Asaph Abrams Attorney at law

San Diego Bankruptcy

San Diego bankruptcy lawyer

(Hopefully) Helpful Links

My blog

Updated often.  For opinion beyond the scope of (or too indulgent for) this informational site.   

Median Income

Check if you earn below our state’s median income. If you earn equal to or below the median, then you are presumptively eligible for a chapter 7.  If you earn above the median, you can still file a chapter 7 if: you have little or no disposable income OR most of your debt is from your business.  Exceptions apply.

Statutes and Rules

Legal Information Institute 

Cornell University Law School’s legal database is the most user-friendly as it hyperlinks cross-referenced statutes.  Hence, the Ithaca, NY institution is venerated by paper salesmen and lawyers alike.  

Chapter 7

Chapter 13

On the automatic stay, which suspends all adverse creditor actions against the debtor.

On debtor’s duties

Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure

California Code of Civil Procedure (on exemptions)

Scroll down to Part 2, Title 9, Division 2, Chapter 4 (or CTRL + F and enter “exemptions”).

Dollar amounts are adjusted every three years here

Check back in April 2010 for the next update.

Bankruptcy Court

Our Bankruptcy Court’s Local Rules

Fee Schedules

A primer published by the Court


Bankruptcy cases can be appealed to the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (BAP) or to the District Court.  The next stop is the Court of Appeals.  After that: the U.S. Supreme Court.  Court opinions guide our representation, so we may avoid unnecessary litigation.  We seek swift financial recovery for you.


District Court 

Court of Appeals

Supreme Court

United States Trustee

It is the branch of the Department of Justice that oversees bankruptcy in our country.  Our region’s U.S. Trustee’s responsibilities include audits of bankruptcy petitioners.  If that should happen, it’d be a good time to have an advocate at your side.

Panel/Standing Trustees

In turn, private attorneys, also called trustees are appointed to oversee the actual administration of your case.  These individuals will conduct the brief, but formal interview at the Title 11, section 341(a) meeting of creditors.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)

In full 

In short 

Both Federal and State law address the phenomenon of creditor harassment.  However, the prescribed rules often get violated.  As does the consumer’s dignity and privacy.  Unfortunately, the FDCPA has a dull set of chompers.  Bankruptcy has some canines that would put Bill the Vampire, Lestat and even old Dracula to shame.  Those bankruptcy teeth put a true and permanent stop to aggressive and relentless creditor callers.  There are lots of different ways to describe harassment.  But one four-letter word sums it up for me: r-u-d-e.  There’s a simple rudeness in the collection process that you do not have to tolerate.  There is help out there. 

On “dead collectors” see my March 5, 2009 blog entry.

Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act

This Congressional Act provides certain protections from payment of capital gains tax pursuant to foreclosure.

On Cancellation of Debt

Canceled debt is considered “income,”  which translates into a potential tax obligation.  This fairly-friendly IRS Publication describes the means of escaping such liability.

There is limited protection upon proof of insolvency and comprehensive protection through bankruptcy.

Credit Counseling

Within 180 days before you file for bankruptcy, legislation requires you obtain a certificate for completion of a “credit counseling” course.  The course will suggest alternatives to bankruptcy, however you may accept or decline such alternatives at your discretion.  

Course rates don’t vary much, but they do vary.  Our office will provide a referral for a discounted attorney rate.  


Real Property

The value of your home can mean the difference between whether you should file a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 case.  

Online appraisals including Zillow and Cyberhomes are based upon comparative market values. 

We would advise if an actual appraisal is necessary and refer you to a certified appraiser.

Personal Property

Vehicles and other personal property must be valued within your bankruptcy petition.  The starting point for vehicle valuations are the sites: NADA and/or the Blue Book.

For other personal property, you may consult vendor listings for items of like quality, like this little company from my hometown of San Jose.

Just don’t start shopping, while you’re there. . ..  Oddly enough, it was the pictured person on our highest denomination who intoned “a penny saved is a penny earned.”   Perhaps the bankruptcy corollary is “debt canceled is money earned.”  Though, through bankruptcy, it won’t be considered an earning by the IRS.  Please read What Not to Do (before bankruptcy) on the imperative to forestall further incurrence of debt. 


This marvel of a site reminds me of the quandary of that tree falling in the forest.  If Wikipedia hasn’t written of it, does it really exist?

To discuss your particular situation, please call (858) 344-0500 to schedule your free consultation.

San Diego bankruptcy attorney