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

Moving Forward After Filing for Bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy is not something families want to do. Unfortunately, though, it is something many American’s have to do.

Filing for bankruptcy is not the end of the world. In reality, it is actually the opposite for many people. It can be looked at as a fresh start with finances, and a way to plan your path to financial freedom. However, it isn’t as easy as it sounds. After filing for bankruptcy, it takes a lot of time and dedication to continue moving forward. Bankruptcy is not a quick fix and is a decision that must be taken seriously.

For some, when the possibility of bankruptcy is an option, the question of how to move forward afterward will come up. With our bankruptcy help in Scottsdale, and along with some of the following tips, we will help you move on with your life after claiming bankruptcy.

Keep Paying Any Reaffirmed Debts

Some debts can survive bankruptcy, which means you will still have to pay them down. There are loans which are entitled to the value of the collateral. This means you will still be required to make the payments agreed upon in the original loan documents.

It would help if you didn’t look at these reaffirmed debts at as something negative. As long as you continue to make your payments on time, the reaffirmed debts can help you rebuild your future credit score.

Use a Secured Credit Card

Continuing with life without a credit card can be challenging. Many companies require a credit card before making a reservation, renting something, or even trying to purchase an item.

Using a credit card is what also helps build and improve your credit rating. A good credit score will allow you to apply for loans and mortgages, whereas a negative credit score is likely to get you denied. However, if you have a poor credit score or went through the bankruptcy process, it could be difficult to obtain one.

A secured credit card is something you should consider using after going through bankruptcy. These credit cards a basically pre-paid cards. You must deposit money into the card account before making any purchases with the card. The money is used as collateral; therefore you can only spend up to what you deposited. You can, though, deposit more to increase your credit, or even be rewarded an increased credit line from the bank.

Avoid Building Debt

One of the best things to do after applying for bankruptcy is avoiding what got you there in the first place. Try not to accumulate any new debt. Keep paying all of your bills on time. Create a budget to help you keep your spending in check, as to not spend more than what you’re earning. The more you can do to keep your cash flow higher than your expenses, the better chance you have of avoiding any more debt.

Don’t let bankruptcy be the end of your finances and your life. Although it will require work on your part, you should think of it as a fresh start to help you get your finances under control. By committing to it, you’ll be able to repair your credit score, pay off all of your loans, and work your way towards financial freedom.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Removing the Bankruptcy Stigmas

When you’re talking about bankruptcy, it can be a scary conversation. Unfortunately, there is still a negative stigma around filing for bankruptcy, even if it the best solution for those considering this solution.

The bankruptcy stigma comes in a variety of themes. You may be worried about how your friends and family will react when they hear you talk about bankruptcy. It can also be challenging to get a credit card, or even get one at all, which can give you an unsettling feeling.

If the stigma is what is holding you back from claiming bankruptcy and you know it is the best decision for you, disregard these issues. Remember that thousands of people have gone through the same thing and they come out on top after it all.  As mom and dad said, “this too, shall end.”

Social Bankruptcy Stigmas

One of the hardest stigmas to overcome with bankruptcy is the concern of what people will think of you. Chances are there are people you know that have gone through the same situation you are in right now. Although bankruptcy cases are a “public” courthouse matter, typically people do not go out searching to see who filed for bankruptcy. Plus, you can keep it as private as you want.  Don’t ask, don’t tell—virtually nobody will even know you went through this cleansing and liberating process.

Emotional Stigma

If you find yourself feeling guilty for filing for bankruptcy, again, it is more than okay. The federal government offers bankruptcy for a reason—people deserve a second chance.  Big time.  Lots of the time, people who claim bankruptcy had no other choice and did everything they could. Many factors are outside of your control contribute, including the local and national economy. So, if you have guilt for not paying your bills as you should be, that doesn’t make you any less responsible.  You have done your best, you will do your best again.

Financial Stigma

The social and emotional stigma with bankruptcy is something that you can and will keep private, or seek counseling to help you through. Unfortunately, the financial stigma around bankruptcy is one that need not be inevitable. When you claim bankruptcy, your credit score goes down for only a short time—it will skyrocket later. It will be initially more difficult to get credit for things like a home or car loan. The good news, though, is that you can work your way back to a high credit score and remove the stigma altogether.  Most post-discharge consumers find themselves normalized on credit and their lives within a few years.

It’s the Best Option

In the end, it’s important to remember the benefits of claiming bankruptcy in your situation over the stigmas around it. Bankruptcy came to be as a safety net for those who need help getting back to a level of life they can survive in.

If you are thinking about bankruptcy, speak with the top bankruptcy attorney in Scottsdale to help you through the process.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Five Must-Know Money-Saving and Success Tips

As you know, people rarely find success by accident. It’s important to set yourself up for financial gains by adhering to some of the best advice out there. Let’s take a look at five indispensable money-saving and success tips for your personal benefit.

Be Passionate

For most individuals, finding exactly what they love and monetizing it is one of life’s biggest challenges. Those tips are exactly what tycoon Warren Buffet says drove him to success in investing and finding great deals. Ultimately, being successful in almost anything means having a passion for it. If you see someone with even fair intelligence and a burning passion for what they do, they will almost undoubtedly find success.

Write Everything Down

Some of the most successful people make lists of all kinds. These can vary from lists of people to call, ideas, and/or companies to set up. Furthermore, you can create lists of topics to blog about, tweets to send, and even about upcoming plans. It’s important to write down every single idea you have, no matter how big or small, and then to challenge yourself to follow through. In doing so, you’ll be able to set financial priorities and reach your goals.

It’s Not All Luck

It’s easy to chalk up your success to being in the right place at the right time, but at the end of the day, no legitimate achievement can come without hard work. At times, success can be a lousy teacher; it seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose. Don’t ever stop hustling or learning. As logic tells us, past success doesn’t ensure future success. Even the smartest and most talented people can lose.

Be Disciplined

The first step to getting rich requires a tremendous amount of discipline. Bankruptcy lawyers in Scottsdale note that if you really want to be rich, you need to find that discipline. If you’re looking to make money, you always need cash available. You aren’t saving for retirement. You are saving for the moment you need cash. Buy and hold is a relic. Ultimately, the first step to becoming rich is being a smart shopper and following through on that.

Find Online Resources

It is wise to check for discounts before you make a purchase. Websites like couponcabin.com and apps like Pic2Shop can help save you a lot of money. Furthermore, don’t forget to always check sites that give you cash back for your purchases, like ebates.com.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Why Waiting to File for Bankruptcy Can Hurt You

Filing for bankruptcy is generally viewed as an admission of personal and financial failure. While many individuals try hard to avoid it, they end up paying the price for waiting.

Ultimately, the longer people wait to file bankruptcy, the more they struggle. By the time these people declare bankruptcy, their well-being and financial life are negatively impacted, undermining the fresh start the bankruptcy legal tool provides them.

Bankruptcy lawyers in Scottsdale explain the following reasons as to why waiting to file bankruptcy can be so damaging in addition to precisely when you should consider filing.

Why waiting is draining

The time frame prior to a person filing for bankruptcy is sometimes referred to as the financial “sweatbox.” This is the period when people are facing legitimate asset depletion, debt collection lawsuits, and avoiding necessities like food to avoid filing bankruptcy.

Unfortunately, most people sweat it out for years before truly coming to terms with their debt. The misery of the sweatbox is an increasingly common American experience.

“Long strugglers” are denoted as those who endure the sweatbox for two years or longer. Shockingly, around 30% of people wait five years or longer to file for bankruptcy.

It’s imperative to know that the longer people linger in the sweatbox, the worst their overall financial situation becomes. For example:

  • Long strugglers have 50% of the median assets compared with other debtors, or those who didn’t wait two or more years to file bankruptcy.
  • The median debt-to-income ratio of long strugglers is over 40% higher than other debtors.
  • Around half of long strugglers face debt collection lawsuits.

The stigma against filing and dedication to paying debts are part of what keep people from filing bankruptcy. Having said that, bankruptcy law gives the honest but unfortunate debtor a fresh and new start. This is important to understand.

When to consider bankruptcy

Many people who are in danger of filing for bankruptcy note that they wish they had reached out for help sooner. You should reach out to a credit counseling agency as soon as you begin to feel stress.

Let’s take a look at some factors that can help you determine if bankruptcy is right for you:

  • Your debts are more than 40% of your income
  • You’re using debt to pay for other debts
  • Your debts are ones that could be wiped out in bankruptcy
  • You’re forgoing core life essentials

As you might know, the two most common forms of consumer bankruptcy are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Which is best for you depends on your specific financial situation. Speak with a bankruptcy lawyer and nonprofit credit counselor if you are considering filing. If you do file for bankruptcy, however, it is certainly not the end of your financial life. To the contrary, it’s a way to generate a fresh start.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Busting Common Myths about Arizona Bankruptcies

Filing for bankruptcy anywhere can be stressful. However, if you are neck deep in debt, and if bankruptcy seems like the best path to take, you shouldn’t hesitate to do so. Some people hold back on filing for bankruptcy and sorting out debt because of many misconceptions. Here is a brief list of common myths surrounding bankruptcy and the actual truth which dispels them.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Erases All Debt

Under both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy rules, some debt will be discharged by the court. This does not mean that all debt will be “erased” by the courts. For example, discharge is not granted for certain debt like owed child support, spousal maintenance, penalties owed for criminal or civil cases, certain tax debt, and for all secured debt. What will actually happen when you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that the court will review your case, and the judge will discharge a certain amount of unsecured debt. Then, the court will oversee a payment plan for you to pay back all remaining secured or exempt debt.  Will you walk away from bankruptcy with substantially less debt—yes, all debt gone—not always?

The Creditors Can Claim My Car and House

This is a common myth surrounding filing for bankruptcy and it’s largely not accurate. The courts allow bankruptcy petitioners to keep family homes and main modes of transportation under exemption rules. Even if your house is tied up in debt, you can claim an exemption of up to $150,000 out of the total equity value of your home. You can also get up to $6,000 worth of exemptions for each motor vehicle you own. Also, Arizona’s homestead laws further protect family homes. There are no recent known cases where an Arizonian bankruptcy court uprooted a family from their home over an unpaid debt. The courts are largely in favor of debtors keeping their shelter. To find out more about exemptions your property or vehicles might qualify for, contact a local bankruptcy lawyer in Scottsdale.

The Bankruptcy Court will Inspect My House

The bankruptcy court does not demand that anyone go to the debtor’s house and go through his or her possessions. The petitioner is expected to voluntarily list all possessions (under oath) when presenting the necessary paperwork. If the debtor has lied, the creditor’s lawyer will point it out to the court. There are no inspections of any sort involved absenting a willful fraud on the court by the applicant.

Filing for Bankruptcy Disqualifies Me from Applying for Credit Cards and Loans

Debtors that file for bankruptcy are not automatically disqualified from obtaining credit cards or loans like car loans. Certain types of bankruptcy, like Chapter 7 bankruptcy, discharges unsecured debt like unpaid credit card bills and personal loans. Once you have been declared bankrupt, your credit score will be lowered. Some loans will not be available for you based on this low credit score. However, as soon as you start repaying remaining debts, your credit score will come back up again quickly. In the meantime, you will be able to qualify for secured credit cards or loans even after you have filed for bankruptcy.

Also, when you have filed for personal bankruptcy once, you have to wait at least 6 years to file for personal bankruptcy in the state again. Creditors know this, and some actually prefer to lend to formerly bankrupt clients because of this knowing that they will not return to the bankruptcy court for years to come.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

How to Protect Yourself against Creditor Harassment in Arizona

If you are far behind on a loan payment, you can expect the collection calls to start. However, if the collection calls are very frequent and disrupt your life, or the calls are threatening in any manner, then it can be considered harassment. Many indebted Arizonians face harassing calls and other harmful collection efforts from creditors. Here are several steps you can take to stop the abuse.

Try to Negotiate with the Creditor

The easiest and cost-free solution you can take is to try to negotiate with the creditor to settle the debt. Instead of not picking up the phone, in which case the creditor will find other ways to reach you, or ignoring calls, talk to the creditor directly. If your finances are too tight to pay back your loans, discuss it with your creditor and you may be able to come to new terms. Depending on your negotiating skills, and the creditor’s willingness, you may be able to get a payment extension, a reduced interest rate or a waiver or both.

If the creditor is particularly abusive, it is probably best not to engage should the behavior gets worse on the part of the creditor.

Call a Lawyer Immediately

It’s highly recommended to call a bankruptcy lawyer in Scottsdale or your local area to put a legal stop to harmful third party collection efforts. There are attorneys who specialize in providing relief to those who suffer from abusive creditors. No matter how much you owe, creditors cannot harass you as a part of their collection efforts. There are both federal and Arizona state laws to protect debtors against harassing creditors.

Protection is granted to consumers under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The law outlines personal rights when it comes to debt collection practices. You can consult with a lawyer to find out whether any of your rights under FDCPA has been violated. The lawyer will be able to tell you if the behavior you have endured from the creditor can be considered a legitimate collection effort and what remedies you may have under the FDCPA.

You Can Sue if You are a Victim of Abusive Practices

If you know that you have been subjected to illegitimate collection efforts or practices that can be considered harassment, you can sue the creditor in question with the help of an attorney. The collection practices in question may be considered a violation of either state or federal law.

Harassment, in general,  that involves constant phone calls, multiple phone calls on the same day, auto dialing calls and calling without leaving messages can be considered unfair practices. If the debtor calls your friends, family, employer or another third party regarding your finances, then it is a violation of the law.  Other common creditor harassment practices include the use of threats, such as a threat to call the police on you, charging even more in addition to the debt such as late fees, not validating the debt or continuing to contact you after you have clearly stated your intent to refute the debt. If you have been subjected to any of these, you can take your case to court.

Additionally, filing for personal bankruptcy can relieve you of harassing debt collection efforts literally overnight.  Speak with a seasoned bankruptcy attorney to evaluate your many options. Call us at 480-240-0040 for more help on these issues.