Have you fallen behind on your mortgage? Are you unable to make the minimum monthly payments on your credit cards? If you’re struggling to manage your debts in Arizona, you may want to consider filing for bankruptcy. Contrary to many common bankruptcy myths, it can be a powerful tool to reorganize your finances and invest in your future.
Not sure if bankruptcy is a good fit for your circumstances? Get a free consultation from a Tucson bankruptcy lawyer from Lerner and Rowe Law Group today.
When Should You File Bankruptcy?
Although filing for bankruptcy can be an effective method used to find release from the liability of one’s debt, it is a major decision that should not be taken lightly. In truth, there are many factors that will determine whether filing bankruptcy in Arizona is right for you. For instance, you may choose to file bankruptcy for any of the following financial conditions:
- You have lost income or are unemployed
- You and a spouse are filing for divorce
- Your home is in danger of foreclosure
- You are paying off credit card debt with other credit cards
- You are being harassed by creditors
- You have withdrawn money from your 401K to pay bills
Is Bankruptcy Really a Fresh Start?
There’s a lot of talk about bankruptcy wiping the slate clean and giving you a fresh financial start. While bankruptcy offers many benefits, it’s important to remember that good things take time, and not all debts may be discharged. With a little patience and a skilled Tucson bankruptcy lawyer on your side, you can start seeing some of these positive results within months:
- Improved credit score
- Lower debt-to-income ratio
- Manageable monthly payments
- Dropped lawsuits and wage garnishments
- Reduced stress and anxiety
What Debts Are Discharged in Bankruptcy?
When it comes to bankruptcy in Arizona, there are two kinds of debts: those that are dischargeable and those that are non-dischargeable. Discharged debt refers to debt that a debtor is no longer obligated to pay. Types of debt that can be partially or fully discharged in bankruptcy include:
- Credit card debt
- Medical bills
- Personal loans
- Payday loans
- Past due rent
- Utility bills
- Wage garnishment
- Mortgage loans
- Title and registration loans
Debts that cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy include student loans, most state and federal taxes, child support, alimony, civil and criminal fines, and HOA fees.
Can I Keep My House and Car in Bankruptcy?
You may be able to keep your home and your car in bankruptcy, depending on the type of debt you have, the amount of debt you have, and the type of bankruptcy you file for.
If you qualify, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can allow you to restructure your debt into manageable monthly payments while retaining ownership of your home and car. On the other hand, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy—often called a liquidation bankruptcy—can result in the sale of your assets to pay back creditors, sometimes including your car, home, or other property.
There is an exception to this, however. Arizona’s Homestead Exemption allows you to exempt up to $150,000 of your primary residence, while the Motor Vehicle Exemption allows you to exempt up to $6,000 of equity in one vehicle or up to $12,000 if you are disabled.
How Long Does it Take to File Bankruptcy in Tucson?
The time it takes to complete the process of filing for bankruptcy in Tucson may vary from the type of bankruptcy you’re filing to what kinds of debt you have. Before filing, you must complete a credit counseling course from a certified credit counseling agency at least 180 days in advance. You should also be a resident of the state of Arizona for at least 90 days before filing.
Once these two conditions have been satisfied, you can file a petition for bankruptcy. After you have filed, you must complete an additional debtor education course through a certified agency. Once your bankruptcy case is filed, you will be granted an automatic stay, which protects you from action taken by your creditors as long as your bankruptcy case remains open.
Within roughly 15 days of filing, you will receive a letter from your bankruptcy trustee with instructions to read a Bankruptcy Information Sheet describing the different types of bankruptcy cases, and to provide them with copies of certain financial documents. A Tucson bankruptcy lawyer can help you assemble all the documents you’ll need and prepare you for the meeting of your creditors, which will occur approximately 40 days after you file.
Finally, you will receive a Discharge Order from the courts about 60 to 120 days after the meeting of your creditors. Needless to say, filing for bankruptcy can quickly turn into a lengthy process if you don’t follow procedures correctly. The bankruptcy attorneys at Lerner and Rowe Law Group have helped thousands of people file for bankruptcy and will do everything in their power to resolve your case as swiftly as possible.
How Much Does it Cost to File Bankruptcy in Tucson?
Initial consultations for clients at Lerner and Rowe Law Group are always free. From there, the overall cost of hiring a Tucson bankruptcy lawyer depends on several factors, the most important being the complexity of your bankruptcy case. For example, are you also filing for divorce? Have you filed bankruptcy in the past? How much debt—and how many creditors—do you have?
If you choose our law firm to represent you, we request a down payment to retain your attorney and ensure availability for the meeting of creditors. From there, we can work with you to initiate an affordable monthly payment plan.
We also charge a flat attorney fee as opposed to an adjustable retainer. This means that our attorney fees will not increase and that all efforts to complete your bankruptcy filing are covered by this flat fee.
Every person’s financial situation is unique, and the last thing anyone wants to do when they’re struggling financially is to spend more money. We will always seek to accommodate a payment plan and schedule that fits your needs. Learn more about our affordable payment plans.
Where Can I Find a Tucson Bankruptcy Lawyer?
If you’re ready to find out how filing for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you get your finances back on track, Lerner and Rowe Law Group is here to assist you. Our firm of dedicated legal professionals will evaluate your case details to help you make an informed decision regarding bankruptcy.
Give our office in Tucson a call at 520-620-6200 to schedule your free and confidential case evaluation with Lerner and Rowe Law Group. You can also speak with a representative using our LiveChat feature, submit your case details online, or learn more about the legal services we offer throughout Arizona.