Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also referred to as a “Fresh Start” bankruptcy, provides Arizona residents with a clean financial slate — a new, debt free start. In Arizona, many find it difficult to keep up with credit card, medical debt, or other bills due to circumstances beyond their control. Loss of a job loss, illness, divorce, a pandemic, or other life circumstances often lead to debt that is out of control.
A lawyer experienced in filing Chapter 7 BK can help you get back control of your debt and help you achieve your financial fresh start.
Our Experienced Arizona Lawyers and Arizona BK law experts will assist you with Chapter 13 BK. Schedule a FREE consultation and debt evaluation today. Our dedicated and professional attorneys can help you answer questions and give you options regarding your specific debt situation.
My Arizona Lawyers’ bankruptcy department have helped Arizona residents achieve financial freedom and get out of debt.
One of the top reasons that Arizona residents seek bankruptcy assistance from our law firm is because their wages are being garnished. Therefore, when your debt gets out of control, you may receive a legal document known as a summons. Contact us for a free debt evaluation and a consultation to get answers regarding a wage garnishment.
If you are filing bankruptcy to stop a wage garnishment, it is crucial that your case is filed correctly and accurately by a professional attorney.
Filing a BK petition in Arizona can stop a repossession. The Automatic Stay is put into effect as soon as the petition is filed. Therefore, consult one of our experienced attorneys if you are facing a repossession. Evaluating your debt may reveal that your financial future could be improved by eliminating debt that a bankruptcy could provide.
My Arizona Lawyers’ debt relief department has helped Arizona residents achieve financial freedom and get out of debt.
Our Arizona clients contact our foreclosure attorneys when faced with a home foreclosure. Thus, the assistance that an experienced foreclosure lawyer can provide is crucial when it comes to saving your home. Debt tends to rage out of control — when monthly payments cannot be made, such as the mortgage, seek the advice and assistance of an attorney. A foreclosure may be one of the effects caused by crushing debt.
If you are filing BK to stop a home foreclosure, ensure that your case is filed correctly and accurately by a professional attorney at My Arizona Lawyers.
An Arizona bankruptcy may wipe out medical debt. Many of our clients with crushing and overwhelming debt due to medical bills, illness, surgery, or any medical related issues struggle to make ends meet. Despite best efforts to manage monthly household payments and pay off medical bills, an extreme debt amount or missed payments force one to look for options. Bankruptcy is a viable option to eliminate medical debt and focus on a fresh financial start.
My Arizona Lawyers’ bankruptcy experts will help you to achieve financial freedom and get out of medical debt.
Filing an Arizona Chapter 7 bankruptcy provides debt relief for honest people in Arizona who are in over their heads with debt. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also referred to as a “Fresh Start” bankruptcy as it provides people, both white collar and blue collar, with a new, debt free start. Many people find it difficult to keep up with credit card,medical debt, or other bills due to circumstances beyond their control; such as: job loss, illness, divorce, or other circumstances beyond their control.
ARIZONA Chapter 13Bankruptcy ATTORNEYS
Many people in Arizona do not qualify or have debt relief needs that aren’t able to be addressed by Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Therefore, filing an Arizona Chapter 13 bankruptcy (Also called a Wage Earner’s bankruptcy) is an effective debt relief route. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy in AZ provides debtors the breathing room they need to pay back a portion of their debts over a 3-5 year period. The Chapter 13 repayment plan is tied to what you can afford.
ARIZONA ZERO ($0) DOWN Bankruptcy ATTORNEYS
Our Arizona Zero Down Bankruptcy Attorneys are now able to offer individuals, couples, and families throughout Arizona immediate debt relief by filing an Arizona Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or Arizona Chapter 13 Bankruptcy for little or $0 money down. After Filing bankruptcy, you make small monthly payments (that you can afford) to pay the rest of the bankruptcy. It’s easy to immediately stop creditors harassment with $0 Down bankruptcy in AZ.
ARIZONA DEBT RELIEF
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR FINANCIAL FUTURE
Many people think of bankruptcy as a bad word, but in truth, bad things sometimes happen to good people. Even the most fiscally responsible people can find themselves in a tight spot after being laid off from their job, going through a divorce, being injured, or suffering an illness. Through no fault of your own, you can find your savings gone and yourself underwater financially. If you are thinking about declaring BK in Arizona, do not hesitate to call our experienced bankruptcy attorneys in Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, and throughout Arizona.
If you need relief from debt, declaring BK may be the answer to your problems. Whether you feel prey to a credit card with hidden fees and a high interest rate, or misfortune has taken your job, spouse, or health, you may find that the best way to get a clean slate is to file for a personal Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
You can start taking back control of your finances and rebuilding your credit score. Though you can legally file yourself, it is not recommended. Let our Arizona debt relief experts do the work for you. With convenient law office locations, we are the debt relief agents you seek.
My Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyers Can Help you with Debt Relief
Abankruptcy lawyercan guide you through the process and give you advice on how to save the assets you want and to discharge the debts you don’t in a Chapter 7 filing, or how to re-organize your debts to the most benefit in a Chapter 13 filing. The debt relief attorneys at My AZ Lawyershave the training and experience to advise you on the best course of action for your particular circumstances. Each lawyer at My AZ Lawyers has experience in helping clients get debt relief.
Call us or send us an e-mailto find out how an experienced debt relief lawyer may be able to help you start reclaiming control of your finances. Call now and schedule a free consultation, either in one of our local offices or via telephone.
Emergency Bankruptcy in Arizona
Same Day Bankruptcy Filings
Our Arizona bankruptcy attorneys can use Emergency Bankruptcy services to stop bank levies and liens, sales of the family home, trustee sale or foreclosure sale, wage garnishments, and other disruptive estate or financial activities by declaring bankruptcy. These emergent filings on your behalf are done with very short notice. Also, we offer these services throughout Arizona, including Maricopa, Pinal, and Pima Counties.
Our Arizona debt relief team offers same day bankruptcy filings. Therefore, Contact Us to schedule a same day filing, either in office or by phone. Plus, if you are in need of emergent legal representation, our Phoenix debt relief firm can help you by obtaining your information and do a same-day chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy filing.
Additionally, once you file for BK in Arizona, an automatic stay is put in place. An automatic stay is a very powerful bankruptcy tool. The stay prohibits a creditor from any further collection or legal action. Another benefit of same-day bankruptcy filings is that they can prevent a foreclosure. Plus, it can prevent a repossession. Also, same day filing stop a wage garnishment. Therefore, as you can read, there are a myriad of benefits to filing your bankruptcy right away. Therefore, put an end to harassing contact by creditors to collect debt, get help today.
The Basics of Bankruptcy in Arizona
The Supreme Court of the United States created federal BK laws to give a new start to those in serious financial debt. In order to provide new opportunities, the bankruptcy discharge releases debtors from liability from certain debt, and stops creditors from taking further legal action to collect that debt. Thus, there are different types of bankruptcy cases (named by chapters) provided under the Bankruptcy Code.
Title 11 of the United States Code is The Bankruptcy Code: a uniform federal law that governs BK cases. Each state in the nation has one or more judicial districts. Also, there is a bankruptcy court for each of these districts. Additionally, a bankruptcy judge is the official of the court. Any matter concerned with a federal bankruptcy case is decided by the judge.
In addition, a person filing has limited involvement with the judge. A meeting of creditors, also called a 341 meeting of creditors, is a formal hearing in which a debtor appears before the court.
Part of the bankruptcy process is administrative business which is conducted in a courthouse. Sometimes a case is overseen by a trustee.
THE PROCESS OF BANKRUPTCY IN ARIZONA
Best Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyers
The bankruptcy filing process in Arizona is complex and requires knowledge of the bankruptcy law and code. Therefore, to assist you in declaring BK, it is important that you consult with an attorney who is experienced in debt relief filings in Arizona. An attorney who is truly invested in helping a client provides him/her with information. Additionally, it is also important to understand the process, legal implications, and options when making decisions that will affect your financial future.
GET THE BEST DEBT RELIEF REPRESENTATION IN ARIZONA
A great BK attorney needs to be trusted, knowledgeable of the Arizona Bankruptcy Code, and capable of providing the expert legal services to suit your needs. My Arizona Lawyers will analyze your financial situation, communicate your options, give honest advice, prepare your BK petition, review the process, attend court hearings, take any legal actions necessary to the success of your case, and follow up with you regarding your case. Additionally, our Arizona law firm even offers assistance with clients who have completed the bankruptcy process, received a discharge, and need help rebuilding credit in the post-bankruptcy stage of the process.
ESTABLISHING A CLIENT RELATIONSHIP
Therefore, when looking for an attorney, seek an attorney who is not only qualified to do the job, but one with whom you feel comfortable. My Arizona Lawyers believes in establishing a foundation of trust and professional legal service. Also, our goal is to provide affordable legal help to people in Phoenix, Tucson, Mesa, Glendale, Avondale and surrounding communities in Arizona. Besides being cost-effective, our bankruptcy law firm has experienced lawyers and staff to better serve.
Furthermore, when hiring anexperienced bankruptcy lawyer,you should be able to feel free to ask questions and you should also expect to get answers that you can understand.From our Phoenix law firm you can expect information, feedback, and a staff that works with you. More than likely, the outcome of your case depends on a competent lawyer and a team on which you can depend. Call our Arizona Legal Team today.
CHOOSE THE BEST METHOD OF DEBT RELIEF FOR YOU IN ARIZONA
CHAPTER 7 VS. CHAPTER BANKRUPTCY FILING
After conferring with an attorney and assessing your debt situation, if declaring bankruptcy is the best means for your case, choose the best chapter of BK that is best for your financial goals.
With the assistance of an experienced debt relief law firm, review all your options, and begin the process toward a fresh start. Therefore, there are different reasons why clients file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 BK.
Therefore, each chapter provides different protections and protections when eliminating debt. However, these variances within the bankruptcy chapters are best explained by knowledgeable Phoenix bankruptcy lawyers.
Contact My Arizona Lawyers to schedule a FREE DEBT EVALUATION and CONSULTATION with an attorney experienced in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Arizona bankruptcy law. An attorney will hep you establish which chapter filing is best for your specific debt situation.
BANKRUPTCY CREDIT COUNSELING
Any debtor filing for BK must take credit counseling. This must be done within six months before filing bankruptcy in Arizona. A financial management instructional course must be completed after filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You may have questions regarding these mandatory courses. One of our Arizona bankruptcy attorneys would be glad to give you more information. Contact our AZ Debt Team today for assistance.
An automatic stay goes into effect immediately upon filing for bankruptcy with the court. Therefore, an automatic stay is a very powerful tool and beneficial to those filing. The automatic stay stops bill collectors and creditors in their tracks. Plus, the Automatic Stay is one of bankruptcy’s most powerful tools.
In Arizona, the automatic stay stops creditors from contacting or harassing you regarding your debts. It is actually illegal for them to contact you once they have been given proper notice of your filing. We can stop creditors from harassing you! Additionally, the automatic stay stops any foreclosure proceedings and any legal action against the debtor. It is also helpful in most repossession cases. There are many forms of Arizona Debt Relief the automatic stay can help.
THE BANKRUPTCY TRUSTEE
A trustee will be appointed to your case but the bankruptcy court. When you file your petition for bankruptcy, the court assumes legal control over your debts. Additionally, any property or assets not covered by Arizona exemptions is also handled by the trustee.The trustee conducts a thorough review of your paperwork. It is the job of the trustee to make sure that the assets you have and exemptions you claim are legit.This person also is responsible for paying your creditors when possible.
Our Arizona Bankruptcy Attorneys are very familiar with the bankruptcy trustees. Plus, our attorneys and staff work with the trustees daily. Please know, our experience matters when filing bankruptcy protection in AZ. Call us today. (480) 833-8000.
Part of the BK Process completing forms. Specific paperwork filed with the court is required. An attorney and legal staff will assist in this matter. You must provide information pertinent to the bankruptcy including expenses, income, assets, and debts. Next, the attorney will prepare forms needed by the court based on the accurate information you provide. Because all required documents need a timely filing, it is so important that you enlist the help of an expert in Arizona BK Law.
FILING THE BANKRUPTCY PETITION
An initial bankruptcy petition is filed. There may be additional forms needed by the court or trustee. Meeting the deadlines for submission of these forms is important so that there are no delays in the process, consequences, or case dismissal. My AZ Lawyers know the procedures, the necessary paperwork, rules, and timelines.
BANKRUPTCY HEARING (341 MEETING OF CREDITORS)
The meeting of creditors, also called a 341 hearing, is a mandatory court appearance.After filing the BK petition, the debtor is required to be at this court hearing. Your Arizona Chapter 7 attorney may need to attend additional hearings on your behalf, depending on the specifics of your case. My AZ Lawyers will let you know all about what to expect at this meeting of creditors, and prepare you fully for your appearance in court. Our attorneys will provide you with the proper legal representation at this hearing. Basically, it is a time in court for any motions or objections filed by a creditor, the trustee, or the debtor.
COMMON FALLACIES ABOUT FILING FOR BANKRUPTCY
Myths and Truths Regarding Bankruptcy in Arizona
Here are a few of the most popular Myths and Fallacies regarding Bankruptcy.
The Arizona Bankruptcy Attorneys at My Arizona Lawyers realize that there are a myriad of reasons that people have to file for BK protection. The process of filing for bankruptcy in Arizona is complex. Our Attorneys know the Arizona BK process. This is made even more difficult with the many myths and fallacies out there. In the following, our knowledgeable Maricopa County Bankruptcy Attorneysdispel common bankruptcy myths.
After Filing Bankruptcy, you will never be able to get a credit card.
BANKRUPTCY TRUTH: While you won’t be able to get or use a new credit card during your bankruptcy, you will likely receive multiple offers for new lines of credit once your bankruptcy is discharged. You should be cautious about the terms and interest rates of the offers, but opening a new credit card can be a good way to rebuild your credit after a bankruptcy. You may also open a secured, or prepaid, credit card through your bank, which will also help rebuild your credit. Contact our AZ Debt relief team with any additional questions.
Everyone will know if you declare BK.
BANKRUPTCY TRUTH: While it is true that bankruptcies are a matter of public record, if you have never searched the bankruptcy dockets, it’s likely that the same can be said for your friends and acquaintances. Only certain people will be notified of your BK filing, like your cosigners, creditors, and if you intend to break your lease through the bankruptcy, your landlord. Chances are, your BK filing will mainly go unnoticed.
You will be fired from your job for declaring BK in AZ.
BK TRUTH: Your employer can’t fire you for filing bankruptcy, or for receiving a first writ of wage garnishment. You can be legally terminated for a second wage garnishment. Future government employers may not discriminate against you for your prior bankruptcy, but private employers can. Still have questions? Contact our AZ BK team of Phoenix lawyers today.
You can file BK as many times as you want.
BK TRUTH: While theoretically, there is no limit to how many times you can file bankruptcy, there are restrictions on how many years you must wait to file again after a successfully discharged bankruptcy. Therefore, you must wait 8 years from the filing date of a Chapter 7 to file Chapter 7 again, and 4 years to file a Chapter 13. If you previously filed Chapter 13 BK, you will need to wait 2 years to file Chapter 13 again or 6 years to file Chapter 7.
There is a minimum amount of debt that you need to have to be eligible for filing BK.
AZ BK TRUTH: There is no minimum amount of debt necessary to qualify for bankruptcy. A Phoenix BK Lawyer can help you determine how much of your debt is dischargeable, which chapters you qualify for, and if you will be able to keep your property, so you can decide if filing bankruptcy is worth it for you.
If you’re married, both spouses must file bankruptcy.
AZ BK TRUTH: There is no requirement that a married couple must file a joint bankruptcy. However, if you live in a community property state, there is a good chance that you could be held liable for debts that are in your spouse’s name. Your best bet is to consult with a bankruptcy attorney who is familiar with community law to determine if it would be better for you to file together or separate.
Filing Bankruptcy will wipe out ALL of your debts.
AZ BK TRUTH: Many debts can’t be discharged in bankruptcy. Familial obligations, like child support and spousal maintenance, are nondischargeable and exempt from the Automatic Stay. Student loans are nondischargeable in the vast majority of bankruptcies, and taxes must meet certain requirements to be discharged. If you keep a financed asset through a bankruptcy, the debt attached to it won’t be discharged (with the exception of some junior mortgages in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy). Certain lawsuit judgments are also nondischargeable in bankruptcy.
You will lose your home and all of your possessions if you declare bankruptcy.
AZ BK TRUTH: For Chapter 7 bankruptcy filers, assets and possessions can be kept if they are eligible for protection by applicable state or federal exemptions. For example, the homestead exemption in Arizona is $150,000. Thus, you may keep a home worth more than $150,000 if you have mortgages and other obligations against the home that bring the equity to $150,000 or less. Therefore, you may have up to $6,000 equity in your vehicle, $300 in your bank account, $500 of clothing, and more. Consult an attorney to see if your asset of concern would be protected, and how the exemptions are affected for married filers.
If you work, you can’t file bankruptcy.
AZ BK TRUTH: To qualify for Chapter 7, you must either make less than the state median income level for your family size or pass the Means Test. Both spouses’ income will be averaged over the past six months, regardless of if it is an individual or joint filing. The median income for a family of four in Arizona is $86,950. The Means Test deducts mandatory expenses from average income to find disposable monthly income. If the debtor’s disposable monthly income is within a certain range, they will qualify for Chapter 7.
If the debtor doesn’t qualify through either method for Chapter 7, they usually qualify for Chapter 13. In Chapter 13, the debtor’s disposable monthly income will be used to calculate a payment plan that will last 3-5 years. If the debtor can pay off all mandatory categories of debts in the payment plan, and doesn’t have more than $419,275 in unsecured debts and $1,257,850 in secured debts, they will qualify for Chapter 13.
If you are going to file bankruptcy, you might as well max out those credit cards.
AZ BK TRUTH:Credit card purchases for nonessential items immediately before the bankruptcy may not be discharged. For example, luxury purchases of $725 or more are nondischargeable if made 90 days or less before the bankruptcy filing. Cash advances of $1,000 or more are nondischargeable when made within 70 days of the filing. The trustee will analyze your petition to make sure you didn’t fraudulently incur debt with the knowledge that you would soon discharge it in bankruptcy. Your creditors may also start advocacy proceedings against you if you attempt to max out your credit cards right before bankruptcy.
After fulfilling all requirements of a bankruptcy and completing the process, a discharge is granted by the court. The debtor is not required by law to repay any debts owed that have been discharged through filing BK. Also, a creditor may not take any further legal action against, nor make any attempt at contacting, the debtor.A discharge is the permanent order preventing creditors from taking any actions to collect a discharged debt. Once a BK is discharged, the debtor is released from any personal liability for certain debt.
A bankruptcy discharge will be granted typically if there is no objections or litigation involving the discharge. The attorney as well as the debtor will receive copies of the order of discharge. The debts that are discharged vary under each chapter of the bankruptcy code. Consult with your Arizona Chapter BK attorney as to what the Arizona BK exemptions are and which kinds of debt can be erased.
HOW TO FIND THE BEST ATTORNEY TO ASSIST YOU IN THE BANKRUPTCY FILING PROCESS
Before Arizona residents seek out assistance for a BK, they often go in search of the best debt relief lawyers in their area. Of course, it is imperative to have the right attorney to represent you in your quest for a fresh financial start.
First, take advantage of the free consultation and debt evaluation offered by My Arizona Lawyers Law Firm. In office or by phone, you will be able to meet with a Phoenix Bankruptcy attorney. In this initial consult, you will be able to find out more about the firm, the cost of filing, and the Arizona Debt Relief team.You will be able to ask questions about the specifics of your case and seek some advice from an experienced, trusted professional.
REASONABLE FEES AND COMPETENT ATTORNEYS
My AZ Lawyershas competent attorneys. Driven by their expertise in Arizona Law and confidence in the debt relief process, My Arizona Lawyers can deliver on expert bankruptcies and debt relief legal services in Maricopa, Pima, and Pinal Counties. Therefore, when you call to make an appointment for a free debt evaluation, find out what a typical fee is going to be for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case. Also, our law firm provides affordable legal service for Arizona.
Choose a lawyer who will communicate effectively and give you an idea of his/her availability. Our attorneys and debt relief staff will handle the routine aspects of the process, and make sure that someone is accessible. It is also important to our clients to be able to easily schedule appointments and get phone calls returned.
Choose A Phoenix, Arizona Bankruptcy Attorney You Can Trust
EFFECTIVE ATTORNEY-CLIENT COMMUNICATION
You need clear, honest, accurate answers when trying to achieve financial freedom. Clients rely on the legal staff to take charge of a case and provide desired results. It is also in your best interest to participate fully in your case and to feel comfortable with the attorney who represents you.After retaining an experienced $0 Down bankruptcy attorney, you should feel confident that your attorney can offer answers to you at anytime you have questions regarding your case.
SOUND LEGAL ADVICE
Your attorney should hear your goals for your particular debt issue and make judgement and recommendations for your specific needs.My AZ Lawyers can outline the exact services provided by our Arizona Legal Team. At our law firm, you can expect legal advice that is in the best interests of your case. Our experienced Arizona attorneys will provide information about what you can expect from the entire bankruptcy process, and how to use BK protection to achieve your financial goals. Additionally, what type or chapter of BK is also an important decision when managing debt.
You should be cautioned by a lawyer if there may be any risks or difficulties that you may encounter through the course of your case. Setting clear expectations and giving solid information about the process is part of what makes our law firm successful in representing clients in Arizona.
ARIZONA BANKRUPTCY EXEMPTIONS
Arizona’s law details the property that you can protect, or exempt, from creditors when you file. There is a listing of exemption categories, and dollar amounts. Thus, certain debts may not be wiped out in a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 filing. Exempted property, however, you may be able to deep after you file bankruptcy. Some debts that cannot be erased in a bankruptcy include alimony obligations or debts due to family support or back child support. Also, debts caused by driving while under the influence that involve death or personal injury can not be eliminated. Nor can student loans, tax law fines or penalties, income tax debts, or debts you do not list in your bankruptcy paperwork.
The experienced Arizona attorneys at My Arizona Lawyers are experienced in Arizona BK law. They know the exemptions and can help with exactly which debts can be discharged and which assets and properties can be exempted. There are some specifics to the exemption laws like exemption limits, properties secured by loans, and valued assets. Some federal exemptions may also apply. Trust My AZ Lawyers to completely cover the Arizona exemptions covered under the law. Additionally, our law firm will work to seek out the best resolution and benefits for your case.What about non-exempt property? To keep these, generally what happens is the debtor pays the trustee the value of this property.
Phoenix Bankruptcy Lawyer FAQs
MARICOPA COUNTY BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY FAQ’s With My AZ Lawyers
When you file bankruptcy, there is a protection called the “Automatic Stay” that comes into effect. It stops your creditors from taking several types of actions against you. These include wage garnishments, bank levies, home foreclosures, vehicle repossessions, utility shutoffs, and more. It will also stop evictions that are in certain phases of the process. Filing bankruptcy won’t stop an eviction if your landlord has already obtained a writ of possession for your unit, or if you are using illegal drugs on the property and/or endangering the property. The landlord can also apply for relief from the automatic stay, which would give them the right to continue with the eviction despite your active bankruptcy case. If you don’t resolve the past-due rental balance during your bankruptcy, your landlord can proceed with evicting you once your case has been discharged. Talk to your bankruptcy attorney to see if Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 would be more effective in stopping an eviction for you.
A bankruptcy trustee is a government attorney assigned to oversee your case. The trustee will be involved in almost every step of the bankruptcy process. After you file your petition, you will receive a letter notifying you who is your bankruptcy trustee, and when your 341 Meeting of Creditors will be held. The trustee will most likely ask for documentation to supplement your petition, or may have specific questions for you. Do your best to comply with all your trustee’s requests, and show up on time to your 341 Meeting of Creditors. There, your trustee will confirm your identity and have basic questions about your case. They will hear any objections from your creditors should they choose to attend. Some trustees may be known as being more “fair” than others, but at the end of the day, they all need to follow the Bankruptcy Code.
Depending on your specific case, you may have additional run-ins with the bankruptcy trustee. If you declare Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will need to attend a confirmation hearing for your payment plan. You may also need to attend an adversary hearing with your trustee if any of your creditors raise objections about your debts to them. While the trustee should generally treat you with courtesy, keep in mind that the trustee gets to keep a percentage of any of your non-exempt assets that they seize and sell at auction. You should meet with your attorney to prepare for any time you need to go in front of the trustee.
Bankruptcy cases are public record, but that doesn’t mean that everyone has to know about yours. Only a limited group of people will be notified when you file bankruptcy. That includes your creditors, as well as any cosigners that you may have on your loans. If you hire a bankruptcy attorney, they will be aware of your case, as well as anyone in their office who assists with your case. You will need to notify your employer if your wages are being garnished and you would like to employ the automatic stay to stop the garnishment. In the future, anyone who runs a credit check on you will see your bankruptcy for as long as it is reported- 10 years for Chapter 7 and 7 years for Chapter 13. But unless you have friends and family members that scour your local bankruptcy filings instead of finding a hobby, they likely won’t know about your bankruptcy unless you tell them about it yourself.
Your creditors are prevented from harassing you during your bankruptcy, and might even be barred from contacting you before your case is filed. When you retain a bankruptcy lawyer, you can inform your creditors and all of their communications regarding your debts must go to your legal counsel first. This gives you the peace and quiet necessary to prepare your bankruptcy case.
In the vast majority of bankruptcy cases, 401k’s and other retirement savings are protected. Most filers are protected up to $1,512,350, but pensions for some public servants are protected with no limit. You should keep this in mind before withdrawing from your 401k or retirement savings to pay debts, as this could come with severe penalties and leave you without savings in your old age. Contact your bankruptcy attorney for more information about whether your retirement savings will be safe in a bankruptcy filing.
You will be disqualified from most home mortgages for 2 years after filing bankruptcy, but you should still be able to rent an apartment or house after discharging your debts. If you don’t discharge back rent in your bankruptcy, your landlord has no reason to blacklist you for filing bankruptcy. Having an eviction on your record can be much more determinative of your chances at rental applications than a prior bankruptcy. You should contact your bankruptcy attorney if you have any issues signing a residential lease after your bankruptcy.
You can re-build your credit after a Phoenix bankruptcy by opening up new lines of credit and making monthly payments on them. For example, you can use bankruptcy as an opportunity to surrender a vehicle in poor condition and lease a newer one. These payments can help add to your credit history, while payments on a vehicle you owned before bankruptcy are no longer required to be reported. You will lose all of your credit cards when you file bankruptcy, so getting new ones is another way to build credit after bankruptcy- just make sure to pick a card with a fair interest rate and terms. Even payments on a small financed item like a cellphone can help improve your post-bankruptcy credit score.
If you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you might be eligible for a post-filing payment plan that will help improve your credit after bankruptcy as well. Usually, Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys can’t utilize payment plans because their fees are technically discharged in the bankruptcy. But our Phoenix bankruptcy team has found a way to make post-filing payment plans available. This is possible through a process called “bifurcation.” If you are eligible, we will first file your case an emergency petition. This is a much shorter version of your full bankruptcy petition, only using basic contact information and information about your income from the last 6 months. You can begin accruing debt once more after this petition has been filed. Work completed up to this point will technically be done pro bono. After the skeleton petition is filed, there is a 2 week deadline to submit the full bankruptcy petition. This is the work that your attorney will charge you for, as well as work completed after filing the second petition. These fees are payable in a 12 month, 0% interest payment plan.
Bankruptcy by phone is a possibility with our Phoenix Bankruptcy Lawyer and staff. Our Phoenix Debt relief team understand that many people in throughout Arizona work normal office hours. People who work 8-5 or 9-6 weekdays often find it hard to get into a bankruptcy office for a free consultation. Others people in Phoenix and Maricopa County may find it difficult to physically make it to an attorney’s office due to disability, young children, or health concerns. Therefore, if you are unable to get into our Phoenix Bankruptcy Lawyer office. Filing Bankruptcy By Phone in Phoenix may be the perfect solution for you.
When a bankruptcy petition is filed, a protection known as the “automatic stay” begins to cover the debtor. The protections from the automatic stay are vast and can be a great incentive to file a bankruptcy petition with the court. The automatic stay prevents your creditors from garnishing your wages, along with many other collection methods. Home foreclosures, vehicle and asset repossessions, evictions (in certain stages), utility shut-offs, bank account levies, and more will all be halted when a bankruptcy petition is filed. However, there is an exception for wage garnishments that stem from back child support. Filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy will do nothing to stop a child support wage garnishment. Only a Chapter 13 bankruptcy payment plan which will pay off all child support arrearages can stop a child support wage garnishment.
It’s important to get the timing right if you want to make sure that the automatic stay is effective before any wages are garnished from your paycheck. You must provide your payroll department with a notice of filing before payroll has been run, which could be a few days before you actually receive your paycheck.
There are several factors that will impact whether you get to keep your car in an Arizona bankruptcy. We’ll start with the chapter you file- most likely, your choice will be between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. In an Arizona Chapter 7 bankruptcy, only a certain amount of equity can be protected in a vehicle. For an individual debtor, the motor vehicle exemption is $6,000. A married couple can protect up to $12,000 equity in one vehicle or $6,000 each in two vehicles. If your vehicle has more equity than your exemption, you run the risk of the trustee seizing and selling your vehicle. You will receive the exemption amount back, and the rest of the proceeds will be divided among your creditors. Your vehicle’s market value can be much higher than the exemption if there is a significant balance on your loan. However, you also have the option to surrender your vehicle in bankruptcy and get a new auto loan shortly after filing. Talk to a bankruptcy attorney about the pros and cons by calling 480-448-9800.
Keeping or even saving a vehicle is often a reason that debtors choose Chapter 13 bankruptcy over Chapter 7. It can be a preferential option if your vehicle isn’t completely protected by an exemption, or if you need to catch up on late payments. The catch is that you need to pay off the full balance of any auto loans you have in the lifespan of your Chapter 13 case. That could be either 3 or 5 years, depending on your income level. Some Chapter 13 debtors may see their monthly payment on their vehicle go down because the payment plan is being spread out longer than their auto loan. Review your case with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to learn more.
Tax debts are treated like unsecured debts- meaning they are discharged in the same manner as credit cards and medical bills- if they meet a few requirements. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, tax debts that meet these requirements will be cleared. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, they are in the last category of debt to be paid. If you don’t have sufficient disposable monthly income to pay all of these debts off within your payment plan, they will be cleared. The requirements for tax debt dischargeability are:
1. Taxes from at least 3 years prior
2. Taxes filed at least 2 years prior
3. Tax debt assessed at least 240 days prior
4. No fraud
5. Must be wage or income tax
Does my spouse have to file bankruptcy with me?
It is a common assumption that if one spouse declares bankruptcy, the other spouse must be included in that filing as well. This simply isn’t true- one spouse can file bankruptcy with or without the other. However, both spouses’ incomes will still be used for qualification purposes, whether or not both spouses wish to be included in the filing. Additionally, almost all disposable monthly income will be tied up for 3-5 years in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, making it highly difficult to file without a spouse’s participation. Review your situation with an experienced bankruptcy professional to determine if it would be feasible to file without your spouse by calling 480-448-9800 to schedule your free initial consultation.
Your creditors are forbidden from most methods of collection once your petition has been filed, including calls. However, you can enjoy relief from the constant calls from unknown numbers sooner than that. Once you have retained with a bankruptcy attorney, you can inform any creditors that call you from that point onward of your new representation. All of their future inquiries regarding your debt must be sent to your attorney, giving you the peace of mind to focus on preparing for bankruptcy. Any creditors that aren’t informed of your bankruptcy representation before filing will receive a notice of your bankruptcy filing as long as they are included on your creditor mailing matrix.
This question can’t be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” There are several factors that will influence your ability to keep a home in bankruptcy, but our team will always explore every possible avenue to make this happen for our clients. Here are some questions you should ask yourself to determine if you will get to keep your home in a Phoenix bankruptcy:
· Am I behind on mortgage payments? Can I catch up in a few months, or will it take a more extended period?
· Am I filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
· Does the equity in my home fall within Arizona’s homestead exemption for bankruptcy?
· Do I want to keep my home? We see this less often with houses, but sometimes debtors wish to surrender different assets, such as vehicles, in bankruptcy as well as the loan.
For years, medical debt has been the number one cause of bankruptcy in Arizona and the United States as a whole. An unexpected injury or illness could cost thousands of dollars and come with related expenses like missing time from work. Losing a job and long-term employment can eventually lead to bankruptcy. So can divorce, as it can be incredibly expensive. Financial lawsuits like evictions or a creditor collections could back a debtor into a corner with very few options. Simple financial mismanagement can lead to bankruptcy, but the pandemic and subsequent skyrocketing cost of living may contribute to an increase in bankruptcy filings as well.
Paying for bankruptcy may seem like a Catch 22- how can you afford the filing fees and attorney’s fees if you already can’t pay your debts? The filing fees alone are $338 for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and $313 for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. However, our firm offers payment plans that can include your filing fee and start after your petition has been filed with the court. That means that you can pay for your bankruptcy after stopping extra expenses like wage garnishments, credit card interest and late fees, etc.
The short answer to these questions is, Not usually. Filing for bankruptcy in Phoenix, AZ is not often going to result in your student loans being forgiven. However, there is a chance of getting your loans forgiven if you can prove “undo hardship”. Additionally, there are some types of student loans that may be susceptible to a bankruptcy. Please contact our Phoenix bankruptcy attorneys for more information on bankruptcy and discharging your student loans.
Filing bankruptcy in Arizona places a stay on debt collection and collection efforts. Declaring bankruptcy in AZ gives you a fresh start to financial freedom while allowing you to retain many of your assets and possessions. Plus, after you’ve successfully filed for BK in AZ, you can continue with your life and feel the weight of all of your debt release. Many people in AZ file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 for relief of debt from medical bill and credit card debt.
The filing fee for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Maricopa County is $338. If you can’t afford to pay this fee, you can apply for either a fee waiver or an installment plan. A fee waiver isn’t likely to be granted unless you are in dire financial circumstances. The court is also unlikely to grant a fee waiver if the applicant has retained a bankruptcy attorney. If the debtor is approved for an installment plan, the filing fee must be paid off within 120 days in up to 4 installments.
There are bankruptcy exemptions for assets besides your motor vehicle. You can find the list of Arizona’s bankruptcy exemptions, last updated February 2022, here. Arizona’s homestead exemption has raised from $150,000 to $250,000 in response to the housing market boom in recent years. It should be noted that unlike some states, Arizona doesn’t give debtors the option to use federal exemptions in lieu of state exemptions. Arizona also doesn’t offer a wildcard exemption like some states do, which protects a set amount of equity in any asset of the debtor’s choosing. You should check with a bankruptcy attorney to confirm that you are eligible to use Arizona’s bankruptcy exemptions, as they aren’t the same as the residency requirements to file a case here in general.
You can expect a Chapter 7 bankruptcy to last anywhere from 3 to 6 months. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy will either last 3 or 5 years. This depends on how your household income compares to the state median income. You can only include a spouse and minor dependents towards your household size. Talk to a bankruptcy attorney to confirm which chapters you are eligible to file for bankruptcy.
Filing bankruptcy could negatively impact any co-debtors you may have, including a spouse or a co-signer. A common example here would be someone losing a co-signed vehicle to repossession and being left with a repossession deficiency. The debtor files bankruptcy to erase that debt, but here, the lender may pursue the co-signer for the remaining balance. It’s important to understand how discharging some types of debts can negatively impact the people you care about. Be thorough and honest in your consultation with a bankruptcy attorney if this is a concern for you.
Technically, there is no limit to the number of times that you can file for bankruptcy. However, there are mandatory waiting periods that must be met before a debtor can discharge debt in bankruptcy a second, third, etc., time. After a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the debtor must wait 8 years to file another Chapter 7 or 4 years to file a Chapter 13. After a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the debtor must wait 6 years to file a Chapter 7 or 2 years to file another Chapter 13.
Certain acts in the time period leading up to bankruptcy can create complications in your case like extra charges, delays, and potentially even your case being dismissed. One way this can happen is if you spend excessively on non-necessary expenditures using credit cards. The concern here is that some debtors preparing for bankruptcy may open up and max out as many credit cards as they can on luxury goods and services. It is also discouraged to make payments to insiders while preparing for bankruptcy, otherwise known as preferential payments. It can also raise issues with the trustee if you transfer any of your assets to loved ones or sell them for less than market value shortly before your bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy fraud is a serious issue that, in extreme situations, could result in the debtor being charged as a felon and going to prison. Hiding assets is considered bankruptcy fraud, as well as temporarily giving or transferring assets to friends or family members in an attempt to hide them from the bankruptcy trustee. Lying or failing to include information on a bankruptcy petition and other supporting documentation. Some debtors commit bankruptcy fraud by attempting to file in different jurisdictions and avoid mandatory waiting periods. Some bankruptcy debtors are even brazen enough to try to fraud their trustees. It’s important to avoid these behaviors- in addition to prison time, bankruptcy fraud is punishable by fines of up to $250,000.
THE DIFFERENT CHAPTERS OF ARIZONA BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION
CHAPTER 7 BK
Chapter 7 is also known as a liquidation bankruptcy. Basically, a trustee analyzes the assets of the debtor, liquidates them, then distributes money owed to creditors. There are nonexempt properties in Arizona Chapter 7 cases, so in some cases, there may be no liquidation of the assets. An individual who receives a discharge in Chapter 7 is released from all personal liability for certain debts.
THE BANKRUPTCY MEANS TEST IN ARIZONA
An applicant for BK in Arizona must first complete a means test. This is a part of the process to determine if you are even are eligible for filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. An attorney can help you with this test that will determine whether you qualify for relief under Arizona Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. Basically, the test shows if the debtor’s income exceeds a predetermined threshold.
ARIZONA CHAPTER 9 BANKRUPTCY.
Chapter 9 bankruptcy is for: cites, towns, counties, school districts, villages, or municipal utilities. Also, Chapter 9 BK is basically a reorganization of debt.
CHAPTER 11 BANKRUPTCY IN PHOENIX.
Usually, a debtor in a Chapter 11 is a commercial enterprise. Filing Chapter 11 is also referred to as reorganizing debt. Thus, when the debtor wishes to continue operating a business, reorganizing debt allows them to repay creditors through an approved plan. After providing a disclosure statement, a plan of reorganization is created, and if approved by the creditors, is used to repay of portion of debts. The repayment plan can also include other operations including asset recovery, or termination of contract. A Chapter 11 process includes debt reorganizing and debt consolidation.
CHAPTER 12 ARIZONA BAKRUPTCY.
The Chapter 12 bankruptcy process provides debt relief and protection to fishermen and family farmers with stable income. A plan is proposed by the debtor to repay debts over a period of time. Typically, the repayment is under three years. A trustee is involved in a Chapter 12 BK. Plus, the trustee distributes payments to creditors per an agreed plan. Additionally, a farmer or fisherman can keep operating a business while executing the Chapter 12 payment plan schedule.
CHAPTER 13 BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY IN PHOENIX.
Chapter 13 is an option for BK designed to permit a debtor to keep assets of value.It allows for a plan to repay creditors over a period of time. If a debtor does not meet the requirements to file Chapter 7, then Chapter 13 filing is an option. Once the payment plan is approved, a trustee is used to oversee the plan and make payments to creditors. During the course of the payment plan, the debtor is protected from garnishments, creditor lawsuits or other actions.
The goal of a Chapter 15 is to provide a uniform cooperation between the United States court system and authorities and the courts of foreign countries.This filing promotes the protection and administration of cross-border insolvency cases. It serves to protect the interests of creditors and debtors involving another nation.
A LAW FIRM ABLE TO HANDLE YOUR DEBT RELIEF NEEDS
My AZ Lawyers has a reputation for successfully representing Arizona clients through the bankruptcy process. This is so because the attorneys are familiar and experienced in the Arizona and federal BK laws. Plus, My AZ Lawyers know the Arizona courts, judges, trustees, and procedures. Our good reputation precedes us. We will be able to assist you with your BK filing.
Commonly, the difficult decisions are made depending on if you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 BK. Therefore, our AZ Debt Relief Firm has the skills needed to handle your case. Our seasoned BK staff updates you on your case if necessary. Additionally, our experienced BK attorneys provide updates and current information with developing changes.
Experienced Arizona Bankruptcy Attorneys
Contact our Arizona Debt Relief Team for a free consultation and evaluation of your debts. Both the consultation and the advice are FREE. Plus, the consults are 100% confidential.