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

New York Bankruptcy Exemptions
Like all states, New York has its own set of exemptions you can use when filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. New York bankruptcy exemptions help you keep the property you'll need, like a home, car, instrument, retirement account, and furnishings. You'll use New York's bankruptcy exemptions to help you determine the property you can keep in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and how much you must pay to certain creditors in Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
New Jersey Bankruptcy Exemptions
Like all states, New Jersey has its own set of exemptions you can use when filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. New Jersey bankruptcy exemptions help you keep the property you'll need, like a home, car, instrument, retirement account, and furnishings. You'll use New Jersey's bankruptcy exemptions to help you determine the property you can keep in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and how much you must pay to certain creditors in Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Exemptions
Like all states, Pennsylvania has its own set of exemptions you can use when filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Washington bankruptcy exemptions help you keep the property you'll need, like a home, car, instrument, retirement account, and furnishings. You'll use Pennsylvania's bankruptcy exemptions to help you determine the property you can keep in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and how much you must pay to certain creditors in Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy Exemptions - What Do I Keep When I File For Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy exemptions determine what you get to keep during and after bankruptcy, including your home, car, retirement account, or personal belongings. But you'll have to comply with exemption rules. Find out which state exemption laws will apply in your bankruptcy case, or whether you can choose the federal bankruptcy exemptions instead.
Michigan Bankruptcy Exemptions
Like all states, Michigan has its own set of exemptions you can use when filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Michigan bankruptcy exemptions help you keep the property you'll need, like a home, car, instrument, retirement account, and furnishings. You'll use Michigan's bankruptcy exemptions to help you determine the property you can keep in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and how much you must pay to certain creditors in Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
How the Automatic Stay Protects Bankruptcy Filers
The moment a debtor files for bankruptcy, the automatic stay goes into effect. This important protection puts an immediate stop to most debt collection efforts, including phone calls from creditors, wage garnishments, and even repossession and foreclosure proceedings.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy - Comprehensive Guide 2021
Chapter 13 works well for higher-income filers who can afford to repay some debt. But all filers can use Chapter 13 to stop foreclosure and keep a house or prevent a vehicle repossession.
How Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Works in 2021
Chapter 7 is a quick way to get out of debt for those who qualify for a discharge. Learn whether you can erase your bills and keep your property by filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Do I Need a Lawyer to File for Bankruptcy?
Take our short quiz to determine whether your bankruptcy case is simple enough to file without a lawyer.
What Is Bankruptcy? - 2021 Rundown
If you don't know how bankruptcy works, this is the right place to start. You'll learn about the differences between Chapters 7 and 13, whether you can erase your debt, and if you can keep your property.