How to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in California?

The information and materials contained on this website are provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. While the information contained on this website is believed to be accurate, it is not guaranteed to be correct, complete, or up-to-date and you should not act or rely upon any information or materials on this website without seeking the advice of our licensed attorneys.

If you’re struggling to pay your bills and keep up with your creditors, you might feel like there’s no hope left. But bankruptcy is an option that could help you start over. In this article, we’ll explain how Chapter 7 bankruptcy works in California, including the eligibility requirements and how to file for bankruptcy protection.

Get credit counseling.

Before you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you’ll need to attend credit counseling. This requirement is in place for the benefit of your creditors and their ability to collect from you after your bankruptcy has been discharged. Credit counseling is also free and confidential and can be obtained through the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC).

During this meeting, an NFCC counselor will discuss with you all of your options for dealing with debt. This includes whether bankruptcy is right for you or not. The counselor will help clarify any questions about what effects filing will have on your credit score and how much it may cost if they are retained as a creditor while discharging other debts through means other than Chapter 7 bankruptcy

Determine if Chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for you.

  • You must meet the income requirements of a California Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
  • You have to pass the means test to file for Chapter 7.
  • Even if you pass the means test, you still have to be able to afford the payment plan that’s required in order to repay your creditors within three or five years.

File for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

In order to file for bankruptcy, you must first complete the following steps:

  • File a bankruptcy petition with the court that has jurisdiction over your case.
  • File with the US Trustee’s office.

Take a credit education course.

In order to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in California, you will have to take a credit counseling course.

These courses are required because they help people prepare for their bankruptcy by teaching them about budgeting, debt management and other concepts that will help them better manage their finances after filing. Credit counseling is also required for Chapter 13 filings. There are many different courses available online or in person at low cost. The program usually lasts between 3-4 hours and covers topics such as:

  • How credit cards work;
  • How banks make money from consumers;
  • What happens if you miss payments on your card or don’t pay off your balance each month;
  • How debt affects your credit rating;
  • Ways that you can reduce how much debt you have (such as getting rid of old accounts).

Get a discharge of debts.

  • A bankruptcy is a legal process that allows you to get rid of debts. It’s a last resort, and should be used only after you’ve exhausted all of your other options for debt relief.
  • Bankruptcy can be an effective way to eliminate debt if you are overwhelmed with it and don’t see any way out on your own, though there are some downsides as well:
  • Bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for seven or 10 years, depending on how many times you filed in the past
  • You may lose certain assets in the process (like cars), even if they’re not directly related to your debts

Bankruptcy can be difficult and scary, but it is also an option to consider.

Bankruptcy can be difficult and scary, but it is also an option to consider.

There are many benefits of filing for bankruptcy, including:

  • You’ll get a fresh start by erasing most of your debt. If you want to rebuild your credit, this is one way to do it.
  • It will stop creditors from harassing you about unpaid bills and garnished wages. Those who have been through the process say that creditors often stop calling after receiving notification of a bankruptcy filing.


Bankruptcy can be a great option for many people, but it is important to understand the process before you begin. Make sure that you are ready for the commitment and that bankruptcy is right for your situation. If so, there are steps you can take to get started on filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in California today!