Arizona Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is the most popular type of bankruptcy, and for good reason. It discharges unsecured debts, typically in a time frame of only 4-6 months. Those who file Chapter 7 are protected in the meantime from their creditors. Also, once debts are discharged, the former debtor can move forward with a fresh financial start.
If it sounds too good to be true, know there are strict income limits on who can file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. There are also limits on the value of your assets, known as exemptions. There are several other rules and restrictions that apply to those who file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and the best way to navigate them is by hiring an experienced bankruptcy attorney.
Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Arizona
The first step to filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Arizona is to consult with a bankruptcy lawyer. This will help you determine your eligibility for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, as well as for payment plan options offered by your attorney. Your AZ BK attorney will give you a list of documents you need to provide to draft your petition. You must also complete a credit counseling course before your case can be filed. Once your petition is drafted and you have completed the credit counseling course, you will sign the petition, and your attorney will file it with the court.
Debts Eliminated in an AZ Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
A wide variety of debts can be discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, including:
Credit Card Debt
Unsecured Personal Loans
Taxes (that meet certain requirements)
Repossession and Foreclosure Deficiencies
Medical and Hospital Bills
Some Civil Judgments
Back Bills and Rent
Your 341 Meeting of Creditors
Approximately 10-15 days after your case has been filed, you will receive a trustee assignment for your case. Additionally, your trustee will likely request additional documents, which you send as soon as possible, or bring to your 341 Meeting of Creditors. Also, your 341 Meeting of Creditors will be held about 30-45 days after your case was filed.
Plus, your AZ bankruptcy lawyer will attend with you and help you answer the trustee’s questions, as well as those of any creditors who attend. Therefore, when hiring our Arizona Debt Relief Teamyou will be getting the experienced assistance of a bankruptcy lawyer who will be with you every step of the way as you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in AZ.
After your 341 Meeting of Creditors, you must complete a second credit counseling course. Thus, your attorney will file the course completion certificate with the court. Also, you have 60 days from your 341 Meeting of Creditors to complete the course, at which point your case will also be eligible for discharge. Therefore, you can expect to receive a discharge letter in the mail shortly after this date. At this point, you will have a clean financial slate and can begin taking steps to rebuild your credit.
Arizona Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorneys
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy clears away unsecured debts and allows you to move forward with a fresh start. If you are struggling with medical bills, credit cards, taxes, and more, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy may be a good option for you. You will even be protected from garnishments, repossessions, and other creditor collection methods while you are waiting for your filed bankruptcy to be completed.
Once your debts have been discharged, you can take steps with your financial clean slate to rebuild your credit. You may have an easier time getting lines of cre
dit, such as better credit cards and financing for a vehicle, after your bankruptcy if you had a low score before filing. Timely paymen
ts on your accounts will boost your credit score. Most of our clients see a dramatic increase in their score in the year after filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Exemptions in Arizona
One of the drawbacks of filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that your assets must fall within your state’s bankruptcy exemptions, or your trustee may sell them to pay off your creditors. If you have an asset that exceeds your state exemptions that you want to keep, you may need to file Chapter 13 instead. That’s why it’s important that you know your state exemptions before declaring Chapter 7 bankruptcy, as well as the approximate value of your possessions.
In Arizona, the homestead exemption is $150,000. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a house that is worth more than $150,000- you just can’t have more than $150,000 equity in your home. The exemption for a motor vehicle in Arizona is $6,000. If you are married, you may either have one vehicle with at most $12,000 equity, or two vehicles with $6,000 equity each. There are other exemptions to protect all of your assets, like your computers, furniture, clothing, and more. If you need to file bankruptcy but have a valuable asset you’re concerned about, consult with a bankruptcy attorney to discuss the applicable exemptions.
CHAPTER 7 FAQs
FREQUENTLY ASKED ARIZONA BANKRUPTCY QUESTIONS
Our experienced Arizona Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys discuss some of the most asked and discussed Chapter 7 bankruptcy questions. These questions are from individuals, couples, and business owners in Arizona who are considering declaring bankruptcy. Therefore, learn about the different benefits and drawbacks of filing Ch 7 in AZ as well as the cost, length of filing, and other important facts that may help you decide if now is the right time to seek out a “Fresh Start” through bankruptcy protection. Read on to learn many more facts about Chapter 7 bankruptcy and it’s benefits and drawbacks.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation bankruptcy available to individuals and businesses that meet certain income limits, among other requirements. The debtor files a petition, and a trustee is assigned to oversee the case. After completing credit counseling courses and attending a 341 Meeting of Creditors, debts will be discharged.
The debtor is the person who declares Chapter 7 bankruptcy by filing a bankruptcy petition with the court. There is no minimum amount of debt required to file bankruptcy, and a bankruptcy attorney can help you determine if you have enough to make filing worth it during your free consultation.
You will need to attend at least one hearing if you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It is known as a 341 Meeting of Creditors. As the name suggests, your creditors will have the opportunity to appear and object to their debts being discharged. Your trustee will also have basic questions for you about your case. You may also need to attend a reaffirmation hearing if you choose to reaffirm any of your debts through bankruptcy.
Discharge is your goal when filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This means your debts are successfully cleared and you are no longer liable for them. Discharge typically takes 3-6 months in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
You must meet your state’s income restrictions to be eligible to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You can qualify either by making less than your state’s median income per number of family members, or you can pass the Means Test. In Arizona, the median income for an individual is $52,319 per year. This increases to $65,713, $71,704, $86,950, and so on, for each additional family member. If your income exceeds this amount, you must use the Means Test to prove that you don’t have enough disposable monthly income to make any headway on your debts.
You can usually expect your Chapter 7 bankruptcy to last around 3-6 months. Your case will be eligible for discharge 60 days after your 341 Meeting of Creditors, but it may take a bit longer for your discharge to be finalized.
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it is relatively simple for one spouse to file without the other. However, that spouse’s income and assets will still count for the filer’s qualification and exemption purposes. Community debts will only be discharged as to the filing spouse’s name.
Bankruptcy filings are a matter of public record, so anyone who wants to search and see if you have filed will be able to do so. Your cosigners and creditors will be notified of your bankruptcy, and you will need to notify your employer if you are filing bankruptcy to stop a wage garnishment.
Your employer can’t legally fire you for filing bankruptcy. However, your bankruptcy can show up on future employment screenings. Some jobs, especially those in the financial industry, may turn you away for having previously filed bankruptcy.