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Does Bankruptcy stop creditor phone calls, garnishments, levies, collection actions?

Yes!  Filing a bankruptcy will stop creditor phone calls, garnishments, levies, and other collection actions.  Preparing for a bankruptcy filing takes time though, so the sooner you contact us, the sooner you can obtain the relief you need.

What kind of Bankruptcy protection is available to individuals?

There are four types of bankruptcy filings. Not everyone qualifies for every chapter. Generally, Chapter 7 Bankruptcies are liquidations; Chapter 13 Bankruptcies are filed to help you reorganize your debts, and make payments to a trustee who will then pay your creditors. (Chapter 11 and 12 Bankruptcies are not generally for individuals, but for businesses (Chapter 11) or for farmers and fishermen (Chapter 12). We can help you decide which chapter of bankruptcy is best for you.

What is a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is the Bankruptcy Code’s liquidation Chapter.  It is sometimes referred to as “straight bankruptcy.”  A Chapter 7 Trustee is appointed to the case and will, among other things, take your nonexempt property (amicably, at a scheduled date/time), sell it at auction, and then pay the money to your creditors.  Exempt property generally includes your home, property necessary for the maintenance of your family, your personally owned business, and includes (in Arizona) most household goods and furnishings, your clothing, some equity in a vehicle, etc. Any property with value in excess of the allowed exemption may need to be turned over to the Trustee for sale (but the Trustee would have to pay you the exemption amount from the sale proceeds).  Depending on the law of the State in which you file, you may be able to keep a substantial amount of your personal property and your homestead.  If you have the ability to repay your debts, after taking into account reasonable and necessary living expenses, you may not qualify for relief under this Chapter.

What is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 13 is frequently referred to as the “wage earner” Chapter.  Only an individual with regular income and such individual’s spouse that owes, on the date of the filing of the petition, non-contingent, liquidated, unsecured debts that aggregate less than $383,175 and non-contingent, liquidated, secured debts of less than $1,149,525 may be a debtor under Chapter 13 (exceptions apply).  Under Chapter 13, you repay your debts (or a portion thereof) through a repayment plan. You can usually keep your property, but you must earn wages or have some other source of regular income to be a debtor under this Chapter.  The Court must approve your repayment plan and budget. A Chapter 13 Trustee is appointed, and will collect the payments from you.  The Trustee, in turn, will pay your creditors and monitor your compliance with the terms of your repayment plan.  After completion of all payments under your plan, you will receive your discharge.

What is a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy?

A Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows businesses and individuals to reorganize their financial affairs by making payments to creditors through a plan of reorganization.

If I file Bankruptcy, can I keep my house or my car?

Almost always – the answer is yes.  The law is very complex and your circumstances require careful examination.  Whether you will be able to keep your property is a question that can only be answered by an experienced attorney, after reviewing the facts of your particular situation, including the amount of equity (ownership interest) in your property, your payment record, and other important factors.

Can I file Bankruptcy with my spouse?

Yes. There may be advantages or disadvantages to a joint filing with your husband or wife.  We can help you decide what is best for you, based on the type of debts you have and the assets you need/want to protect.

Can I file for Bankruptcy protection if I own a business?

Yes, but it depends on how the business is owned, the value of your business, and other factors including what you intend to do with the business.  The business itself may require bankruptcy protection; if you have guaranteed your business’ debts, you may require bankruptcy protection for yourself, as well.

What debts can I get rid of if I file Bankruptcy?

The following types of debts can ordinarily be discharged in Bankruptcy:

  • Credit Card debts;
  • Judgments – Unless fraud or crime related;
  • Deficiency debts on repossessed autos and foreclosures;
  • Personal loans;
  • Lawsuit debts;
  • Personal Injury Debts – except driving while intoxicated and criminal injury; and
  • Medical debts, etc.

Why hire a lawyer to help me file Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a complicated process.  There are a broad number of issues that can arise that are most likely common to lawyers but you may not know what to do or how to handle them.  Some agencies that advertise cheap help for filing Bankruptcy, such as “docu-prep” companies, have very limited authority as well.  They may not be aware of all aspects of the law. They are not required to know and continuously study the law like attorneys are.

Why hire THIS law firm to help me file Bankruptcy?

Again, Bankruptcy is a very convoluted process.  Mr. Kahn is Certified as a Bankruptcy Specialist by the Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of Arizona, and has maintained that Certification since 1988. Only 700 of Arizona’s 17,000 attorneys are certified as specialists. In addition, he has been practicing law for over 40 years.  He knows the ins-and-outs of the Bankruptcy Code and can help you to overcome your situation, no matter what sort of predicament you may currently find yourself in. Ms. Ahart has been involved with bankruptcy law since 2002, working closely with Mr. Kahn the entire time. Please see our biographical sketches on the Attorney Profile pages.