Monday, January 23, 2012

Filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Phoenix: What is the process?

I am a bankruptcy attorney in Arizona ($995/Chapter 7) and find that most people are not aware how simple the process of filing Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy can be. It is not some long convoluted process where you have to itemize every single thing you own. Most of your property will be exempt, meaning you can keep it when you file bankruptcy. Almost all of my clients find that 100% of their property is exempt. In Arizona, you can keep up to $4000 worth of home furnishings and a general itemization of them is fine. $4000 refers to the amount you would get for them if you sold them at a garage sale or through a classified ad, so most people are not going to own more than that much in furnishings.The bankruptcy court is not going to come to your house and go over your property.

To start the process, I will have you fill out a questionnaire with information on it about your assets and debts, and pull a credit report on you to get a full and accurate list of your debts. I use that to fill out the petition for bankruptcy and file it with the court. You are required by law to take 2 financial classes, which can be found online for as inexpensively as $5 and $12.50. They take anywhere from 5 minutes to 2 hours each. Five weeks after filing, you will meet with me and the bankruptcy trustee in what is known as the 341 Meeting of the Creditors. It usually takes about five minutes and is pretty painless, the trustee simply asks you a few questions about your situation. Creditors are invited to show up but rarely do; if your bankruptcy petition has been submitted properly it is unlikely they will seek to try to get anything from you.

Shortly after the meeting, the trustee will issue a statement indicating there are no assets to distribute. A couple of months later, the judge will sign off on the bankruptcy, issuing the discharge.

That is generally the end of it, other than the trustee will want to see your next tax return, because if it is a significant amount of money they may seize it.

The Alexander Bankruptcy Law Firm provides low low cost Chapter 7 and 13 personal bankruptcies. $995 Chapter 7 or $2500 Chapter 13 bankruptcies plus court filing fee. Free consultation with a compassionate attorney who will handle your case personally. Call 24/7, available to meet with you around your schedule. 602-910-6812. Conveniently located in Central Phoenix along the Camelback corridor.

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