California Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy laws are federal based, but resources and filing requirements vary from state to state. This page covers California bankruptcy information.



If you need bankruptcy information for another state other than California, be sure to see the links to the left to find your state.





Bankruptcy Courts - Location and Contact Information

California bankruptcy courts are divided into four districts, which are further divided into several divisions. Generally, the debtor's county of residence will determine which district and division the bankruptcy petition is filed. It may also be determined by the location of the debtor's principal place of business or principal assets.



NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

Counties of Jurisdiction: Alameda, Contra Costa, Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa, San Benito, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Sonoma Counties

DIVISION STREET ADDRESS MAILING ADDRESS TELEPHONE
San
Francisco
Division
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
235 Pine Street
19th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
PO Box 7341
San Francisco, CA 94120
(415) 268-2300
Oakland
Division
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
1300 Clay Street
Oakland, CA 94612
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
PO Box 2070
Oakland, CA 94604
(510) 879-3600
Santa Rosa
Division
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
99 South "E" Street
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Same

(707) 525-8539
San Jose
Division
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
280 South First Street
Room 3035
San Jose, CA 95113-3099
Same
(408) 278-7500

You can also view this Northern District of California Bankruptcy Court information in map form.

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CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

Counties of Jurisdiction: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties

DIVISION STREET ADDRESS MAILING ADDRESS TELEPHONE
Los Angeles
Division
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
255 E. Temple Street
Room 940
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Same (213) 894-3118
Riverside
Division
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
3420 Twelfth Street
Riverside, CA 92501

Same (951) 774-1000
Santa Ana
Division
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
411 West Fourth Street
Santa Ana, CA 92701
Same
(714) 338-5300
Santa Barbara
Division
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
1415 State Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Same
(805) 884-4800
San Fernando
Valley Division
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
21041 Burbank Boulevard
Woodland Hills, CA 91367

Same (818) 587-2900

Link to Central District of California Bankruptcy Court Locations

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EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

Counties of Jurisdiction Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Lassen, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Modoc, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Yolo, and Yuba Counties

DIVISION STREET ADDRESS MAILING ADDRESS TELEPHONE
Sacramento
Division
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
501 I Street, Suite 3-200
Sacramento, CA 95814
Same (916) 930-4400 
Fresno
Division
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
2500 Tulare St., Suite 2501
Fresno, CA 93721
Same (559) 499-5800
Modesto
Division
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
1200 I Street, Suite 4
Modesto, CA 95354
Same
(209) 521-5160
Bakersfield
Division
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
1300 18th Street, Suite A
Bakersfield, CA 93301
NOTE: All documents
are filed in the
Fresno Division Office.
See Fresno

Official website for Eastern District of California United States Bankrupty Court

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SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

Counties of Jurisdiction: Imperial and San Diego Counties

DIVISION STREET ADDRESS MAILING ADDRESS TELEPHONE
San Diego
Division
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
325 West F Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Same (619) 557-5620

Southern District of California - U.S. Bankruptcy Court

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California Bankruptcy Laws and Exemptions

California Exemptions

The U.S. Bankruptcy Code allows individual debtors to exempt certain property from creditor claims based on exemptions under either federal law or state law. Exemptions vary from state to state. Some states have adopted their own set of bankruptcy exemptions that are used in place of the federal exemptions. However, other states give debtors an option to choose between either state or federal exemptions.

For California bankruptcy filings, state exemptions are used. There are two sets of law that debtors can select when filing a bankruptcy petition.

Click here for bankruptcy exemptions under "Set 1" of the California Code.

Click here for bankruptcy exemptions under "Set 2" of the California Code. (See Section 703.140)

Contact a California bankruptcy lawyer for more information regarding California bankruptcy exemptions.

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California Means Test

The bankruptcy laws enacted in 2005 also require that debtors pass a means test before filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. There are two ways to pass the means test:

1. the debtor's annual income (calculated using the average gross income for the six month period prior to filing) must be below the state median. Census Bureau statistics for state median income by family size can be found here (for cases filed between April 1, 2013 and April 30, 2013).

2. If income exceeds the median income, individuals may still file Chapter 7 bankruptcy based on results of Form 22A: Chapter 7 Statement of Current Monthly Income and Means-Test Calculation. .

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California Credit Counseling and Debtor Education Agencies

Pursuant to the new bankruptcy laws enacted in 2005, individuals who file personal bankruptcy (with limited exceptions) in California must:

1. take a credit counseling course from an approved California credit counseling provider within six months before filing bankruptcy; and

2. complete a debtor education course from an approved California debtor education agency prior to receiving a bankruptcy discharge.

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California Personal Bankruptcy Attorneys

To find California bankruptcy lawyers in your area, you may want to contact your local county bar association or the California State Bar Association:

San Francisco
180 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 538-2000
Los Angeles
1149 South Hill Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(213) 765-1000

Sacramento
1201 K Street
Suite 720
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 442-8018

Based on income, free bankruptcy advice and representation may also be obtained from the following organizations: See the Law Help California's website for a list of organizations that provide legal services to low income clients in California.

If you are concerned about the representation provided to you by a California bankruptcy attorney, contact:

Office of the Chief Trial Counsel/Intake
State Bar of California
1149 South Hill Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(800) 843-9053 Toll Free
(213) 765-1200

And you can also visit the California State Bar Association website for information on how to file a complaint.

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Additional Resources

U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California - administrative and procedural information for Northern District of California bankruptcy filings

U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California - administrative and procedural information for Central District of California bankruptcy filings

U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of California - administrative and procedural information for Eastern District of California bankruptcy filings

U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of California - administrative and procedural information for Southern District of California bankruptcy filings

Office of the U.S. Trustee for Region 17 - oversees the administration of Northern and Eastern Districts of California personal bankruptcy cases and case trustees

Office of the U.S. Trustee for Region 16 - oversees the administration of Central District of California personal bankruptcy cases and case trustees

Office of the U.S. Trustee for Region 15 - oversees the administration of Southern District of California personal bankruptcy cases and case trustees

California State Bar Association - information about the California bar, membership, ethics, continuing legal education, and resources for the public.

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