Phoenix Bankruptcy Lawyers
Helping Clients Achieve Financial Recovery with Dignity
Contemplating bankruptcy can be scary, especially when you aren’t sure what to expect. It can seem as if the bankruptcy process is shrouded in mystery. Most people do hear much about bankruptcy aside from the occasional news report covering the bankruptcy filing of a large corporation or a celebrity filling for legal protection to reorganize their debt. So, what does it all mean, and how do you know if you’re headed for a similar fate? If your income is no longer keeping pace with your debts, bankruptcy may be an option you should consider. Large debts, like surprise medical expenses or missed mortgage payments, can send your financial health into a downward spiral.
In many instances, bankruptcy:
- Provides consumers with reduced or total debt elimination
- Offers protections to allow debtors to stay in their homes
- Creates an avenue for paying creditors on better payment terms
If those benefits sound amazing, you should be aware they come with some very painful consequences. Bankruptcy will stay on your record for seven to ten years, depending on how you file. A bankruptcy on your record can mean fewer job options, difficulties seeking new credit, and other financial hardships. It’s important to review your options and meet with our Phoenix bankruptcy lawyers to ensure you have all the information you need to make an informed choice.
To schedule a consultation with our Phoenix bankruptcy lawyers, call Folger Law Firm (602) 932-0552 or contact us online for help right now!
What is Bankruptcy?
Before choosing bankruptcy, it’s important to know what it entails. Bankruptcy is a process established by federal laws and provisions. When businesses and individuals have debts that they’re incapable of raising funds to cover, bankruptcy is used to provide debt relief and organization. Bankruptcy cases can be filed in any of the 94 federal judicial districts, and it’s important to remember that these cases cannot start in state court because federal courts have jurisdiction over bankruptcy cases.
Bankruptcy protections are available for individual consumers and business entities. The laws for both individuals and businesses can be found in chapters 7, 11, and 13 of the federal bankruptcy code. Bankruptcy law is written to provide debtors with a financial “do-over” by reorganizing, reducing, or relieving debt payments. The outcome of a bankruptcy filing will depend on how the case is filed. While some instances allow consumers to reorganize their debts, others may require payment via asset liquidation.
Consumer Bankruptcy: Chapter 7 & Chapter 13
Chapter 7 consumer bankruptcy protection allows debtors to discharge certain debts after asset liquidation managed by a court-appointed trustee. The court trustee will advise the liquidation of most nonexempt property. To qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a consumer must not have assets or income exceeding the regulated limit.
While many debts will be discharged, several types of debt cannot be cleared, including:
- Child Support
- Student Loans
- Specific Tax Debt
- HOA Fees
- Court Fees & Penalties
- DUI/DWI Personal injury Judgements
- Hidden Unsecured Debts
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is less complicated than Chapter 7, and debtors are usually allowed to keep the majority of their assets, depending on the plan approved by the bankruptcy court judge.
To qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, debtors must meet the following requirements:
- Enough Income to Meet Payment Plan
- Meet the Maximum Debt Limits
Filing For Bankruptcy in Phoenix, Arizona
In Arizona, filing for bankruptcy can be complicated if you haven’t consulted with a Phoenix bankruptcy attorney. Legal counseling can help you avoid pitfalls and filing errors.
Typically filing for bankruptcy consists of the following steps:
- Paperwork: You will need to source all the correct forms.
- Financial Counseling: Before filing, you are required to take credit counseling
- Complete Bankruptcy Forms: Fill out all the required forms.
- File Your Request: File your request with the federal bankruptcy court in Phoenix
- Contact Your Trustee: Depending on your case, you may be required to complete a questionnaire from the trustee in your case.
- 341 Meeting: You must complete your 341 meeting before your bankruptcy can be considered legally valid.
A bankruptcy filing starts once a consumer files a petition in the appropriate court. The filing can be completed by a married couple, individual, or business entity.
The bankruptcy filing should include a complete financial disclosure with:
- All Assets
- All Liabilities
- All Income Sources
- Name & Address of Creditors
- Total Debt Owed to Creditors
Once a bankruptcy filing is made, all debt collection ceases due to an automatic “stay” that is put into place immediately.
When a stay is in place, creditors must cease any outside recovery activity, including:
- Wage Garnishments
- Collection Calls
In most individual bankruptcy cases, the debtor doesn’t have enough assets to liquidate and satisfy their creditors. So, these cases are typically granted a discharge of most of their debts without objection from their creditors. There are instances where a bankruptcy filing may be disputed and require litigation. Bankruptcy court litigation is unique to the debtor in question. Consumers may have challenges regarding the number of specific debts, whether a creditor should be discharged, or other payments and debt disputes.
20+ Years of Experience at Work on Your Behalf
At Folger Law Firm, we are dedicated to client services and personal attention. Bankruptcy is a stressful experience, and it’s easy to become saddened or disheartened about the situation you find yourself in now. We realize how hard the process can be for our clients, which is why we provide step-by-step legal assistance and all the guidance needed to get to the other side of the bankruptcy process. Our Phoenix bankruptcy lawyers represent consumers in your Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcies.
To schedule a consultation, call the Phoenix bankruptcy attorneys from Folger Law Firm at (602) 932-0552. You can also contact us online for help right now!