Collection agencies are notorious for their aggressive and often abusive collection actions which can exacerbate the emotional distress associated being buried under an avalanche of debt. When you are overwhelmed by financial burdens, it can adversely impact every aspect of your life including your marriage and employment relationship. We recognize that it can be devastating when you are unable to provide for your family’s financial needs. Our Phoenix Chapter 7 Bankruptcy attorneys are committed to helping families rebuild their financial future.
Creditors may have very powerful tools for enforcing financial obligations including repossession of vehicles, foreclosure proceedings on real property, wage garnishments against your income and liens on your property. These oppressive debt collection processes can create enormous hardship and make an already bad financial situation worse. The experienced Phoenix bankruptcy attorneys at Stone Rose Law may be able to file for bankruptcy protection and bring an immediate cessation to these oppressive tactics so that you can continue to rebuild your life.
If you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it provides the most extensive debt relief and can eliminate virtually all of your unsecured debt. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also referred to as “liquidation bankruptcy.” Chapter 7 bankruptcy provides a discharge of virtually all unsecured debts including credit card debts, unsecured lines of credit, department store charge accounts, unpaid medical expenses, unpaid utility bills and other unsecured obligations.
A trustee who in theory is authorized to gather and distribute the assets of a debtor during the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process oversees the bankruptcy process. Most Chapter 7 bankruptcies are what is referred to as a “No Asset Chapter 7”. This is because not all assets are subject to distribution by the bankruptcy court. The Bankruptcy Code provides a broad range of assets and property that are exempt from distribution by the bankruptcy court. Most Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases that our Phoenix bankruptcy law firm handles involves no distribution of assets. This means that the majority of our Chapter 7 bankruptcy clients keep all or nearly all their property and assets.
While filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is an effective solution for many Phoenix debtors, it is not necessarily the best alternative for everyone. Chapter 7 is usually an appropriate solution for those who do not have substantial assets, substantial unsecured debts like credit cards and medical bills and do not have sufficient income to pay their household expenses. Many Phoenix residents struggle valiantly to pay minimum balances on credit accounts for months but lack sufficient income to really dig their way out of an evolving black hole of debt.
Our Phoenix Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys can help you seek immediate relief from judgements, lawsuits, garnishments, bank levies, property liens and other burdensome debt collection practices. We can even make the harassing phone calls and letters cease immediately by filing a Phoenix Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Once our experienced Phoenix Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney has filed a bankruptcy petition, you will receive immediate protection from creditors in the form of the “automatic stay.” This form of bankruptcy protection provides that creditors must cease all debt collection efforts. The automatic stay will protect you from harassing phone calls from creditors, adverse collection agency actions and debt enforcement proceedings. The automatic stay is an effective mechanism to immediately bring a stop to collection efforts that may be causing you both stress and financial hardship including:
The Phoenix Chapter 7 Bankruptcy process is designed to provide you with a “fresh start” by relieving you of the overwhelming burden of massive unsecured debt that you have no realistic ability to repay. While there are some debts that are not eliminated by a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Phoenix, this important consumer protection tool can permit you to eliminate credit card debt, hospital and doctor’s bills, unpaid utility bills, unsecured lines of credit, unpaid department store accounts and most other financial obligations that are not backed by security interests like your home or car. Although not every person in debt in Phoenix will qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, those that do qualify can emerge from a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge virtually debt free.
While Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection is extremely broad in terms of the types of financial obligations that it can eliminate, there are certain types of debts that may not be eliminated. If you have any significant debts that are not subject to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge, you should speak with an experienced Phoenix Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney promptly to determine your best bankruptcy strategy. The types of financial obligations that may not be discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or only under limited circumstances include the following
While many people will qualify for a Phoenix Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, the Bankruptcy Code was changed in 2005 by the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA). The Bankruptcy Code now imposes a “means test” to determine if you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. The goal of the means test is to evaluate whether a person seeking Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection has the ability to repay a substantial portion of their unsecured debts.
The means test for filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Phoenix is a two-pronged test. If your annual income does not exceed the median income for Arizona, you will essentially qualify under the means test. This threshold is approximately $64,000 for a family of four in a single wage-earning household as of March 2011. The amount fluctuates depending on the size of your household and adjusted periodically based on calculations by the IRS. If your income exceeds this threshold, you may still qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy under the second-prong of the means test. This aspect of the means test involves complex calculations to determine whether your income after certain enumerated deductions that are defined and limited to specific amounts would still leave you enough to make substantial payment to your unsecured creditors. The process of determining eligibility can be complicated particularly under the second-prong of the test so it is important to have an experienced Phoenix bankruptcy lawyer analyze your eligibility.
After you have contacted a Phoenix Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney who has determined that you are eligible for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will have to attend pre-bankruptcy counseling. You will also have to provide your Phoenix Chapter 7 lawyer with a wide variety of documents and information including:
These documents are some of those that will be needed by your Phoenix Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney so that your petition and schedules can be completed. The paperwork for filing a bankruptcy is detailed and extensive and requires information involving income over multiple years from all sources, detailed information on creditors, account balances and payment amounts as well as asset information and valuation.
Several weeks after filing your Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition and schedules you will attend a hearing with your Phoenix Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney called a 341(a) Meeting of Creditors. This meeting will permit the bankruptcy trustee who oversees your Chapter 7 bankruptcy to ask you detailed questions under oath about the information provided in your schedules. The meeting is typically brief, informal and rarely attended by creditors with the exception of a representative from your mortgage company if you own a home. If there are no issues that arise at the 341(a) Meeting of Creditors, you will receive a discharge within a few weeks. This will result in a discharge of almost all of your unsecured financial obligations.
Stone Rose Law is committed to helping those drowning in debt to obtain a new start without the oppressive burden of massive debt. We are firmly committed to helping those saddled by debt overcome financial crisis and rebuild their financial lives. A Phoenix Chapter 13 Bankruptcy or Chapter 7 Bankruptcy can provide the critical foundation to reclaiming your economic wellbeing. We have helped many families just like you from all walks of life, and our knowledgeable team is prepared to discuss customizing an effective bankruptcy solution to fit your individual financial circumstance. We recognize the financial obstacles faced by many Phoenix families and businesses and want to guide your back to financial security. We offer a free initial consultation so call Stone Rose Law today at 480-498-8998 or reach out online to get answers regarding filing a Phoenix Chapter 7 bankruptcy.