You may have seen ads for California Debt Relief Org or you are just considering debt relief in general due to a financial hardship.
You are in the right place.
The purpose of this article is to help you understand the legitimacy of debt relief in California . The best way to gauge the legitimacy of a program might be to consider online reviews. However, you may find that there are not many reviews covering California debt relief. That said, we found some interesting insights. Here’s what we'll cover:
Now, if you are struggling with debt and wondering what to do next, we built a free, unbiased debt options comparison calculator (not even an email address is required) that provides a wide range of debt options that may be able to fit your budget. Please note that the calculator is based on your zip code, so it covers Los Angeles to San Diego, and the entire state of California.
California debt relief is an organization that links debtors with other debt settlement companies. Or, it is a financial hardship option when you cannot afford your debt.
Debt relief is a broader term, which refers to getting assistance to help with your debt. Here’s the various debt relief options:
Please note that many people consider California when they are facing a hardship such as California wage garnishment or a debt collection lawsuit or something that is forcing them to consider their options. Also, you may be curious how popular the bankruptcy option is. In California, there were 45,831 bankruptcy cases filed in 12 months ending in June 2021.
California Debt Relief is a company that refers customers to debt settlement companies. Therefore, you don't sign up with them directly. You will be signing up with the company they recommend you to. Here’s a picture that you may be familiar with:
It appears that California debt relief org often refer customers to ClearOne Advantage, so it’s important to understand the fees that you will be paying through the company that it recommends you to.
Finder states that ClearOne Advantage usually charges 25% of enrolled debt, which is quite high. If you opt to use our calculator, you will note the debt settlement companies we recommend charge between 15 and 18% of the enrolled debt, which can help you save thousands of dollars.
California Debt Relief Org is part of Envoy Media Group, which does have a BBB page with 2 reviews, and there’s a review on Finder for one of the state debt relief articles that mentioned getting calls over 20 times in a single day.
What can be helpful is to consider the reviews of who California refers you to. For example, if you are referred to ClearOne Advantage, you may look for ClearOne Advantages reviews that we cover extensively in an article.
The cost of California debt relief is one of the most important things to consider because you are looking for debt relief.
At Ascend, we believe that debt relief may be a good option, but it’s only in the context of understanding all of your options and understanding the cost of that option. This is exactly why we built a free debt relief cost comparison calculator below that helps you compare the cost of debt relief, debt management, bankruptcy, and debt payoff planning. It’s 100% free, and doesn’t even require an email address.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often the cheapest and fastest California debt relief option, but you often have to qualify using the California bankruptcy means test, which is based on your income, household size, and state. If it’s helpful, here are the income limits for bankruptcy cases filed on or after November 1, 2023.
|# of People
From using the calculator, you will notice that the cost to file bankruptcy in California is $313 for a Chapter 13 and $338 for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You may notice that does not include attorney fees though. Attorney fees may vary depending on where you live. For example, the Chapter 7 attorney fees are estimated at $1,500 in Los Angeles vs $2,000 in San Jose. For Chapter 13 bankruptcy in California the estimated attorney fee is $3300 - $4800.
You may also see that you are at risk of losing assets such as your home or vehicle if you have too much equity in a vehicle. To protect these assets, you can look at the California bankruptcy exemptions. For example, you can see the homestead exemption information below (source):
"New Language as of January 1, 2021: Gavin Newsome signed into law the Assembly Bill CA 1885 that passed on September 18, 2020, the updated language: 704.730. (a) The amount of the homestead exemption is the greater of the following: (1) The countywide median sale price for a single-family home in the calendar year prior to the calendar year in which the judgment debtor claims the exemption, not to exceed six hundred thousand dollars ($600,000). (2) Three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000). (b) The amounts specified in this section shall adjust annually for inflation, beginning on January 1, 2022, based on the change in the annual California Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers for the prior fiscal year, published by the Department of Industrial Relations."
For debt management in California, you’ll see the estimated monthly payment driven by potential interest rates reduction. Debt management is often most helpful if you have high interest credit cards.
For debt settlement, you’ll notice an estimated fee amount and an estimated settlement amount as the companies are trying to negotiate amounts (from say $10,000 to $5,000).
Many people are looking for emergency debt relief in California, which could be a form of COVID relief. Please note that many of these programs have now ended with the exception that student debt payments that has a final extension until December 31st, 2022.
If a company is promising you California emergency debt relief, please do your research to make sure that they are not just trying to pitch to you a debt relief program with high fees.
Many people in California experience hardship that requires some sort of debt relief. Thankfully, there are legal debt relief options such as bankruptcy in California to help you get relief from your debt and a fresh start.
In California, you may also find legal aid options helpful that can help you get the help you need at a lower cost.
Please note that not everyone qualifies for free legal aid. If you are at or below the California poverty guidelines, you potentially could also have your bankruptcy filing fee waived. Below are the California poverty guidelines.
|# of People
|150% Poverty Guideline
|* Add $5,380 for each individual in excess of 9.
Finally, let’s cover some of the pros and cons of debt relief in California. You can find this list of pros and cons in our debt relief calculator results as well.
Pursuing debt relief in California is ultimately your decision and you know your finances best. For example, are you living in San Diego and seeing that your rent is going to continue to rise? Are you facing inflation pressures from living in Los Angeles and trying to live on a California minimum wage of $14.00 per hour?
What you can do (if helpful) is take the free California debt relief calculator below that can help you estimate the costs and pros and cons of each of your options.