And in one decade, your bankruptcy filing will no longer show up on your credit report.

Right to Your Privacy

Lastly, your family, friends, and co-workers don’t have to know about your bankruptcy filing. You have the right to your privacy. The only way someone can actually discover it, is if you’re asked for a credit report when applying for a new job or credit card.

Which Bankruptcy Chapter is Right for Me?

It is difficult to determine which bankruptcy (Chapter 7 or Chapter 13) is right for you without discussing your individual situation, goals, and financial abilities.

If you are an income-receiving individual who wishes to repay his debt but needs help with negotiating with creditors directly or timing of repayment, Chapter 13 might be right for you. However, if you do not have many or any valuable personal or real property, have little or no source of income, and simply cannot repay the debt, Chapter 7 might be the right chapter for you.

“Self-help” is not the answer in this situation with serious consequences. Without having a full legal knowledge of court procedures, the relevant statutes, published cases on the subject matter, and experience dealing with creditors and courts you will not be successful in your efforts. At the very least you will fall short of retaining all the benefits under the bankruptcy chapters, and the creditors will not hesitate to take advantage of uninformed or misinformed individual. The small and trivial detail are curtail in accomplishing the desired result.

Contact a Stockton bankruptcy lawyer at our law firm to determine which Chapter is right for you. Our experienced bankruptcy lawyers will discuss your individual situation and determine the best course of action. Call (209) 475-0499 today, we offer free consultation.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy of the US Bankruptcy Code is the Bankruptcy Code’s “liquidation” chapter.

Stockton bankruptcy lawyer sometimes refer to it as a “straight bankruptcy.” The basic purpose of Chapter 7 is to provide you with a fresh start by wiping out all qualifying debts including credit cards, medical bills, repossession deficiencies, law suits as well as a variety of other debts.

Upon the filing of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy petition, an impartial bankruptcy case trustee is appointed by the United States bankruptcy trustee to administer the case and liquidate the debtor’s nonexempt assets.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney at Law Office of Robert W. Fong can help with the process. In Chapter 7 there is no repayment required for most unsecured debts, your debts are wiped out completely and permanently. In about 99% of Chapter 7 cases, the consumer keeps all property, and eliminates most debts.

The entire process usually takes less than 4 months to complete. After the bankruptcy is over, the consumer may choose to selectively pay back debts, such as debts to family members, however repayment is not legally required.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

The most common misconception regarding Chapter 13 is that it is a “repayment plan”.

In reality, your Chapter 13 plan payment has little to do with the amount of debt your owe. Rather, it has to do with the amount of disposable income that you have at the end of each month. Many clients that owe $50,000 in credit card debt are pleasantly surprised to find our that their chapter 13 plan payment is only $175 per month. Consult with a Stockton bankruptcy lawyer at Law Office of Robert W. Fong today.

Some people have to do a Chapter 13 instead of a Chapter 7 either because they make too much money or because they have an asset that they would lose in a Chapter 7.

Some people, however, choose to do a Chapter 13 because of the unique benefits that this type of filing provides the client. A Chapter 13 allows one to save their house from foreclosure by bringing their first mortgage current, and in many situation, completely eliminating their second mortgage. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy also allows you to repay IRS debt interest and penalty free, and to reduce your car loan.


Bankruptcy Law Changes

The bankruptcy law landscape is seeing significant changes in 2024, affecting various aspects from Chapter 13 filings to consumer protections. Here’s a summary of key changes:

  • Chapter 13 and Small Business Reorganization Act (SBRA) Adjustments: The Bankruptcy Threshold Adjustment and Technical Corrections Act has increased the debt limits for Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings and for small businesses under the SBRA (Subchapter V). For Chapter 13, the combined limit for noncontingent, liquidated secured and unsecured debt has been raised to $2,750,000. For the SBRA, the debt limit for qualifying debtors has been reinstated at $7,500,000. These changes aim to expand access to bankruptcy relief for individuals and small businesses, respectively. Both adjustments are set to sunset on June 21, 2024, which means they will revert to their original thresholds unless further legislative action is taken.
  • Consumer Protection Enhancements: The beginning of 2024 will also see adjustments in consumer law rights, including:
    • Increases in exemption thresholds for special appraisal requirements and for escrow and balloon payment prohibitions in higher-priced mortgage loans under the Truth in Lending Act.
    • Adjustments in the maximum charge for file disclosures under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
    • Changes to the Consumer Leasing Act exemption thresholds, and
    • Adjustments in the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) exemption thresholds, among others.
      These changes reflect adjustments for inflation and aim to protect consumers in various financial transactions​.
  • VA, FHA, and Conforming Loan Limits: New loan limits have been announced for FHA, VA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac loans, reflecting increases to accommodate the changing real estate market. For example, the single-family low-cost-area floor for FHA loans has been raised to $498,257, and the high-cost-area ceiling for VA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac loans has been increased to $1,149,825 for most of the United States​.
  • State-Level Changes: Various states are introducing changes that further protect consumers. These include adjustments to minimum wage laws, homestead exemptions, and specific consumer protection laws like California’s regulations on arbitration and the right to repair for electronic and appliance products​.

These updates represent a broad effort to adjust bankruptcy and consumer protection laws to current economic realities and consumer needs. For individuals and small businesses considering bankruptcy, these changes could provide more flexibility and options for managing and discharging debts.

If you’re facing the stress of potential foreclosure, vehicle repossession, or wage garnishment, seeking professional legal assistance is a critical step. At the Law Office of Robert W. Fong, experienced bankruptcy attorneys are available to help you navigate these challenges. They offer a free consultation to discuss your options and provide guidance specific to the context of Stockton bankruptcy law. To take advantage of this opportunity and gain clarity on your financial situation, you can contact them at (209) 475-0499 for a free consultation with a Stockton bankruptcy lawyer.


Bankruptcy Law Changes

In 2023, there were several amendments to the bankruptcy laws in the United States, specifically related to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure and the associated forms and fees. These changes came into effect on December 1, 2023.

The amendments included changes to Bankruptcy Rules 3011, 8003, 9006, and 9038, which introduced a new rule. Official Forms 410A and 417A were also amended, along with the introduction of Director’s Form 1340. These amendments aimed to refine the bankruptcy process and address various procedural aspects of bankruptcy filings.

Additionally, the Judicial Conference of the United States approved inflationary adjustments to the Bankruptcy Court Miscellaneous Fee Schedule, which also became effective from December 1, 2023. These adjustments are part of the ongoing efforts to keep the bankruptcy system efficient and up to date with the current economic conditions.

Furthermore, specific changes were made to discourage fraudulent applications for unclaimed funds in bankruptcy cases. This was reflected in the changes to Form 1340, which is used for the application of payment of unclaimed funds. The aim was to enhance the integrity of the process and protect legitimate claimants.

These amendments are part of a continuous effort to adapt the bankruptcy legal framework to changing economic and social circumstances, ensuring that the system remains fair, efficient, and responsive to the needs of all stakeholders involved in the bankruptcy process​​​​​​.

Navigating the complexities of bankruptcy can be a daunting and emotional journey. It’s typically considered a last resort for those overwhelmed by debt. To make an informed decision, it’s crucial to consult a qualified attorney or financial advisor. They can provide guidance tailored to your unique situation and help explore all potential avenues before deciding to file for bankruptcy. Keep in mind that bankruptcy laws and rules differ across various jurisdictions, underscoring the importance of receiving advice specific to your location and circumstances.

If you’re facing the stress of potential foreclosure, vehicle repossession, or wage garnishment, seeking professional legal assistance is a critical step. At the Law Office of Robert W. Fong, experienced bankruptcy attorneys are available to help you navigate these challenges. They offer a free consultation to discuss your options and provide guidance specific to the context of Stockton bankruptcy law. To take advantage of this opportunity and gain clarity on your financial situation, you can contact them at (209) 475-0499 for a free consultation with a Stockton bankruptcy lawyer.

Bankruptcy Filings in 2023

As of the end of 2023, bankruptcy filings in the United States, including all chapters, totaled 37,860, marking a 21% increase from November 2022. Specifically, commercial chapter 11 filings increased by 141% to 842 in November 2023, compared to 349 filings in November 2022. This significant rise in filings was partly due to a major case filed by WeWork, Inc. in November, which included 517 related filings. In addition to commercial filings, individual filings also rose by 11% to 35,608 in November 2023 from the 29,323 filed in November 2022​​.

California experienced a significant increase in bankruptcy filings across various chapters. Chapter 7 filings, which offer relief for struggling households, saw a 20.94% year-over-year increase, rising from 3,968 in 2022 to 4,799 in 2023. Chapter 13 filings, which allow individuals to restructure their debt, also increased by 12.82% from 2,972 in 2022 to 3,353 in 2023. Additionally, Chapter 11 filings, often utilized by businesses dealing with insolvency, witnessed a substantial increase of 57.69%, going from 78 in 2022 to 123 in 2023. This uptick in Chapter 11 filings reflects challenges in the retail sector and the impact of high-interest rates on businesses. The rise in bankruptcy filings indicates a broader trend of financial challenges faced by both individuals and businesses in California​​.

The Central District of California, which covers a significant portion of the state, maintains detailed statistics of bankruptcy filings, but specific numbers for the entire state in 2023 weren’t directly available in the sources consulted​​. The overall increase in bankruptcy filings in California aligns with national trends, where there has been a noticeable rise in filings due to various economic pressures and the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stockton, California, the city had a significant history with bankruptcy. Stockton became the largest city in U.S. history to file for bankruptcy on July 28, 2012, due to over $2 billion in long-term debt and a $26 million deficit. However, on February 25, 2015, the city officially exited bankruptcy, with a federal judge approving its long-term financial plan. This exit allowed the city to focus on refunding essential programs and improving services for residents. Despite exiting bankruptcy, the city’s plan to pay off its debts extends to 2053, indicating a long-term approach to financial stability​​​​.