The California Bankruptcy Court system is divided into several districts, with offices located throughout the state. For the individual or business considering bankruptcy, they provide documentation on services and consultations available.Consumers can also access a dictionary of bankruptcy terms, a comparison of Chapter 7 versus 13, credit and budget calculators, and a list of California exemptions. Depending on your district, court information, fees and trustees are also listed. There are local rules that may apply to each district in bankruptcy cases. These rules and amendments are available for you as well as the standing Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 guidelines.
Produced in cooperation with the Department of Justice’s U.S. Trustee Program, the California Bankruptcy Court system provides the Federal Trade Commission document, “Before You File for Personal Bankruptcy”.Created specifically for the consumer, it provides information about credit counseling and debtor education. Originally created in accordance with the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, it lists organizations approved and certified for credit counseling and debtor education course providers.The completion of a credit counseling session is required before bankruptcy can be filed.After the bankruptcy is filed, a debtor education course must be completed before discharge.
The California Bankruptcy Court can provide a list of approved credit counseling agencies. The United States Trustee Program is responsible for their oversight and these agencies must abide by stringent rules. They are reviewed periodically to ensure they are fully informed and have implemented the most recent guidelines. However, it is wise for you to do some research before selecting an organization that meets your needs. Some questions to ask include, what services do you offer? What are your fees? What training have your counselors received and what qualifications do they have? How do you keep my personal information confidential and secure?
The California Bankruptcy Court has also made closed cases available to the public. Reviewing Chapter 7, 11 or 13 cases, may help you make the final decision to file for bankruptcy, or not. Navigating the court system can be difficult and overwhelming. Engaging the assistance of an attorney is recommended. However, if you decide to file for bankruptcy on your own, the court does have a kit containing instructions, documents, and forms necessary to file for bankruptcy. In addition, there are free clinics whose services are sponsored by non-profit organizations and various law firms throughout each month. Check local listings for more information.