Wine Country Family Law & Bankruptcy Office, P.C.

File bankruptcy without leaving home! Free consultation

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Firm Overview

Our firm focuses on providing affordable Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy services for consumers and small business owners. We strive to provide our clients with a wealth of information so that they can make educated decisions regarding their financial future. Our firm is acutely aware that most people who are considering bankruptcy do not have an abundance of available funds at their disposal. We offer low flat fee bankruptcy services and offer flexible payment arrangements. Our office also realizes the tremendous stress that financial problems create. Most bankruptcy attorneys provide their clients with a huge stack of documents to complete in order to start their case. Rather than burdening our clients with voluminous documents to fill out, we utilize a user-friendly online questionnaire. If our clients prefer to save time and fuel expense, we offer bankruptcy filing with no office visits required. Typically, our clients only need to visit our office once in order to review and sign final documents. Of course, our clients are always welcome to visit our office by appointment or call/e-mail us anytime.

Wine Country Family Law & Bankruptcy Office was established in July of 2008.We are happy to serve clients from (but not limited to) Ukiah, Willits, Fort Bragg, Lakeport, Clearlake, Kelseyville, Middletown, Healdsburg, Windsor, Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Sebastopol, Petaluma, Novato, San Rafael, St. Helena, Calistoga, and Napa.

Example cases

The following example cases do not constitute a guarantee, warranty or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter:

SMALL BUSINESS OWNER BANKRUPTCY: My client ran a small business for several years but was struggling to stay afloat. I filed an individual Chapter 7 bankruptcy for my client who was able to save their business and personal assets and keep their business afloat. $163,000 in credit card and medical debts were discharged.

HOMEOWNERS FACING FORECLOSURE: My clients, a married working couple with three young children, filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy when they could no longer afford to pay both their first and second mortgages. Their mortgage was behind by nine months. They are now paying off their substantial mortgage arrears in their five year bankruptcy plan and are paying nothing to their unsecured creditors (credit card companies). In addition, their second mortgage lien of almost $200,000 was "stripped," turning the previously secured mortgage debt into an unsecured debt to which no money will be paid.

RECENTLY DIVORCED CLIENT: My client, a parent of two young children, incurred significant debt while restructuring their life after divorce. Although my client significantly downsized many aspects of their life, the outstanding debts were still too much to handle. I filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy for my client and discharged over $50,000 in unsecured debt while losing no assets.

CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY CLIENT: My client, a self-employed building contractor, came to me after suffering long months of little to no work in the construction trade. My client was no longer able to pay all of the bills while waiting for seasonal work to come in. I filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy for my client and wiped out $81,000 in credit card and repossessed vehicle debts. I was also able to negotiate a pay-off in exchange for the title on my client's car which had a secured debt of $2,500 and a Kelly Blue Book value of $4,500. My client received title to the vehicle for a mere $500!

RECENTLY WIDOWED CLIENT: My client's spouse passed away due to cancer a couple of months prior to contacting me. My client was unable to pay all of the creditors on the very limited income coming in. Creditors were harassing my client within days following my client's spouse's death. I filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy for my client which immediately stopped the phone calls from the creditors and allowed my client proper grieving time. $46,000 in credit card debt and medical bills were discharged.

CLIENT BEING SUED: My client came to me when it was apparent that the civil lawsuit filed against my client was not going to go away on its own. My unemployed client knew that paying the legal fees in order to defend such a suit was not an option. In addition, my client had substantial credit card and other bills that were not being paid. I filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy for my client. The civil suit against my client was dismissed due to the bankruptcy and my client discharged $12,000 in other unsecured debt.

RECENTLY LAID-OFF CIVIL SERVANT: My client, a long-time public safety worker was laid-off from what was once a very secure government job. My client had significant monthly obligations to meet based on the prior income. However, unemployment compensation was not enough to cover mounting debts. I filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy for my client and discharged $38,000 in credit card debt. My client retained the primary residence, along with two rental homes, cars, trucks, and motorcycles. My client was also able to transfer liability for co-signed adult children's loans to the co-debtor's only.

YOUNG, SINGLE PARENT WITH CAR REPOSSESION: My client, a young single parent who was a low wage earner, co-signed an auto loan for another person. The car was repossessed and the creditor was pursuing my client for the balance due. My client couldn't afford to have wages garnished to pay the debt while solely supporting a young child. I filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy for my client and wiped out $19,000 of credit card and auto loan debt.

SEPARATION FROM DOMESTIC PARTNER: My client recently suffered a job loss and then a break up with their partner. My client was unable to pay the credit card bills with unemployment income only. I filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy for my client and wiped out over $80,000 in unsecured debt.

BABY BOOMERS SUPPORTING LIVE-IN ADULT CHILDREN: My clients, a middle-aged couple, were the sole support of their two adult children and their grandchildren, while only one of my clients was employed. Over the course of several years, my clients ran up significant debt trying to support a household of nine. My clients were extremely stressed out over their family and financial situation. They decided to give up their house in bankruptcy and rent for much less than they were paying on their mortgages. As a result of my clients filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, one of the children and family found subsided housing elsewhere and the other adult child applied for governmental assistance in order to help with the household expenses. They are currently living rent and mortgage free in their house while the home surrender is pending. Over $75,000 in unsecured debt is due to be discharged soon. In addition, they won't be taxed for "forgiveness of debt income" on the first and second mortgage deficiencies like they might have been if the house foreclosed outside of bankruptcy.

SENIOR CITIZEN CLIENTS WHO TRIED "DEBT CONSOLIDATION": I am currently working on a Chapter 7 case where my clients paid over $32,000 in less than two years to a debt consolidation company and realized little to no "debt consolidation." My clients are retired with limited income and can no longer afford to pay such outrageous payments in an attempt to negotiate their debts. Although the debt consolidation company assured my clients that they would take care of the debts for them, the creditors were calling my clients non-stop and harassing them. My clients are frail and in failing health. They felt they had no other option but to file bankruptcy in order to protect their health and emotional well-being. I filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy for my clients and the creditor calls stopped. My clients report that their health has been improving ever since.

Main Office

Main
1480 Guerneville Rd.
Suite A
Santa Rosa  CA  95403

Phone
  • (707) 669-0841
Fax
  • (707) 669-0842

Fees

Free Initial Consultation?

Yes. The consultations usually range from 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Services Offered For Fixed Fees?

I have a flat-fee price range for bankruptcy cases. The amount charged depends on the complexities of the case and issues involved. My fees are not dependent on how much debt is involved. It primarily depends upon how much time I anticipate will be spent on the case. I am often told that my fees are much less than other attorneys in my area. A discount is offered for clients referred by Nolo. Flexible payment plans are available.

Hourly Rates

$230 (only applies for services outside of the scope of my flat-fee package. I rarely work on an hourly basis).

Office Information

Office Hours

Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Emergency After Hours

Yes

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

I began practicing bankruptcy law to supplement my Cloverdale family law practice. Often, divorce and bankruptcy go hand-in-hand. It seemed like adding bankruptcy law to my practice was a logical progression in my career. Much to my satisfaction, bankruptcy became my primary area of practice.

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

I appreciate and respect my clients' efforts in educating themselves on legal issues. I often email my clients with supplemental material relating to issues of particular interest to them if I feel that they will benefit from it. However, I do not expect my clients to conduct legal research on their own. If they want to, that's great. If they don't want to, that's okay too. After all, that's what they hired me to do.

Is your firm willing to review documents prepared by clients?

I always review documents prepared by my clients that relate to the case that they hired me to work on. However, my willingness to review documents for a person who is ultimately going to file bankruptcy without an attorney depends on my caseload at the time and the circumstances of the case.

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

I always prepare my clients on what to expect during the bankruptcy process. However, my willingness to "coach" a person who is ultimately going to file bankruptcy without an attorney depends on my caseload at the time and the circumstances of the case.

Lindsay R. Smith

Prior to establishing my firm, I worked for Sonoma County Department of Child Support Services in Santa Rosa from 1998 to 2006, first as a Child Support Officer and later as a law clerk (law student/attorney intern). I worked for the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department from 1997 to 1998. Prior to my governmental employment, I was employed in the finance/banking industry. I have been working since I was 14 1/2 years old.

While working for the Sonoma County Department of Child Support Services in Santa Rosa, I was in court constantly. This allowed me to quickly become comfortable arguing persuasively and effectively in front of large groups of people and to judges. I feel that growing up in a single-parent household allowed me to gain valuable insight as to how my clients feel who are facing financial problems. Also, as a divorced mother and a small business owner, I can relate well to many of my clients issues and concerns.

I tend to take a more casual approach to my interactions with my clients so that they feel at ease with me, despite their stressful situation. Most people seem to be intimidated by attorneys. I don't believe that I meet the "typical attorney" stereotype. I make great efforts to make sure that my clients are comfortable talking to me. I want my clients to feel welcome to ask any questions that they may have or bring up any of their concerns to me. I am also very thorough and detail-oriented. I feel that it is important to educate my potential clients regarding the different types of bankruptcies available and the process of each. I take the time necessary to properly inform my potential clients and to gather all the pertinent information during our first free consultation.

After consulting, potential clients often tell me that they learned a lot and that other bankruptcy attorneys did not address nearly as many important issues with them. It is my opinion that anything less than a half an hour consultation is a disservice to the potential client. If I feel that bankruptcy is not the best option for a person, I will advise them of such and try to offer other alternatives. I will never pressure my potential clients to sign a fee agreement. I typically mail or e-mail them a fee agreement after their consultation. I prefer that my clients take the time to properly read the agreement at home so that they know that there's no "hidden charges" lurking within it. The fee quoted in the agreement is valid for 60 days. It is the potential client's decision whether or not to file bankruptcy and whether or not to retain my services. I let them make these important decisions on their own time.

Wine Country Family Law & Bankruptcy Office is a LGBT friendly firm.

Personal interests:

Spending time with my loved ones, including my two boys, my "Chih-weiner" dog and cat, enjoying the beautiful Sonoma County outdoors (I'm a native), snowboarding, motorcycle riding, playing bass guitar in my son's band, listening to music, coaching youth sports, and learning new things.

License
  • Bar Number: 256363
    California , 2008
Education
  • William Howard Taft University
    Juris Doctorate , 2007
    Santa Ana, CA

* 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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