Frequently Asked Questions

D.J. Rausa

D.J. Rausa

With over 21 years of experience as a consumer bankruptcy attorney, D.J. Rausa stays on the cutting edge of Bankruptcy and Student Loan Law which enables him to provide vital information to his clients.


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San Diego Foreclosure Lawyer

San Diego foreclosure lawyer D.J. Rausa works closely with clients to stop foreclosures and provide relief from other real estate debt challenges.

Circumstances That May Lead to Foreclosure

Clients who are facing foreclosure are frequently victims of unforeseen circumstances. They may have suffered a serious illness and been unable to work. The house may have required essential and expensive repairs. They may have been victimized by predatory lenders. They may have borrowed money against a home that is now worth less than they owe. San Diego foreclosure attorney Rausa can help stop foreclosure proceedings and give clients a chance to address their financial problems.

Learn More About Foreclosure – Contact a San Diego Foreclosure Attorney

To learn about your options in foreclosure, schedule a free consultation with foreclosure attorney Rausa. Call toll free at (619)295-3322.

Alternatives to Foreclosure

When a bankruptcy filing is completed (usually a Chapter 13), foreclosure proceedings can stop. Creditor harassment - including threatening notices - also stop, giving you time to get back on track.

Contact Us for Foreclosure Options in San Diego County

If you are facing foreclosure on your home, talk with a lawyer who can advise you on your options. San Diego foreclosure attorney D.J. Rausa can help you determine what is best for you. Contact him to schedule a free consultation. Call toll free at (619)295-3322.

Free initial consultation * Available 24 hours a day * Evening and weekend appointments possible

Divorce and Domestic Support Obligations

Divorce and Domestic Support Obligations are determined under state law. Typically, where there is a state support or divorce court order, a bankruptcy court will not disrupt the state court order.

Divorce Proceedings:

The filing of a bankruptcy does not automatically stop a proceeding in divorce court from continuing. Only under certain circumstances will a bankruptcy proceeding impact a divorce proceeding.

A Divorce Court will make preliminary and final orders with respect to visitation, marital status, division of property and debt, and support obligations, such as child and spousal support.

Support Orders:

Once support orders are made, they will remain in effect until they are complete or changed by the divorce court. A Bankruptcy Court will not modify support orders.

Delinquent or back domestic support orders can be addressed in a bankruptcy. The support order that is owed is a non dischargeable debt, but a repayment schedule of that debt can be crafted in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.

Contact Us to Learn About Your Options

If you pay support, you may be able to seek a modification to the original support order. If you receive support, you may seek an enforcement action to collect back payments and to ensure future support.

Attorney Rausa can also discuss the options that apply to very specific circumstances. Whether you pay or receive domestic support, he can advise you about your situation and discuss the best approach to take. Contact him toll free at (619)295-3322.

Free initial consultation * Available 24 hours a day * Evening and weekend appointments possible

Do I Qualify for Bankruptcy?

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, the first question you should ask yourself is: do I qualify for bankruptcy? Attorney D.J. Rausa can help you determine the answer to that question and whether bankruptcy is right for you.

San Diego personal bankruptcy lawyer D.J. Rausa has developed a law practice focused exclusively on helping individuals and families find debt relief. His arguments in several California courts have influenced bankruptcy case law and he is regionally known as a lecturer on bankruptcy law. Contact him today to speak to learn about your options.

Individuals and families may be eligible to file for bankruptcy under two chapters of the federal Bankruptcy Code: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

Do I Qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy eliminates most consumer debt and provides individuals and families with a "fresh start." However, Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection is not available for everyone.

To file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7, you must pass a financial means test. If your income is less than the median income in California, you likely qualify for Chapter 7. If it is higher than the median income, you may still qualify if, over the next five years, your disposable income (your gross income minus allowed expenses) will be less than $11,725*, or less than 25 percent* of your nonpriority unsecured debt (such as credit cards).

It does not matter if you have extensive debt or if you are solvent or insolvent. The means test is the only financial requirement that you must meet to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Do I Qualify for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is available to many individuals who do not qualify under Chapter 7. Chapter 13 bankruptcy does not discharge all bankruptcy debt. Rather, it makes paying back debts more manageable through a debt repayment plan.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy relief is available for any individual with less than $360,475* of unsecured debt and less than $1,081,400* of secured debt.

When Can't I File for Bankruptcy?

You may not file for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy if:

  • Within the last 180 days, a prior bankruptcy proceeding was dismissed because of your actions
  • You refused credit counseling from an appropriate credit counseling agency

Contact a Mission Valley File Chapter 7 or 13 Bankruptcy Lawyer

  1. Contact a San Diego personal bankruptcy lawyer toll free(619)295-3322. Schedule a free initial consultation during regular business hours, or evenings and weekends by appointment.

Free Initial Consultation * Available for Evening and Weekend Appointments

*The financial numbers on this page change over time.

San Diego Debt Negotiation and Reorganization Attorney

Filing for bankruptcy is not for everyone. Bankruptcy attorney D.J. Rausa helps clients negotiate with their creditors to reduce or reorganize their debts outside of the bankruptcy process. With over 20 years of experience as a California consumer bankruptcy attorney, D.J. Rausa is an assertive negotiator. He has handled countless debt negotiations and reorganizations for clients throughout California.

To learn more, schedule a free consultation with a San Diego debt negotiation and reorganization lawyer.

Why Do I Need an Attorney?

Many individuals attempt to negotiate with their creditors on their own. However, they often find themselves up against a wall. Creditors are much more likely to respond to an attorney's call. They are also more likely to agree to a better settlement when an lawyer is present at the negotiation table.

For the best results with debt negotiation and reorganization, you need an advocate who knows the system. Attorney D.J. Rausa knows creditors, knows the law, and knows what to do to get results. When you have extensive debts and would like to protect your family's assets, turn to him.

Debt Workouts and Debt Consolidation

In the best cases, a debtor will be able to negotiate a permanent reduction in the debt he or she owes a creditor. Known as a debt workout, creditors often agree to debt reduction if a debtor would be able to remove the debt completely in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

In other cases, the creditor will negotiate a debt consolidation with the debtor. Debt consolidation allows the creditor and debtor to reorganize debt through extended payment plans.

Attorney Rausa has experience successfully negotiating debt workouts and debt consolidation plans for individuals with overwhelming debt. When you want relief from credit card debt, home mortgage payments, medical bills, court judgments and more, attorney Rausa can help.

When Is Bankruptcy a Better Debt Relief Option?

While debt reorganization is a promising option for many individuals, it can also lead to consequences, such as higher taxes. In some cases, the creditor may not be willing to reorganize or consolidate debt. D.J. Rausa can help you understand all of your options for debt relief, including determining whether you can and should file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Contact a Kearny Mesa Credit Card Relief Lawyer

  1. Contact a debt negotiation and reorganization lawyer toll free(619)295-3322. Consultations are available by appointment during regular business hours. Evening and Saturday appointments are also available.

Free Initial Consultations * Available Evening and Weekend Appointments

San Diego Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer

Being in over your head in debt is frightening. Job loss, a serious illness, and the inability to work can all lead to financial strain. The combination of difficult circumstances such as these and the constant harassment from debt collectors leaves many people anxious and wondering where to turn.

San Diego chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney D.J. Rausa is dedicated to helping consumers who are overwhelmed by debt. He helps them make a fresh start through Chapter 7 bankruptcy while explaining the process and addressing any concerns along the way. To discuss your financial situation and debt relief options, contact us today.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Options

Not everyone qualifies for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. Chapter 7 will allow you to eliminate most consumer debt and make a fresh start. D.J. Rausa can help you determine if you qualify for Chapter 7. If not, you an still file Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

San Diego chapter 7 attorney Rausa has the knowledge and experience to advise you throughout the process. He files the paperwork as soon as all critical information is obtained, ensuring you find timely relief to your financial stresses. He also assures that you fully understand all fees involved, including the sliding fee scale.

Stopping the Creditor Calls

When you are in financial difficulty, creditors call at all hours. They may threaten you with wage garnishment, repossession of your car or foreclosure on your house. Attorney Rausa can make those calls stop immediately by filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Then you can focus on your future, not on your past.

Life After Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

When you work through a bankruptcy and come out with your credit restored, you can be confident in your financial future. Contact us to learn how to make this dream a reality. Call toll free at (619)295-3322 to schedule a free initial consultation with a San Diego chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer.

Free initial consultation * Available 24 hours a day * Evening and weekend appointments possible

San Diego Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a reorganization of debt rather than the discharge of debt possible under Chapter 7. Clients who do not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can get assistance from San Diego chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney D.J. Rausa in filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Ineligibility for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is usually due to income or assets.

Attorney Rausa helps clients arrange more time to repay some or all of their debts, and may be able to negotiate a discount or reduction in the amount of debt owed.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in San Diego

D.J. Rausa assists clients who find themselves facing financial difficulties due to foreclosures, tax debt, student loans and child support. Contact him to see if Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be an option for you.

About Chapter 13 Debt Consolidation

In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, clients can consolidate their debt into a manageable payment plan — a single payment each month to the bankruptcy trustee. Chapter 13 can provide debt relief from:


Legal fees for Chapter 13 debt reorganization are established by the federal court and are based upon the recommendation of the United States trustee. Chapter 13 bankruptcy clients pay fees through the reorganization plan payment to the court. Chapter 13 clients typically pay only the court filing fee to attorney Rausa to begin Chapter 13 proceedings.

Contact Us to Start Over

Contact us in San Diego by calling toll free at (619)295-3322. During your free initial consultation, you can discuss your goals, concerns and financial situation with an experienced San Diego Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer.

Free initial consultation * Available 24 hours a day * Evening and weekend appointments possible

San Diego Bankruptcy Litigation Attorney

Bankruptcy filings can lead to disputes that require litigation to resolve. San Diego bankruptcy litigation attorney D.J. Rausa works hard to help clients avoid litigation, but is always willing to fight for their rights to make a financial fresh start. D.J. Rausa is an experienced bankruptcy litigator who has handled many disputes in court and through negotiation.

Contact us at (619)295-3322 to discuss your situation.

Examples of Bankruptcy Disputes

Bankruptcy litigation lawyer Rausa has successfully represented clients in disputes involving:

Contact Us

D.J. Rausa, has been appearing in court and at the negotiating table for over 20 years as a bankruptcy litigation attorney in San Diego. Contact him for representation in the San Diego area by calling toll free at (619)295-3322.

Free initial consultation * Available 24 hours a day * Evening and weekend appointments possible

free-advice-btnAre you struggling under the weight of a student loan? You’re not alone.

Student loan debt cripples many student loan borrowers, including recent graduates. Many leave college with thousands of dollars in student loans. Even with a steady job, it can be difficult to meet student loan repayment obligations. Others struggle for years in an attempt to manage the student loan debt.

Attorney D.J. Rausa is committed to helping clients develop a payment plan they can manage. He can also determine if a student loan might cause the debtor "undue hardship." This can be used as an exception to the student loan repayment requirements.

In San Diego, attorney D.J. Rausa helps clients obtain relief from student loan debt. He has more than 20 years of experience. He is committed to making sure everyone has a chance to obtain student loan debt relief. Contact us for help addressing your student loan concerns.

Types of Student Loan Debt

Students may have received federal student loans or loans from private companies – many students use a combination of both to get through school.

Many students have also turned to parents, grandparents or others to either take out the loan or co-sign for it. Either way, this makes the parent a student loan borrower.

Federal Student Loans:

Because so many students have gotten in over their heads with excessive student loan debt, the federal government has developed a whole host of options available to address Federal Student Loans. These types of loans are subject to programs offered by the U.S. Department of Education.

To find out what Federal Student Loans you have, go to the National Student Loan Data System,, to get your report. This report contains vital information in evaluating what the next step will be to address your Federal Student Loans. If a student loan is not on this report, chances are the loan is a private student loan.

Once this information is reviewed, Attorney D.J. Rausa will be able to determine what the best options are.

Private Student Loans:

Private Student Loans are NOT subject to any Federal Student Loan Program. Therefore, they have to be addressed in a completely different manner.

Options for Private Student Loans are very limited, however Attorney D.J. Rausa may be able to negotiate favorable terms of repayment. The factors widely vary from lender, servicer, and collection agency. Therefore the results also vary.

If favorable terms cannot be reached, then a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is an option that can be exercised to force the Private Student Loan lenders to accept an affordable payment.

Bankruptcy and Student Loans

There is a common misperception that once you take out a student loan, you are obligated to pay it all back no matter what. This is not entirely true. While some student loan debt may not be discharged through bankruptcy, The Law Offices of D.J. Rausa may have ideas to help you reduce or discharge your debt.

However, it is important to note that the process of discharging student loan debt differs from the process of discharging other types of debt and will require a detailed analysis of the type of student loan as well as the history of the loans.

Student loan debts are not automatically discharged through Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The Chapter 13 bankruptcy process can be used to restructure your student loans into a more manageable monthly payment. Attorney Rausa offers comprehensive Chapter 13 bankruptcy solutions to help you set up a payment plan to pay down your debt, including your student loans.

Chapter 13 repayment plan can last for as long as five years. Attorney Rausa will develop a feasible plan for you in order that some percentage of all your debt is paid. During the pendency of your case, you will be protected from any and all collection activity; this includes the IRS and any student loan collection agencies or servicers.

Discharging Student Loans: Proving Undue Hardship

Sometimes student loans can be forgiven when the borrower is shown to have endured “undue hardship,” such as:

  • Disability preventing your ability to work
  • Fixed income with no possibility of a salary increase
  • Family issues preventing you from earning a living
  • Totality of your financial circumstances

Attorney Rausa is prepared to address all of your questions regarding undue hardship.

Find out more about these related topics:

Contact a San Diego Lawyer

Contact us by e-mail or call toll free at (619)295-3322 to see if you qualify for the hardship exception, or if reorganizing your payment plan is a better option. A free initial consultation is available with an experienced San Diego student loan debt relief lawyer.

Free Initial Consultation * Available Evening and Weekend Appointments

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

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Thank you DJ!

I had no idea where to start with my bankruptcy and process. After my first meeting with DJ I felt confident that things were going to go well. He helped guide me through the entire process and time. 

He's very professional and courteous, thorough and extremely knowledgeable. 

I would recommend anyone that needs a bankruptcy lawyer/ student loans. 

Don't have a second thought when choosing DJ Rausa!

Posted by a client - February 15, 2016

AVVO Lawyer Rating is Superb!

Respected Legal Source

D.J. Rausa interviewed by the Wall Street Journal for article on Bankruptcy and Student Loan Debt.

D.J. Rausa is recognized as a legal expert in Student Loan Debt Resolution and the associated Bankruptcy Laws.

Read what D.J. recently told The Wall Street Journal regarding the probable rise in Student Loan Debt Resolution through Bankruptcy.

Client Testimonial

To whom it may concern,
Mr. Rausa is extremely knowledgeable with the complexities of Federal Student Loans.
I went from a thriving career to full medical disability, ending with an SSDI placement. Unfortunately, I lost everything and became unable to continue making the student loan payments, so it was in deferment for over five years. When the SSDI settled I tried to negotiate an affordable payment plan with the loan holders but they refused my efforts, instead demanding over twice the amount I could afford.
I contacted Mr. Rausa and found him to be courteous, responsive and quick to assess my situation. He was sure he could help and took time to answer all questions, which relieved much anxiety. Within months he successfully resolved the debt! With much confidence, I highly recommend Mr. Rausa.
Please contact me if you have any additional questions.
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