How Do I File Bankruptcy in Phoenix, Arizona?

Posted in Uncategorized on September 28, 2017

Whether you live in Phoenix, Mesa, Glendale, Peoria, or Buckeye, your bankruptcy will be filed in the Federal Bankruptcy Court in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. If you live in another county, your bankruptcy may be filed in a different location. For example, in Prescott, your bankruptcy will still be filed in the Phoenix bankruptcy court, but your creditor’s meeting will be held in Prescott. If you live south of the Maricopa county line, in Casa Grande or anywhere in Pinal county, your creditors’ meeting will be held in Florence. If you live in Pima county, your bankruptcy petition and case will be filed in Tucson and your creditors’ meeting will also be in Tucson.

When Can I File Bankruptcy in Phoenix or Arizona?   

Do you feel like you are barely making the minimum payments on your debt? You are not alone.  According to marketwatch.com, 4.4% of credit card debt became newly delinquent in the second quarter of 2017. Americans have more debt per capita than ever before in history. CNBC and the Federal Reserve estimate it at over a trillion dollars. So what is the best way to get out of debt? How much debt do I need to file bankruptcy?

Everyone who finds themselves struggling to pay bills or to pay down debt should consider bankruptcy. Even Donald Trump has declared bankruptcy, four times! Bankruptcy should not be a last resort. Bankruptcy should be a strategic decision when it makes sense with your finances.

How Much Debt Do I Need to Qualify for Phoenix Bankruptcy?

Even an average amount of debt qualifies for bankruptcy discharge in Arizona. For example, let’s say you have an average amount of credit card debt according to fool.com. If everyone in America carried balances on their cards, the average balance would be about $5500. But only 38 percent of Americans carry balances. This makes the average balance over $16,000 for people who carry credit card balances. The minimum payments on those credit card balances is astonishing. It would be $500 a month or more. 

Let’s weigh and balance the alternatives for getting out of the average amount of debt. Let’s say you pay the minimum payment of $500 per month for a year, which is a lot for the Phoenix/Mesa metro area. You have now paid $6000, and you still owe the original amount. Let’s say you find a way to pay $750 per month for a year. You have now paid $9000, and you have paid less than a sixth of the balance on the credit card. There is a lot of hard work and dedication to paying a lot of money to get nowhere. There is an easier way, and it comes from a surprising place. 

What Is Bankruptcy?

The federal government, almost from inception, has provided a way to get rid of debt without working your whole life just to pay interest to a bank. It was obvious, even to our founding fathers, that people who were disenfranchised by little hope of ever paying their debt would become desperate. Desperate people do desperate things. In an attempt to establish justice and insure domestic tranquility, a way was provided to deal with overwhelming debt. They called it bankruptcy, but that word has taken on such a negative connotation. It should be called anything else. Would it sound as negative if it was called Reasonable Debt Solution?

You Can File Bankruptcy in Phoenix/Mesa, Even If You Have Assets and Income

The only requirement for bankruptcy is that you want to make use of a federal program to help with your debt. You can have income and assets and still use the bankruptcy system in Arizona.  In Phoenix, most assets are exempt from the bankruptcy process. That means that you keep the assets regardless of how much you owe creditors. The bankruptcy exemptions in Arizona will protect your home and your car, as well as most other assets. 

How Does Arizona Bankruptcy Work?

The most difficult part of bankruptcy is realizing that you need one. There is no reason to understand the thousands of pages of laws that make up the bankruptcy filing process. There are bankruptcy lawyers in Phoenix and all of Arizona who know and understand the law. Filing for bankruptcy in Phoenix/Mesa is very affordable. These experienced bankruptcy professionals will take small monthly payments. This is much easier and safer than trying to learn the entire bankruptcy law.

To file the bankruptcy petition, you will need to gather a bunch of documents. These include paystubs or proof of income for the last full six months before filing. You will need to provide copies of your Arizona car title or your real estate deed filed with the Maricopa county or other county recorder. You will want a copy of your recent tax returns and bank statements. If you have not filed taxes, you will need to file them soon after filing the bankruptcy petition.   

After your bankruptcy attorney files the petition, you will have to go to a creditors’ meeting–also called a 341 meeting–about six weeks later. If you live in Maricopa county, your meeting will be held in downtown Phoenix.  Most counties have places to hold the creditors’ meeting in their county. Bankruptcy filings in Yavapai county hold their 341 meeting in Prescott. Pima county bankruptcy filings will go to creditors’ meetings in Tucson, and Pinal county bankruptcy goes to Florence. You will receive notice of the 341 meeting or meeting of creditors shortly after filing your bankruptcy petition.

After attending your creditors’ meeting, many things could go wrong. The creditors’ meeting is conducted by a trustee that is appointed by the court. If the trustee finds reason to question your bankruptcy filing, the bankruptcy trustee could schedule further inquiry. This could take many forms. The bankruptcy trustee could ask for a deposition, known as a 2004 exam. This is sworn testimony from the debtor (you) to clarify things on the bankruptcy petition. The trustee could move to dismiss the case or disallow exemptions. There are many things that can go wrong.  That is why the money spent for a bankruptcy attorney in Phoenix is worth every penny. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced Phoenix bankruptcy attorney today, contact us online or call us at (602) 265-3822.