Debt collectors are calling non-stop and with each passing day you’re moving closer to filing bankruptcy.
Financial woes can wreak havoc on your emotional health and the burden can impact other aspects of your life. Choosing bankruptcy is a decision that should not be taken lightly.
Ask yourself if you have exhausted all efforts to work with creditors. If they aren’t helpful or the money simply isn’t there to pay the debt, it may be time to file.
Once you decide bankruptcy is the best option to address your current financial situation it’s time to find a bankruptcy attorney.
Although bankruptcy falls under federal law, states set their own exemptions. If you’re filing bankruptcy in Arizona you’ll need to consult with an Arizona bankruptcy lawyer.
Here are 5 questions to ask at your initial consultation.
1. Which Assets Are Protected from Creditors?
When you file bankruptcy you will be required to disclose all of your assets. This does not mean your creditors will be able to take custody of these items to cover your debt.
Do not try to hide assets or transfer funds in an attempt to hide money or property. The courts will not take kindly to this act of deception.
The lawyer will be able to explain the process and need for full disclosure. Rest assured, most of your personal possessions will not be auctioned to pay off your debt.
2. Should You File Chapter 7 or 13?
This is the most important question when considering bankruptcy and one your Arizona bankruptcy lawyer will be able to answer.
In most Chapter 7 filings you will not have to repay unsecured debt. To file you will be required to undergo an income eligibility test.
If the courts determine your income is sufficient to repay creditors you will most likely be prohibited from filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, you will still be eligible for Chapter 13.
Chapter 13, also known as the “wage earners plan” is designed to assist individuals who have a steady income.
3. Can I Keep My Home?
One of the biggest concerns for individuals filing bankruptcy is whether or not they can keep their home. Your Arizona bankruptcy lawyer should advise you on the risks associated with filing for bankruptcy while your home is in foreclosure.
If your intention is to save your home you need to file Chapter 13. This will stop the foreclosure proceedings.
4. Will I Be Required to Attend Hearings with My Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer?
Bankruptcy rarely requires court appearances. What you will attend is a meeting of creditors, or Section 341 meeting. A court trustee will be appointed to your case and will ask questions regarding your filing.
Your lawyer will be able to walk you through the timeline of what will happen from start to finish.
5. How Long Will I Have to Repay Creditors?
If you are given a repayment plan, which generally happens with Chapter 13 cases, the maximum time to repay creditors is 5 years.
At Pew Law Center we know you want an Arizona bankruptcy lawyer you can trust to answer all of your questions.
Contact us today for a fee consultation with our debt relief team.