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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Can I File for Bankruptcy Without My Spouse?

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You can file for bankruptcy without your spouse. This process is known as “individual bankruptcy,” and it allows one spouse to seek debt relief without involving the other. Here are some key points to consider:

Types of Bankruptcy

  1. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy:
    • Individual Filing: If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy individually, only your debts and assets will be considered. Your spouse’s income and assets are generally not included, but their income may be considered to determine your eligibility based on the means test.
    • Means Test: The means test considers household income, so your spouse’s income might be included to determine if you qualify for Chapter 7.
  2. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy:
    • Individual Filing: In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your repayment plan will be based on your individual income and debts. However, the household income, including your spouse’s income, may be considered to determine your repayment ability.
    • Repayment Plan: Your spouse is not directly involved in the repayment plan, but their income may affect the overall household budget and repayment amount.

Considerations

  1. Joint Debts:
    • If you and your spouse have joint debts, your bankruptcy filing will impact those debts. For example, if you discharge a joint debt in your bankruptcy, your spouse will still be responsible for repaying it unless they also file for bankruptcy.
  2. Property and Assets:
    • Community Property States: In community property states, most property acquired during the marriage is considered jointly owned, regardless of whose name is on the title. Filing for bankruptcy in these states may involve both spouses’ property.
    • Non-Community Property States: In non-community property states, the bankruptcy will generally only affect the filing spouse’s assets.
  3. Impact on Spouse’s Credit:
    • Filing for bankruptcy individually will not directly impact your spouse’s credit score. However, if you have joint accounts or debts, your bankruptcy can affect their credit indirectly.
  4. Income Considerations:
    • Even if your spouse is not filing, their income may be considered to determine your eligibility for bankruptcy and the terms of your repayment plan. This is especially relevant in Chapter 13 filings.

Benefits of Individual Filing

  • Separate Finances: If your spouse has a good credit score and separate finances, filing individually can help protect their credit.
  • Targeted Debt Relief: Allows you to address your debts specifically without involving your spouse.

When to Consider Joint Filing

  • Significant Joint Debts: If you and your spouse have significant joint debts, filing together may provide more comprehensive debt relief.
  • Combined Financial Issues: If both spouses are facing financial difficulties, joint filing can streamline the process and reduce overall legal fees.

Legal Advice

  • Consult an Attorney: It’s important to consult with a bankruptcy attorney to understand the implications of filing individually versus jointly. An attorney can help you navigate the complexities of the process and determine the best course of action based on your specific situation.

Speak With Our Bankruptcy Lawyers In Phoenix & Scottsdale

Canterbury Law Group should be your first choice for any bankruptcy evaluation. Our experienced professionals will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome. You can on the firm to represent you well so you can move on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation. We can assist with all types of bankruptcies including Business BankruptcyChapter 7 BankruptcyCreditor Representation, Chapter 5 ClaimsChapter 13 Bankruptcy, Business RestructuringChapter 11 Bankruptcy, and more.

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Bankruptcy vs Foreclosure: Which is Worse for My Credit Score?

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Both bankruptcy and foreclosure have significant negative impacts on your credit score, but they affect your credit and financial future in different ways. Understanding the implications of each can help you make a more informed decision if you’re facing these financial challenges.

Bankruptcy

Impact on Credit Score

  • Severity: Bankruptcy can cause your credit score to drop by 130 to 240 points, depending on your initial credit score. The higher your score before filing, the more significant the drop.
  • Duration on Credit Report:
    • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Remains on your credit report for up to 10 years.
    • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Remains on your credit report for up to 7 years.
  • Rebuilding Credit: While bankruptcy stays on your credit report for a long time, you can start rebuilding your credit relatively soon after the discharge. Secured credit cards, small loans, and timely payments can help improve your score over time.

Financial and Legal Consequences

  • Debt Discharge: Bankruptcy can discharge many types of unsecured debt, providing a fresh start.
  • Asset Liquidation (Chapter 7): Non-exempt assets may be sold to pay creditors.
  • Repayment Plan (Chapter 13): Requires a repayment plan for 3-5 years but allows you to keep your assets.
  • Public Record: Bankruptcy filings are public records.

Foreclosure

Impact on Credit Score

  • Severity: Foreclosure can cause your credit score to drop by 85 to 160 points. Like bankruptcy, the higher your score before foreclosure, the more significant the drop.
  • Duration on Credit Report: Foreclosure remains on your credit report for up to 7 years.
  • Rebuilding Credit: Rebuilding credit after foreclosure can be challenging, especially if the foreclosure is accompanied by other late payments or defaults. However, similar to bankruptcy, consistent, responsible credit behavior can help improve your score over time.

Financial and Legal Consequences

  • Loss of Property: Foreclosure results in the loss of your home.
  • Deficiency Judgment: In some states, if the foreclosure sale does not cover the full mortgage balance, the lender may pursue a deficiency judgment for the remaining amount.
  • Public Record: Foreclosures are also public records.

Comparison and Considerations

Impact on Future Borrowing

  • Bankruptcy: Lenders may be wary of offering credit to someone with a bankruptcy on their record, but you may start receiving credit offers sooner than expected, often within a year or two post-discharge.
  • Foreclosure: A foreclosure can make it challenging to secure another mortgage for several years. Lenders typically impose a waiting period before considering another home loan application (usually about 3 to 7 years, depending on the loan type and circumstances).

Overall Financial Impact

  • Bankruptcy: Can offer a comprehensive solution by addressing various debts, potentially including mortgages if you file for Chapter 13. It allows for a fresh start but at the cost of a significant and prolonged impact on your credit score.
  • Foreclosure: Specifically addresses the mortgage debt but leaves other debts intact. It has a severe impact on your credit score and involves losing your home, but it doesn’t necessarily address the broader scope of your financial issues.

Determining whether bankruptcy or foreclosure is worse for your credit score depends on your specific financial situation and goals:

  • Bankruptcy might be a better option if you have overwhelming debt beyond your mortgage and need a comprehensive solution to reset your financial situation.
  • Foreclosure might be the route you take if your primary issue is with your mortgage and you want to avoid the more extensive credit implications of bankruptcy.

Both options will significantly affect your credit score and future financial opportunities. Consulting with a financial advisor or bankruptcy attorney can provide personalized advice based on your circumstances.

Financial Consequences:

  1. Credit Score Impact:
    • Filing for bankruptcy will likely have a severe negative impact on your credit score. A bankruptcy record can remain on your credit report for several years, making it challenging to obtain credit or loans.
  2. Difficulty Obtaining Credit:
    • After bankruptcy, obtaining new credit, such as credit cards or loans, may be more difficult, and if approved, interest rates may be higher.
  3. Limited Access to Financial Products:
    • Bankruptcy can limit access to certain financial products and services. For example, you may find it challenging to qualify for a mortgage or an auto loan with favorable terms.
  4. Asset Liquidation:
    • In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, some of your assets may be sold to pay off creditors. Certain assets, however, may be exempt from liquidation.
  5. Repayment Plans (Chapter 13):
    • In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may be required to follow a court-approved repayment plan to pay off your debts over a specified period, usually three to five years.
  6. Impact on Co-Signers:
    • If someone co-signed a loan with you, they may become responsible for the debt if you file for bankruptcy.

Non-Financial Consequences:

  1. Public Record:
    • Bankruptcy is a public record, and your filing will be accessible to creditors, employers, and the general public.
  2. Employment Impact:
    • While federal law prohibits discrimination based solely on bankruptcy status, some employers may consider it during the hiring process. Positions involving financial responsibilities may be particularly affected.
  3. Housing and Utilities:
    • Some landlords and utility companies may inquire about your bankruptcy history, potentially affecting your ability to secure housing or utility services.
  4. Impact on Personal Relationships:
    • The stress and strain of financial difficulties and bankruptcy can impact personal relationships, including those with family and friends.
  5. Loss of Non-Exempt Property:
    • In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, non-exempt property may be sold to pay off creditors. Exemptions vary by state and protect certain types and amounts of property.

It’s important to note that the specific consequences can vary based on the type of bankruptcy filed (Chapter 7 or Chapter 13), individual circumstances, and applicable state laws. Additionally, while bankruptcy has significant consequences, it also provides individuals and businesses with an opportunity for a fresh financial start.

Before deciding to file for bankruptcy, it’s crucial to consult with a qualified bankruptcy attorney who can assess your situation, explain the potential consequences, and guide you through the process.

What Is the Process of Filing for Emergency Bankruptcy?

A bankruptcy case filed with only a portion of the necessary forms is known as an emergency bankruptcy filing. An emergency filing may also be referred to as an incomplete filing, a skeleton bankruptcy, or a barebones filing, depending on where you live. The minimal information needed to invoke the automatic stay protection is included in an emergency bankruptcy petition as required by the Bankruptcy Code.

Even in urgent situations, the automatic stay begins to operate as soon as your bankruptcy case is filed. All of your creditors are required by the automatic stay to cease pursuing collection actions against you. The automatic stay can start working even before you’ve finished filing for bankruptcy thanks to an emergency petition.

While it is possible to file for bankruptcy in an emergency situation before finishing all the necessary paperwork, doing so does not release you from filing for bankruptcy in an ordinary manner. As required by law, you have 14 days from the date of your emergency filing to file the remaining forms. If not, your case will be dropped, allowing your creditors to start pursuing collection.

Why Do Individuals File for Bankruptcy in an Emergency?

Most people file for emergency bankruptcy in order to stop a collection action that could soon be initiated. Before choosing to file for bankruptcy, many people do some research and consider their options. It may take some time to gather all the required paperwork and complete all the forms, even after you’ve made the decision to file.

The automatic stay has the power to halt additional collection attempts, but it cannot reverse already completed actions. For this reason, it’s imperative that the automatic stay be in place before there is a wage garnishment, bank levy, repossession, or foreclosure. In the event that you are unable to complete all of your paperwork prior to a significant collection event, you can file for emergency bankruptcy, which will protect you from creditors until you have completed your forms.

What is Required for an Urgent Case?

Only a small portion of the documentation needed to complete your bankruptcy filing will be needed for an emergency bankruptcy filing. You still need to fulfill a few minimal requirements in order to file for an emergency.

Select the Appropriate Type of Bankruptcy

Most people file for bankruptcy using either the Bankruptcy Code’s Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. These two types of bankruptcy were intended for different purposes and operate very differently. Chapter 7 is mainly used by debtors to get rid of unsecured debt, like credit card and medical bills. You have to make your payments on time in order to maintain your vehicle or home in Chapter 7.

Repossessions and foreclosures are frequently stopped through emergency bankruptcy filings. Chapter 13 bankruptcy typically makes more sense in these circumstances. The Chapter 13 repayment plan is often used by debtors who are behind on their rent, mortgage, or auto payments in order to catch up on these payments.

The type of bankruptcy you’re filing must be specified when filing an emergency case. Switching to a different chapter isn’t always simple if you select the incorrect kind of case. Try to arrange a meeting with a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney if you’re unsure which chapter to file under. When you arrange the consultation, make sure to mention that you’re in an emergency.

Verify Your Eligibility

Not everyone is qualified to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7. To find out if you are eligible for Chapter 7 relief, you will need to pass a means test. Although completing the means test calculations prior to filing is not necessary in the event of an emergency, it is a good idea in case there is a problem with your eligibility for Chapter 7.

You should also see if you are eligible for a bankruptcy discharge if you have previously filed for bankruptcy. There are waiting periods between a previous bankruptcy discharge and a new discharge mandated by the Bankruptcy Code. Depending on the chapter you filed under previously and the chapter you are filing under now, these wait times vary. The wait periods only come into play if your prior case resulted in a discharge. A Chapter 13 plan can be used to make up missed payments even if you are not eligible for a discharge because of an earlier case.

If you have previously filed for bankruptcy, there are additional restrictions that might be applicable to the automatic stay. The automatic stay usually lasts from the time a bankruptcy case is filed until it is dismissed or discharged. The automatic stay in your new case will only last 30 days if you filed for bankruptcy within the last year and that bankruptcy was dismissed (not discharged). If you want to prolong the automatic stay past 30 days, you can file a motion. Usually, you have to file the motion along with your emergency documents.

When you file for bankruptcy, the automatic stay won’t apply if you’ve filed for bankruptcy twice or more in the previous year. To enforce the stay, you can file a motion, but you’ll need to wait for a hearing and a ruling. You will not be shielded from ongoing collection actions by filing for emergency bankruptcy if there is no automatic stay in place.

Enroll in a Credit Counseling Program

Prior to filing for bankruptcy, all applicants must finish a credit counseling program from an authorized provider. This covers last-minute bankruptcy petitions. Most suppliers provide the course over the phone, online, or both. The cost ranges from $10 to $45, depending on the provider. The course is offered once, with sessions lasting typically less than two hours. A certificate will be emailed to you by the provider once the course is finished. When submitting your emergency forms to the court, you also need to submit this certificate.

Fill out the Forms That Are NECESSARY.

In order to file for emergency bankruptcy, you need to at least fill out and submit the following forms:

Form 101, Voluntary Petition: This eight-page form asks for basic details about your name, address, type of bankruptcy, and history of bankruptcies, if any.

Social Security Number Declaration (Form 121): You will only use your complete Social Security number here in your documentation. It is hidden from creditors, attorneys, and even your trustee; only the court can view it.

An alphabetical list of all your creditors along with their mailing addresses can be found in the creditor matrix. The matrix must be submitted in a specific format to the majority of bankruptcy courts. In certain courts, the list of creditors must be submitted with a verification form. To be sure of the requirements, check with the court where your case will be filed.

Obtain Your Filing Cost

For Chapter 7 cases, the bankruptcy court charges a filing fee of $338, and for Chapter 13 cases, it charges $313. When you file your case, the fee is due. You can file a motion requesting the court to allow you to pay the filing fee in installments if you are unable to pay the entire amount. When you file your emergency case, most courts require you to pay a minimum first installment. For confirmation, check with your court.

You may petition the court to have your filing fee waived if your income is less than 150% of the federal poverty guidelines. When filing your emergency paperwork, you must also file your motion for installments or a fee waiver if you are not paying the full fee.

Put In The Case

New cases can only be filed online by bankruptcy attorneys. Since mailing your forms can cause a delay, it is best to file your paperwork in person in an emergency. To locate your bankruptcy court, use the federal court locater. Certain bankruptcy districts have restrictions on where you can file depending on the county in which you reside. To verify the residence rules and office hours, visit the website of your court. Finding out if your court has any additional requirements—such as bringing specific forms of identification or extra copies of your forms—also helps. Call the court clerk if you’re unsure.

I’ve filed for bankruptcy in an emergency. What Now?

Although filing for emergency bankruptcy will provide you with some immediate relief, your work is not over. Notifying the creditor who prompted you to file the emergency case is necessary. Additionally, you must finish and submit the last of your bankruptcy forms.

Let Your Creditor Know

Notification of your emergency filing will be mailed to each creditor in your creditor matrix by the bankruptcy court. However, it may take a few days or more for this notice to reach creditors. You should give the creditor a call directly in order to successfully halt a garnishment, lawsuit, foreclosure, repossession, or other collection action. Make contact with the creditor’s lawyer if you are familiar with them rather than contacting the creditor directly. Typically, you’ll need to provide them with your bankruptcy case number, the court you filed with, and the filing date. In case there is an issue, jot down the time and person you spoke with when you called.

Fill out the remaining bankruptcy forms and file them.

You have just 14 days from the time you file your emergency documents to the time you file the remaining bankruptcy forms. Remember, fourteen days can pass quickly, so don’t wait. The remaining forms, along with instructions, can be accessed online, just like the emergency forms. For every state, Upsolve also offers a free filing guide.

The bankruptcy court will send you a deficiency notice a few days after you file your emergency case. This does not imply that the material you have already filed is flawed. It simply indicates that you haven’t yet submitted all necessary forms. A list of the forms you still need to file and the due date for doing so will be included with your deficiency notice. To ensure that the remaining forms are received by the deadline, submit them in person.

The court has the right to dismiss your case if you fail to file the last of the bankruptcy forms by the deadline. The automatic stay is lifted upon a dismissal, allowing your creditors to resume collection efforts. You can file a motion requesting an extension from the court if you require more time to file the remaining forms. Don’t ask for more time unless you absolutely need it, as courts are frequently hesitant to grant these extensions.

Following the submission of all necessary paperwork, your case will be handled similarly to other bankruptcy cases. The date, time, and location of your creditors’ meeting, along with your trustee’s contact details, ought to be included in a notification you receive. About 30 to 45 days typically pass after the date of filing. It’s likely that you’ll receive a request for documents from your trustee, which you must submit at least seven days prior to the meeting.

What Drawbacks Come With Emergency Bankruptcy Filing?
The fact that you have so little time to prepare your bankruptcy forms is the largest disadvantage of filing an emergency case. The shapes are intricate. Documents like bank statements, tax returns, and pay stubs must be gathered. Another disadvantage is that you might run into unforeseen problems with your case when filling out your other forms, like property that isn’t exempt from fees. You don’t have much time to solve problems once you encounter them.

Furthermore, even though filing for emergency bankruptcy gives you some relief, in some cases it’s only a short-term fix. For example, in Chapter 7, you have to immediately bring the payments current if you want to keep your house or vehicle. You have an extended period in Chapter 13 to make up missed payments. Regardless of the chapter you file under, you only have 30 days to bring your payments current if you filed for bankruptcy to prevent an eviction.You only submit the bare minimum of paperwork to the bankruptcy court when filing for bankruptcy emergency. When you need to halt an impending threat of collection, like a wage garnishment, foreclosure, or repossession, emergency filings can be useful. In these circumstances, you might have to file for bankruptcy quickly because you won’t have enough time to finish all the paperwork. You are protected from creditors by the automatic stay, which is activated by the emergency filing. However, you only have 14 days from the date of filing to finish all other documentation. This could be dangerous, particularly if problems arise with your case. Your case may be dismissed if the remaining forms are not submitted by the deadline.

Speak With Our Bankruptcy Lawyers In Phoenix & Scottsdale

Canterbury Law Group should be your first choice for any bankruptcy evaluation. Our experienced professionals will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome. You can on the firm to represent you well so you can move on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation. We can assist with all types of bankruptcies including Business BankruptcyChapter 7 BankruptcyCreditor Representation, Chapter 5 ClaimsChapter 13 Bankruptcy, Business RestructuringChapter 11 Bankruptcy, and more.

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Finding a Bankruptcy Alternative

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Finding alternatives to bankruptcy can be crucial for managing debt without the severe consequences of a bankruptcy filing. Here are several alternatives that might help and then we will go on and explain bankruptcy options. Read on to learn more.

Finding alternatives to bankruptcy can be crucial for managing debt without the severe consequences of a bankruptcy filing. Here are several alternatives that might help:

1. Debt Settlement

  • Negotiation with Creditors: You can negotiate with creditors to reduce the total amount of debt owed. Creditors may agree to a lump-sum payment that is less than the full amount if they believe it’s the best way to recover some of their money.
  • Debt Settlement Companies: There are companies that specialize in negotiating settlements with creditors on behalf of the debtor. Be cautious, as these companies often charge significant fees and not all of them are reputable.

2. Debt Management Plan (DMP)

  • Credit Counseling Agencies: These agencies can help you create a DMP, which involves consolidating your debt into a single monthly payment. The agency negotiates with your creditors to lower interest rates and waive fees.
  • Monthly Payments: You make monthly payments to the credit counseling agency, which then distributes the funds to your creditors. This can simplify payments and potentially reduce overall costs.

3. Debt Consolidation Loan

  • Single Loan to Pay Off Debts: You take out a loan to pay off multiple debts, consolidating them into a single monthly payment. This loan often comes with a lower interest rate, which can make it easier to manage.
  • Types of Loans: Options include personal loans, home equity loans, or balance transfer credit cards with low or zero interest rates for an introductory period.

4. Personal Budgeting and Financial Planning

  • Budget Review: Thoroughly review your budget to identify areas where you can cut expenses. This can free up more money to pay down your debt.
  • Financial Planning: Develop a plan to address your debts systematically, focusing on paying off high-interest debts first (the avalanche method) or small debts first (the snowball method).

5. Negotiating Directly with Creditors

  • Payment Plans: Contact your creditors directly to see if they will agree to a payment plan that allows you to pay off your debt over time.
  • Interest Rate Reduction: Request a reduction in interest rates or a waiver of late fees to make your debt more manageable.

6. Seek Help from Non-Profit Organizations

  • Non-Profit Credit Counseling: Non-profit organizations offer free or low-cost credit counseling services to help you manage your debt. They can assist with budgeting, debt management plans, and financial education.

7. Balance Transfer Credit Cards

  • 0% Interest Promotions: Some credit cards offer 0% interest on balance transfers for a limited period. Transferring high-interest debt to these cards can reduce the amount of interest you pay and help you pay off the debt faster.
  • Transfer Fees: Be aware of any transfer fees that might apply, which can offset the benefits of the lower interest rate.

8. Increase Income

  • Additional Income Sources: Consider taking on a part-time job, freelancing, or selling unused items to increase your income and accelerate debt repayment.
  • Career Development: Invest in skills or education that can lead to higher-paying job opportunities.

9. Legal Protections and Rights

  • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA): Understand your rights under the FDCPA, which protects you from abusive or unfair practices by debt collectors.
  • State-Specific Protections: Some states offer additional protections and assistance programs for debtors.

While bankruptcy can provide a fresh start, it has significant long-term consequences. Exploring alternatives such as debt settlement, debt management plans, debt consolidation loans, and direct negotiation with creditors can help you manage and reduce your debt more effectively without the drawbacks of bankruptcy. It’s often beneficial to consult with a financial advisor or credit counselor to assess your specific situation and identify the best course of action.

 

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing can eliminate the majority of your debts in three to six months. You might, however, lose some of your personal belongings.
Repayment plans for Chapter 13 bankruptcy must be determined by your income. The court will discharge some of your debts when you have paid off as much of them as you can over the course of the next three to five years.
Filing for bankruptcy requires commitment and time. As you work toward a clean slate, both solutions will have an impact on your credit report, future interest rates, and way of life.

Before making a choice, give your circumstance a lot of thought. The best person to assess your financial status and give you advice on your options is an attorney.

Before determining which chapter is best for you and whether to file for bankruptcy, take into consideration the following points.

Are You Able to File for Bankruptcy?

To file for any kind of bankruptcy, you have to fulfill certain requirements.

For instance, if your salary is too high, you might not be allowed to apply for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You have to pass the so-called “Chapter 7 means test.” Alternatively, you might not be able to finish a Chapter 13 repayment plan if your income is too low or your debts are too high.

Numerous bankruptcy attorneys provide free consultations during which they can explain your alternatives and assist you in deciding if you are eligible for bankruptcy.

What Debts Cannot Be Forgiven?

bills that cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy procedure include tax bills, school loans, child support, and alimony. You will have to repay this whether you file under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Examine whether the majority of your debt is in one of these categories.

An “automatic stay” will prevent creditors from harassing you on qualified debts during the bankruptcy process.

What Happens to My House in the Event That I File for Bankruptcy?

Making mortgage payments could be simpler if some debts are forgiven. However, if you declare bankruptcy under Chapter 7, you can lose your house. While you look for debt relief, you could face foreclosure or property seizure. It’s not a given that most people who file for bankruptcy can keep their homes. However, it might be worthwhile for you to discuss this with a lawyer.

On the other side, you could be able to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy if your income is sufficient. This enables you to add mortgage payments to your repayment schedule.

Is My Car and Other Property Mine to Keep?

Other property during a bankruptcy proceeding will be subject to the following:

The way you handled it
The rules that exempt properties that you can use
A loan becomes secured, for instance, if you pledge your boat as security. Even in bankruptcy, the creditor may still be entitled to seize your belongings.

Furthermore, exemption regulations in Chapter 7 bankruptcies only cover specific categories of property. State exemptions allow many people to keep their cars, but your ability to keep yours will depend on how much debt and equity you have.

Will All of My Credit Card Debts Be Forgiven?

Before filing, you should find out if a bankruptcy process will eliminate your credit card debt. Your credit card debt may not be discharged in bankruptcy if you spend excessively or misled on your credit card application.

The best route to credit card debt clearance is through Chapter 7. In Chapter 13, you will be required to pay back the majority of the loan.

Are My Paychecks and Pension Plans Safe?

The majority of life insurance policies and pension schemes are shielded against bankruptcy by state rules. Ask if your life insurance plans, 401(k) plan, and/or IRA will remain protected before declaring bankruptcy.

Lenders may be able to garnish your wages in certain circumstances. In your bankruptcy case, this may not be possible, but a bankruptcy attorney can fight to preserve your authority over your paychecks.

Will My Debt Get in the Way of My Co-Signers?

Reviewing any co-signers in all of your loan arrangements is a good idea.

It is not desirable to leave a co-signer behind on any of your loans when it comes to paying off your debt. Any co-signers will often be shielded from your debts under Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but not under Chapter 7.

Will They Get a Look at My Personal Life?

You will have to present the bankruptcy court with all of your financial information in order for bankruptcy to be approved. Furthermore, it’s possible for others to learn of your bankruptcy.

A portion of your personal belongings may be seized and sold to satisfy your debts in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. For the next three to five years following Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will most likely need to request authorization before using your own funds.

What About My Company?: Business Owners’ Consumer Bankruptcy

It’s not easy to acknowledge that your company is having financial difficulties. Make sure you have access to the most recent financial accounts for your business, which include predictions, balance sheets, profit and loss statements, and other crucial data.

Inform your creditors of your difficulties. Like any other company, your creditors depend on their clients and want to see them flourish. Your creditors will be more accommodating if you are truthful with them.

Examining Your Case for Bankruptcy

You should budget a significant amount of time and effort to assist your bankruptcy attorney with documentation. Along with representing your business throughout the case, you will need to assist with finishing your company’s petition and scheduling.

Organize your documents and books before speaking with a lawyer. Being organized and handling a large portion of the “leg work” yourself will significantly reduce your legal expenses.

Bankruptcy as opposed to Business Closure

It’s a good idea to have a rough notion of what you hope a bankruptcy will bring about for your business. It is important to have reasonable expectations about bankruptcy and its potential benefits for your business.

Reorganizing your bankruptcy won’t help if there is no market for your product. You cannot expect bankruptcy to solve all of your company’s financial issues, nor can it make your business lucrative.

Integrity and Resources in Bankruptcy Proceedings

Take care to ensure that you include every creditor on your bankruptcy schedules. Whether on purpose or not, filing for bankruptcy will not result in the discharge of the obligation owed to that unforeseen creditor.

Make sure you don’t give assets to friends or family in order to conceal them from creditors or the bankruptcy court. During the initial creditors’ meeting, the trustee will question you regarding these transfers. They are able to get those things back.

Don’t ever attempt to con the bankruptcy court. You are under oath at the first creditors’ meeting and you sign your bankruptcy schedules under penalty of perjury.

The court will dismiss your case if it finds that you:

neglected to list a real estate
lied or deceived about your schedules; withheld important information; or lied during testimony
If the courts find that you are dishonest, you may also face charges of bankruptcy fraud.

Financial Consequences:

  1. Credit Score Impact:
    • Filing for bankruptcy will likely have a severe negative impact on your credit score. A bankruptcy record can remain on your credit report for several years, making it challenging to obtain credit or loans.
  2. Difficulty Obtaining Credit:
    • After bankruptcy, obtaining new credit, such as credit cards or loans, may be more difficult, and if approved, interest rates may be higher.
  3. Limited Access to Financial Products:
    • Bankruptcy can limit access to certain financial products and services. For example, you may find it challenging to qualify for a mortgage or an auto loan with favorable terms.
  4. Asset Liquidation:
    • In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, some of your assets may be sold to pay off creditors. Certain assets, however, may be exempt from liquidation.
  5. Repayment Plans (Chapter 13):
    • In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may be required to follow a court-approved repayment plan to pay off your debts over a specified period, usually three to five years.
  6. Impact on Co-Signers:
    • If someone co-signed a loan with you, they may become responsible for the debt if you file for bankruptcy.

Non-Financial Consequences:

  1. Public Record:
    • Bankruptcy is a public record, and your filing will be accessible to creditors, employers, and the general public.
  2. Employment Impact:
    • While federal law prohibits discrimination based solely on bankruptcy status, some employers may consider it during the hiring process. Positions involving financial responsibilities may be particularly affected.
  3. Housing and Utilities:
    • Some landlords and utility companies may inquire about your bankruptcy history, potentially affecting your ability to secure housing or utility services.
  4. Impact on Personal Relationships:
    • The stress and strain of financial difficulties and bankruptcy can impact personal relationships, including those with family and friends.
  5. Loss of Non-Exempt Property:
    • In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, non-exempt property may be sold to pay off creditors. Exemptions vary by state and protect certain types and amounts of property.

It’s important to note that the specific consequences can vary based on the type of bankruptcy filed (Chapter 7 or Chapter 13), individual circumstances, and applicable state laws. Additionally, while bankruptcy has significant consequences, it also provides individuals and businesses with an opportunity for a fresh financial start.

Before deciding to file for bankruptcy, it’s crucial to consult with a qualified bankruptcy attorney who can assess your situation, explain the potential consequences, and guide you through the process.

What Is the Process of Filing for Emergency Bankruptcy?

A bankruptcy case filed with only a portion of the necessary forms is known as an emergency bankruptcy filing. An emergency filing may also be referred to as an incomplete filing, a skeleton bankruptcy, or a barebones filing, depending on where you live. The minimal information needed to invoke the automatic stay protection is included in an emergency bankruptcy petition as required by the Bankruptcy Code.

Even in urgent situations, the automatic stay begins to operate as soon as your bankruptcy case is filed. All of your creditors are required by the automatic stay to cease pursuing collection actions against you. The automatic stay can start working even before you’ve finished filing for bankruptcy thanks to an emergency petition.

While it is possible to file for bankruptcy in an emergency situation before finishing all the necessary paperwork, doing so does not release you from filing for bankruptcy in an ordinary manner. As required by law, you have 14 days from the date of your emergency filing to file the remaining forms. If not, your case will be dropped, allowing your creditors to start pursuing collection.

Why Do Individuals File for Bankruptcy in an Emergency?

Most people file for emergency bankruptcy in order to stop a collection action that could soon be initiated. Before choosing to file for bankruptcy, many people do some research and consider their options. It may take some time to gather all the required paperwork and complete all the forms, even after you’ve made the decision to file.

The automatic stay has the power to halt additional collection attempts, but it cannot reverse already completed actions. For this reason, it’s imperative that the automatic stay be in place before there is a wage garnishment, bank levy, repossession, or foreclosure. In the event that you are unable to complete all of your paperwork prior to a significant collection event, you can file for emergency bankruptcy, which will protect you from creditors until you have completed your forms.

What is Required for an Urgent Case?

Only a small portion of the documentation needed to complete your bankruptcy filing will be needed for an emergency bankruptcy filing. You still need to fulfill a few minimal requirements in order to file for an emergency.

Select the Appropriate Type of Bankruptcy

Most people file for bankruptcy using either the Bankruptcy Code’s Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. These two types of bankruptcy were intended for different purposes and operate very differently. Chapter 7 is mainly used by debtors to get rid of unsecured debt, like credit card and medical bills. You have to make your payments on time in order to maintain your vehicle or home in Chapter 7.

Repossessions and foreclosures are frequently stopped through emergency bankruptcy filings. Chapter 13 bankruptcy typically makes more sense in these circumstances. The Chapter 13 repayment plan is often used by debtors who are behind on their rent, mortgage, or auto payments in order to catch up on these payments.

The type of bankruptcy you’re filing must be specified when filing an emergency case. Switching to a different chapter isn’t always simple if you select the incorrect kind of case. Try to arrange a meeting with a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney if you’re unsure which chapter to file under. When you arrange the consultation, make sure to mention that you’re in an emergency.

Verify Your Eligibility

Not everyone is qualified to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7. To find out if you are eligible for Chapter 7 relief, you will need to pass a means test. Although completing the means test calculations prior to filing is not necessary in the event of an emergency, it is a good idea in case there is a problem with your eligibility for Chapter 7.

You should also see if you are eligible for a bankruptcy discharge if you have previously filed for bankruptcy. There are waiting periods between a previous bankruptcy discharge and a new discharge mandated by the Bankruptcy Code. Depending on the chapter you filed under previously and the chapter you are filing under now, these wait times vary. The wait periods only come into play if your prior case resulted in a discharge. A Chapter 13 plan can be used to make up missed payments even if you are not eligible for a discharge because of an earlier case.

If you have previously filed for bankruptcy, there are additional restrictions that might be applicable to the automatic stay. The automatic stay usually lasts from the time a bankruptcy case is filed until it is dismissed or discharged. The automatic stay in your new case will only last 30 days if you filed for bankruptcy within the last year and that bankruptcy was dismissed (not discharged). If you want to prolong the automatic stay past 30 days, you can file a motion. Usually, you have to file the motion along with your emergency documents.

When you file for bankruptcy, the automatic stay won’t apply if you’ve filed for bankruptcy twice or more in the previous year. To enforce the stay, you can file a motion, but you’ll need to wait for a hearing and a ruling. You will not be shielded from ongoing collection actions by filing for emergency bankruptcy if there is no automatic stay in place.

Enroll in a Credit Counseling Program

Prior to filing for bankruptcy, all applicants must finish a credit counseling program from an authorized provider. This covers last-minute bankruptcy petitions. Most suppliers provide the course over the phone, online, or both. The cost ranges from $10 to $45, depending on the provider. The course is offered once, with sessions lasting typically less than two hours. A certificate will be emailed to you by the provider once the course is finished. When submitting your emergency forms to the court, you also need to submit this certificate.

Fill out the Forms That Are NECESSARY.

In order to file for emergency bankruptcy, you need to at least fill out and submit the following forms:

Form 101, Voluntary Petition: This eight-page form asks for basic details about your name, address, type of bankruptcy, and history of bankruptcies, if any.

Social Security Number Declaration (Form 121): You will only use your complete Social Security number here in your documentation. It is hidden from creditors, attorneys, and even your trustee; only the court can view it.

An alphabetical list of all your creditors along with their mailing addresses can be found in the creditor matrix. The matrix must be submitted in a specific format to the majority of bankruptcy courts. In certain courts, the list of creditors must be submitted with a verification form. To be sure of the requirements, check with the court where your case will be filed.

Obtain Your Filing Cost

For Chapter 7 cases, the bankruptcy court charges a filing fee of $338, and for Chapter 13 cases, it charges $313. When you file your case, the fee is due. You can file a motion requesting the court to allow you to pay the filing fee in installments if you are unable to pay the entire amount. When you file your emergency case, most courts require you to pay a minimum first installment. For confirmation, check with your court.

You may petition the court to have your filing fee waived if your income is less than 150% of the federal poverty guidelines. When filing your emergency paperwork, you must also file your motion for installments or a fee waiver if you are not paying the full fee.

Put In The Case

New cases can only be filed online by bankruptcy attorneys. Since mailing your forms can cause a delay, it is best to file your paperwork in person in an emergency. To locate your bankruptcy court, use the federal court locater. Certain bankruptcy districts have restrictions on where you can file depending on the county in which you reside. To verify the residence rules and office hours, visit the website of your court. Finding out if your court has any additional requirements—such as bringing specific forms of identification or extra copies of your forms—also helps. Call the court clerk if you’re unsure.

I’ve filed for bankruptcy in an emergency. What Now?

Although filing for emergency bankruptcy will provide you with some immediate relief, your work is not over. Notifying the creditor who prompted you to file the emergency case is necessary. Additionally, you must finish and submit the last of your bankruptcy forms.

Let Your Creditor Know

Notification of your emergency filing will be mailed to each creditor in your creditor matrix by the bankruptcy court. However, it may take a few days or more for this notice to reach creditors. You should give the creditor a call directly in order to successfully halt a garnishment, lawsuit, foreclosure, repossession, or other collection action. Make contact with the creditor’s lawyer if you are familiar with them rather than contacting the creditor directly. Typically, you’ll need to provide them with your bankruptcy case number, the court you filed with, and the filing date. In case there is an issue, jot down the time and person you spoke with when you called.

Fill out the remaining bankruptcy forms and file them.

You have just 14 days from the time you file your emergency documents to the time you file the remaining bankruptcy forms. Remember, fourteen days can pass quickly, so don’t wait. The remaining forms, along with instructions, can be accessed online, just like the emergency forms. For every state, Upsolve also offers a free filing guide.

The bankruptcy court will send you a deficiency notice a few days after you file your emergency case. This does not imply that the material you have already filed is flawed. It simply indicates that you haven’t yet submitted all necessary forms. A list of the forms you still need to file and the due date for doing so will be included with your deficiency notice. To ensure that the remaining forms are received by the deadline, submit them in person.

The court has the right to dismiss your case if you fail to file the last of the bankruptcy forms by the deadline. The automatic stay is lifted upon a dismissal, allowing your creditors to resume collection efforts. You can file a motion requesting an extension from the court if you require more time to file the remaining forms. Don’t ask for more time unless you absolutely need it, as courts are frequently hesitant to grant these extensions.

Following the submission of all necessary paperwork, your case will be handled similarly to other bankruptcy cases. The date, time, and location of your creditors’ meeting, along with your trustee’s contact details, ought to be included in a notification you receive. About 30 to 45 days typically pass after the date of filing. It’s likely that you’ll receive a request for documents from your trustee, which you must submit at least seven days prior to the meeting.

What Drawbacks Come With Emergency Bankruptcy Filing?
The fact that you have so little time to prepare your bankruptcy forms is the largest disadvantage of filing an emergency case. The shapes are intricate. Documents like bank statements, tax returns, and pay stubs must be gathered. Another disadvantage is that you might run into unforeseen problems with your case when filling out your other forms, like property that isn’t exempt from fees. You don’t have much time to solve problems once you encounter them.

Furthermore, even though filing for emergency bankruptcy gives you some relief, in some cases it’s only a short-term fix. For example, in Chapter 7, you have to immediately bring the payments current if you want to keep your house or vehicle. You have an extended period in Chapter 13 to make up missed payments. Regardless of the chapter you file under, you only have 30 days to bring your payments current if you filed for bankruptcy to prevent an eviction.You only submit the bare minimum of paperwork to the bankruptcy court when filing for bankruptcy emergency. When you need to halt an impending threat of collection, like a wage garnishment, foreclosure, or repossession, emergency filings can be useful. In these circumstances, you might have to file for bankruptcy quickly because you won’t have enough time to finish all the paperwork. You are protected from creditors by the automatic stay, which is activated by the emergency filing. However, you only have 14 days from the date of filing to finish all other documentation. This could be dangerous, particularly if problems arise with your case. Your case may be dismissed if the remaining forms are not submitted by the deadline.

Speak With Our Bankruptcy Lawyers In Phoenix & Scottsdale

Canterbury Law Group should be your first choice for any bankruptcy evaluation. Our experienced professionals will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome. You can on the firm to represent you well so you can move on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation. We can assist with all types of bankruptcies including Business BankruptcyChapter 7 BankruptcyCreditor Representation, Chapter 5 ClaimsChapter 13 Bankruptcy, Business RestructuringChapter 11 Bankruptcy, and more.

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Is Bankruptcy A Good Idea For You?

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When thinking about declaring bankruptcy, there are a lot of things to consider. Not everyone is suited for bankruptcy. It’s possible that you may resolve your financial difficulties with a few easy adjustments, or that you are judgment proof and do not require filing for bankruptcy. Or you might discover that filing for bankruptcy is your sole chance at real financial relief and a fresh start.
In the US, individual filers in bankruptcy primarily utilize one of two forms. Whichever one is best for you can be determined by you and your lawyer.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing can eliminate the majority of your debts in three to six months. You might, however, lose some of your personal belongings.
Repayment plans for Chapter 13 bankruptcy must be determined by your income. The court will discharge some of your debts when you have paid off as much of them as you can over the course of the next three to five years.
Filing for bankruptcy requires commitment and time. As you work toward a clean slate, both solutions will have an impact on your credit report, future interest rates, and way of life.

Before making a choice, give your circumstance a lot of thought. The best person to assess your financial status and give you advice on your options is an attorney.

Before determining which chapter is best for you and whether to file for bankruptcy, take into consideration the following points.

Are You Able to File for Bankruptcy?

To file for any kind of bankruptcy, you have to fulfill certain requirements.

For instance, if your salary is too high, you might not be allowed to apply for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You have to pass the so-called “Chapter 7 means test.” Alternatively, you might not be able to finish a Chapter 13 repayment plan if your income is too low or your debts are too high.

Numerous bankruptcy attorneys provide free consultations during which they can explain your alternatives and assist you in deciding if you are eligible for bankruptcy.

What Debts Cannot Be Forgiven?

bills that cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy procedure include tax bills, school loans, child support, and alimony. You will have to repay this whether you file under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Examine whether the majority of your debt is in one of these categories.

An “automatic stay” will prevent creditors from harassing you on qualified debts during the bankruptcy process.

What Happens to My House in the Event That I File for Bankruptcy?

Making mortgage payments could be simpler if some debts are forgiven. However, if you declare bankruptcy under Chapter 7, you can lose your house. While you look for debt relief, you could face foreclosure or property seizure. It’s not a given that most people who file for bankruptcy can keep their homes. However, it might be worthwhile for you to discuss this with a lawyer.

On the other side, you could be able to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy if your income is sufficient. This enables you to add mortgage payments to your repayment schedule.

Is My Car and Other Property Mine to Keep?

Other property during a bankruptcy proceeding will be subject to the following:

The way you handled it
The rules that exempt properties that you can use
A loan becomes secured, for instance, if you pledge your boat as security. Even in bankruptcy, the creditor may still be entitled to seize your belongings.

Furthermore, exemption regulations in Chapter 7 bankruptcies only cover specific categories of property. State exemptions allow many people to keep their cars, but your ability to keep yours will depend on how much debt and equity you have.

Will All of My Credit Card Debts Be Forgiven?

Before filing, you should find out if a bankruptcy process will eliminate your credit card debt. Your credit card debt may not be discharged in bankruptcy if you spend excessively or misled on your credit card application.

The best route to credit card debt clearance is through Chapter 7. In Chapter 13, you will be required to pay back the majority of the loan.

Are My Paychecks and Pension Plans Safe?

The majority of life insurance policies and pension schemes are shielded against bankruptcy by state rules. Ask if your life insurance plans, 401(k) plan, and/or IRA will remain protected before declaring bankruptcy.

Lenders may be able to garnish your wages in certain circumstances. In your bankruptcy case, this may not be possible, but a bankruptcy attorney can fight to preserve your authority over your paychecks.

Will My Debt Get in the Way of My Co-Signers?

Reviewing any co-signers in all of your loan arrangements is a good idea.

It is not desirable to leave a co-signer behind on any of your loans when it comes to paying off your debt. Any co-signers will often be shielded from your debts under Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but not under Chapter 7.

Will They Get a Look at My Personal Life?

You will have to present the bankruptcy court with all of your financial information in order for bankruptcy to be approved. Furthermore, it’s possible for others to learn of your bankruptcy.

A portion of your personal belongings may be seized and sold to satisfy your debts in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. For the next three to five years following Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will most likely need to request authorization before using your own funds.

What About My Company?: Business Owners’ Consumer Bankruptcy

It’s not easy to acknowledge that your company is having financial difficulties. Make sure you have access to the most recent financial accounts for your business, which include predictions, balance sheets, profit and loss statements, and other crucial data.

Inform your creditors of your difficulties. Like any other company, your creditors depend on their clients and want to see them flourish. Your creditors will be more accommodating if you are truthful with them.

Examining Your Case for Bankruptcy

You should budget a significant amount of time and effort to assist your bankruptcy attorney with documentation. Along with representing your business throughout the case, you will need to assist with finishing your company’s petition and scheduling.

Organize your documents and books before speaking with a lawyer. Being organized and handling a large portion of the “leg work” yourself will significantly reduce your legal expenses.

Bankruptcy as opposed to Business Closure

It’s a good idea to have a rough notion of what you hope a bankruptcy will bring about for your business. It is important to have reasonable expectations about bankruptcy and its potential benefits for your business.

Reorganizing your bankruptcy won’t help if there is no market for your product. You cannot expect bankruptcy to solve all of your company’s financial issues, nor can it make your business lucrative.

Integrity and Resources in Bankruptcy Proceedings

Take care to ensure that you include every creditor on your bankruptcy schedules. Whether on purpose or not, filing for bankruptcy will not result in the discharge of the obligation owed to that unforeseen creditor.

Make sure you don’t give assets to friends or family in order to conceal them from creditors or the bankruptcy court. During the initial creditors’ meeting, the trustee will question you regarding these transfers. They are able to get those things back.

Don’t ever attempt to con the bankruptcy court. You are under oath at the first creditors’ meeting and you sign your bankruptcy schedules under penalty of perjury.

The court will dismiss your case if it finds that you:

neglected to list a real estate
lied or deceived about your schedules; withheld important information; or lied during testimony
If the courts find that you are dishonest, you may also face charges of bankruptcy fraud.

Financial Consequences:

  1. Credit Score Impact:
    • Filing for bankruptcy will likely have a severe negative impact on your credit score. A bankruptcy record can remain on your credit report for several years, making it challenging to obtain credit or loans.
  2. Difficulty Obtaining Credit:
    • After bankruptcy, obtaining new credit, such as credit cards or loans, may be more difficult, and if approved, interest rates may be higher.
  3. Limited Access to Financial Products:
    • Bankruptcy can limit access to certain financial products and services. For example, you may find it challenging to qualify for a mortgage or an auto loan with favorable terms.
  4. Asset Liquidation:
    • In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, some of your assets may be sold to pay off creditors. Certain assets, however, may be exempt from liquidation.
  5. Repayment Plans (Chapter 13):
    • In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may be required to follow a court-approved repayment plan to pay off your debts over a specified period, usually three to five years.
  6. Impact on Co-Signers:
    • If someone co-signed a loan with you, they may become responsible for the debt if you file for bankruptcy.

Non-Financial Consequences:

  1. Public Record:
    • Bankruptcy is a public record, and your filing will be accessible to creditors, employers, and the general public.
  2. Employment Impact:
    • While federal law prohibits discrimination based solely on bankruptcy status, some employers may consider it during the hiring process. Positions involving financial responsibilities may be particularly affected.
  3. Housing and Utilities:
    • Some landlords and utility companies may inquire about your bankruptcy history, potentially affecting your ability to secure housing or utility services.
  4. Impact on Personal Relationships:
    • The stress and strain of financial difficulties and bankruptcy can impact personal relationships, including those with family and friends.
  5. Loss of Non-Exempt Property:
    • In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, non-exempt property may be sold to pay off creditors. Exemptions vary by state and protect certain types and amounts of property.

It’s important to note that the specific consequences can vary based on the type of bankruptcy filed (Chapter 7 or Chapter 13), individual circumstances, and applicable state laws. Additionally, while bankruptcy has significant consequences, it also provides individuals and businesses with an opportunity for a fresh financial start.

Before deciding to file for bankruptcy, it’s crucial to consult with a qualified bankruptcy attorney who can assess your situation, explain the potential consequences, and guide you through the process.

What Is the Process of Filing for Emergency Bankruptcy?

A bankruptcy case filed with only a portion of the necessary forms is known as an emergency bankruptcy filing. An emergency filing may also be referred to as an incomplete filing, a skeleton bankruptcy, or a barebones filing, depending on where you live. The minimal information needed to invoke the automatic stay protection is included in an emergency bankruptcy petition as required by the Bankruptcy Code.

Even in urgent situations, the automatic stay begins to operate as soon as your bankruptcy case is filed. All of your creditors are required by the automatic stay to cease pursuing collection actions against you. The automatic stay can start working even before you’ve finished filing for bankruptcy thanks to an emergency petition.

While it is possible to file for bankruptcy in an emergency situation before finishing all the necessary paperwork, doing so does not release you from filing for bankruptcy in an ordinary manner. As required by law, you have 14 days from the date of your emergency filing to file the remaining forms. If not, your case will be dropped, allowing your creditors to start pursuing collection.

Why Do Individuals File for Bankruptcy in an Emergency?

Most people file for emergency bankruptcy in order to stop a collection action that could soon be initiated. Before choosing to file for bankruptcy, many people do some research and consider their options. It may take some time to gather all the required paperwork and complete all the forms, even after you’ve made the decision to file.

The automatic stay has the power to halt additional collection attempts, but it cannot reverse already completed actions. For this reason, it’s imperative that the automatic stay be in place before there is a wage garnishment, bank levy, repossession, or foreclosure. In the event that you are unable to complete all of your paperwork prior to a significant collection event, you can file for emergency bankruptcy, which will protect you from creditors until you have completed your forms.

What is Required for an Urgent Case?

Only a small portion of the documentation needed to complete your bankruptcy filing will be needed for an emergency bankruptcy filing. You still need to fulfill a few minimal requirements in order to file for an emergency.

Select the Appropriate Type of Bankruptcy

Most people file for bankruptcy using either the Bankruptcy Code’s Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. These two types of bankruptcy were intended for different purposes and operate very differently. Chapter 7 is mainly used by debtors to get rid of unsecured debt, like credit card and medical bills. You have to make your payments on time in order to maintain your vehicle or home in Chapter 7.

Repossessions and foreclosures are frequently stopped through emergency bankruptcy filings. Chapter 13 bankruptcy typically makes more sense in these circumstances. The Chapter 13 repayment plan is often used by debtors who are behind on their rent, mortgage, or auto payments in order to catch up on these payments.

The type of bankruptcy you’re filing must be specified when filing an emergency case. Switching to a different chapter isn’t always simple if you select the incorrect kind of case. Try to arrange a meeting with a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney if you’re unsure which chapter to file under. When you arrange the consultation, make sure to mention that you’re in an emergency.

Verify Your Eligibility

Not everyone is qualified to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7. To find out if you are eligible for Chapter 7 relief, you will need to pass a means test. Although completing the means test calculations prior to filing is not necessary in the event of an emergency, it is a good idea in case there is a problem with your eligibility for Chapter 7.

You should also see if you are eligible for a bankruptcy discharge if you have previously filed for bankruptcy. There are waiting periods between a previous bankruptcy discharge and a new discharge mandated by the Bankruptcy Code. Depending on the chapter you filed under previously and the chapter you are filing under now, these wait times vary. The wait periods only come into play if your prior case resulted in a discharge. A Chapter 13 plan can be used to make up missed payments even if you are not eligible for a discharge because of an earlier case.

If you have previously filed for bankruptcy, there are additional restrictions that might be applicable to the automatic stay. The automatic stay usually lasts from the time a bankruptcy case is filed until it is dismissed or discharged. The automatic stay in your new case will only last 30 days if you filed for bankruptcy within the last year and that bankruptcy was dismissed (not discharged). If you want to prolong the automatic stay past 30 days, you can file a motion. Usually, you have to file the motion along with your emergency documents.

When you file for bankruptcy, the automatic stay won’t apply if you’ve filed for bankruptcy twice or more in the previous year. To enforce the stay, you can file a motion, but you’ll need to wait for a hearing and a ruling. You will not be shielded from ongoing collection actions by filing for emergency bankruptcy if there is no automatic stay in place.

Enroll in a Credit Counseling Program

Prior to filing for bankruptcy, all applicants must finish a credit counseling program from an authorized provider. This covers last-minute bankruptcy petitions. Most suppliers provide the course over the phone, online, or both. The cost ranges from $10 to $45, depending on the provider. The course is offered once, with sessions lasting typically less than two hours. A certificate will be emailed to you by the provider once the course is finished. When submitting your emergency forms to the court, you also need to submit this certificate.

Fill out the Forms That Are NECESSARY.

In order to file for emergency bankruptcy, you need to at least fill out and submit the following forms:

Form 101, Voluntary Petition: This eight-page form asks for basic details about your name, address, type of bankruptcy, and history of bankruptcies, if any.

Social Security Number Declaration (Form 121): You will only use your complete Social Security number here in your documentation. It is hidden from creditors, attorneys, and even your trustee; only the court can view it.

An alphabetical list of all your creditors along with their mailing addresses can be found in the creditor matrix. The matrix must be submitted in a specific format to the majority of bankruptcy courts. In certain courts, the list of creditors must be submitted with a verification form. To be sure of the requirements, check with the court where your case will be filed.

Obtain Your Filing Cost

For Chapter 7 cases, the bankruptcy court charges a filing fee of $338, and for Chapter 13 cases, it charges $313. When you file your case, the fee is due. You can file a motion requesting the court to allow you to pay the filing fee in installments if you are unable to pay the entire amount. When you file your emergency case, most courts require you to pay a minimum first installment. For confirmation, check with your court.

You may petition the court to have your filing fee waived if your income is less than 150% of the federal poverty guidelines. When filing your emergency paperwork, you must also file your motion for installments or a fee waiver if you are not paying the full fee.

Put In The Case

New cases can only be filed online by bankruptcy attorneys. Since mailing your forms can cause a delay, it is best to file your paperwork in person in an emergency. To locate your bankruptcy court, use the federal court locater. Certain bankruptcy districts have restrictions on where you can file depending on the county in which you reside. To verify the residence rules and office hours, visit the website of your court. Finding out if your court has any additional requirements—such as bringing specific forms of identification or extra copies of your forms—also helps. Call the court clerk if you’re unsure.

I’ve filed for bankruptcy in an emergency. What Now?

Although filing for emergency bankruptcy will provide you with some immediate relief, your work is not over. Notifying the creditor who prompted you to file the emergency case is necessary. Additionally, you must finish and submit the last of your bankruptcy forms.

Let Your Creditor Know

Notification of your emergency filing will be mailed to each creditor in your creditor matrix by the bankruptcy court. However, it may take a few days or more for this notice to reach creditors. You should give the creditor a call directly in order to successfully halt a garnishment, lawsuit, foreclosure, repossession, or other collection action. Make contact with the creditor’s lawyer if you are familiar with them rather than contacting the creditor directly. Typically, you’ll need to provide them with your bankruptcy case number, the court you filed with, and the filing date. In case there is an issue, jot down the time and person you spoke with when you called.

Fill out the remaining bankruptcy forms and file them.

You have just 14 days from the time you file your emergency documents to the time you file the remaining bankruptcy forms. Remember, fourteen days can pass quickly, so don’t wait. The remaining forms, along with instructions, can be accessed online, just like the emergency forms. For every state, Upsolve also offers a free filing guide.

The bankruptcy court will send you a deficiency notice a few days after you file your emergency case. This does not imply that the material you have already filed is flawed. It simply indicates that you haven’t yet submitted all necessary forms. A list of the forms you still need to file and the due date for doing so will be included with your deficiency notice. To ensure that the remaining forms are received by the deadline, submit them in person.

The court has the right to dismiss your case if you fail to file the last of the bankruptcy forms by the deadline. The automatic stay is lifted upon a dismissal, allowing your creditors to resume collection efforts. You can file a motion requesting an extension from the court if you require more time to file the remaining forms. Don’t ask for more time unless you absolutely need it, as courts are frequently hesitant to grant these extensions.

Following the submission of all necessary paperwork, your case will be handled similarly to other bankruptcy cases. The date, time, and location of your creditors’ meeting, along with your trustee’s contact details, ought to be included in a notification you receive. About 30 to 45 days typically pass after the date of filing. It’s likely that you’ll receive a request for documents from your trustee, which you must submit at least seven days prior to the meeting.

What Drawbacks Come With Emergency Bankruptcy Filing?
The fact that you have so little time to prepare your bankruptcy forms is the largest disadvantage of filing an emergency case. The shapes are intricate. Documents like bank statements, tax returns, and pay stubs must be gathered. Another disadvantage is that you might run into unforeseen problems with your case when filling out your other forms, like property that isn’t exempt from fees. You don’t have much time to solve problems once you encounter them.

Furthermore, even though filing for emergency bankruptcy gives you some relief, in some cases it’s only a short-term fix. For example, in Chapter 7, you have to immediately bring the payments current if you want to keep your house or vehicle. You have an extended period in Chapter 13 to make up missed payments. Regardless of the chapter you file under, you only have 30 days to bring your payments current if you filed for bankruptcy to prevent an eviction.You only submit the bare minimum of paperwork to the bankruptcy court when filing for bankruptcy emergency. When you need to halt an impending threat of collection, like a wage garnishment, foreclosure, or repossession, emergency filings can be useful. In these circumstances, you might have to file for bankruptcy quickly because you won’t have enough time to finish all the paperwork. You are protected from creditors by the automatic stay, which is activated by the emergency filing. However, you only have 14 days from the date of filing to finish all other documentation. This could be dangerous, particularly if problems arise with your case. Your case may be dismissed if the remaining forms are not submitted by the deadline.

Speak With Our Bankruptcy Lawyers In Phoenix & Scottsdale

Canterbury Law Group should be your first choice for any bankruptcy evaluation. Our experienced professionals will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome. You can on the firm to represent you well so you can move on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation. We can assist with all types of bankruptcies including Business BankruptcyChapter 7 BankruptcyCreditor Representation, Chapter 5 ClaimsChapter 13 Bankruptcy, Business RestructuringChapter 11 Bankruptcy, and more.

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

The Consequences Of Filing For Bankruptcy

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Filing for bankruptcy can have significant consequences, both financial and non-financial. It’s a complex legal process that provides relief for individuals or businesses struggling with overwhelming debt but comes with various implications. Here are some of the consequences of filing for bankruptcy:

Financial Consequences:

  1. Credit Score Impact:
    • Filing for bankruptcy will likely have a severe negative impact on your credit score. A bankruptcy record can remain on your credit report for several years, making it challenging to obtain credit or loans.
  2. Difficulty Obtaining Credit:
    • After bankruptcy, obtaining new credit, such as credit cards or loans, may be more difficult, and if approved, interest rates may be higher.
  3. Limited Access to Financial Products:
    • Bankruptcy can limit access to certain financial products and services. For example, you may find it challenging to qualify for a mortgage or an auto loan with favorable terms.
  4. Asset Liquidation:
    • In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, some of your assets may be sold to pay off creditors. Certain assets, however, may be exempt from liquidation.
  5. Repayment Plans (Chapter 13):
    • In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may be required to follow a court-approved repayment plan to pay off your debts over a specified period, usually three to five years.
  6. Impact on Co-Signers:
    • If someone co-signed a loan with you, they may become responsible for the debt if you file for bankruptcy.

Non-Financial Consequences:

  1. Public Record:
    • Bankruptcy is a public record, and your filing will be accessible to creditors, employers, and the general public.
  2. Employment Impact:
    • While federal law prohibits discrimination based solely on bankruptcy status, some employers may consider it during the hiring process. Positions involving financial responsibilities may be particularly affected.
  3. Housing and Utilities:
    • Some landlords and utility companies may inquire about your bankruptcy history, potentially affecting your ability to secure housing or utility services.
  4. Impact on Personal Relationships:
    • The stress and strain of financial difficulties and bankruptcy can impact personal relationships, including those with family and friends.
  5. Loss of Non-Exempt Property:
    • In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, non-exempt property may be sold to pay off creditors. Exemptions vary by state and protect certain types and amounts of property.

It’s important to note that the specific consequences can vary based on the type of bankruptcy filed (Chapter 7 or Chapter 13), individual circumstances, and applicable state laws. Additionally, while bankruptcy has significant consequences, it also provides individuals and businesses with an opportunity for a fresh financial start.

Before deciding to file for bankruptcy, it’s crucial to consult with a qualified bankruptcy attorney who can assess your situation, explain the potential consequences, and guide you through the process.

What Is the Process of Filing for Emergency Bankruptcy?

A bankruptcy case filed with only a portion of the necessary forms is known as an emergency bankruptcy filing. An emergency filing may also be referred to as an incomplete filing, a skeleton bankruptcy, or a barebones filing, depending on where you live. The minimal information needed to invoke the automatic stay protection is included in an emergency bankruptcy petition as required by the Bankruptcy Code.

Even in urgent situations, the automatic stay begins to operate as soon as your bankruptcy case is filed. All of your creditors are required by the automatic stay to cease pursuing collection actions against you. The automatic stay can start working even before you’ve finished filing for bankruptcy thanks to an emergency petition.

While it is possible to file for bankruptcy in an emergency situation before finishing all the necessary paperwork, doing so does not release you from filing for bankruptcy in an ordinary manner. As required by law, you have 14 days from the date of your emergency filing to file the remaining forms. If not, your case will be dropped, allowing your creditors to start pursuing collection.

Why Do Individuals File for Bankruptcy in an Emergency?

Most people file for emergency bankruptcy in order to stop a collection action that could soon be initiated. Before choosing to file for bankruptcy, many people do some research and consider their options. It may take some time to gather all the required paperwork and complete all the forms, even after you’ve made the decision to file.

The automatic stay has the power to halt additional collection attempts, but it cannot reverse already completed actions. For this reason, it’s imperative that the automatic stay be in place before there is a wage garnishment, bank levy, repossession, or foreclosure. In the event that you are unable to complete all of your paperwork prior to a significant collection event, you can file for emergency bankruptcy, which will protect you from creditors until you have completed your forms.

What is Required for an Urgent Case?

Only a small portion of the documentation needed to complete your bankruptcy filing will be needed for an emergency bankruptcy filing. You still need to fulfill a few minimal requirements in order to file for an emergency.

Select the Appropriate Type of Bankruptcy

Most people file for bankruptcy using either the Bankruptcy Code’s Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. These two types of bankruptcy were intended for different purposes and operate very differently. Chapter 7 is mainly used by debtors to get rid of unsecured debt, like credit card and medical bills. You have to make your payments on time in order to maintain your vehicle or home in Chapter 7.

Repossessions and foreclosures are frequently stopped through emergency bankruptcy filings. Chapter 13 bankruptcy typically makes more sense in these circumstances. The Chapter 13 repayment plan is often used by debtors who are behind on their rent, mortgage, or auto payments in order to catch up on these payments.

The type of bankruptcy you’re filing must be specified when filing an emergency case. Switching to a different chapter isn’t always simple if you select the incorrect kind of case. Try to arrange a meeting with a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney if you’re unsure which chapter to file under. When you arrange the consultation, make sure to mention that you’re in an emergency.

Verify Your Eligibility

Not everyone is qualified to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7. To find out if you are eligible for Chapter 7 relief, you will need to pass a means test. Although completing the means test calculations prior to filing is not necessary in the event of an emergency, it is a good idea in case there is a problem with your eligibility for Chapter 7.

You should also see if you are eligible for a bankruptcy discharge if you have previously filed for bankruptcy. There are waiting periods between a previous bankruptcy discharge and a new discharge mandated by the Bankruptcy Code. Depending on the chapter you filed under previously and the chapter you are filing under now, these wait times vary. The wait periods only come into play if your prior case resulted in a discharge. A Chapter 13 plan can be used to make up missed payments even if you are not eligible for a discharge because of an earlier case.

If you have previously filed for bankruptcy, there are additional restrictions that might be applicable to the automatic stay. The automatic stay usually lasts from the time a bankruptcy case is filed until it is dismissed or discharged. The automatic stay in your new case will only last 30 days if you filed for bankruptcy within the last year and that bankruptcy was dismissed (not discharged). If you want to prolong the automatic stay past 30 days, you can file a motion. Usually, you have to file the motion along with your emergency documents.

When you file for bankruptcy, the automatic stay won’t apply if you’ve filed for bankruptcy twice or more in the previous year. To enforce the stay, you can file a motion, but you’ll need to wait for a hearing and a ruling. You will not be shielded from ongoing collection actions by filing for emergency bankruptcy if there is no automatic stay in place.

Enroll in a Credit Counseling Program

Prior to filing for bankruptcy, all applicants must finish a credit counseling program from an authorized provider. This covers last-minute bankruptcy petitions. Most suppliers provide the course over the phone, online, or both. The cost ranges from $10 to $45, depending on the provider. The course is offered once, with sessions lasting typically less than two hours. A certificate will be emailed to you by the provider once the course is finished. When submitting your emergency forms to the court, you also need to submit this certificate.

Fill out the Forms That Are NECESSARY.

In order to file for emergency bankruptcy, you need to at least fill out and submit the following forms:

Form 101, Voluntary Petition: This eight-page form asks for basic details about your name, address, type of bankruptcy, and history of bankruptcies, if any.

Social Security Number Declaration (Form 121): You will only use your complete Social Security number here in your documentation. It is hidden from creditors, attorneys, and even your trustee; only the court can view it.

An alphabetical list of all your creditors along with their mailing addresses can be found in the creditor matrix. The matrix must be submitted in a specific format to the majority of bankruptcy courts. In certain courts, the list of creditors must be submitted with a verification form. To be sure of the requirements, check with the court where your case will be filed.

Obtain Your Filing Cost

For Chapter 7 cases, the bankruptcy court charges a filing fee of $338, and for Chapter 13 cases, it charges $313. When you file your case, the fee is due. You can file a motion requesting the court to allow you to pay the filing fee in installments if you are unable to pay the entire amount. When you file your emergency case, most courts require you to pay a minimum first installment. For confirmation, check with your court.

You may petition the court to have your filing fee waived if your income is less than 150% of the federal poverty guidelines. When filing your emergency paperwork, you must also file your motion for installments or a fee waiver if you are not paying the full fee.

Put In The Case

New cases can only be filed online by bankruptcy attorneys. Since mailing your forms can cause a delay, it is best to file your paperwork in person in an emergency. To locate your bankruptcy court, use the federal court locater. Certain bankruptcy districts have restrictions on where you can file depending on the county in which you reside. To verify the residence rules and office hours, visit the website of your court. Finding out if your court has any additional requirements—such as bringing specific forms of identification or extra copies of your forms—also helps. Call the court clerk if you’re unsure.

I’ve filed for bankruptcy in an emergency. What Now?

Although filing for emergency bankruptcy will provide you with some immediate relief, your work is not over. Notifying the creditor who prompted you to file the emergency case is necessary. Additionally, you must finish and submit the last of your bankruptcy forms.

Let Your Creditor Know

Notification of your emergency filing will be mailed to each creditor in your creditor matrix by the bankruptcy court. However, it may take a few days or more for this notice to reach creditors. You should give the creditor a call directly in order to successfully halt a garnishment, lawsuit, foreclosure, repossession, or other collection action. Make contact with the creditor’s lawyer if you are familiar with them rather than contacting the creditor directly. Typically, you’ll need to provide them with your bankruptcy case number, the court you filed with, and the filing date. In case there is an issue, jot down the time and person you spoke with when you called.

Fill out the remaining bankruptcy forms and file them.

You have just 14 days from the time you file your emergency documents to the time you file the remaining bankruptcy forms. Remember, fourteen days can pass quickly, so don’t wait. The remaining forms, along with instructions, can be accessed online, just like the emergency forms. For every state, Upsolve also offers a free filing guide.

The bankruptcy court will send you a deficiency notice a few days after you file your emergency case. This does not imply that the material you have already filed is flawed. It simply indicates that you haven’t yet submitted all necessary forms. A list of the forms you still need to file and the due date for doing so will be included with your deficiency notice. To ensure that the remaining forms are received by the deadline, submit them in person.

The court has the right to dismiss your case if you fail to file the last of the bankruptcy forms by the deadline. The automatic stay is lifted upon a dismissal, allowing your creditors to resume collection efforts. You can file a motion requesting an extension from the court if you require more time to file the remaining forms. Don’t ask for more time unless you absolutely need it, as courts are frequently hesitant to grant these extensions.

Following the submission of all necessary paperwork, your case will be handled similarly to other bankruptcy cases. The date, time, and location of your creditors’ meeting, along with your trustee’s contact details, ought to be included in a notification you receive. About 30 to 45 days typically pass after the date of filing. It’s likely that you’ll receive a request for documents from your trustee, which you must submit at least seven days prior to the meeting.

What Drawbacks Come With Emergency Bankruptcy Filing?
The fact that you have so little time to prepare your bankruptcy forms is the largest disadvantage of filing an emergency case. The shapes are intricate. Documents like bank statements, tax returns, and pay stubs must be gathered. Another disadvantage is that you might run into unforeseen problems with your case when filling out your other forms, like property that isn’t exempt from fees. You don’t have much time to solve problems once you encounter them.

Furthermore, even though filing for emergency bankruptcy gives you some relief, in some cases it’s only a short-term fix. For example, in Chapter 7, you have to immediately bring the payments current if you want to keep your house or vehicle. You have an extended period in Chapter 13 to make up missed payments. Regardless of the chapter you file under, you only have 30 days to bring your payments current if you filed for bankruptcy to prevent an eviction.You only submit the bare minimum of paperwork to the bankruptcy court when filing for bankruptcy emergency. When you need to halt an impending threat of collection, like a wage garnishment, foreclosure, or repossession, emergency filings can be useful. In these circumstances, you might have to file for bankruptcy quickly because you won’t have enough time to finish all the paperwork. You are protected from creditors by the automatic stay, which is activated by the emergency filing. However, you only have 14 days from the date of filing to finish all other documentation. This could be dangerous, particularly if problems arise with your case. Your case may be dismissed if the remaining forms are not submitted by the deadline.

Speak With Our Bankruptcy Lawyers In Phoenix & Scottsdale

Canterbury Law Group should be your first choice for any bankruptcy evaluation. Our experienced professionals will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome. You can on the firm to represent you well so you can move on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation. We can assist with all types of bankruptcies including Business BankruptcyChapter 7 BankruptcyCreditor Representation, Chapter 5 ClaimsChapter 13 Bankruptcy, Business RestructuringChapter 11 Bankruptcy, and more.

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Advantages and Disadvantages of Filing for Chapter 7 or 13 Bankruptcy in Arizona

If you have decided to file for bankruptcy, you may be wondering whether you should file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is not suitable for all situations. Also, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is usually the more common option for petitioners who are behind on mortgage payments but still want to keep their property. Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows the borrower to agree to pay back overdue charges and settle back on the original mortgage contract. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most commonly used option for those who are severely indebted and simply wish to start over.  

You can always consult with a local bankruptcy attorney in Scottsdale or your area to decide which option is best for you. Otherwise, take a look at advantages and disadvantages of both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 forms of bankruptcy to decide which option is the best for you:

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Arizona

Most Arizonans who are in heavy debt choose this option to solve their financial situation. Under Chapter 7 filings, a court will most likely discharge unsecured debts like credit card debt or personal loans. The petitioners will only have to pay back debts secured with assets once the parties have agreed on a “Reaffirmed Agreement.”

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is particularly attractive to many because it offers protection against debt collection efforts like constant calls and holding back wages. If you earn any wages on a property you have bought, the money will belong to you, not the creditor, following the Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing date.

There is also no minimum debt amount needed to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You can expect the proceedings to end within 3 to 6 months from the filing date.

As attractive as it may be, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is not without its setbacks. Mainly, the law does not cover assets given up as collateral for a loan, such as a property or a vehicle. The petitioners could lose non-exempt property, which would later be sold by a court-appointed Trustee. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is not typically suitable if your home is undergoing foreclosure. Filing for bankruptcy will only temporarily halt the proceedings. Co-signers will also be contractually bound unless they separately file for bankruptcy.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Arizona

This option allows petitioners to keep all property, whether exempt or nonexempt, under a court-approved payment plan. If you have many secured loans, then Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the best option for you. Some debts will not be canceled under Chapter 7, but a judge can reduce them. Like with Chapter 7, Chapter 13 filings afford protections against collection calls and similar efforts by the creditor.   When pursuing Chapter 13, you’re most likely going to need experienced legal counsel by your side.  

If you agree on a full payment, co-signers will be protected from creditor’s collection efforts. You can also obtain protection against foreclosure of your home if you completely follow the new payment agreement. You can also get more time to pay off debts under this proceeding, especially ones that are not discharged, like child support or taxes. You can also repeatedly file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

The disadvantage is that the payment plan you agree to will be based on your income earned after the filing date. You will have to be frugal until the debts are paid back as per the agreement. These plans can last from 3 to 5 years. As a result, the proceedings can last up to 5 years. Attorney fees for Chapter 13 bankruptcy also tend to be higher.  Some professions, like stockbrokers, cannot file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Arizona.

Carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages given above before discussing your bankruptcy with an attorney.  For more email the firm at [email protected] or call 480-744-7711.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Important Factors on Bankruptcy Help in Scottsdale

If your financial struggles are becoming overwhelming and the future looks bleak, there are a few things you need to know before filing for bankruptcy.

1. There is No Shame in Filing – If you are considering bankruptcy but your feelings about what type of person you would be to file are stopping you, it’s time to get over it! These days, people from all walks of life file for bankruptcy. You should feel no shame in wanting to solve your financial struggles and get your life back in order. The stigma is in avoiding the problems, hiding from creditors, and not facing the facts – it’s time to fix your finances and turn a new corner.

2. You May Be Able to Keep Your Home – Arizona has well known homestead exemptions that allow you to keep your primary residence. Being forced out of your home is not a reason to avoid filing bankruptcy. The likelihood of losing your home is much greater if you do not file. A Scottsdale bankruptcy attorney can help you make bankruptcy choices that in most cases may permit you to maintain ownership of your home even after your bankruptcy concludes. And in this day and age when so many homeowners are underwater on their mortgage, the likelihood of your home not being included in your bankruptcy is even greater.

3. Bankruptcy is an Investment – If you feel as if you are sinking financially, now is the time to contact a Scottsdale bankruptcy attorney. He or she can help you assess your current situation and get a handle on where you are headed. This will give you some time to save up the money you need to file for bankruptcy before it is too late.

Canterbury Law Group is uniquely qualified to represent clients in the most sophisticated personal and business bankruptcy cases. The range of services we provide depends on an individual’s or a company’s unique situation. Call us today to schedule a consultation. 480-240-0400 or [email protected]

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Does Bankruptcy Affect Students Financial Aid?

As back to school season is here, many parents are wondering if a previous bankruptcy can affect eligibility for education loans. Although it may affect some loans, it does not affect eligibility for certain forms of financial aid.

The Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-394) amended the US Bankruptcy Code at 11 USC 525(c) to prohibit denial of government student grants and loans based solely on the student’s or borrower’s past or present filing of a bankruptcy petition. The only exception is the Federal PLUS loan.

A child is eligible for federal student loans, such as the Stafford loan, regardless of the parent’s history of bankruptcy. Also, the Stafford loan does not depend on the borrower’s credit history in any way.

A parent’s history of bankruptcy also does not affect the child’s eligibility for federal grants, state grants, scholarships and money from the college, nor student employment programs like Federal Work-Study. The parent may also be eligible for tuition installment plans because these plans are usually structured as a qualified education loans to make them difficult to discharge in bankruptcy.

However, parents are ineligible to borrow from the PLUS loan program for five years from the date of the bankruptcy discharge. By law, PLUS loan borrowers must not have an adverse credit history. The regulations define an adverse credit history as having had a bankruptcy discharge, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment or default determination in the last five years or a current delinquency on any debt of 90 or more days.

If a child’s parent is denied a PLUS loan because of an adverse credit history, the child becomes eligible for increased unsubsidized Stafford loan limits. Parents with a recent bankruptcy will be ineligible to serve as the borrower or co-signer on most private student loans. The provisions of the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1994 apply only to federal student loans, not private student loans. Most lenders of private student loans ask about bankruptcy filings in the last 7 or 10 years. It really doesn’t matter whether the filing was under chapter 7, 11 or 13, as the lenders will be wary of lending money to anybody with a recent bankruptcy filing.

The bankruptcy lawyers at Canterbury law Group work attentively with bankruptcy clients to secure their fresh financial freedom. Whether filing as an individual or for your business, the bankruptcy attorneys at Canterbury Law Group are experienced experts in all areas of bankruptcy cases in the Phoenix area. Please call us today to schedule your consultation.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Arizona Bankruptcy Exemptions

At Canterbury Law Group, our Scottsdale attorneys are renowned bankruptcy technicians. We represent clients through the entire bankruptcy process and, although all cases are unique, the end goal of bankruptcy is always a new beginning and fresh financial start.

We help clients determine eligible exemptions for their bankruptcy case. Here are some of the most common exemptions available under Arizona law (meaning that they will emerge from bankruptcy):

  • Alimony and Child Support – Alimony and child support, up to the amount needed for support. 33-1126.
  • Bank Deposit – A debtor may exempt $300 in a single bank account. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 33–1126(8).
  • Homestead or Residential Property – Under Arizona law, debtors may exempt up to $150,000 (per debtor or married couple) of their home or other real property covered by the homestead exemption. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 33–1101, 33–1103 and 33–1104.
  • Insurance Benefits – Life insurance benefits that are payable or received by a surviving spouse or child, up to $20,000.
  • Claims for the destruction of, or damage to, exempt property – Cash surrender value of life insurance policies, subject to length of ownership requirements and other exceptions.
  • Motor Vehicles – A debtor may exempt up to $6,000 in one or more motor vehicles. An elderly or disabled debtor, or an elderly or disabled spouse or dependent of the debtor, may exempt up to $12,000.
  • Pension and Retirement Benefits – Benefits from various employee pension systems are exempt. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 33–1126 and 38–792.
  • Personal Property – A debtor may exempt the following personal property:
    • up to $6,000 in household furniture and appliances not covered by other exemptions
    • up to $1,000 total in bible, bicycle, sewing machine, typewriter, computer, burial plot, rifle, pistol or shotgun
    • up to $500 in clothing
    • up to $400 in musical instruments
    • up to $800 in animals
    • up to $2,000 in engagement and wedding rings
    • up to $250 in books
    • up to $150 in watch
    • wrongful death awards
    • prepaid rent or security deposit to $2,000 or 1.5 times your rent, whichever is less, in lieu of using homestead exemption.
    • all teaching materials for youth, and
    • certain professionally prescribed health aids.
  • Tools of the Trade – A debtor may exempt up to $5,000 in trade implements, which includes farming tools if the debtor’s primary income is from farming. All arms and uniforms that a debtor is legally required to keep are exempt. Library and teaching aids of a teacher.
  • Unemployment Compensation – Unemployment compensation is exempt as long it is not commingled with other funds and except for the enforcement of child support orders. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 23–783.
  • Wages – A debtor may exempt the lesser of the following wages, per week:
    • 25% of his or her disposable earnings, or
    • earnings in excess of 30 times the federal minimum wage
    • Workers’ Compensation – A debtor may exempt up to $6,000 in one or more motor vehicles. An elderly or disabled debtor, or an elderly or disabled spouse or dependent of the debtor, may exempt up to $12,000.

Our legal team is ready to represent you in your Scottsdale business or personal bankruptcy case. Call us today to schedule your consultation. Our track record speaks for itself! 480-744-7711.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

How Celebs end up in Bankruptcy

American society always seems surprised when learning about the newest A-lister or celebrity who has filed for bankruptcy. Having a celebrity status and earning millions doesn’t necessarily deter bankruptcy. How is it possible that so many millionaires find themselves in bankruptcy court, clamoring to protect what little assets they have left? With all the celebrity millionaires (and billionaires) who have gone broke, we may be able to learn from their mistakes.

1. No Financial Education – Often, when you go from having nothing to having everything, a financial education is not part of the package. Learning how to save, budget, and invest can take years, and if you’ve never had substantial money before, you may never have learned these essential financial management skills. When handed huge checks to cash, many celebs go out and buy the biggest house and fastest car they can find, rather than learning how to properly handle their money.

2. Lack of Trustworthy People – Many celebrities surround themselves with attorneys, accountants and insurance professionals to help them with proper estate, tax and insurance planning. However, in doing so, they often do not bother double-checking the work that is being done on their behalf, nor do they properly vet the financial professionals they hire. Not surprisingly, many fall prey to unscrupulous advisors. Worse yet, some celebrities are taken advantage of by friends and family who they hire to manage their affairs.

3. Unrealistic Career Expectations – It might be easy to expect a successful Hollywood or professional sports career to continue indefinitely. But sadly, most careers don’t last very long. Unfortunately, not every actor picks up another well-paying gig immediately after their show is cancelled.

Canterbury Law Group is uniquely qualified to represent clients in the most sophisticated personal and business bankruptcy cases. The range of services we provide depends on an individual’s or a company’s unique situation. Call us today to schedule a consultation. 480-744-7711.

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