10th Anniversary Celebration of the Bankruptcy Self-Help Center

A great night celebrating the Central District’s Woodland Hills Bankruptcy Self-Help Center at Ca Del Sol in Toluca Lake.  After being introduced by Hon. Carlos R. Moreno, Former California Supreme Court Justice, the Hon. Maureen A. Tighe received the Access To Justice Award for her contributions and continued support of the pro-bono clinic and assistance with making sure people get help when they can’t afford a lawyer.   Yours truly was also presented with a token of appreciation for his … Continued

U.S. Bankruptcy Court – Honor Roll

Neil Bhartia’s work towards pro-bono bankruptcy work was recognized today at Southwestern Law School where the US Bankruptcy Court held its annual appreciation day for those who contribute to pro-se Debtors.  Attorney Bhartia was presented a certificate of appreciation by the Chief Judge for the Central District of California Bankruptcy Courts. 

How to Hire a Great Business Lawyer?

Written by Arleen Atienza This article was originally published on UpCounsel. A good foundation is crucial in starting any business and one of the pillars that keep a business stout and upright is a great business lawyer. As a business owner, you want to allot your focus and energy in running and growing the business while someone else is on top of understanding the legalities that surround the business. Just how crucial is it to have an attorney right at … Continued

Where Do I File For Bankruptcy?

Filing for bankruptcy is a federal matter, therefore your case would be filed in federal Court.  Be careful though; it’s not as simple as driving down to the nearest Federal Courthouse and filing your case.  Specifically, you have to file your case at the Bankruptcy Court which in some cases are not located in the same Federal Court where other Federal cases are filed. The other important thing to know is that each state is divided into districts.  If you … Continued

California Bankruptcy Exemptions as of August 2017

Please note that the California exemption statutes below are as of August 2017.  They do change periodically so please consult with a bankruptcy professional (such as me), or go online to the bankruptcy court website prior to relying on any numbers in case they’ve changed. When you file bankruptcy, the laws in California allow you to protect or “exempt” certain assets up to certain amounts.  Keep in mind that if you’re not able to protect certain assets using applicable laws, … Continued

Auto Accident Claims: Not As Easy As You Think

  Recently I have been meeting more and more clients who have come to me to resolve their automobile accident claim after they have already tried doing it on their own.  In every case, they had gone into it thinking “why pay a lawyer for something I can do on my own?”  In every case, they had done things to materially damage their case, and ultimately their settlements.  For those that had already settled their cases but decided to consult … Continued

Do I File For Bankruptcy or Divorce First?

Do I File for Bankruptcy or Divorce First? Are you ready to file for bankruptcy? Is a divorce filing also looming on the horizon? Getting this right all comes down to timing. This critical factor will play a role in whether you file bankruptcy or divorce first. Please continue reading to find out if you should file for divorce before or after a bankruptcy filing. Divorce and Bankruptcy: How Do They Affect One Another? Generally speaking, going through the bankruptcy … Continued

What To Look For When Screening a Tenant in Los Angeles

Let me start by saying the following is not written as legal advice, whatsoever. I write this as a casual observer who has witnessed many landlords suffer over the years due to their own kindness and naivety. I write this to hopefully help landlords who are new to the game, figure out how to properly screen tenants so they don’t find themselves in a world of trouble by letting the wrong person into their property. For those of you that … Continued

The L.A. Paradox

Do you want to know what makes Los Angeles the coolest city in North America?  Nothing is ever your fault.  Or anyone else’s fault, for that matter.  Did you drive drunk and go the wrong direction down a one way street, only to hit someone?  It’s their fault for not having seen you first and moving out of the way.  Did you crash into someone because you were you too busy texting your friend to pay attention to the road?  … Continued


I often have clients that come through our office asking about the option of debt settlement or debt consolidation to avoid filing a bankruptcy.  While the intent is noble, there can be many pitfalls that you are not aware of when trying to either negotiate down your debt, or alternatively, contract with a debt consolidation company to remedy your debt. Let me cut right to the chase in discussing the potential problems with each of these “solutions”.   Debt Settlement … Continued