“We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.”  Over 37 Years representing clients with Bankruptcy in Orange County.

2015 Bankruptcy Forms Overview

Most Official Bankruptcy Forms were replaced on December 1, 2015 with substantially revised, reformatted and renumbered versions.  The new forms are now accessible on the Forms page to download or view them, click here.  To access the revised Court Manual, click here.

To view the Forms Number Conversion chart, click here.  To access additional information about the new forms, including Committee Notes, click here

This video presentation highlights and reviews form changes.

Filing Bankruptcy is one way to obtain a judicial determination of which assets of a debtor can and can not be executed to enforce a judgment (or, in the case of bankruptcy, any claim, even if not yet reduced to a judgment).

There are several types of Bankruptcy proceedings

CHAPTER 7 (Liquidation):
Non-exempt assets (see exemptions) of a debtor may be sold (liquidated) for the benefit of creditors. In most individual cases all of the debtors assets would be exempt from liquidation. This is a “No Asset” case.

CHAPTER 13 (Adjustment of Debts–Individual):
The debtor proposes a plan, requiring Court approval (confirmation), whereby the debtor submits a budget, together with a plan (Wage-earner plan) proposing how they will use their best efforts to apply non-essential income to paying down their debts. There are several requirements which must be met before a Chapter 13 Plan will be confirmed by the Court.

CHAPTER 11 (Reorganization of Debts–Individual):
While Chapter 11 was written primarily with business entities in mind, it may be utilized in some circumstances for individuals, however this is extremely infrequent.  

The goal of any type of personal bankruptcy (for an individual) is a FRESH START FINANCIALLY. This is achieved through the Bankruptcy Code by a discharge of their debts.

A “Discharge” simply means that those debts affected would become unenforceable by those creditors to whom those debts were owed.

Unenforceable means that those creditors are prohibited from using any method to collect upon those debts [phone calls, letters, lawsuits] or from enforcing judgments they may already have [taking wages, bank accounts, liens, etc.]. Such activities or procedures which have already begun would be stopped by the bankruptcy, and those done recently may be set aside or reversed.

Certain debts are not dischargeable:
1. Certain Taxes
2. Debts which were fraudulently incurred.
3. Creditor not notified in time to file a claim (if such a claim would otherwise result in a disbursement to that creditor)
4. Alimony/Child Support
5. Debts agreed to be paid in the course of a divorce
6. Debts incurred through intentional wrong doings.
7. Criminal fines and penalties (including restitution).
8. Most Student Loans
9. Certain Liabilities incurred while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
10. Debts not discharged in a prior Bankruptcy.

The debtor will receive a discharge of dischargeable debts at the end of the case (about five months after filing for Chapter 7; at completion of the plan for Chapter 13, usually 36 months).

Bankruptcy protection starts immediately, this is called the “automatic stay”. The automatic stay serves two purposes.

1. It immediately protects the debtor from ALL activities of creditors. This gives the debtor some “breathing room”.

2. It also protects the creditors from each other — by preventing a first-come-first-serve attack on the assets, if any, of the estate; and promotes an orderly distribution of those assets, if any.

Before taking any action against a debtor or a debtor’s assets after a petition is filed a creditor must first obtain permission from the Court — called “Relief from Stay”. This relief is granted only after request by the creditor made by filing a “Motion for Relief from the Automatic Stay”.

When you file for Bankruptcy protection under any of the chapters available to individuals, you will immediately stop not only creditor calls and letters, but will also stay pending or threatened lawsuits, real-property foreclosure proceedings –including sale, repossessions of automobiles and other secured property, wage garnishments, and IRS and State Tax levies

There are generally two types of debts incurred by
individuals: secured and unsecured.

Secured creditors may have rights to repossess some asset belonging to the debtors pledged as collateral or security for their extension of credit.

Unsecured creditors have no other recourse than to obtain a judgment against the debtor and enforce that judgment. For example, credit cards, loans, hospital and medical bills, even legal bills and accident liability in most cases.

It is possible that an unsecured debt can become secured if a creditor obtains a judgment lien.

Some such liens may be set aside by the debtor during the pendency of their bankruptcy case by filing a motion.

It is also possible that a secured debt becomes unsecured upon loss or destruction of the collateral.

Debts may be partially secured and partially unsecured.

Unless otherwise non-dischargeable, unsecured debts will be discharged at the conclusion of the bankruptcy case.

Property subject to a valid security interest may be redeemed by the debtor by payment of an agreed price, or surrendered back to the creditor with no further obligation by the debtor, or the debt may be reaffirmed by the debtor if such reaffirmation will not subject the debtor to undue financial hardship.
The Bankruptcy Panel Trustee who is appointed to the case will examine the debtor’s estate to determine if there are any assets available for liquidation in a Chapter 7 and/or income available for plan-confirmation in a Chapter 13.

In a Chapter 7 case the trustee may liquidate (sell) assets belonging to the debtor which are not “exempt” from such liquidation.

While Bankruptcy is Federal Law, Congress has left it up to the States to determine what residents of that state may keep even though they have filed a bankruptcy petition — that is, exempt from sale. California has two sets of exemptions to choose from.

Before filing a petition in Bankruptcy it is very important to select which set of exemptions best protects those assets held by the debtor. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Kaufman & Kaufman will analyze your case and determine which set of exemptions best protects your property from sale by the trustee.

In most cases we are able to incorporate exemptions which will protect all of a debtors assets.

Some pre-bankruptcy planning regarding exemptions is


The law firm of Kaufman & Kaufman helps individuals, families, and businesses in Orange County who need legal assistance with bankruptcy.  Our family firm has been located in Central Orange County across from the Orange County Bankruptcy Court for 30 years.  Our Orange County, CA clients are quite happy to be represented by their own attorney from start-to-finish during their entire bankruptcy case.  At the Orange County bankruptcy law firm of Kaufman & Kaufman located in Santa Ana, CA, we have helped people get their financial freedom back for over 30 years. We are among the best Orange County Bankruptcy Lawyers, who provide dedicated hands-on service throughout the duration of your Orange County bankruptcy process in Santa Ana. At our Orange County office, a Bankruptcy Attorney will explain both bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy options that are available to you, helping you to establish a plan that protects you from your creditors, fits your budget, your time, and protects your rights throughout the entire process.  We are conveniently located across from the Bankruptcy court in Santa Ana.  Please call us to set an appointment for a FREE CONSULTATION DIRECTLY WITH THE ATTORNEY WHO WILL REPRESENT YOU THROUGHOUT YOUR CASE.  WE DO NOT USE PARALEGALS.  WE DO NOT USE CONTRACT ATTORNEYS.  Below are Ten Common Reason why people file Bankruptcy in Orange County, CA.   We can stop wage garnishments.  We can stop foreclosures.  We can stop enforcement of judgments.  We can stop attachments.  We can stop lawsuits.  We can stop repossessions.  WE CAN STOP CREDITORS.

Why Us!

Ten Common Reasons People File Bankruptcy

1.  Fresh Start from declined business

2.  Fresh Start from too much credit card debt

3.  Stop Foreclosure on home or business property.

4.  Stop Repossession of car or other property

5.  Freedom from high medical bills.

6.  Discharge debts from lost job or unemployment

7.  Stop Creditor Harassment:  calls, threats, lawsuits

8.   Divorce:  While the old adage “two can live as
     cheaply as one” is often true, so is the opposite,
     when a couple splits up, the combined cost of
  living can often double.

9.  Stop Wage Garnishment; other enforcement of judgments

10.  Thwart Creditor Fraud or Identity Theft


Get creditors off your back and get a fresh start. 

We assist with Bankruptcy services for clients throughout Orange County in all of the following cities:
Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Dana Point, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Habra, La Palma, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Orange, Placentia, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, Stanton, Tustin, Villa Park, Westminster, and Yorba Linda.

7 Reasons to retain Law Offices of Kaufman & Kaufman

1.   FIRST WE LISTEN We offer a FREE CONSULTATION where you can meet confidentially with your attorney to discuss your individual situation.  You will receive personalized attention to discuss both  non-bankruptcy and bankruptcy procedures to address your particular needs.

2.   NO PARALEGALS.  You will be represented by an experienced attorney — over 28 years of BankruptcyExperience.  WE DO NOT USE PARALEGALS!

3.   FLAT FEE.  We charge one reasonable fee – start to finish.  NO HIDDEN FEES –– ALL CHARGES UP FRONT.

4.   NO CONTRACT LAWYERS.  You will be represented by one experienced attorney through your entire case. WE DO NOT USE CONTRACT LAWYERS FOR YOUR HEARING!

5.   CONVENIENT OFFICE LOCATION — We are centrally located in the Orange County Civic Center, across from the Bankruptcy Court.  Easy access from anywhere in OC.6.   FAMILY FIRM–  We have been a family practice for over 30 years.  We are not a faceless firm to you, and you are not “just another file” to us.

  7.   START TO FINISH REPRESENTATION — We monitor your case from start to finish, so important deadlines are all met on time


  Les Kaufman is a member The James T. King Bankruptcy Inn of Court

                                                    Dedicated to fostering excellence, professionalism, ethics, civility, and legal…

We assist with Bankruptcy services for clients throughout Orange County in all of the following cities: Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Dana Point, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Habra, La Palma, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Orange, Placentia, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, Stanton, Tustin, Villa Park, Westminster, and Yorba Linda USE OF THIS WEB SITE IS SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

The content of Kaufman & Kaufman’s Web site is not legal advice or legal opinion and should not be relied upon for individual situations. Legal counsel should be consulted for legal planning and advice. No lawyer-client relationship with Kaufman & Kaufman will be formed, and no information you want to keep confidential should be disclosed – through e-mail links or otherwise – to Kaufman & Kaufman, until the firm has conducted a “conflicts check” and you and the firm have signed a retainer agreement or an engagement letter.

Kaufman & Kaufman maintains offices in Santa Ana, California. Kaufman & Kaufman does not practice or offer legal services in jurisdictions where firm lawyers are not licensed. Additional information on jurisdictions where Kaufman & Kaufman lawyers are admitted to practice can be found in the Meet the Attorneys section of the Web site.

Questions about this site should be directed to Kaufman & Kaufman in writing.