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Firm Overview

The focus of my practice is to assist individuals and small businesses to get the fresh start they need and rebuild their financial future.

I have been a solo practitioner for almost two years, after having worked for several large firms and gaining the necessary work experience to fully appreciate and understand the practice of law.

Example cases

The typical cases that I handle are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 individual consumer cases. I also handle Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy for small businesses. Most of my clients are hard-working individuals who do not have the income each month to repay their debts and obligations as a result of illness, unemployment or reduction in pay and hours. Many of the credit card companies are also increasing the interest rate and minimum monthly payments, creating a significant hardship on many families in San Diego.

Main Office

Main
1901 First Avenue
Suite 217B
San Diego  CA  92101

Phone
  • (619) 374-8360
Fax
  • (858) 348-2621

Fees

Free Initial Consultation?

I do provide free initial consultations.

Services Offered For Fixed Fees?

I charge a flat fee for Chapter 7 and 13 cases based on complexity of the case and whether there are business interests involved. For a Chapter 7 case, my fees range between $1,200 and $2,500. For a Chapter 13 case, my fees range between $2,800 and $3,300. For new clients mention Nolo, they will receive a 10% discount.

Hourly Rates

I do offer the option of consulting and analyzing a client's case to help determine whether bankruptcy is a good option for them, what the monthly repayment amount might be based on their income and expenses, and if it's a Chapter 13 case, at an hourly rate of $250. If the case proceeds to bankruptcy, the hourly fees charged will be applied as a credit towards the flat rate quoted above.

Office Information

Office Hours

Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Saturday by appointment.

Emergency After Hours

Yes

Languages Spoken

Spanish (by arrangement) and Mandarin Chinese.

Other Offices

  • San Diego
    11622 El Camino Real
    Suite 100
    San Diego,  CA  92130

How did your firm decide on the primary area of practice(s)?

I worked as a paralegal at a bankruptcy firm prior to becoming a lawyer and was already very familiar with the bankruptcy laws and procedures. After becoming an attorney, I also worked on several large business liquidation and reorganization cases while as an associate on rotation.

What is your firm's point of view regarding clients educating themselves on legal issues?

I think it's great when clients educate themselves on legal issues. However, there are so many published materials that reinforce misconceptions and information that is only partially correct. It's important to consult with an attorney so that any issues can be explained in greater detail and different options that may or may not be ideal can be explored, depending on the client's unique circumstances.

Is your firm willing to review documents prepared by clients?

I am willing to review documents prepared by clients.

Is your firm willing to coach clients who want to represent themselves?

I am happy to answer any questions a client might have, but the new bankruptcy laws are extremely complicated. There simply isn't an effective way to teach a client who has had no legal training to be aware of all of the legal issues and pitfalls that might exist when filing a bankruptcy case. I do not recommend for clients to represent themselves.

Cecilia Chen

Prior to becoming an attorney, I clerked for a busy bankruptcy firm working primarily on individual consumer bankruptcy cases as well as small business liquidation bankruptcy cases. I am particularly familiar with the local rules and procedures so that a client's case will not be unnecessarily delayed or dismissed.

I take the time to educate myself on new bankruptcy laws and procedures by attending education seminars relevant to bankruptcy as well as other topics that might be relevant to my clients. I also stay in touch with a great network of bankruptcy attorneys to exchange ideas and strategies, which in turn make me a better lawyer.

Each and every one of the cases I take on receives my individual attention. I am the one who personally does most of the work using the wealth of legal knowledge I have, while my assistant helps me with some of the more data entry work. I am also very accessible by phone and email.

Personal interests:

I enjoy traveling, running, and spending time with my family.

License
  • Bar Number: 250481
    California , 2007
  • Bar Number:
    Virginia , 2004
Education
  • American University Washington College of Law
    J.D. , 2004
    Washington, DC
  • Boston University School of Management
    B.S. , 2000
    Boston, MA

* Nolo has confirmed that every member attorney has a valid license and is in good standing with the state agency that licenses lawyers. Any past disbarments and suspensions (with possible exceptions for minor violations or nonpayment of dues, in our discretion) will be indicated accordingly in the badge. Member attorneys are required to notify Nolo immediately if they become the subject of any disciplinary action by any state licensing agency.

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