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The Law Offices of Dennis R. Wheeler specializes in preparing and filing personal and small business bankruptcy for clients in San Francisco and the Bay Area under Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code.  We have considerable experience in this area and have many satisfied clients who have achieved their fresh financial start.  It is always our goal to apply our experience to providing the highest level of personal service to each individual client.


If you are struggling to make ends meet, have more debt than you can handle, or maybe your home or car is at risk, call our office today to schedule a free initial consultation.  Let us help you understand the debt relief options that are available, both in and outside of bankruptcy.

Empower yourself with information—then you make the choice.  Your fresh financial start is just a phone call away.

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Unsecured creditors frequently file lawsuits against people when they are unable to pay a debt.  In so doing, the creditor is seeking a judgment of the court declaring that the person owes them a monetary debt.  They need a court judgment before they can take advantage of available legal processes for collecting a judgment.  These processes include actions to seize the person’s assets, such as money held in a bank account, and perhaps the most prevalent and harmful process:  a wage garnishment action.  

The process normally proceeds as follows.  The creditor files a lawsuit in state court, usually in the county where you live, asking the court for a judgment that you owe them a debt.  They then serve you with a summons and complaint.  The summons and complaint demands that you file an answer to the complaint within 30 days of being served, or risk a default judgment.  If you do not file an answer, the creditor obtains a default judgment after the expiration of the 30-day period.  Once they have this default judgment, they can then invoke further legal processes to collect, such as wage garnishment or seizing the funds held in your bank account.

Bankruptcy Can Help

Bankruptcy is not the only way to handle this problem.  If you believe the creditor is wrong you can defend the lawsuit in court.  You will have to answer the lawsuit and explain to the court why you do not owe the debt.  You can also contact the creditor and attempt to negotiate a settlement of their claim.

Chances are however, that you do owe the debt, and since you were unable to pay the creditor previously, you still do not have sufficient funds to offer them a settlement that they would accept.  If this is your situation, bankruptcy can help.

No matter the stage of the process, whether you have just been served with the summons and complaint, whether your employer has just been served with a wage garnishment order, or whether you have been living under a wage garnishment order for some time, filing a bankruptcy proceeding will halt the process immediately.  Once your bankruptcy is complete, and the debt is discharged, the creditor will be forever prevented from resuming any legal process to collect the debt.

We Can Help

If you have a creditor who is using the legal process to collect a debt from you, you should consider the bankruptcy option.  Don’t ignore the problem.  Instead, determine to take advantage of the legal process that is available to YOU—the bankruptcy process.  Bankruptcy is there to help people who are caught in just this circumstance.  Call my office today for a free, no-obligation consultation, and learn how you can free yourself from aggressive collection tactics such as lawsuits, levies, and wage garnishment.