A Step by Step Guide to How to File for Bankruptcy in Phoenix
Step One: Figure out how to file bankruptcy in AZ
OK, so this seems like an obvious step, but there are a lot of ways to learn how to file for bankruptcy in Phoenix. The most reliable bankruptcy information comes from what is also the easiest and best way to file bankruptcy, an experienced bankruptcy attorney.
Filing for bankruptcy today is not as easy as it had been in the past. While technically you can file for bankruptcy without an attorney, it is usually not a great idea. There are dozens of complicated bankruptcy forms that must be completed properly and thousands of pages of bankruptcy laws that you must follow. Without an attorney, you are on your own. If you make a mistake and you do not know how to fix it, or you cannot fix it fast enough, your case could be dismissed, and you could be barred from refiling for a period time. That would be bad news because you would then be completely unprotected from your creditors.
Why Not Hire a Bankruptcy Attorney?
The most common reason for not hiring a bankruptcy attorney to help you file for bankruptcy is that they think they can’t afford it. However, if you think about the time and effort that it will take you to learn how to file bankruptcy in Arizona, and all of the problems you will encounter if you file for bankruptcy on your own, it is well worth the small investment to pay a bankruptcy attorney to file your bankruptcy case.
Our Easy Payment Plan
Here’s a piece of good news for you, Phoenix Fresh Start Bankruptcy Attorneys makes filing for bankruptcy easy and affordable for almost anyone. So, you do not need to learn how to file bankruptcy in Arizona or worry about the problems that come along with learning how to file for bankruptcy on your own. When you hire a bankruptcy attorney from Phoenix Fresh Start Bankruptcy Attorneys, you can relax while we help you make your debt problems go away. Give us a call for a free, no obligation debt evaluation. We will tell you all about our easy payment plans and we will explain our free credit repair service that is included with every bankruptcy we file in Arizona. You won’t get that on your own!
Step Two: Determine if you qualify for bankruptcy in Arizona
Here again, the easiest and fastest way to determine if you qualify for bankruptcy in Arizona is to give us a call. If you are learning how to file for bankruptcy, you will need to read up on the “means test.” You will need to follow the instructions that come with the bankruptcy forms carefully. A number of calculations need to be performed correctly to determine if you qualify for bankruptcy chapter 7 or if a chapter 13 bankruptcy is required. Most people who hire a bankruptcy attorney will qualify for the chapter if that is the best option for them. A bankruptcy attorney knows how to file for bankruptcy chapter 7 by overcoming the presumptions that are built into the means test. Without a bankruptcy attorney, you may not know how to qualify. We can do a quick means test estimation right here on our website. It only takes a couple of minutes and we do all of the heavy lifting for you.
Step Three: Get Your Stuff Together
If we haven’t convinced by now that hiring a bankruptcy attorney is the best way to go, you may change your mind when you have to figure out what financial records you need to assemble to prepare your bankruptcy forms. When you learn how to file bankruptcy in Arizona on your own, this may not appear too difficult, you need to collect your bills, the addresses for your creditors, your paycheck stubs and other evidence of your debts and finances.
You will also need to collect information about all of your assets. You will need an inventory of pretty much everything of value that you own or have an interest in, cars, recreational vehicles, homes, rental property, your sofa to your loofa, you need to know what you own. You also need to know the value of things you own. Not the retail value, but the fair market value. In most cases, you will be able to keep all of your property if it is valued properly and listed on your bankruptcy forms correctly.
Here is the scary part when you learn how to file for bankruptcy on your own, if you make a mistake, it could cost you your property. Yet another reason to hire a bankruptcy lawyer.
Step Four: Properly complete dozens of pages of bankruptcy forms
Maybe you downloaded the bankruptcy forms from the internet or you paid a fee to a do-it-yourself legal website so that you can fill out the forms online. Did you get all of the local forms required for your particular case? When you learn how to file for bankruptcy on your own, it is up to you to determine if you have all of the correct forms. You guessed it, if you don’t have the right forms, you are going to have problems with filing your bankruptcy case. Let’s assume that you have the right forms, you must follow the form instructions carefully. However, if you are like most people and cannot understand the instructions that come with your tax forms, you are going to have a hard time completing the bankruptcy forms correctly. If you make a mistake, you may not find out about it until its too late.
Some people may think that it is a good idea to use a bankruptcy preparer to complete your forms. However, there is no guarantee that a bankruptcy preparer will complete your forms correctly. Bankruptcy preparers and online services are not allowed to give you legal advice, they cannot tell you how to exempt your property to keep is safe, they cannot tell you what information goes in what box or on what bankruptcy form. It is against the law for them to do anything more than type your forms.
When you consider what is at risk, it just does not make sense for you to learn how to file bankruptcy on your own or to pay an online service or bankruptcy preparer to complete your bankruptcy forms. Calling Phoenix Fresh Start Bankruptcy Attorneys is a much better choice. We take care of everything for you. We will make sure that your assets are protected, and your bankruptcy forms have been properly completed. We also take care of filing all of your bankruptcy forms in the proper court and we represent you at all of your court appearances. No bankruptcy preparer or online legal document service can do that.
Step Five: Figure out where and how to file your bankruptcy
Why anyone would want to learn how to file for bankruptcy on their own when Phoenix Fresh Start Bankruptcy Attorneys makes it so easy and affordable is beyond us. But, if you just love a really difficult do-it-yourself project that puts your assets and finances at risk, who are we to stop you. So, the final step in learning how to file bankruptcy on your own is to figure how and where to file your case. For this, you will want to contact the federal bankruptcy court closest to you. Although, keep in mind that just because the court is closest to you, it does not mean that it is where you need to file your bankruptcy forms. Under some circumstance, you may need to file in a different location or even a different state. You can visit the bankruptcy court’s website as well. There you will find instructions on how to file bankruptcy forms and how to choose the correct court. Then, you will likely need to make a trip down to the bankruptcy court, stand in line, lose a day’s pay just to find out from the clerk that something is wrong, something is missing or you have some other defect that you will need to figure out how to fix. The bankruptcy court clerks are quick to point out obvious defects, but they cannot tell you how to fix the problem. Why? you ask. Because they are not attorneys and they cannot give you anything that may be considered legal advice.
So, when you learn how to file for bankruptcy on your own, you should plan on multiple trips to the bankruptcy court. Meanwhile, as you fix your forms, your creditors are free to harass you, garnish your wages, repossess your car and otherwise do unpleasant things to you that you may not be able to undo on your own.
Learn How to Juggle Knives
The purpose of this article is not to scare you into hiring an experienced bankruptcy attorney. It is to make you understand that learning how to file bankruptcy on your own is like learning to juggle knives; it is needlessly risky, and it has very little upside. So, leave the knife juggling to circus performers and representing you in your bankruptcy case to Phoenix Fresh Start Bankruptcy Attorneys, but we think you get the point.