Welker Law Offices

Protecting consumer rights and liberties.
Specializing in consumer bankruptcy.

Possible Reasons to File Bankruptcy:

  • To get a fresh start.
  • To eliminate credit card debt.
  • To stop foreclosure and save your home
  • To stop car repossession.
  • To stop creditor harassment.
  • To lower mortgage payments and car payments.
  • To stop wage garnishment.

The U.S. Constitution, in Article I, Section 8, provides Congress with the power to "establish uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcy throughout the United States." Using this power, Congress has passed laws to provide debtors a fresh start so they can resume having productive lives even after experiencing financial difficulty. Here at Welker Law Offices, we are dedicated to protecting the rights of consumer debtors through bankruptcy when appropriate.

Feel free to call us at (858) 376-7386 or email us at questions@welkerlawoffices.com if you have any questions about bankruptcy or if you want to schedule a free consultation. Or use the "Book Now" button at the bottom of our page to schedule an appointment.

David Welker

Hello! My name is David Welker. In 2006, I graduated from Harvard Law School and I recently opened a law office in San Diego. While there are many exciting areas of law, I have chosen to concentrate my practice in consumer bankruptcy because I want to help individuals and families solve stressful financial problems and help give them a fresh start. Also, I want to fight debt collectors who often engage in inappropriate and unprofessional tactics to collect debts. I am passionate about protecting individuals and families from such debt collectors and more importantly helping them figure out how to get organized and back on their feet financially. I believe it is important to provide personalized service and really get to know my client and their situation. Without the mutual trust and respect that can only come from developing a real relationship, it is impossible to provide the high quality service that you deserve. As a potential client, you have a lot of attorneys to choose from to represent you in bankruptcy. When you work with me, I promise to represent you with vigor and professionalism.

Before choosing to focus on consumer bankruptcy and representing debtors, I thought long and hard about how I could best make a positive impact on society. Unfortunately, in many practice areas, lawyers often end up increasing conflict and stress rather than decreasing it. In contrast, helping clients get a fresh financial start or otherwise deal with aggressive creditors or debt collectors is a great way to have a positive impact by decreasing the stress that my clients are facing while helping them increase their productivity and happiness.

One of the most important reasons to get a financial fresh start through bankruptcy or otherwise assert your rights against abusive creditors or debt collectors is to reduce stress so that you and your family can lead a more happy and more productive life. This is in addition to the more “concrete” benefits that such action can produce, including preventing creditors and debt collectors from levying your bank account, garnishing your wages, repossessing your car, foreclosing on your home, or wasting your time with endless harassing phone calls and collection letters.

The bottom-line is that our core mission is to address our client’s financial difficulties in order to reduce stress and give them a fresh start in life. In this way, we believe we will be playing our own small part in making the world a more positive place.

I know that one of the biggest concerns potential clients have is how much legal services will cost them. Many attorney's like to play "hide the ball" on this issue and will refuse to tell you their fee over the phone and will instead wait until you are "hooked" in their office to address this issue with you. I don't believe in this approach, as it merely causes more anxiety for clients who are already under financial stress. That is why I am upfront about fees. For a basic chapter 7 case, I charge $750 if a client earns less than $50,000 per year and $1250 otherwise. In addition, depending on your income, you probably will have to pay filing fees and other expenses:

Usual Costs for a Basic Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Attorney Fees $750-1250
Filing Fees $0-335
Pre-bankruptcy Counseling $0-10
Course on Financial Management $0-7
Credit Report $0-30
Total Cost: $750-1632
Payment Plan Available
If it is more convenient for you, you might want to take advantage of our payment plan. After making an initial payment of just $100, we will help you stop collection calls. This will give you some immediate relief, even while you make payments towards the cost of bankruptcy on your schedule.
What is bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding in which a person who is having financial difficulties can get a fresh start. All bankruptcy cases are handled in federal bankruptcy court. Filing for bankruptcy immediately stops all of your creditors from trying to collect debts from you, at least until your debts are sorted out according to the law.

How can filing bankruptcy help me?

Bankruptcy may enable you to:

  • Discharge your legal obligation to pay all or most of your debts. This enables you to get your financial life in order and gives you a fresh financial start.
  • Stop foreclosure of your home and allow you to make up missed payments. (Bankruptcy does not, however, automatically eliminate mortgages or liens on your home without payment.)
  • To eliminate second mortgages on a property you own and/or "cram down" a mortgage to the market value of your property if you owe more on the loan than the property is worth.
  • Prevent repossession of a car (or other property), and even force a creditor to return the car (or other property) after it has been repossessed.
  • Stop wage garnishment, court cases against you, and debt collection harrassment.
  • Restore or prevent the termination of utility service.
  • Provide you with an advantageous forum to challenge creditor claims who have committed fraud or are otherwise trying to collect more than you owe. Also, in some cases, bankruptcy court can be a very advantageous forum to hold debt collectors accountable who have engaged in illegal and abusive tactics in the process of trying to collect a debt.

Are there any courses required to file bankruptcy?
Yes. Except in very unusual circumstances, you must take a short pre-bankruptcy course and later post-filing course. We recommend the following providers to meet this requirements:
Pre-Filing: https://ccadvising.com/
Post-Filing: http://123debtor.com/

Both Pre-Filing and Post-Filing for Spanish-speaking Customers:
https://www.debtorcc.org/pre-filing-bankruptcy-credit-counseling.aspx

What are the limitations of bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy neither can cure every financial difficulty nor is it the right step for every individual. In general, bankruptcy cannot:

  • Eliminate certain rights of secured creditors. A creditor is secured if they have taken a mortgage or a lien on a property for a loan. Common examples include mortgages on a loan for a home or liens that are taken when you finance the purchase of a vehicle. While you can force secured creditors to take payments over time, you cannot keep secured property unless you pay all or some of the secured debt. However, if you are willing to give the property up, you may eliminate your personal liability on the debt.
  • Discharge most student loans, unless they are an "undue hardship."
  • Discharge most taxes.
  • Discharge child support, alimony, court restitution orders, or criminal fines.
  • Protect cosigners on your debts, unless you file chapter 13 bankruptcy.
  • Discharge any debts that arise after bankruptcy has been filed.
In general, because bankruptcy is not for everyone, it is usually a good idea to talk to an attorney to help you evaluate your individual circumstances.

How will filing bankrupty affect my credit?

While bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for 10 years, it will become less important over time within that period. It is a common misconception that you cannot reestablish your credit after bankruptcy. This is not true. In the long run, bankruptcy may even help improve your credit above what it is now by enabling you to get control of your finances. People who avoid dealing with their financial issues end up having worse credit for longer as negative items keep on appearing on their credit report and their debt utilization ratio remains high as they are in a debt trap from which they struggle to escape.

After I file chapter 7 bankrupty can I change my mind without consequences?

No. Before a debtor can dismiss a chapter 7 case, it is necessary to obtain the bankruptcy court's permission. Furthermore, even after a case is dismissed, the bankruptcy will remain on your credit report. A debtor generally should not file chapter 7 bankruptcy unless they are prepared to follow through with it.

January 16, 2016
Income Taxes and Bankruptcy
Generally speaking, to eliminate tax debt in bankruptcy, at least five requirements must be met.
  1. It must have been at least three years since the taxes were due, including any extensions.
  2. If you were late filing your tax return, it must be at least two years since you filed.
  3. If there have been any assessments of tax liability, for example, due to an audit or an amended return, it must have been at least 240 days since then.
  4. No event which would delay the timelines above have occurred. For example, the clock on these deadlines temporarily stops if you file for an offer in compromise with the IRS.
  5. No fraudulent return was filed and there was no attempt to evade taxes.
Situations where taxes are owed can get tricky. In such circumstances, it is generally advisable to get professional help. A mistake could be the difference between eliminating tax debts in bankruptcy or not.

Free Consultation

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a free consultation please call us at (858) 376-7386, email us at questions@welkerlawoffices.com, or use the form below to contact us.

We are a debt relief agency. In addition to other services, we help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.