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Important Things To Know About Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy does not mean failure or a dead end. For many people, bankruptcy is a legal and responsible resolution to deal with financial distress caused by unemployment, pay cuts, divorce, medical expenses or an inability to keep up with credit card bills. 

As you consider filing for bankruptcy, get the necessary facts so you understand how it works and what it can do for you. Answers to common questions below, as well as some of the links in our resources section, may get you off to a good start. However, there is no substitute for a personalized one-on-one consultation with a lawyer. Our firm, Mark W. Lischwe, P.C., is one of Arizona’s oldest consumer bankruptcy law firms, and our clients work directly with an attorney with nearly 40 years of experience.

Am I a bankruptcy candidate?

Each case is different. A careful look at your specific situation will shed light on the right answer to this question. We will discuss your options at your free initial consultation and help you make the right decision.

How do I know which type of bankruptcy to file?

When filing for bankruptcy, you will take a means test. This test will calculate your income over the previous six months prior to filing and help prepare a budget including your current income and expenses. The result of these calculations will assist in determining which type of bankruptcy is best suited to your financial circumstances.

Fortunately, by working with an experienced bankruptcy attorney, you will not be left on your own to navigate your way through any step of the bankruptcy process. We will help you decide whether to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code or seek a different solution.

Can I keep my house and vehicle?

A number of factors will indicate which assets you may keep. Such factors include the chapter of bankruptcy that you file and a review of available exemptions. It also matters whether the asset has a lien against it and whether payments are current. Most people who file for bankruptcy while current on their house and vehicle payments retain their homes and vehicles as long as they do not exceed exemption limits. If an asset in question exceeds the exemption limits, or if payments are not current, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy may allow you to repay the vehicle loan or mortgage arrears through a plan of reorganization.

What debts will not be discharged?

If you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must realize that some debts will not be discharged, such as current and/or delinquent child and/or spousal support and certain back taxes. In Chapter 13, any delinquent child and/or spousal support as well as any nondischargeable taxes can be repaid through the Chapter 13 plan of reorganization. Student loans are not usually nondischargeable through a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. For a more comprehensive list of nondischargeable debts, ask us about exemptions available for people filing bankruptcy in Arizona.

Should I file for bankruptcy?

During our consultation, we will discuss, among other things, what assets you own, how much you owe to your creditors, and what your income and expenses are on a monthly basis. We will ensure that you understand advantages and disadvantage of bankruptcy. We will also direct you through the required means test to determine which bankruptcy chapter would be appropriate for you if you decide to go ahead with it.

Are there alternatives to bankruptcy?

Some people find help through credit counseling and debt consolidation to be viable alternatives to bankruptcy. As there are many agencies that perform this service, you should check the company’s credentials to find out what fees, if any, they charge and what their services include. Many people who seek alternatives eventually end up in bankruptcy. We will gladly answer further questions on this topic.

Learn About A Fresh Start Through Bankruptcy

To schedule a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call 480-491-1000. Evening and Saturday appointments are available upon request. We will take the time to help you understand what bankruptcy can and cannot do for you and offer suggestions that can help you find the debt relief you need.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.