Phoenix Bankruptcy Lawyer

There are Three Types of Bankruptcies for Debtors

Our Phoenix bankruptcy lawyer, Richard Agins, can help identify which bankruptcy you qualify for and why it would be a great option for you. We know how you currently feel and we understand that filing for bankruptcy can be a stressful situation. Just know that you are not alone and this is not something to be ashamed of. In fact, the founders of our country, remembering the horrors of debtors' prisons in Great Britain, resolved to include bankruptcy protection among the rights guaranteed by our Constitution.  Over the course of U.S. history, many famous Americans have filed for bankruptcy protection, among them Abraham Lincoln (U.S. president), Henry Ford (automobile manufacturer), Samuel Clemens (the writer, "Mark Twain"), H.J. Heinz (ketchup) and Milton Hershey (chocolate). Each of these people went on to realize great success because of the financial fresh start afforded by their ability to file for bankruptcy protection.

The two major types of bankruptcies for consumer debtors are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.  The first step in filing a successful bankruptcy petition is to accurately evaluate your goals and your eligibility for bankruptcy relief. In order to qualify for a chapter 7 bankruptcy, your income generally must be less than the amount specified by the U.S. Trustee program for the geographical area in which you live - the so-called "means test." If your income exceeds this amount, you may have to file under chapter 13.  (If an individual debtor does not meet the requirements for a chapter 13 filing, he or she may be eligible to file under chapter 11, the requirements and costs of which are much greater.) The requirements for filing a chapter 7 petition are explained here and those for filing a chapter 13 petition are shown here.  Your Agins Law Firm Phoenix bankruptcy lawyer can guide you in making these decisions through a free consultation. Under certain circumstances, individuals may avail themselves of a chapter 11 filing. Learn more about that here.

Chapter 7

The objective of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to eliminate all or some of the debtor's unsecured debts through a court order stating that you do not have to pay substantially all of your unsecured debts.


Chapter 13

In a chapter 13 bankruptcy, a debtor files a repayment plan with the Bankruptcy Court proposing to repay all or a portion of his or her debts - both secured and unsecured - over time.


Chapter 11

When businesses are in debt beyond their ability to repay, their owners look for relief. One tool often by large businesses is a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization case.


Debt & Foreclosure

The law can be complex and confusing to understand. We can help you understand it by counseling you on specific matters and offering guidance tailored to your circumstances.


Hiring a Phoenix Bankruptcy Lawyer is definitely recommended when looking to file for bankruptcy. Getting help from an attorney can actually help save you money and time as opposed to doing it on your own. You will also want to be informed of what chapter will be best for you and your unique situation. Bankruptcy can be very technical with all of the difficult rules and procedures surrounding the process. Hiring a bankruptcy lawyer saves you the hassle and time while knowing that your financial situation is being managed by a local and professional Phoenix Bankruptcy Lawyer.

Yes, you can do this with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceeding. "Stripping" away from your second mortgage and rolling the debt on your first mortgage into the payments under the approved Chapter 13 plan will lower your monthly payments and release you from the stress of carrying two mortgages. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceeding, a debtor files a repayment plan with the Bankruptcy Court proposing to repay all or a portion of his or her debts - both secured and unsecured - over time. There are different factors involved to determine the amount you will have to repay. This all depends on your income, the amount and types of debt you have, and how much property you own. This process may seem straightforward, but it can actually be complicated, which is why Agins Law Firm is here to help with any questions you may have.

This will depend on a few different circumstances. This includes how much you earn, your assets and the number of people in your household. Chapter 7 is a more common approach which is the elimination of your non-exempt assets through a discharge. When a debt has been discharged, no creditor can require you to pay it. Keep in mind though, there are some debts that can not be discharged such as court fines, student loans, some taxes and personal injury judgments while driving under the influence. On the other hand, Chapter 13 is usually used for saving a house from foreclosure, stripping a second mortgage and more. Chapter 13 is a bit more of an expensive option due to the fact it will be a longer process for your Phoenix bankruptcy lawyer and also more work. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is for business owners that are in debt and need relief while repaying their creditors.

Yes, but it depends on how long ago you filed your bankruptcy. After receiving a discharge, you will have to wait a certain number of years before you can receive another one. In a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you will have to wait eight years after your first filing before you can receive a second discharge. If you received a discharge in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceeding, you will need to wait two years from the date of your first filing before receiving a second one. Do keep in mind that there are many other factors that play into the timing of your bankruptcy in regards to your specific situation. This is where we can come in to help. If you’d like to talk to an experienced Phoenix bankruptcy lawyer, call us today and our staff will do our best to answer any questions you may have. 

It will depend on your specific situation. A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy proceeding will usually take around 6 months for a discharge to be entered by the bankruptcy court. Chapter 13 bankruptcy will take about 36 to 60 months (three to five years), depending on your situation. Chapter 13 is much longer because you have to finish your repayment plan before getting your discharge.

Most people aren’t going to care that you filed for bankruptcy, unless you’re a celebrity or major public figure. In the past, newspapers used to list the names of people who filed for bankruptcy. Fortunately, the Arizona newspapers do not have an interest in publishing these names anymore, so that is not something to worry about. Although filing for bankruptcy is public court information, most people won’t care and again, it will not show in the Phoenix newspapers. Plus, the chances are slim that someone you know will access your court records. Creditors will obviously be interested in your bankruptcy filings, but this can be fixed afterwards. Filing for bankruptcy can be uncomfortable for many, but you shouldn’t be ashamed. You need to work on your financial future and feel secure on your decision to file. Remember, the bankruptcy process is here to be used as a benefit to you. Many successful people have filed for bankruptcy including Abraham Lincoln, Donald Trump and Samuel Clemens, who turned out to have much greater success in the end. Don’t hesitate to contact our Phoenix bankruptcy lawyer, Richard Agins for further questions you may have. You are not alone!

Most of the time, people who file for bankruptcy (while up to date on their mortgage and car payments) retain their vehicle and house as long as their equity value is less than a certain amount. In Arizona, your home is okay as long as it has less than $150,000 of equity value. Your car is also okay as long as it has less than $6000 of equity value, two vehicles if you are married and $12,000 if you are disabled physically. If you are not current on your payments or you exceed your exemption limits on your home or vehicle, Chapter 13 can help you repay your mortgage or vehicle loan through what’s called a “reorganization” plan. Believe it or not, bankruptcy can give you a great opportunity to improve your loan responsibilities. We know that your situation is like no other, so feel free to give us a call for a consultation and we will do our absolute best to help you with any questions you may have.



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