Cara O'Neill

Attorney

Cara O'Neill is a legal editor at Nolo, focusing on bankruptcy and small claims. She also maintains a bankruptcy practice at the Law Office of Cara O’Neill and teaches criminal law and legal ethics as an adjunct professor. Cara has been quoted in bankruptcy, finance, small claims, and litigation articles by news outlets that include USA Today, CNBC, U.S. News & World Report, Nerd Wallet, and Yahoo Finance.

Cara received her law degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, where she graduated a member of the Order of the Barristers—a highly-selective honor society that gives national recognition to top law school graduates demonstrating excellent skills in trial advocacy, oral advocacy, and brief writing.

Working at Nolo. Cara started writing for Nolo as a freelancer in 2014 and became a full-time legal editor in 2016. She has authored a number of Nolo self-help legal books, including How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, The New Bankruptcy, Everybody's Guide to Small Claims (national version), and Everybody's Guide to Small Claims in California. She also co-authors and edits Solve Your Money Troubles and Credit Repair and has written hundreds of articles for Nolo.com, Lawyers.com, TheBankruptcySite.org, and AllLaw.com.

Early legal career. Before joining Nolo, Cara spent 20 years working as a trial attorney litigating criminal and civil cases. She also served as an administrative law judge mediating disputes between auto manufacturers and dealerships and began teaching law as an adjunct professor in 2004. She added bankruptcy to her practice after the 2008 financial downturn.

Origins of litigation and writing career. Thanks to her mother, Cara’s advocacy training began early and involuntarily. In junior high school, she took second place two years running in the local Optimist Club speaking competition. She also successfully competed on her high school speech and debate team for several years, eventually serving as president of the same. During law school, she competed on a nationally ranked ABA moot court team for two years (and was recruited for a third, but declined) and served as a law journal editor.


Articles By Cara O'Neill

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: What Will It Cost and Will It Wipe Out My Debts?
We asked readers across the U.S. about their recent experiences with Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Here’s an overview of what they told us.
Will a Pending Lawsuit Go Away If I File for Bankruptcy?
Filing for bankruptcy will get rid of some, but not all, lawsuits.
What Debts Must I Continue to Pay During My Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you begin the process of obtaining a fresh financial start. That means you do not have to pay debts that are dischargeable in your bankruptcy, and should stop paying those debts once you have filed.
When Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Is Better Than Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
For some debtors, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a better option than Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Filing for Bankruptcy in Kentucky
In this complete guide to filing bankruptcy in Kentucky, you’ll learn about the differences between Chapters 7 and 13, the debts you can discharge, and the property you can keep using Kentucky’s exemption laws. It also explains how to qualify for bankruptcy chapters 7 and 13 in Kentucky, and includes checklists to help you navigate the process and organize bankruptcy documents, and links to a DIY bankruptcy quiz and other helpful resources.
What You Need to Know to File For Bankruptcy in 2021
When you are first considering filing for bankruptcy, it can be difficult to make sense of the bankruptcy process and the available options. Our bankruptcy guide can help you understand the bankruptcy process and learn to navigate the bankruptcy process successfully in 2021.
Filing for Bankruptcy in Missouri
In this complete guide to filing bankruptcy in Missouri, you’ll learn about the differences between Chapters 7 and 13, the debts you can discharge, and the property you can keep using Missouri’s exemption laws. It also explains how to qualify for bankruptcy chapters 7 and 13 in Missouri, and includes checklists to help you navigate the process and organize bankruptcy documents, and links to a DIY bankruptcy quiz and other helpful resources.
Filing for Bankruptcy in Michigan
In this complete guide to filing bankruptcy in Michigan, you’ll learn about the differences between Chapters 7 and 13, the debts you can discharge, and the property you can keep using Michigan’s exemption laws. It also explains how to qualify for bankruptcy chapters 7 and 13 in Michigan, and includes checklists to help you navigate the process and organize bankruptcy documents, and links to a DIY bankruptcy quiz and other helpful resources.
Filing for Bankruptcy in Maryland
In this complete guide to filing bankruptcy in Maryland, you’ll learn about the differences between Chapters 7 and 13, the debts you can discharge, and the property you can keep using Maryland’s exemption laws. It also explains how to qualify for bankruptcy chapters 7 and 13 in Maryland, and includes checklists to help you navigate the process and organize bankruptcy documents, and links to a DIY bankruptcy quiz and other helpful resources.
Filing for Bankruptcy in Maine
In this complete guide to filing bankruptcy in Maine, you’ll learn about the differences between Chapters 7 and 13, the debts you can discharge, and the property you can keep using Maine’s exemption laws. It also explains how to qualify for bankruptcy chapters 7 and 13 in Maine, and includes checklists to help you navigate the process and organize bankruptcy documents, and links to a DIY bankruptcy quiz and other helpful resources.