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John Clayton Colwell

Chapter 13 bankruptcy Attorney at San Diego, CA

5.0   5 reviews

About John

Learn John’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Chapter 13 bankruptcy

    39 years, 3,000 cases

  2. Bankruptcy and debt

    39 years, 10,000 cases

  3. Chapter 7 bankruptcy

    39 years, 7,000 cases

Attorney John C. Colwell is a Certified Legal Specialist in Bankruptcy Law. This prestigious honor was bestowed upon him by the CA Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of CA. John C. Colwell is one of only 12 certified legal specialists in San Diego County for Bankruptcy Law. Attorney Colwell is also the President of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys and has dedicated his practice to consumer bankruptcy since 1989.

Photos and videos

Licensed for 37 years
State CA
Status Active
Acquired 1985
Updated 04/23/2023

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

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5.0 / 5.0
  5 customer reviews
5 Star
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1 Star
Posted by Terry | July 16, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
He was the best we could have hoped for
I do not normally write reviews but John Colwell was such an outstanding experience and with his skill as a lawyer in this area. I hope I can convey what a help and comfort he was in a very difficult complicated transaction. We were in jeopardy of losing our home of many years because of a predatory second lender. We had a very amazingly good outcome. John knows this area of law very well. He applies himself and cares. He was a very good Shepard. He went above and beyond what we could have hoped for. His communication is the best and he follows through on things. What he says he is going to do, he does. He researches what is needed and he is very calm person. My wife and I were very grateful for his expertise. I easily see why he is president of the whole national association for his area of law. He does not gouge financially, he is very fair and you cannot pay money to have someone care like he did. Anyone would be happy having had him as your lawyer. Terry
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Response from John Colwell July 25, 2022
Thank you very much, Terry. I remember your case and the troubles and uncertainties we worked through to the successful conclusion. The outcome was extraordinary, under the circumstances, I know you would agree. We're very happy that your experience with our office was 'above and beyond'. We strive to achieve that level of representation for all of our clients. Congratulations to both you and your wife for hanging in there and helping get your situation resolved. It was a pleasure helping you out. JCC
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Posted by Fernando Perez | March 16, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Even though we still haven't finalized my case, I feel compelled to share my initial consultation with Mr. Colwell's team (Dan Weidecker was my lawyer) in their Bonita office. To start off, I had gone to a couple of offices and my experience was that do to the specifics of my case, they seemed to want to prolong the process in order to maximize their returns. I did needed to execute on my case, but still had felt comfortable with my prior experiences. Fortunately for me, I found this office and after 15 minutes, I knew I had found the place to execute on my case. After an hour, i felt comfortable to hire this office. The sincerity in and knowledge of Mr. Dan W gave me great confidence about the process, specially since I had other experiences to compare. Don't want to generalize, but if you want a good attorney, don't waste your time and go with Mr. Colwell's team.
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Response from John Colwell June 30, 2018
Any kind of Bankruptcy isn't easy. It can be a troublesome time and a high anxiety decision. As you have discovered, with compassionate legal help, the process can be beneficial and rewarding. We're here to help. Period. Dan and Maria in the now Chula Vista office are the best of teams. Part of our core group of attorneys and employees that focus on what is best for you. There is a way out of financial pain, and we can help. Thank you so much for your kind words and review! John C. Colwell, Debt Relief Legal Clinic. .
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Posted by Ana | January 13, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Chapter 13
The Bonita office staff has been great and have always gave me the peace of mind I needed through the tough journey. Thank you Daniel for always explaining everything in detail and following up with me when I have been so forgetful. Thank you Maria for always being a sweetheart. A very positive experience. Would recommend your office in a heartbeat.
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Response from John Colwell January 23, 2016
Thank you very much for your kind comments. It is very true that the Bonita staff are great! We know it was a hard decision to take that important step to file the BK and we're happy you chose our office to help you get out of financial pain. The Debt Relief Legal Clinic and I congratulate you and wish you well going forward! John C. Colwell, Attorney, Debt Relief Legal Clinic, San Diego, CA
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Posted by anonymous | June 5, 2015
Highly recommend thorough professional
Mr. Colwell came to us highly recommended, the reason which became immediately evident upon our first meeting, demonstrated by his thorough knowledge and professionalism. He and his excellent, capable team guided through the process to a successful result, we were so impressed and comforted by their skillful expertise.
Posted by anonymous | August 20, 2014
Bonita office Staff
The Bonita office (Daniel & staff) assisted us with our filing. Daniel made it easy where when we went to court, it was easy as pie. Maria was on top of my concern when my paycheck had been garnished and she called in and followed up for me when asked. Thank you for making this easy when i thought it would be the longest thing I would ever have to do.
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Response from John Colwell October 1, 2014
Thanks for your kind comments and positive review. I can say, of course, that I'm not surprised. Atty. Dan and Maria make a great team, along with the rest of our Bonita office. Congratulations on your fresh start. John C. Colwell, Debt Relief Legal Clinic, San Diego, CA


  • Free Consultation 60 minutes
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Managing Attorney
  • Law Offices of John C. Colwell, a PLC dba Debt Relief Legal Clinic
  • 2000 - Present
  • Associate Attorney
  • Debt Relief Legal Clinic - Reed V. Langlois
  • 1994 - 2000
  • Associate Attorney
  • Debt Relief Legal Clinic - George Ritner
  • 1989 - 1993
  • Associate Attorney
  • Law Offices of Michael H Dodge
  • 1985 - 1988
View all work experience


  • Ripon College
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • N/A
  • California Western School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • N/A


  • National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
  • Member, Board of Directors, President 2017 -
  • 1994 - Present

Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

Honors and Awards

  • AV Preeminent Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2018
  • Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2018
  • Certified Specialist
  • State Bar of California
  • 2011

Speaking Engagements

  • Unknown
  • San Diego County Bar Association Free Law Day
  • 2000
  • The debtor’s perspective
  • CA Credit Union Collectors Council Convention
  • 2000
  • Nat. Assoc. Of Cons.
  • Bankruptcy Attorneys Convention
  • 1999
  • Panel on Bankruptcy
  • Continuing Legal Education
  • 1997
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (4)
Given (3)
Endorse John
Bankruptcy and debt Attorney | Jun 02
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I highly recommend John Colwell. Not only is he a well-respected bankruptcy attorney in his community, he is known nationwide as a leader in the bankruptcy area of law. He's been the President of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) for two terms. He worked with Senator Wieckowski's office to help change California's homestead exemption laws to protect homeowners. He's worked on and is working on legislative efforts at the federal level, as well. His experience and the compassion he shows his clients is extraordinary. I am honored to be his colleague."
Chapter 13 bankruptcy Attorney | Dec 13
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Why? If all attorneys providing answers on AVVO took the time to completely try and answer a question in detail showing like Mr. Colwell does, their knowledge, accurate and complete and thorough advice, then AVVO would have the cream of the crop. Look at all his answers to questions and you can see why John is entitled to such a great endorsement. Great job and appreciated by a peer in Washington State. I highly recommend this attorney for any bankruptcy-related work."
Bankruptcy and debt Attorney | Oct 31
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"John Colwell is an excellent bankruptcy attorney. He provides his clients with wonderful representation. He is knowledgeable and hardworking. John is a real leader in the national bankruptcy community. It is a pleasure to work with him. I endorse this lawyer!"
Chapter 7 bankruptcy Attorney | Dec 06
Relationship: Friend
"I endorse this lawyer. I've known John for many years. He is an outstanding consumer bankruptcy lawyer with a national reputation. He is a director of the National Assn. of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, a 5000-member attorney group, and he speaks regularly on bankruptcy issues."
Bankruptcy and debt
Bankruptcy and debt
Bankruptcy and debt