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Leon Bayer
Works at Bayer, Wishman & Leotta
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Los Angeles Bankruptcy Lawyer with 35 years of experience. Certified Bankruptcy Specialist by State Bar of CA.
Leon Bayer is a Los Angeles Bankruptcy Attorney with offices in Los Angeles, Long Beach and Encino.
I am a founding partner in the Los Angeles bankruptcy law firm of Bayer, Wishman & Leotta at 888 S. Figueroa Street, Suite 1970, Los Angeles, California 90017 . Together with Jeff Wishman, we have passionately and successfully represented individuals and commercial clients in bankruptcy proceedings for over 30 years in more than 15,000 cases. That's all that we do.
We are State Bar Certified Bankruptcy Specialists who bring experience, skill and creativity to the highly complex area of Los Angeles bankruptcy law representation. As experts, we are frequently called upon by the media, the California Bar and other associations to give opinions, provide insight and help educate new attorneys on bankruptcy and its changing laws. Up to date information and planning strategies can be found on our Blog at and our Human Guide To Bankruptcy at and in our articles for the National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees at:
CALL: 800-477-3111

A practicing attorney since 1979, Mr. Bayer is a founding partner in the law firm of Bayer, Wishman & Leotta (1989) and is a Certified Specialist, Consumer and Small Business Bankruptcy Law, by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.

Product Details

"The Essentials of Chapter 13," Daily Journal Report, December 18, 1987

Contributing Editor, Basic Bankruptcy, California Practice Handbook, Matthew Bender 1992, 1993

Reviewer for CEB on a bankruptcy practice guide now in progress.

Mr. Bayer is a frequent law lecturer, including programs on recent developments in bankruptcy law at the State Bar of California Annual Meeting, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989; and Bridging the Gap, Los Angeles County Bar Association and the Daily Journal Corporation, 1999, 2000, and 2001.
  • President, 1995-1996 of the Los Angeles Bankruptcy Forum
  • Member-Los Angeles County Bar Association Committee on Commercial Law & Bankruptcy, 1988
  • Law Advisory Commission-Personal & Small Business Bankruptcy
  • Law of the State Bar of California, 1996-2000
  • Mr. Bayer is frequently sought out for interview on television, radio and newspaper.

Always get expert help. Bankruptcy is too complicated for you to jump into this without getting expert help. Many people do try file on their own, without an attorney. However, many of the “do it yourselfers” will make serious, costly mistakes that could have been avoided by an experienced bankruptcy law expert.

The laws are very complicated. The laws and rules governing bankruptcy cases are extremely complex. The purpose of this Guide is to offer you a simplified basic understanding of consumer bankruptcy laws. Self help books, and non-lawyers calling themselves paralegals or legal document preparers are no substitute for having the help of someone with the legal training, experience and analytical ability that only an experienced bankruptcy attorney can bring to your case.

Consult an attorney . Any person considering the possibility of seeking bankruptcy relief should first consult with a knowledgeable attorney who specializes in this field. Many people will hurt themselves and make costly legal mistakes by going into a bankruptcy case without an attorney, or by retaining an attorney who is not a specialist - mistakes which an expert may have easily avoided. Often, these mistakes are irreversible, and may result in the loss of your property and sometimes even result in the denial of the bankruptcy.

Caveat: Bankruptcy is an absolutely incredible legal remedy for people with debt trouble. It really can give a fresh start, if you play by the rules! However, inexperienced people can't help but trip over the maze of those rules and regulations.

Legal Snapshot: A Quick Overview

How bankruptcy works. Bankruptcy begins with the filing a Petition in the Federal bankruptcy court, seeking relief under one of the various chapters of the Bankruptcy Code. As soon as the Petition is filed, the bankruptcy law imposes an automatic stay, which operates as a restraining order against the creditors. In most cases this stops bill collectors from bothering you, lawsuits, foreclosures, even the IRS, and it creates a cooling off period while the court system sorts things out. When a bankruptcy is successfully completed, the court issues a discharge. A discharge is a permanent order from the court enjoining creditors from trying ever again to collect on a debt that has been discharged.


Don’t get discouraged. This is a “simplified guide”, and we have tried to keep it that way. In the interest of presenting a basic overview, we have chosen to skip certain complex details that are still important to legal professionals and to the courts. Don’t be disappointed if you don’t always “get it.” Some of the concepts discussed in this Guide are just too complex to be explained at a basic level. The laws and regulations that govern bankruptcy law are extremely complicated. Most judges and lawyers who work outside the field of bankruptcy don’t even understand these very well.


Who files bankruptcy? Bankruptcy cases are filed by people who are drowning in debts they can’t afford to pay. There were about 2 million bankruptcy cases filed in the year 2005. If you are thinking about bankruptcy, you are not alone. Most cases are filed to discharge credit card debts, stop a foreclosure sale, auto repossessions, medical bills and unsecured credit lines. Even income taxes can be discharged under certain circumstances. Most people make financial obligations they are able to afford at the time they incur them. Later on, sometimes years afterwards, unforeseen circumstances can make debt repayment an extreme hardship if not an impossibility. Many of the people who have filed bankruptcy found themselves in a debt problem because of a job loss, divorce, or serious illness. These are some examples of the circumstances that most people could not foresee at the time they made their financial obligations.


Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Bankruptcy cases are adjudicated in the United States Bankruptcy Court. Branches of the court are located in almost all major cities. Most individuals will generally seek relief under either of two different kinds of bankruptcy cases, called Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. In appropriate cases, Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows a person to be legally excused from repaying most kinds debts, (but there are certain exceptions.) Chapter 13 is generally described as Reorganization, where a person pays some or all of their debts under a structured payment plan carried out under court protection and supervision.
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Basic Information
Los Angeles Bankruptcy Attorney
Bankruptcy Specialist
  • Bayer, Wishman & Leotta
    Los Angeles Bankruptcy Lawyer Attorney, 1989 - present
    I am a bankruptcy attorney with 35 years of experience, worked on about 15,000 bankruptcy cases. I am also a blogger for Nolo at , and author of several bankruptcy books for Nolo.
  • Slate & Leoni
    Los Angles Bankruptcy Attorney, 1980 - 1989
    Partner, Bankruptcy Attorney at Law


Leon Bayer

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16055 Ventura Blvd #811, Encino, CA 91436

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Link to audio recording from my interview last week on KALW Public Radio. One hour. Recorded live. I answer legal questions from callers regarding bankruptcy and debt problems. The recording is actually pretty interesting and entertaining. It is worth listening to.  

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Jeff Wishman, my law parner for 33 years. He is one very sharp lawyer.
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