If you're still holding the bag on an income tax debt your ex-spouse drove up, and particularly if you don’t have the wherewithal to repay it, you might be in luck. It doesn’t matter if the tax bill is a result of an understatement of earnings tax on the return, or if it’s just an underpayment of the tax due at the time--you may have a chance of absolving yourself of the obligation for payment. But you’ll have to fight for it.
The IRS doesn’t care if you've got a valid divorce decree and a marital separation arrangement that declares your ex partner is responsible for all previous taxation liabilities—it simply wants to get paid. The IRS’ attitude is: fight it out with your ex, but we’re coming after you.
Just what is bankruptcy? Will it wipe away all my debts?
Bankruptcy is a federal court process created to assist consumers and companies eliminate their debts or repay them under the protection of the bankruptcy judge. Bankruptcies can generally be described as "liquidation" (Chapter 7) or "reorganization" (Chapter 13). Under a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you ask the bankruptcy judge to wipe out (release) the debts you owe. Under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you file a plan using the bankruptcy court proposing just how you'll repay your creditors. You must repay some debts in full; others may be repaid only partially or perhaps not at all, based on everything you can afford. For lots more information, see What's Bankruptcy?
Whenever you file either type of bankruptcy, a judge purchase called an "automatic stay" goes into result. The automated stay forbids most creditors from using any action to gather the debts you owe them unless the bankruptcy judge lifts the stay and lets the creditor continue with collections. For more information, see just how Bankruptcy Stops Your Creditors: The Automatic Stay.
Particular debts cannot be discharged in bankruptcy; you will continue steadily to owe them just as if you had never filed for bankruptcy. These debts consist of back kid support, alimony, and specific types of taxation debts. Student loans will not be discharged unless you can show that repaying the financial obligation would be an undue burden, which is an extremely tough standard to fulfill. And other types of debts might not be released if a creditor convinces the court that the debt should survive your bankruptcy. For lots more information, see exactly what Bankruptcy Can and Cannot Do.
DO I NEED A LAWYER TO FILE FOR BANKRUPTCY?
The bankruptcy legislation significantly changed in 2005, making information technology much more difficult to register for bankruptcy security. Although you are not lawfully required to have a lawyer file for bankruptcy, consulting with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer will assist you fully understand your choices and avoid potential pitfalls. For instance, failure to get credit counseling before filing or perhaps not providing certain papers to the Court and the Trustee timely will cause your instance to be dismissed. Other problems that could result include losing your house or other property you are attempting to protect, which you otherwise may have been able to protect had you sought out legal advice. There are a quantity of bankruptcy preparer services that advertise that they can prepare and register your petition for you, however, they're forbidden from giving legal advice and they cannot represent you when a problem develops. There are a quantity of pro bono services that may be in a position to help you if you qualify for free appropriate services.
San Deigo bankruptcy litigation attorney D.J. Rausa uses his knowledge and litigation skills in matters involving tax debts, child and spousal support enforcement actions and consumer bankruptcy. He appears on behalf of clients throughout San Diego and Imperial Counties, advocating for clients in cases involving:
A San Diego Bankruptcy Lawyer whoconcentrates his entire practice in Bankruptcy Law and can help you determine if filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is right for you. If you've already filed for bankruptcy in the past, a Chapter 20 combination or debt settlement program just might be right for you.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the reorganization of your debt rather than the discharge of debt that falls under Chapter 7. Clients who may not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy may recieve assistance from a San Diego chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney, D.J. Rausa in filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you are not eligable for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, this is usually due to income or your assets.
Bankruptcy Attorney Rausa gives much needed help to clients so they can arrange more time to repay some or all of their outstanding debts, and may be able to renegotiate a discount or reduction in the amount of debt they owe.
Bankruptcy attorney DJ Rausa has over 20 years of experience as a consumer lawyer and he is a pioneer in San Diego bankruptcy law. Being one of the first lawyers in the county of San Diego to help shape legal interpretations of recent federal law changes.
As a consumer, you have options on how to consolidate your loans. Rolling multiple debts into one lower-interest loan may save you a lot of money and make your debt much easier to manage. You should explore all your debt options. Get offers from various lenders for various types of debt consolidation programs. Use online debt consolidation calculators or learn from insightful articles on other debt solutions.
Debt Consolidation Loan Types
Home Equity Loan
Cash-out Mortgage Refinance
Credit Card with Balance Transfer
Consolidation Loan Advantages
May be able to lower your interest rate
Fewer payments to make each month
Fewer service charges
A variety of loan types to choose from
A typical bankruptcy candidate is a person who is already in fragile financial circumstances, often with great amounts of consumer debt, who then all of sudden faces a period of hard luck (loss of job, injury, divorce, uninsured medical expenses), which results in mounting payment penalties and an unpayable mountain of debt.
Bankruptcy law is created to help people who find themselves in this situation, who need assistance in making an escape from the walls of debt -- a "fresh start" on life, rather than spend the rest of their lives being crushed by the burden of unpayable debt.
There are 2 main types of bankruptcy for consumers:
Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows someone to eliminate the most unsecured debts in a matter of just a few months in return for giving up all of their "non-exempt" property.
Most people in debt who file for Chapter 7 may not be available to pay off unsecured debt creditors.
This is known as "no asset" bankruptcy, and most Chapter 7 bankruptcy are of this type.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy takes about 3 to 5 years. Rather than giving up property that you own, you may choose to repay a portion of your debts and live within a budget that is kept monitored closely by a bankruptcy court trustee. If you don't think you can manage required monthly payments, your Chapter 13 bankruptcy fails and your debt will remain (unless you convert to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy).