Written by Canterbury Law Group

4 Steps to Get Your Business on Track After Filing for Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is a dreaded word by not just business owners, but families as well. It is not something that people want to go through, but it is the reality for many. With a business, sometimes you can put in all the hard work in the world but still end up filing for bankruptcy.

When starting a business, 30% will fail during the first two years. That number increases to 50% in the first five years, and 66% in the first 10 years. Only 25% will actually make it to at least 15 years.

With these stark statistics, there’s a likely chance that a new business may end up filing for bankruptcy. If that is the case, can your business survive, and if it does, can you get it back on track?

Getting the top bankruptcy attorneys in Scottsdale is one step to take. After that, consider some of the following points to help you get your business back on track.

Determine Which Type of Bankruptcy You’re Filing For

Depending on which bankruptcy you end up choosing to file, whether it be Chapter 7, Chapter 13, or Chapter 11, the case will significantly impact the outcome for your business.

For Chapter 7, your entire business is liquidated and sold off. You would then have to start over from scratch. In contrast, Chapter 13 bankruptcy will affect your company, but you will still have the debt to deal with. With Chapter 11 though, your business will continue to operate daily as your case pushes through the bankruptcy process and a reorganization plan is approved.

Understand What Went Wrong

One of the most important things to focus on after going through the bankruptcy process is to determine what went wrong. One of failure’s benefits is that it’s an opportunity to learn and grow. Take a look at your prior business plan and make essential notes of which parts went wrong that caused you to go into bankruptcy.

Build Your Credit Back Up

One of the hardest things about bankruptcy is that your credit score takes a significant hit. That number is essential if you need to file for a loan to start your business back up again.

Work towards building your credit back up. Start by paying all of your bills and credit cards on time. The more diligent you are about any remaining debt and paying it off, the more favorable outcome it will have on your credit score.

Find Another Source of Revenue

If your business can continue while you are going through bankruptcy, find additional ways to bring in more money. The reason you went into bankruptcy is that you lacked money. So, if you can find other ways to increase your monthly revenue, you’ll have more money to put towards your debt and to keep your business running.

Don’t look at bankruptcy as the end of an era. Instead, consider it as a second act— the new chance to get your company back up and running smoothly once more. It will take a lot of hard work and dedication, but a business can survive and thrive after filing for bankruptcy.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Dealing With the Emotions of Bankruptcy

For many, accepting the fact that their finances are beyond their control and that bankruptcy is the only option is challenging. The thing is, though, bankruptcy should not be looked at as the end of the world.

Filing for bankruptcy is a way of admitting that you need help with your finances, and are willing to put in the work to regain control. However, the word bankruptcy still has a negative connotation to it. With that can come the stress on your mental and emotional well-being.

When going through bankruptcy, it is important that you remain as strong as you can. That is why we have the following six tips to help you deal with your emotions while going through bankruptcy.

Realize You Are Not the Only One

Filing for bankruptcy can be a blow to the ego. Your debt got out of hand to the point that there was nothing more you could do to control it. It can negatively affect your mental well being. The last thing you need, though, is for you to be hard on yourself which will only make you suffer even more.

Understand that you are not alone. Many people go through a bankruptcy claim, and many of them come out better after it’s all said and done. Look at a bankruptcy claim as a step you’ve taken to regain control of your finances, and not that you’ve given up. The truth is, you haven’t given up by taking this path because it’s only the first step of many that you’ll be taking to get out of debt.

Speak With Your Attorney

Your bankruptcy attorney is there to answer all of your questions and to guide you through the bankruptcy processes. By going with the top bankruptcy attorney in Scottsdale, they know how difficult a bankruptcy claim can be on someone’s mental well being. A good attorney will be compassionate and understanding, all while not allowing you to give up mentally and emotionally.

Lean on Family and Friends

Even if you want to keep your bankruptcy claim very private, it is still beneficial to have someone you trust to lean on. A close friend or family member will be able to listen to your problems and give you a shoulder to cry on. Take advantage of this as to avoid bottling everything inside.

Educate Yourself on Finances

After filing for bankruptcy, it’s a good idea to start reading up on what you can about finances and recovering from bankruptcy. Financial education will help you through your bankruptcy journey, as well as prevent you from ending up where you were before all of this. 

Seek Counseling

If you find that bankruptcy has taken an extreme toll on your mental health, seeking out counseling services is a good idea. These trained professionals can listen to your problems, and give you advice and coping mechanisms that will help you make it through bankruptcy.

Volunteer

For some, keeping their mind busy will help clear their head and stop thinking about bankruptcy for a moment. Going out and volunteering is an excellent way to do this. Volunteering is a way to lift your spirits by doing something good for someone else.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Keep Your Credit – Avoid Bankruptcy

Debt is scary. When you open up your account and see that you owe more money than you can spare, it can quickly become overwhelming. Sometimes, the stress leads one to believe that the only remaining option is to file for bankruptcy.

Although bankruptcy doesn’t have to be the end of the world, it is best to leave it as a last resort option. If you can no longer pay any of your debt and have done all that you can to try and get afloat, bankruptcy may be your only option and ironically, the best option.

Before you make your decision, see if there are any other things you can do before calling for bankruptcy help in Scottsdale.

Sell, Sell, and Sell Some More

When the word bankruptcy comes to mind when you look at your finances, that is when you know you need to take immediate legal action. See what you have that you can afford to live without and sell it. The more quick cash you can bring it, the more debt you can pay off and avoid filing for bankruptcy.  But do not do anything until you seek counseled advice from licensed bankruptcy lawyers.

Bring in More Money

See if there are ways that you can bring in more money each month. That additional income could go straight to your debt to pay it off quicker. There are many side-gig jobs available that will pay a decent wage. Whether it be a skill you have that you can teach to children, or are crafty and can sell items, there are lots of little things you can do for extra cash.

Crack Down on Your Spending

If you still have a bit of time before you have no choice but to file for bankruptcy, sit down and go through your spending habits. See where you can make cuts and by how much. Set up a budget based on your monthly income, and try to get as much money going into your debt as possible.  But do not do any of this until speaking to a licensed bankruptcy lawyer who can and will help you map it all out in advance—do not guess on the right steps, let your lawyer show you the actual steps to make as you go.  This feels better, a lot better, as you go.

Ask for Help

There is no shame in bankruptcy.  The President of the United States has done it. It is so easy to get ourselves into debt, and so hard to get out of it. Maybe all you need is a small loan from a family member to get your payments back on schedule. Asking for help from family, friends, and professional financial people can help keep you on track to avoid bankruptcy.  Your lawyers too will show a way out.

If you’ve done all you can and bankruptcy is your only hope, do not fret. Bankruptcy does not mean the end. Although it will affect your credit score, you can then get yourself back on your feet and start over.  Your bankruptcy attorneys will show you through the tunnel to the next and hopeful life phase beyond discharge.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Reasons for Bankruptcy and How to Avoid Them

When it comes to bankruptcy, there is both good news and bad news. In 2017, bankruptcy filings fell by 3%. Good news, right?

Having said that, there were still over 770,000 bankruptcy filings. This is something upon which we must improve.

In doing so, it’s important to examine the fundamental reasons why people end up in bankruptcy. Bankruptcy lawyers in Scottsdale have assembled the following five reasons in addition to how to avoid ending up in this dismal situation.

#1 – Job Loss

Although we are currently in a period of low unemployment, it was recently very high not too long ago. If you don’t plan correctly and fail to have a financial safe hold in place with sufficient funds, you can easily end up in bankruptcy. Things you’d have to consider in an emergency fund include food, rent, transportation, insurance, child-related expenses, and various asset expenses. Furthermore, you always want to prepare for medical expenses just to be safe.

In terms of your job, focus on being a productive employee with an amicable attitude. In addition, it’s always good to make yourself more marketable over time with additional certifications and skills.

#2 – Decreasing Income

Simply put, with less money and cash flow, the greater the chances are that you’ll end up bankrupt. While you may not be completely unemployed, a change in roles or a reduction in hours can really make it hard to stay afloat.

While this may be hard to avoid, you should prepare for this in the same way that you’d prepare for losing your job. Another option might be to pursue side gigs to augment your income.

#3 – Credit Card Debt

Credit card debt can really be a slippery slope, and if you let it get out of control, you’ll be in trouble quicker than you think. While it may be tempting to simply make the minimum monthly payments, you’ll actually just be dragging things out and losing money in interest over time.

There is a simple solution here – only purchase what you can afford and pay off your credit card every month.

#4 – Medical Expenses

It’s no surprise that one of the leading causes of bankruptcy is, in fact, medical expenses. We understand that medical treatment generally is not optional and also is quite expensive.

To avoid getting into debt because of medical expenses, focus on living a healthy life through clean eating, exercising regularly, and going for annual physician screenings.

#5 – Divorce

Divorce is one of the last major causes of bankruptcy. Outside of legal fees, which can be tremendously expensive, financial assets are not always allocated equally. If and when they are, you must consider the idea of living alone versus living with a spouse. A financial system that supported two people may not successfully support one person.

It’s important to work hard to keep your marriage healthy and strong. This can be achieved through active communication, romantic gestures, and honesty.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

The Truth about Holiday Season “Bad Credit” Loans

The holiday season is finally over. Among the flurry of deals and discounts consumers typically get when shopping, there are also seemingly lucrative deals for borrowing money. Most consumers use credit cards or otherwise borrow money to spend during the holidays, hoping to pay it all off next year. Not everyone gets their yearly bonus in advance. Arizonians and Americans, in general, have a very complicated relationship with debt. Consumers can be highly unrestrained when it comes to borrowing money. This is why most people still end up with so-called “bad credit” loans that they can’t pay off. Borrowing money when your credit score is already low can send you spiraling straight into a debt trap. Therefore, when you see advertisements for payday loans or bad credit loans, keep the following information in mind:

“Bad Credit” Loans May Come with Sky High-Interest Rates

These bad credit loans are a form of payday loans. Lenders that offer loans like this target borrowers who are ineligible for conventional loans because of existing debt. If a person’s credit score is low, it indicates prior debt problems, and possibly even personal bankruptcy. Legitimate lenders, like banks, do not typically allow people with bad credit to borrow more. Additionally, people with bad credit may have been maxed out of credit cards. So this group of borrowers is desperate and ripe for exploitation.

Loans for borrowers with bad credit are easy to get, but not so easy to pay off. These loans do not typically require collateral but come associated with sky-high interest rates akin to typical payday loans. Unless you pay off one of these loans right away, you may end up with serious debt next year.

What to Do When You Have Too Much Unsecured Debt

If you are nose-deep in debt because of unsecured loans, there are still positives to look forward to. These loans have no associated collateral, so you don’t have to worry about losing a house or a car. If the debt has piled up high and you can no longer afford to pay it all back, then you can consider filing for bankruptcy. Under Chapter 7 bankruptcy law, unsecured debt, including payday loans, can be discharged. Consult a bankruptcy attorney in Scottsdale to know if you are eligible for a Chapter 7 filing.

Bankruptcy is not the only option to consider. Debtors can negotiate with creditors to bring down the interest rate or pay only a part of the loan. If a creditor is verbally abusive towards you demanding payment, you can file a creditor harassment complaint. There are new protections for consumers against loan sharks who mislead borrowers about financial tools like bad credit or payday loans. In these situations, you can find debt relief with legal assistance.

Avoiding Bad Credit Loans in the New Year

You don’t have to file for bankruptcy or hire a lawyer if you are not in debt. Therefore, the best way to avoid being burdened by personal loans in 2018 is not to borrow them in the first place.

If the debt is an issue, don’t borrow more to finance more shopping or vacations. Save money instead. If you are in dire need of credit, consider obtaining a legitimate loan where the interest rate is not so high.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

How Many Times Can I File for Bankruptcy?

If you have filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 before, can you do the same again? Can a debtor in Arizona file for bankruptcy multiple times? It’s not uncommon for Arizonians to fall into hard times and become severely indebted once or twice. Technically, it is possible to file for bankruptcy more than once under Arizona law and the applicable federal laws. However, the law specifies certain circumstances under which a debtor can actually do that.

BAPCPA and Multiple Bankruptcy Filings

In 2005, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) went into to effect. The law made it less easy for debtors to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The idea is to prevent unwarranted practices by higher income individuals who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy to take advantage of its debt discharge clauses. BAPCPA aimed to force rich debtors to file for Chapter 13 instead and to pay back what they owe under a court-mandated payment plan.

As a result of BAPCPA, there are now several significant limitations for multiple Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings in Arizona.

What are the Limits on Multiple Bankruptcy Filings?

Here is a list of the most significant limitations to multiple bankruptcies that debtors should be aware of:

  • Debtors must wait for at least 8 years before filing for another Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The days are counted from the day the debtor filed the first Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. From then on, the debtor must wait exactly 8 years before filing for bankruptcy under the same chapter once again.
  • Debt discharges during the second bankruptcy could be more impaired based on discharges offered during the earlier bankruptcy filings. For example, if you are filing for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you cannot obtain a debt discharge if you were granted an earlier Chapter 13 debt discharge in the previous two years. If you have obtained a debt discharge under Chapter 7 in the previous 4 years, then you can’t get a Chapter 13 discharge for a new case. However, this doesn’t prevent you from being able to file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
  • You can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy regardless of how many bankruptcies you have filed before. There are certain circumstances, such as owning too much mortgage debt, that allow debtors to do this. Chapter 13 filings are accepted even for issues like needing a payment plan to pay off taxes owed.
  • Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, regardless of precious bankruptcy history, enables automatic stay on a current debt between three to five years. However, the court must be specifically requested to enforce the automatic stay if you have had a bankruptcy dismissed by the court during the previous 12 months.

The above limitations are not too restrictive when it comes to filing for another bankruptcy. If your case is complicated, you must consult with an experienced Arizona bankruptcy attorney. Keep in mind that you may not be able to keep filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in rapid succession as per the recently amended rules and regulations.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

How to Cope with the Stress of Fighting a Bankruptcy Case

No one really wants to be in a situation where they have to file for bankruptcy. It can be immensely stressful to go through with the proceedings. If you have trouble managing stress while you are petitioning for bankruptcy, here are several tips to help you reduce the mental burden:

Don’t Hesitate to Ask Your Lawyer the Tough Questions

Bankruptcy cases can be particularly stressful because the law involved in these cases can be quite complicated. Don’t be confused and or angered about the issues raised. If you have questions, ask your bankruptcy attorney in Scottsdale. A good lawyer will be more than happy to help you with whatever questions you have. Your attorney is also the best person to explain how the law applies to your unique situation. You will feel much better after you have spoken to your attorney regarding the tough parts of your case.

Think About Positive Aspects of Bankruptcy

Yes, it may seem impossible to look on the bright side of filing for bankruptcy, but there really is one. Bankruptcy can actually be good for you. Think about all the good things happening. For starters, your creditors can no longer harass you with never-ending phone calls. You are no longer avoiding debt issues. Some of the debt you have, like credit card debt, can be dismissed by the court depending on under which chapter you file.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is considered the “best plan for debt elimination” because the court discharges most types of unsecured debt under this law.  The court will order a credit plan to pay back whatever remaining debt you have. So when the court proceedings are done, you will mostly be debt free!

Sleep Properly

Do not stay up late worrying about your case; let your attorney handle that part. Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night when the case is proceeding. If you are sleep deprived, you will feel even more stressed out. A good night’s sleep can clear your head and prepare you mentally to navigate your case.

Educate Yourself about Issues Involved

Your attorney may not have time to explain every little thing about your case to you. In this situation, you can always go online and read about the basics of filing for bankruptcy litigation. If you don’t understand what Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 bankruptcy is, there are plenty of resources online (and also on this blog) that will help you understand the process involved. Don’t hesitate to do your research. When you are educated about the laws involved, the case will seem a lot less complicated to you. That should relieve most of your stress issues.

You can also read blogs about people who have overcome debt after filing for bankruptcy. Reading about the experiences of others will help you overcome yours better.

What’s more stressful than going through with a bankruptcy case? Crushing debt. Once the case is over, your debt will be largely be gone too. So think about the positives and don’t dwell on the negatives until your case concludes and you are fully discharged.  This too shall pass.