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Ellen, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 36714
Experience:  25 years of experience helping people like you.
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I have been sued in a civil complaint by a former client and

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I have been sued in a civil complaint by a former client and family friend of mine. I used to have a small investment advisory firm. My business seized to exist, and I have no means left to consult with an attorney or retain legal representation. Currently, my wife supports us by paying for living expenses. We have a prenup but I am very frightened about how a judgment against me will affect her separate assets. Naturally, the situation has put enormous stress on us. Where can I get professional help? I have tried about a dozen or so legal services but they dismiss my plea stating that they represent either criminal cases or more standard cases such as bankruptcy or divorce. I am desperate. Thank you for any help!


Thank you for your question. You may want to consider a Chapter 7 bankruptcy without your wife.

A husband and wife are not required to file a bankruptcy jointly. One party can file without the other.

The effect on the non-filing spouse will be dependent upon whether there are joint debts and/or joint assets. If there are no joint debts and no joint assets, there may be little or no effect on the non-filing spouse. If there are joint debts and/or joint assets, the non-filing spouse would remain liable on the joint debt and the joint assets would need to be included in the filing.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX helpful although I am afraid it's the minor part of my problem.

I received summons about a week ago, and I cannot afford legal representation. I get rejected everywhere I turn. I don't know what to do in order to properly prepare for the trial. I don't know how to prepare my case. I don't know the implications of different scenarios/outcomes. I have never been in a courtroom before, let alone know how to argue my case. I am afraid they will just trample all over me.

There must be resources other than the ones I already tried? Would you know of any? Thank you so very much for your help!

Here is a site that may assist you in retaining legal counsel:

It may be almost impossible to find pro bono legal assistance for a business matter.

You can choose to file the bankruptcy on you own. Here is information regarding filing bankruptcy without a lawyer - click here. Here are the forms - click here.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy could immediately stop the lawsuit and discharge (erase) all of your unsecured debt such as credit cards, judgments and personal loans. It would be an opportunity for a fresh financial start. However, you may have to surrender assets, if any, that exceed your exemption.

Here are the exemptions for California:



Best wishes for a successful outcome. If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to submit them to me directly.

Thank you,
Ellen and other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you

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