Written by Canterbury Law Group

The Benefits of Filing for Bankruptcy

Most people perceive bankruptcy as a dreadful thing, like a complete end to financial stability and future prospects. This is a rather misguided notion of bankruptcy. Filing for personal bankruptcy does have its benefits other than reaching a legal solution to overwhelming debt. Don’t believe it? Read below to find out:

Stop the Never-Ending Collection Calls

One of the major positive aspects that follow declaring personal bankruptcy is the definitive end to collection calls. In Arizona, creditors are legally obligated to stop attempting to collect the debt when a debtor has filed for personal bankruptcy. Your creditor won’t be able to call you, try to foreclose your home, notify your employers, or do anything else to attempt to collect your prior debt. If the creditor harassment continues, you will have a good case for your bankruptcy proceedings. You should contact a bankruptcy lawyer in Scottsdale to find out what your options are if credit harassment continues.

Keep Your Home

Arizona law allows exemptions for homesteads or the primary residence owned by a debtor. The court will not make you homeless and take away your shelter when you file for personal bankruptcy. So it’s a sensible way to try to save your home from debtors. This exemption has a dollar and equity limits and certain exceptions that you should clarify with a lawyer. But filing for bankruptcy will stop a creditor from foreclosing your home.

Protect Personal Assets

The Arizona bankruptcy law allows many personal property exemptions when filing for bankruptcy. That means you would be able to keep valuable assets like books, furniture, cheap motor vehicles, various electronic gadgets, family antiques, clothing, pets and so on in your possession. Creditors will not be able to claim these as collateral.  They are prohibited from taking your things.

Stay in Control of Business

Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows business owners control of their company even after filing for business bankruptcy. So it’s a good way to keep a business afloat when the debts threaten to run your company to the ground. The Chapter 11 bankruptcy also facilitates business owners to reduce debt gradually over time.  Chapter 11 can also aid in getting rid of high-stakes litigation by discharging the pending litigation claims that were previously being waged against your company.

Retain Your Pension Fund and Retirement Assets

You can retain your considerable IRA or other types of qualified retirement plans or pensions when you file for bankruptcy. It’s one another valuable personal asset that will be kept away from the debtors. Put another way, you will exit bankruptcy with virtually identical retirement assets as when you went into bankruptcy.

Start Improving Your Financial Status

When you file for bankruptcy, your credit score would hit rock bottom. But afterward, it will start to climb up again, sometimes rapidly. Filing for bankruptcy is sort of the last step towards regaining financial footing and security. After that, it only gets better. When you start to make debt payments, your credit score would start rising again.  Many creditors are attracted to persons coming out of bankruptcy and offer them credit because they know that the person cannot file another bankruptcy for many many years.

Have a Trustee Oversee Your Monetary Affairs

During your bankruptcy, the court appoints a Trustee between you and the creditors to oversee how the discharge on your bankruptcy filing is being carried out. This spells only good things for your future financial dealings. If pursuing a chapter 11 or 13, you will get a handcrafted debt repayment plan to get back on your feet after the declaring.   If pursuing Chapter 7, most if not all of your debts will be canceled.

Above all, you will feel less stressed. Your money matters will be taken care of, and the creditors will finally go away.  Consider speaking with competent bankruptcy legal counsel today.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Who Can File for Chapter 12 Bankruptcy?

Most people are familiar with Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 12 is a special type of bankruptcy clause that allows a specific group of financially “distressed” debtors to file for bankruptcy.

Unlike Chapters 7, 11, or 13 bankruptcies, which most individuals or businesses in debt can apply for, Chapter 12 bankruptcy is specifically reserved for family farmers or family fishermen under the Bankruptcy Code, which the state of Arizona adheres to. The eligible parties can propose a repayment plan for the debt to pay off creditors in five years or less. In this sense, Chapter 12 bankruptcy is similar to Chapter 13.

Chapter 12 doesn’t allow for the automatic discharge of some debts like Chapter 7. However, a judge will review all debts and determine if any are eligible for a legal discharge. Let’s look at who is eligible to file for this type of bankruptcy:

Only Fishermen and Farmers with Regular Income are Eligible

The Bankruptcy Code specifically states that the fishermen or farmers who qualify for Chapter 12 bankruptcy must have what is termed as “regular annual income.” This clause exists because debtors who file a petition must agree to a repayment plan that requires some sort of income. However, income for some farmers and fishermen is almost always seasonal. The law takes this into consideration and does allow relief if needed. You will need a competent bankruptcy attorney in Phoenix or in your local area to ask for a regular income reprieve.

Categories of Farmers and Fishermen

The family farmers and fishermen are specified in the law under several categories. A “family farmer” or a “family fisherman” could be an individual or a spouse of en eligible individual, or a business entity like a partnership. The individuals must have a professional in commercial fishing or farming to be eligible. The total debt the petitioner is seeking relief from should not exceed $3,237,000 for farmers or $1,500,000 for fishermen.

A majority of the debt in question should be related to farming or fishing. For fishermen, this is least 80 percent, and for farmers, the threshold is at least 50 percent. Also, a majority of more than 50 percent of the income of the petitioner must come from farming for fishing operations for the preceding tax year. For farmers, this must be true for two or three preceding tax years.

Filing as a Corporation

Fishing and farming corporations or partnerships are eligible for Chapter 12 bankruptcy too. There are, however, stringent considerations that determine which types of business entities are eligible. The businesses must be family owned, and more than one-half of the equity or stock in the business must be owned by a single family or its blood relatives.

The corporation or the partnership must be run by family members and relatives. A majority of 80 percent or more of the value of the entity must come from farming or fishing related activities. There are limits to indebtedness levels as well just like for individuals. Also, the business cannot publicly trade stocks after filing for bankruptcy.