Chapter 7 bankruptcy is bankruptcy in the generic sense that some consumers use the term. This form of bankruptcy protection can terminate financial obligations on most though not all unsecured financial obligations. This type of bankruptcy is also variously referred to as “consumer bankruptcy” or “liquidation bankruptcy.” This form of bankruptcy can lead to termination of many types of unsecured debt including but not limited to the following:
The Trustee in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy basically has the power to manage all your assets and debts sometimes referred to as your “the bankruptcy estate.” Although the Trustee has the power to sell off your assets to pay creditors, this is rare. In most cases, our skilled Mesa bankruptcy lawyers can find exemptions to protect most of your property. If you have assets that cannot be protected by bankruptcy exemptions, then we may recommend Chapter 13 depending on the specific facts and circumstances of your individual financial situation.
Our Mesa bankruptcy law firm can help you protect your wealth and assets that you may have spent a lifetime building. Few people think of bankruptcy as a wealth building tool, but the reality is that it can be a very powerful asset protection device. The Bankruptcy Code offers a litany of exemptions that allow a person to keep certain types of property or to maintain such property up to a certain value. Countless self-filers squander thousands of dollars in valuable property through the failure to use or poorly planned use of bankruptcy exemptions. Sometime items can be listed in multiple categories freeing up additional coverage for items in an exemption category with a limit on the value claimed.
Another very effective asset protection strategy in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is converting non-exempt assets into assets that are exempt. Generally, one must be careful regarding financial transactions made shortly before or after bankruptcy because the bankruptcy Trustee can deem such transactions fraudulent and reverse the transaction. In some cases, the bankruptcy Trustee can even dismiss your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Our experienced Mesa Chapter 7 Bankruptcy attorneys have helped many debtors increase their asset protection by maximizing their use of the exemption system.
We help all of our Mesa clients who file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy make an election between the Federal and Arizona exemptions system. Most of our Chapter 7 Bankruptcy clients end up keeping all of their belongings with narrow exceptions. There is a multitude of exemptions so it is important to pick the exemption system that allows you the greatest protection of your specific assets. The only way to make an effective use of the exemption system is to carefully analyze the complete inventory of a person’s assets in light of each list of exemptions. The bottom line is that we use bankruptcy not only to get rid of debt but also to help you keep your property and assets.
Before you can seek Chapter 7 Bankruptcy relief, you must be able to satisfy a Chapter 7 means test designed to prevent financial abuse of the bankruptcy process. The means test is a two-part process that is based on measuring one’s financial need to obtain discharge of your unsecured debt. The means test provides an analysis of a person’s financial ability to repay any portion of unsecured debt. The first part of the two-part process is to determine if your income exceeds the median for those in Arizona. If your average income during the six months preceding your bankruptcy filing is below the state median, then you meet the income eligibility requirements to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
A person whose income is above this maximum threshold must establish that he or she will not have sufficient disposable income after paying living expenses and secured creditors to pay unsecured creditors. If the Trustee determines that there will be sufficient income left over, then you may be forced to file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and repay a portion of your unsecured debt.
The calculations involve in assessing your eligibility for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Mesa can be complicated. At Stone Rose Law, we may be able to help you qualify for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy if you are close to the eligibility threshold. The financial impact of being able to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy as opposed to a Chapter 13 Mesa Bankruptcy can mean saving thousands of dollars and a much earlier bankruptcy discharge. The sooner you obtain a bankruptcy discharge the sooner you can begin re-establishing credit or planning to buy a home.
Completing a bankruptcy petition with all of its schedules can be complicated and extremely time consuming. The typical bankruptcy packet is 20-50 pages in length and can be very confusing if you do not regularly prepare bankruptcy petitions on a daily basis. The bankruptcy Trustee cannot help you fill out the paperwork and errors can have very serious adverse consequences.
A bankruptcy filing that fails to include a creditor generally will not result in a discharge against that creditor. If information is completed incorrectly, you may have to amend the information repeatedly until it is correct. If the Trustee determines that information is intentionally false or misleading, you can suffer even more significant results including a dismissal of your bankruptcy. When a bankruptcy is dismissed because you intentionally provided false information or were unable to complete your bankruptcy paperwork accurately despite repeated opportunities, your bankruptcy may be dismissed so you cannot file again immediately.
In most Mesa Chapter 7 Bankruptcies, you will never set foot in a courtroom and will only have to appear at one hearing which is called alternatively the 341(a) Meeting of Creditors or sometimes just the 341(a) Meeting. The purpose of the meeting is for the Trustee to ask any questions or indicate any lingering issues with your bankruptcy paperwork. The Trustee will also ask to see your identification and tax returns if they have not been previously provided. This meeting is usually quick and uneventful.
No matter how grim your situation may have felt prior to obtaining a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy discharge, you will find that the elimination of your unsecured debt can pose enormous relief. Most of those in Mesa who file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy emerge with virtually no unsecured debt. This can mean that tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt is lifted from your shoulders. The creditor harassment, harsh enforcement actions and other burdensome obstacles to financial success will suddenly disappear.
The Mesa bankruptcy attorneys at Stone Rose Law frequently build lasting relationships with our clients. We are proud of our clients that have parlayed their Chapter 7 Bankruptcy discharge into a successful and secure financial foundation.