Our offices in Phoenix, AZ represent those who need to get out from under debt and get back on track with their lives. We know that people fall under challenging times, and we believe that bankruptcy is a way out of crushing debt that allows otherwise responsible people to make a fresh start.
Bankruptcy laws fall under federal jurisdiction, so those laws remain identical regardless of the filing state. However, Arizona law dictates rules about exemption, creditor repayment for Chapter 13 filings, and caps for large property exemption. Each state, including Arizona, has a unique set of resources for those looking to file either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Property Exemption According to Arizona Law
Arizona has its own set of exemption laws for bankruptcy and does not share jurisdiction with federal law. This means that you must follow Arizona guidelines for exempting property in Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Read “Arizona Bankruptcy Exemptions” for more information. As of 2016, homestead exemptions are capped at $150,000, with other exemptions dictated by state law.
The Means Test
Arizona finances also effect eligibility for Chapter 7 bankruptcy: during your means test, which you must file before considering Chapter 7, your income will be compared to Arizona median income statistics. Current median income in Arizona as of 2017 is $74,317 for a four-person household according to the U.S. Justice Department, but these numbers change frequently.
Bankruptcy Lawyers, Credit Counselling, and Debt Education
Prior to filing either Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy in Arizona, state law mandates you complete mandatory credit counseling. You must pick from a list of approved Arizona agencies to complete the course before filing.
After filing either Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy, you must also take a debtor education course. This also means you must attend an approved course through an approved Arizona agency before the bankruptcy is final.
In any case, your best starting point is contacting a reputable bankruptcy lawyer in your area. Experienced lawyers are available throughout the state.
Once you have completed these steps, understand the basics of the law, and have consulted with your attorney, you will file at one of the major metropolitan areas throughout Arizona, including Phoenix, Flagstaff, Yuma, Tucson, and Prescott.