Important Things To Know About Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy can be the result of a number of unexpected circumstances. Whether it be loss of employment, pay cuts, divorce, medical expenses or simply no longer being able keep up with mounting credit card bills, you have now made the decision to face this difficult situation, and there may be relief in sight. The law firm of Mark W. Lischwe, P.C. represents clients throughout the State of Arizona who need to file for bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy should be given thorough consideration, so it is important to understand the process before you begin. The information below, as well as some of the links found in our Resources section, may assist in answering some of your questions, however, no amount of general information can take the place of a one on one consultation. Therefore, we welcome you to Contact my office online or call 602-252-7552 to schedule a free office consultation for answers specific to your circumstances.
Am I A Bankruptcy Candidate?
Each case is different for every person and the options available to you are based on your specific situation. We will discuss those options with you at your consultation to help you make the best decision for you.
How Do I Know What Chapter I Should File?
Fortunately, by working with an experienced bankruptcy attorney, you are not left on your own to navigate your way through the bankruptcy system. Through our consultations, we will determine whether you should file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, or if you would be best served with a different solution.
When filing bankruptcy, a means test is prepared to calculate your income over the previous six months prior to filing and a budget is prepared to calculate your current income and expenses. The result of these calculations will assist us in determining the Chapter available for you to file. We would then discuss any other factors that may weigh into the determination, so as to help you understand the choices you have and how each choice will affect you, including both the benefits and any disadvantages.
Can I Keep My House and Vehicle?
Asset retention is determined by a number of factors, including what Chapter is filed, whether the asset falls under an available exemption, if the asset is liened and whether the payments are current. Most people who file bankruptcy that are current on their house and vehicle payments, who do not exceed the exemption limits, retain their homes and vehicles. If the asset exceeds the exemption limits, or if payments are not current, a chapter 13 is considered as an option to repay the vehicle, mortgage arrears or any excess equity through a plan of reorganization. Please refer to the Resources section of our website for more information on bankruptcy exemptions in the State of Arizona.
What Debts Will Not Be Discharged?
In a Chapter 7, some debts will not be discharged, such as current and/or delinquent child and/or spousal support and certain back taxes. In a Chapter 13, any delinquent child and/or spousal support as well as any non-dischargeable taxes can be repaid through the Chapter 13 plan of reorganization. Student loans are generally nondischargeable in both a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. For a more comprehensive list of non-dischargeable debts, please refer to the Resources section of our website.
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. This information will assist in determining if a bankruptcy is recommended and, if so, what Chapter would be appropriate.
Are There Alternatives to Bankruptcy?
For some, credit counseling may be a viable alternative 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 service provides. Please refer to the Resources section of our website to learn more on this topic.
To schedule your free initial consultation, contact our office online or by calling 602-252-7552. 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.