Provided by the Bankruptcy Division of

Bankruptcy Facts

Video: The Discharge

Video Description: Debtors are usually able to discharge most or all of their debts. Once a debt is discharged, a creditor may not attempt to collect it from the debtor.

Running Time: (1:27)

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Welcome to the Bankruptcy Info Center Website!

joblessness grows

Considering bankruptcy can be a very emotional component to an already unpleasant financial situation. An ever-increasing number of Americans are finding it impossible to keep up with their expenses through no fault of their own. Whether you suffered a job loss, decrease in income, overwhelming medical expenses, disability, increased mortgage payment or simply got in over your head, you are not alone.

Economic Meltdown: How it impacts you.

Since the first half of 2006, the number of bankruptcy filings in California has increased nearly six times for the same period in 2009, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute. Not surprising when you consider that the unemployment rate has not seen double digits since the early 80’s along with the compounding real estate market and the ongoing sub-prime crises forcing families out of their homes.

Learn more about the Law Offices of Tobias M. Lester.
recession hits hard

What is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding where a person who is unable to pay their bills can eliminate some or all of their debt through a court order called a discharge. Federal law provides the right to file for bankruptcy, which is handled in a federal court. Filing immediately stops all of your creditors from seeking debt collection until the court rules on your case.

Since 2005, filing for bankruptcy has become more complicated for individuals and each district court has their own filing rules, but hiring an experienced Bay Area attorney will improve your chances for filing accurately. Check out our section for considerations on filing a bankruptcy without an attorney.

See our section on Bankruptcy Types to learn more.
housing crisis

We have compiled information useful in determining if bankruptcy is right for you. To learn more, see common areas of interest listed below:


Have questions about bankruptcy and the bankruptcy process?

See our section on Frequently Asked Questions.

Want to know how you should conduct yourself during a bankruptcy filing?

See our section on Bankruptcy Dos & Don’ts.

Are you considering whether to file bankruptcy with or without the assistance of an attorney?

See our section on Filing Without an Attorney.

Wonder what other non-bankruptcy options are available?

See our section on Non-bankruptcy Options.

Concerned about what to do about your credit after bankruptcy?

See our section on Credit After Bankruptcy.

Want to learn more about bankruptcy for individuals?

See our section on Personal Bankruptcy.

Want to learn if you should file bankruptcy for your business?

See our section on Bankruptcy for Businesses.

Want to compare the differences between a Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13?

See our chart on the differences between Chapter 7 vs Chapter 13.

Need to know more about the Means Test eligibility requirement?

See our section on the Means Test.

Want to know what assets you can keep in a Chapter 7 case?

See our chart on Exemptions.

Want to see how others rebounded after filing for bankruptcy?

See our section on Famous Filers.

Need more information like student loan information or credit counseling resources?

See our section on Additional Links for useful links to external websites.

Confused about what a bankruptcy term means?

See our section on Bankruptcy Terms for helpful definitions.

Want to know if you are being harassed by a debt collector?

See our section on Debt Collection FAQs.

Want to see videos explaining the bankruptcy process and other bankruptcy considerations?

See our section with Informational Videos.

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Our firm operates in SF and the East Bay Area with bankruptcy lawyers serving the greater San Francisco Bay Area's counties and their cities such as Alameda County: Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Dublin, Emeryville, Fremont, Hayward, Livermore, Newark, Oakland, Piedmont, Pleasanton, San Leandro, Union City; Contra Costa County: Antioch, Brentwood, Clayton, Concord, Danville, El Cerrito, Hercules, Lafayette, Martinez, Moraga, Oakley, Orinda, Pinole, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill, Richmond, San Pablo, San Ramon, Walnut Creek; San Francisco County: San Francisco; San Mateo County: Atherton, Belmont, Brisbane, Broadmoor, Burlingame, Colma, Daly City, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Half Moon Bay, Hillsboro, Menlo Park, Millbrae, Pacifica, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Mateo, South San Francisco, Woodside; Santa Clara County: Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose, Santa Clara, Saratoga, Sunnyvale; Solano County: Fairfield, Suisun, Vacaville, Dixon, Rio Vista, Benecia, Vallejo; Call our San Francisco bankruptcy attorney to have your individual needs evaluated with a free consutation at (415) 230-5365.