I am an Orange County bankruptcy attorneyMichael D. Franco. When individuals, families and businesses face financial difficulties they need to know their options. They need expert legal advice, NOW!
During a FREE consultation I will personally review your situation. I will not hand you off to staff, a paralegal or a junior lawyer. You will speak only with me. No need to be anxious. Bankruptcy is ALL I do. We can schedule a no-cost meeting in my office, or by phone, often the same day you call. For those with transportation challenges, if I can work it into my schedule, I can visit with you at your home, office, or your corner Starbucks. During the free consultation, I will share your options, including whether you qualify for the fresh start that a Chapter 7, Chapter 13 or Chapter 11 Bankruptcy offers.
My New Clients…
…tell me they got their first good night’s sleep.
The Automatic Stay
The ‘automatic stay’ is a powerful tool! An automatic stay can prevent your utilities from being disconnected, eviction, foreclosure, wage garnishments, bank levies, and even civil lawsuits filed against you by creditors, collection agencies, or individuals you own money. As your Orange County bankruptcy attorney, the day I file your bankruptcy petition — irrespective of what chapter you file under — the automatic stay takes effect. The automatic stay is binding on ALL creditors, including business, individuals and federal agencies. You receive immediate relief from credit and debt collector harassment.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is known as the ‘Liquidation Bankruptcy’. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is called the “liquidation bankruptcy” because non-exempt assets can be liquidated (sold) and the proceeds offered to creditors to settle your debt. After this liquidation has occurred you typically receive a discharge of your unsecured debts within a matter of months. However, in most chapter 7 bankruptcy cases the petitioner’s assets are entirely exempt, meaning that non-exempt assets do not exist; to which, there is nothing for the Trustee to sell.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is known as the ‘Home Saver Bankruptcy’. Chapter 13 allows you to consolidate your debt and make a repayment plan to repay all or a portion of your debt over 3 to 5 years. The repayment amount you will be required to pay, depends upon the value of assets, your debts and your disposable income. This is where a good Orange County bankruptcy attorney, who studies your circumstance thoroughly, can draft and submit a repayment plan that can repay less than 100% of your debt. That allows you to discharge any remaining unsecured debt following completion of your chapter 13 repayments.
You wouldn’t drive through a Taco Bell for Italian food. Likewise, you shouldn’t hire a divorce lawyer or auto accident attorney to help you file Bankruptcy. Bankruptcy laws are very specialized such that many ‘general law attorneys’ often make costly errors and miss valuable opportunities that a highly-experienced, certified specialist in bankruptcy law would not.
I am saddened by the mistakes inexperienced lawyers make in bankruptcies. These errors cost people dearly. Unfortunately, errors and missed opportunities cannot be fixed. In Bankruptcy Court there are very few “Do Overs.”
“CERTIFIED SPECIALIST” – A Credential That Recognizes Skill in Bankruptcy Matters
Very few California attorneys have earned the distinction as Certified Specialists in their focused practice area. I worked hard and long to earn the title of ‘Certified Specialist in Bankruptcy Law.’
In fact, fewer than 1 in 200 California attorneys become certified specialists. Considering there are more than 200,000 lawyers in California, it is very difficult to become a “certified specialist.” Fortunately, you can hire your own “bankruptcy specialist” to help you through this once-in-a-lifetime financial FRESH START that our Bankruptcy Laws provide when facing dire financial circumstances. Not only can you hire the best-qualified Orange County bankruptcy attorney, you’ll be pleased to learn that my fess are as reasonable as less-experienced lawyers.
Nothing Is More Expensive Than a Cheap Lawyer
Affordable fees and the best qualified bankruptcy lawyer! – Not only is hiring the best-qualified Orange County bankruptcy attorney in your best interest my fees are affordable. Moreover, I can tailor a payment plan to your needs.
Bankruptcy is all I do. I know what I’m doing and I’m good at it. I have had the pleasure to help 1,000’s of individuals, couples and businesses get through their financial crisis and then watch them afterwards embrace a better, brighter future. Give me a call at (714) 252-6268 and let’s see if I can ‘make your problem MY problem’ starting right now! If I am able to help you, then maybe you too can get the first good night’s sleep you’ve been missing for a long, long time.
Bankruptcy is a federal law where persons (“debtors”) seek to discharge certain financial obligations. This means that certain debts can be discharged and creditors can not seek payment in the future. In order to qualify for this relief, debtors must list all debts and all assets, and make disclosures regarding recent financial affairs.
Chapter 7 Often is called “straight” bankruptcy because it seeks to discharge the obligation to pay back specific unsecured debts.
Chapter 13 Is “wage earner” repayment plan. This is similar to a Chapter 11 corporate reorganization, but is designed for individuals with lower debt amounts and regular income. Close
How does bankruptcy affect my family and my credit?
Bankruptcy requires disclosure of your financial information. It will adversely affect your credit as it indicates that certain creditors you owe will take a “loss” and not be repaid. This does not mean you will lose all credit, only that you must rebuild your credit rating over time. The idea is that bankruptcy will provide a fresh start to the honest but unfortunate debtor. Close
Who can file for bankruptcy?
Individuals or corporations may file for bankruptcy. There are limitations on who can file what chapter (reorganization or straight bankruptcy) and additional restrictions on qualifying for certain chapters based upon debt amounts or income. Please contact my office to make an appointment to review your options and eligibility. Close
Will I lose everything?
Not likely. Every debtor or potential bankruptcy filer must carefully review their circumstances. We recommend meeting with our office to review and protect your assets – to the fullest extent possible. By claiming the proper protection, known as an exemption, you may protect a set amount of assets by dollar amount or category. Claiming the proper exemptions for assets is very important and must be reviewed with an attorney. Some states hold that a non-lawyer choosing which exemptions to use in preparing someone else’s bankruptcy is the practice of law. My office will provide careful review and analysis of exemptions – you don’t want surprises and neither do we. Close
Can I save my home by filing bankruptcy?
Perhaps – isn’t that a lawyerly answer. It depends on what the status of your house – is it in foreclosure? How far behind on payments are you? Is a foreclosure sale set yet? Waiting or hoping for a reprieve does not address the possibility of losing your home. Contact my office ASAP to make an appointment to discuss your options. Close
What is needed to file bankruptcy?
Debtors must complete a pre-filing course in credit counseling givenby an approved counseling provider. Debtors must provide complete financial information to allow our office to review and prepare the bankruptcy paperwork to be filed wiht the court. Debtors must also appear for one hearing before a bankruptcy trustee and complete a second course in financial management. Of course debtors must also pay the attorneys fees and filing fees required. Close
I’m ready to file for bankruptcy, what do I need?
Contact my office ASAP to make an appointment to discuss your options. Close
Ok – So what happens after bankruptcy?
Will I ever have credit again? Yes – you can rebuild it overtime. Close
How long will this stay on my credit report?
Approximately 10 years – but it should be of declining importance over time. Close
What if creditors contact me after the bankruptcy?
They are not supposed to – contact my office if you have any post-filing contact with creditors – they may be in violation of a federal injunction against attempts to collect a discharged debt. Close
Orange County Bankruptcy Attorney
Mr. Franco was very pleasant and professional.
Very smooth process. I especially appreciated I could do the doc review and signing on the same office visit.
I was extremely happy for all of the assistance in Chapter 7. Totally pleased Michael Franco in helping my wife and me.
This is the place to go if you have to declare bankruptcy. I recommend Michael Franco highly. Thank you all.
I would recommend Michael Franco to a friend because the law firm is efficient and professional. Michael lives and breathes the law.
Who Is Michael D. Franco?
Michael D. Franco began his legal career in 1995. He started as an associate at a large consumer bankruptcy firm, meeting clients and appearing before bankruptcy trustees and judges dozens of times per week. Five years and thousands of clients later he started his own practice. A significant percentage of his client base are referrals. Many former clients refer family and friends to his office – a reflection of their high level of satisfaction. Learn More
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Orange County, Riverside County, Los Angeles County, & San Bernardino County.We assist individuals, couples and businesses with Bankruptcy relief under the United States Bankruptcy Code throughout Orange County in all of the following cities: Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Dana Point, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Habra, La Palma, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Orange, Placentia, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, Stanton, Tustin, Villa Park, Westminster, and Yorba Linda.