Los Angeles Bankruptcy Lawyers, BAYER, WISHMAN & LEOTTA have 33 years of experience and represented about 15,000 clients.

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Firm Overview

We are Los Angeles Bankruptcy Lawyers, with 33 years of experience. We have represented about 15,000 clients, and provided free Los Angeles bankruptcy attorney legal consultions to approximately 30,000 other individuals. Mr. Bayer is a Nolo Author.

Why not read some useful bankruptcy advice? We recommend that you check out the "Ask Leon" column on Nolo's Bankruptcy Blog, at

Mr. Bayer's Nolo Author's Page is at:

Mr. Bayer authors the ASK LEON series on Nolo's Bankruptcy, Debt & Foreclosure blog, and writes on bankruptcy topics for Nolo's website. In addition, Mr. Bayer devotes a significant number of hours to volunteer legal services. The State Bar of California has commended Mr. Bayer for this work every year since 2004.

Please also see Mr. Bayer's NOLO AUTHOR PAGE at

Call now and talk for free to a Los Angeles Bankruptcy Lawyer who wants to talk to you! 800-477-3111.

Bayer, Wishman & Leotta are Los Angeles bankruptcy attorneys. We are bankruptcy specialists, and we only handle bankruptcy cases.

We are Certified Bankruptcy Specialists who bring experience, skill and creativity to the highly complex area of bankruptcy law. As experts, we are frequently called upon by the media, the California Bar and other associations to give opinions, provide insight and help educate new attorneys on bankruptcy and its changing laws.

Example cases

I accept representation only for Chapter 7 and 13 cases. I am not interested in accepting any other type of legal representation.

In my career I have handled approximately 10,000 bankruptcy cases.

ABOUT ME: Leon D. Bayer, Attorney at Law, has been practicing bankruptcy law in Los Angeles, California since 1979. His primary focus is on representing individuals and small businesses. He is a founding partner in the law firm of Bayer, Wishman & Leotta and is a Certified Specialist in Bankruptcy Law. You can visit his professional website at

Mr. Bayer authors the Ask Leon series on Nolo's Bankruptcy, Debt & Foreclosure blog, and writes on bankruptcy topics for Nolo's website. In addition, Mr. Bayer devotes a significant number of hours to volunteer legal services. The State Bar of California has commended Mr. Bayer for this work every year since 2004.

Mr. Bayer's professional affiliations and leadership roles are many, and include: President of the Los Angeles Bankruptcy Forum (1995-1996), member of the State Bar of California's Law Advisory Commission on Personal & Small Business Bankruptcy Law (1996-2000), and exam grader and question writer for the State Bar Legal Specialization test on Bankruptcy.

Mr. Bayer testifies in court as a legal expert in bankruptcy malpractice suits, and is a frequent lecturer on bankruptcy law. He has spoken at the former Bridging the Gap program for new lawyers, lectured on bankruptcy case law developments at a number of the State Bar of California Annual Meetings, and has presented bankruptcy law material at many other educational programs.

Mr. Bayer's frequent television appearances include interviews on KCAL9 News and EXTRA (where he weighs in on various celebrity bankruptcies). He has also served as a bankruptcy expert on many different radio shows and news stations, and is a frequent guest on KALW-FM public radio Your Legal Rights.

Mr. Bayers publications include:

The Essentials of Chapter 13, Daily Journal Report, December 18, 1987
Basic Bankruptcy, California Practice Handbook, Matthew Bender 1992, 1993 (contributing editor), and
Personal and Small Business Practice in California, CEB Bankruptcy Practice Guide, 2003 (reviewer and contributing author).
Main Office

1055 Wilshire Blvd.
Suite 1900
Los Angeles  CA  90017

  • (213) 629-8801
  • (310) 559-6909
  • (818) 997-8394
  • 213-629-8801
  • (213) 629-8802


Free Initial Consultation?

Please contact us today at 800-477-3111 for a free consultation.

Services Offered For Fixed Fees?

We provide a free consultation. A lawyer can't be more fair than that. I want you to come in, and get to know me. See if you feel that I can help you. Fees for the work you need are quoted in advance, on a "flat fee" basis after we see what you need. All of our clients are broke. They need to file bankruptcy. We know we have to charge fees that are reasonable, or else no one can pay them.

Hourly Rates

Negotiable. However, 99% of our cases are done as a flat fee.

Office Information

Office Hours

Monday through Friday
7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

After hours/emergency number is (310) 403-3220

Emergency After Hours


Languages Spoken

We have personnel who speak Spanish.

Other Offices

  • West Los Angeles
    3000 S. Robertson Blvd
    Suite 215
    Los Angeles,  CA  90034
  • Encino, CA
    16055 Ventura Blvd
    Suite 811
    Encino,  CA 
  • Long Beach
    4326 Atlantic Avenue
    Long Beach,  CA  90807
We understand debt problems very well, and we know how to fix them. Our firm has become a Los Angeles icon, famous for providing a safe harbor to people in debt trouble.

Each partner at Bayer, Wishman & Leotta has been specializing in bankruptcy law for more than 30 years.

Times are very tough. The price of every day essentials like food and gas are crazy, taxes will go up and take even more of your money, many homes are hopelessly under water, and it's so hard to find a decent job. It sounds bad, and it is. The result is that many American families have become saddled with difficult or impossible debts.

We have represented movie stars, professionals and working class people. Regardless of who you are, our fees are reasonable and often much lower than what inexperienced lawyers are trying to charge for the exact same work. We can even offer payment arrangements for most cases.

If you or someone you love is having debt problems, we would like to try and help that person. We have already helped approximately 45,000 people.
We do not recommend bankruptcy unless a person needs it.

We handle foreclosure problems.

We handle credit card debts, loans and medical bills.

We are Certified Bankruptcy Specialists by the State Bar of California.

We have a perfect "10" rating and invite you to check
our reputation at and

You can read our bankruptcy and debt advice column on

Our web sites are loaded with free advice, tip, and essential information for any person who has a debt issue, at:

Important notice required by Federal Law:
We are a debt relief agency pursuant to Federal Law §528 of Title 11 of the US Code. We provide legal assistance and help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

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

I worked my way through college and law school. I went to law school at night, and worked a full time day job. I come from a humble background. I was the first person in my family to graduate from college. When I was in college I actually worked as a bill collector. Most people that I contacted for debt collection were good, honest people who had suffered from misfortunes, such as illness or unemployment and that is why they could not pay. I was naturally attracted to bankruptcy because it was the best way I could provide real, objective help for people who deserve a break. I found enormous satisfaction in bankruptcy law from helping to solve someone's debt problem instead of being a debt collector and just making myself a part of his or her problem. As a lawyer, I will not represent debt collectors.

SPECIAL CONFIDENTIAL ADVICE TO YOUNG LAWYERS: Many people go into law because they want to make a lot of money. My advice for new lawyers who feel that way is keep the heck away from consumer bankruptcy. We don't need your kind. I don't know any lawyers who have gotten rich from this kind of law. You can make a decent living, and with hard work a few will get comfortable, but you will work very hard, 60 hours per week is normal, and you ain't gonna get rich. If you want the big bucks, do accident cases, corporate law for big business, and represent banks and Wall Street types (if you can stand them).

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

I particularly enjoy working with clients who have taken the time and trouble to educate themselves on the basic fundamentals of bankruptcy law. I find that clients who have done so will usually have the best appreciation of how much experience, knowledge and ability I bring to solving their problems.

Is your firm willing to review documents prepared by clients?

No, and here's why: Unless I have done the background work for myself to acquire the information that goes into a document, I have no way of knowing if the document itself contains legally correct information. For example, you can look at a beautiful plate of food that looks good, but this does not tell you how it is going to taste. It may taste awful. I can look at a legal document, and on the surface everything has been filled in, but how do I know that the information filled in is really correct or as good as it should be?

People who are not highly trained and experienced in bankruptcy law, (and this even includes some lawyers who have no business touching a bankruptcy case) are prone to making some absolutely horrible mistakes in their papers. Sometimes those mistakes can be fixed. Sometimes the mistakes are fatal to the case. If you have a toothache, you don't do your own oral surgery, I expect that you let a trained dentist fix you up. Enough said, (I hope) to convince you that a modern bankruptcy case, especially under the new law, is no longer a "do it yourselfer."

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

No. Many people are tempted to represent themselves. That's fine if you need to go to small claims court to fight with someone over a couple of hundred dollars. If you lose, it won't destroy your life. However, representing yourself may be a recipe for disaster if big money is at stake. The average person who files bankruptcy is seeking to discharge upwards of $25,000 or more of debt. Sometimes it is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you make a mistake, your bankruptcy may be denied, and your life may literally be ruined if that happens to you. Unless you are a trained attorney with successful experience in this field, you simply can not bring to the table the same level of analytical skill and experience that I can provide you with. Cases that used to be a "simple" bankruptcy under the old law are now a "SOB" under the new law. A modern bankruptcy case, especially under the new law, is no longer a "do it yourselfer."

Leon Bayer

Formerly an attorney and partner at Slate & Leoni APC, Los Angles, California from 1980 to 1989. Literally handled thousands of bankruptcy cases, and eventually responsible for supervising other courtroom attorneys and large staff of clerical personnel. A practicing attorney since 1979, Mr. Bayer is a founding partner in the law firm of Bayer, Wishman & Leotta (1989) and is a Certified Specialist, Consumer and Small Business Bankruptcy Law, by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.

I have almost 30 years of constant, daily bankruptcy law experience. Even though it seems like I have already heard everything, I never stop listening to what my clients tell me. Each person who comes to me has his or her own unique problem. I often can apply my knowledge and experience to get somebody through a bankruptcy case when other lawyers have told the client that it was hopeless to try. This has happened many times.

I want to hear you out, and find out from you, in your own words, about the problems you have and how you would like to see them handled. After that I will give you my own analysis, telling you in a straight-forward style what I think can be done for you.

Personal interests:

I am an avid reader. I am particularly interested in the history of World War 2. I have been married for 32 years to the love of my life.

  • Bar Number: 89027
    California , 1979
  • University of LaVerne College of Law
    J.D. , 1979
    Ontario, CA
  • California State University, Northridge
    B.A. , 1975
    Northridge, CA

Jeffrey Wishman

Mr. Wishman is a founding partner in the law firm of Bayer, Wishman & Leotta (1989) and is a Certified Specialist in Consumer & Small Business Bankruptcy Law, by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.

Member of the Los Angeles Bankruptcy Forum and National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys.

Instructor on bankruptcy at the Santa Monica College Paralegal School, 1987-1989

Florida State University (B.A. in Accounting, 1977), Southwestern University School of Law (J.D., 1980). A practicing attorney

Admitted to the Bar:
1980. California; United States District Court for Central District of California; Northern District of California.

Contributing Editor to the Legal Assistance, Practice Handbook, Practicing Law Institute, 1986-1991

Professional Education System Bankruptcy Procedures in the Central District of California, 1990

Practicing Law Institute Workshop for Legal Assistance in Bankruptcy, 1982-1989 (Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago)

Community Financial Resource Center Workshop, "Is Bankruptcy The Solution To Your Debt Problem?", 1995

Matthew Bender "Emerging Issues In Consumer Bankruptcy", 1997

National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney Convention (Law Practice Management), 1997

Los Angeles County Bar Association "Public Debtor Assistance Program", 1998

The Lawyers Club of Los Angeles' "Bridging The Gap", 1999-2002

U.S. Trustee program on "Post Confirmation Issues in Chapter 13 Cases", 2002.

Marcus Tiggs

MARCUS G. TIGGS: Admitted to the California Bar and United States District Court, Central, Eastern, Northern and Central Districts of California; U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit in 1989. Mr Tiggs

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Attorney Jeff Wishman Explains Bankruptcy