Bankruptcy Process in Phoenix, AZ

what happens if you declare bankruptcies

It is a truth universally acknowledged that debt brings about stress and other physical and mental suffering. While getting loans and borrowing money provide immediate solutions to our problems, the practice can quickly get mismanaged. Before we know it, we are so far down the rabbit hole of debt that we start questioning ourselves if it’s possible for us to still come up for air. 

Being right smack in the middle of financial problems and deep in debt makes us think desperately about our options. Where can I still borrow money? How do I consolidate all my loans? Whom do I know that I can ask for help? What about filing bankruptcy? 

So, what exactly happens if you declare bankruptcies? Can your debt problems vanish into thin air? 

If you’re seriously considering filing for bankruptcy, then the situation must be already dire. Filing for bankruptcy can be complicated. Going bankrupt could honestly make you stressed out more than you already are. The most important thing about filing for bankruptcy is getting a reputable and reliable lawyer. Phoenix Fresh Start Bankruptcy in Phoenix, Arizona, specializes in providing bankruptcy help. Hiring experienced attorneys in the legal intricacies and repercussions of filing for bankruptcies is the most logical thing to do. Phoenix Fresh Start offers free consultations. Schedule your consultation here and check for yourself how they could be of help. 

What is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy usually describes the last resort for people drowning in debt. Investopedia defines bankruptcy as “a legal proceeding involving a person or business that is unable to repay their outstanding debts. All of the debtor’s assets are measured and evaluated. The assets may be used to repay a portion of outstanding debt. “

The federal courts handle bankruptcy cases, and how they handle such cases are stipulated under the US Bankruptcy Code. Filing for bankruptcy grants individuals or businesses the opportunity to be free of their debt through liquidation of all assets or reorganization to provide their respective lenders with chances for repayment. 

Types of Bankruptcy

The different types of bankruptcies are identified in the United States Bankruptcy Code.

Bankruptcy Chapter 7 deals with the liquidation of assets, while Chapter 11 involves the reorganization of companies. Bankruptcy Chapter 13 provides for the lowering of debt repayments through debt covenants. Chapter 9, on the other hand, is for cities, towns, or villages that are suffering from debt. 

Let’s discuss the two most common types of bankruptcies for individuals: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy 

The Chapter 7 bankruptcy is for individuals and, although less often, for businesses, too, who have little or no assets. This type of bankruptcy provides such with the opportunity to dispense unsecured debts. Examples of unsecured debts are credit card debt and medical debt. To repay some of the debts if bankruptcy will not liquidate all unsecured debts and non-exempt assets such as items with high valuations, second homes, cash, stocks, and bonds. 

Individuals or couples who own only exempt assets, such as homestead and personal vehicles, clothing, and household goods, may not be liable to pay unsecured debt and other financial obligations.
Exempt and Non-Exempt Assets
Bankruptcy protection allows for exemptions.

Arizona laws require its residents to use state law exemptions in bankruptcy cases instead of federal exemptions. Arizona residents (who must have lived in Arizona for at least two years before filing bankruptcy) are allowed the exemptions in Arizona and federal non-bankruptcy statutes. 

Examples of exempted assets are homestead assets of not more than $150,000. Life insurance proceeds not greater than $20,000, personal property up to certain valuations. You must consult Arizona bankruptcy attorneys to determine if a certain property is exempt. 

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy 

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is for individuals and couples who earn more money than qualified to file for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is also known as a wage earner’s plan. It allows debtors to craft debt repayment plans through monthly payments with their consistent and regular income. Commonly, the debt repayment plans are paid over a three or five-year period. As a result, debtors may not liquidate their properties and are allowed to keep them, including what would have been non-exempt property.

The Bankruptcy Filing Process

This is a quick rundown when you file for bankruptcy and the bankruptcy process in Arizona. 

  1. Debtors file a petition for bankruptcy and a statement of assets and liabilities with the Arizona Bankruptcy Court. A list of all creditors and the value of what is owed should also be filed.
  2. Creditors are notified that a debtor has filed for a bankruptcy petition.
  3. Judicial proceedings in a bankruptcy court are conducted similarly with civil cases in district courts. They may involve pretrial proceedings, settlement, bankruptcy hearings, and trials, especially if disputes arise.

However, in cases that involve the liquidation of property, such as in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, debtors are commonly granted with a bankruptcy discharge of most, if not all, debts. This is usually because debtors already have little or no assets to pay their creditors.

Weaving Through Arizona Laws in Bankruptcy Cases

Having an experienced Arizona bankruptcy lawyer is the key to having successful bankruptcy filings. Creditors, of course, will fight for the payment of what you owe. Despite attorney fees, having qualified and certified bankruptcy lawyers is essential. They can guide you in the legal process with a myriad of laws, rules, and regulations. 

Phoenix Fresh Start Bankruptcy can help you gain footing amid your financial burden and allow you to make sound and realistic financial and debt management for yourself and your family. Get out of debt. Consult our Phoenix bankruptcy law firm today!