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Be Prepared Before Filing Bankruptcy

No one ever wants to be put in a situation where they are drowning in debt. But it happens, and for most people, it takes a huge emotional toll. In fact, it ranks up there with divorce, death of a loved one and business failure. So, it’s essential that you carefully weigh your options and be prepared. Below are a few things you can do before you take any action:

  1. Organize your paperwork and Review your Finances: Make a list of all debts, from your mortgage to student loans to child support. It would also be helpful to get a copy of your credit report to check debts you may have forgotten. There are several websites that offer free credit reports every 12 months. For every debt, try to locate paperwork to verify the creditor and the amounts because you will need these if you decide to file bankruptcy.
  2. Look at Options to Reduce your Debt: Before you decide to file, try your best to pay off your debts. You may also want to talk with creditors about lowering interest rates or getting better terms. You may also need to take more drastic steps, such as finding different ways to supplement your income, removing unnecessary expenses, moving to a more affordable place, etc.
  3. Talk with a Financial Counselor: Many financial counselors can give you a different, unbiased perspective on your financial situation. They can also provide alternatives to bankruptcy and create a customized plan to get you out of the red. And they can give you encouragement and that extra kick in the right direction! There are many web-based companies that offer such services and can provide helpful information.
  4. Get professional help: If you’ve done everything you can and still can’t get your head above water, bankruptcy may be your best option. Filing is complicated and involves lots of paperwork and the potential for mistakes. So, it is essential to that you consult with a professional. Our bankruptcy team at Dodge & Vega, PLC, have years of experience and will walk you through the bankruptcy process to avoid potential mistakes and pitfalls. We strive to alleviate your stress during an overwhelming time.

Our lawyers at Dodge & Vega are absolutely the best.  Speak with them now over the phone or schedule an in person consult.

 

Written By:

Kaci Brown, Dodge & Vega PLC

 

 

Dodge & Vega PLC founded by Ben Dodge, attorney at law. Ben is an Affordable Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer, Entrepreneur, Endurance Athlete, and Extreme Ultra Cyclist.

Ben Dodge, Esq.

 

 

 

A consultation with experienced Arizona Divorce Attorney Ben Dodge is free

Understanding your rights and what you are entitled too, Ben Dodge is known as a serious litigator. There are two types of attorneys, those that sit behind a desk and push paper and those who actually hit the court room in the real world and get things done. Ben is a litigator who thrives in the court room. He once said: “It is one thing to tell your clients you are a good lawyer, it is an entirely different thing to be willing to prove it to them while they watch you do your work in front of them, in front of a jury watching your every move, in front of a judge, and your peers who are lawyers on the other side if your case. I love the opportunity to go to court and put my money where my mouth is.

Ben Dodge, Trial Lawyer and NITA Advocate

In my experience most lawyers are either afraid of the court room or not good at it and belong behind a desk or both.” -Ben Dodge Ben is one a very few lawyers trained in advance litigation skills through the National Institute of Trial Attorneys (NITA) and has earned the designation as a NITA Advocate.

The negotiation tactics and strategies of winning a case are extremely important, but should always take a back row seat to the litigation experience and knowledge of court room rules, local, state, and federal rules of civil procedure that can have significant impact on your case. It is wise to be represented by someone well versed in the law, civil procedures, local and state ordinances, rules, regulations, policies, and even the court room politics that always play out.

Ben Dodge always offers a complimentary in person consultation to all clients. For those who live out of state or are otherwise busy with work, etc. Ben will do a complimentary phone consultation as well. Typically the consultations are scheduled from 30-60 minutes depending on the severity of the case. You can expect to get answers to questions, clarity, information, and reassurance of your personal, family, or business issues. In your free consultation you can generally expect to discuss such topics as:

  • What your legal issue is really about.
  • Whether or not you have any chance of winning and how to make that possible.
  • Our unique and incredible fee structure making Dodge & Vega lawyers affordable for almost any budget.
  • Your specific case details, any pictures, police reports, or any other evidence you provide for his review.
  • The applicable local, state, and federal laws underlying your case.
  • Your rights, obligations, and any potential liability.
  • The process, procedure (in and out of court), and the time frame required to conclude your case.

You can call Arizona Lawyer Ben Dodge of Dodge & Vega, PLC at 1.480.656.8333. Mr. Dodge’s staff is standing and ready to accept your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every single day of the year. Someone from our office will personally return your call within 24 hours to schedule an appointment with Mr. Dodge or one o his associate attorneys. There is never an obligation past a complimentary consultation with Mr. Dodge. His passion is in relentless representation and his entire office stands ready to serve with kindness, compassion, and patience. We strive to make a legal experience with our firm one of the most outstanding customer service experiences you will ever have and to do so without you having to go broke! Lawyers can be incredible and affordable. Let us show you how.

Dodge & Vega, PLC

Call Ben Dodge, your incredible Arizona Lawyer today at 1.480.656.8333.

Mr. Dodge can also be reached by email at [email protected]

His main Arizona offices are located at:

Mesa Arizona (home base office)
7227 E. Baseline Rd. STE 109,
Mesa, Arizona 85209

Phoenix Arizona office
2415 e. Camelback Rd., suite 700
Phoenix, Arizona 85016

Tucson Arizona office
One South Church Avenue, 12th Floor
Tucson, Arizona 85701

Mr. Dodge relentlessly represents clients in the entire state of Arizona including but not limited to Mesa, Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma, Gilbert, Peoria, Glendale, Scottsdale, Ahwatukee, Tempe, Chandler, Prescott, Sedona, Flagstaff, Surprise, Kingman, Page, Lake Havasu City, Payson, Goodyear, Buckeye, Queen Creek, Paradise Valley, Show Low, Winslow, Maricopa, Nogales, Globe, Avondale, Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, Apache Junction, Carefree, Wickenburg, Pinetop-Lakeside, Strawberry, Anthem, Safford, and more. Ben Dodge is an experienced Arizona Personal Injury lawyer, Arizona Family Law lawyer, Arizona Divorce lawyer, Arizona Bankruptcy lawyer, Arizona Child Custody lawyer, Arizona Estate Planning lawyer, and an Arizona Bicycle Accident lawyer. He can cover all areas of family law, personal injury, bankruptcy and estate planning for you.

Filing for Bankruptcy can be a tough decision. Sometimes, it can feel like you’re alone and that you are the only one that’s experiencing financial hardships. This is simply not the case. Bankruptcy is a way to “start over” when you are in financial crisis and your debts becoming overwhelming. In fact, many people and even major companies have fallen victim to overwhelming debt. Four months into 2019, there have been reports that over 19 major retailers have filed for bankruptcy. Some of these retailers include: Beauty Brands, Gymboree, Charlotte Russe, and Payless Shoes. So, what does the bankruptcy process look like?

Well, there are many different types of bankruptcies that can be filed, depending on your household income, expenses, assets, debts, number of dependents and so on. The most common bankruptcies for individuals are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. As per the Bankruptcy Abuse and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA), consumers who file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy are required to complete a Bankruptcy Credit Counseling course with an approved non-profit counseling agency. Consumers must complete this mandatory counseling prior to filing their bankruptcy. Once after you have completed the credit counseling course and have determined that bankruptcy is your only viable option for relief from financial hardship, you can prepare and file the bankruptcy petition. This is the step, where most people decide to seek legal help. The forms can be complex, and they can be difficult to navigate through if you are not familiar with State exemptions and ways to protect your assets.

Then, after you file bankruptcy, you are required to attend a mandatory bankruptcy hearing to appear before the bankruptcy trustee – this can be a daunting and intimidating process. Let one of our experienced attorneys at Dodge & Vega, PLC help you to determine your rights under the Bankruptcy law and walk you through the bankruptcy process. If you have any questions regarding bankruptcy or have questions to determine if bankruptcy is right for you, our office offers FREE 30-minute consultations with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Give us a call at (480) 656-8333 and let us know how we can help you improve your financial situation.

Or Contact our office online for your free Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy consultation to find out if you can qualify for bankruptcy and/or what other alternatives are available to you if bankruptcy is not for you.

 

Written By:

Kaci Brown, Senior Bankruptcy and Personal Injury Paralegal at Dodge & Vega PLC

 

 

Dodge & Vega PLC

Ben Dodge, Esq., Affordable Mesa Bankruptcy Lawyer, Entrepreneur, Endurance/Ultra Cyclist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A consultation with Experienced and Affordable Mesa Arizona Bankruptcy Arizona Attorney Ben Dodge is free.

Understanding your rights and what you are entitled too, Ben Dodge is known as a serious litigator. There are two types of attorneys, those that sit behind a desk and push paper and those who actually hit the court room in the real world and get things done. Ben is a litigator who thrives in the court room. He once said: “It is one thing to tell your clients you are a good lawyer, it is an entirely different thing to be willing to prove it to them while they watch you do your work in front of them, in front of a jury watching your every move, in front of a judge, and your peers who are lawyers on the other side if your case. I love the opportunity to go to court and put my money where my mouth is. In my experience most lawyers are either afraid of the court room or not good at it and belong behind a desk or both.” -Ben Dodge

Bankruptcies happen because life happens. Don’t let false shame or fear keep you chained down to your debts. There are many options out there to begin to free yourself of unmanagable financial burdens. We are here to help. We understand the feelings, the false guilt and shame, and of course the rewarding sense of moving on and starting over.

Bankruptcy is a federal issue managed by some state rules and policies. We are here to guide you through them. Ben Dodge always offers a complimentary in person consultation to all clients. For those who live out of state or are otherwise busy with work, etc. Ben will do a complimentary phone consultation as well. Typically the consultations are scheduled from 30-60 minutes depending on the severity of the case. You can expect to get answers to questions, clarity, information, and reassurance of your personal, family, or business debt issues. In your free consultation you can generally expect to discuss such topics as:

  • What your debt issues are really about.
  • Whether or not you have any chance of qualifying for a bankruptcy.
  • How chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy works and which one would be the best fit for you.
  • Our unique and incredible fee structure making Dodge & Vega lawyers affordable for any budget.
  • Your specific case details, debt documents, lawsuits, and any other creditor collection and other evidence you provide for his review.
  • The applicable local, state, and federal laws underlying your case.
  • Your rights, obligations, and any potential liability.
  • The process, procedure (in and out of court), and the time frame required to conclude your case.

You can call Arizona Lawyer Ben Dodge of Dodge & Vega, PLC at 1.480.656.8333. Mr. Dodge’s staff is standing and ready to accept your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every single day of the year. Someone from our office will personally return your call within 24 hours to schedule an appointment with Mr. Dodge or one o his associate attorneys. There is never an obligation past a complimentary consultation with Mr. Dodge. His passion is in relentless representation and his entire office stands ready to serve with kindness, compassion, and patience. We strive to make a legal experience with our firm one of the most outstanding customer service experiences you will ever have and to do so without you having to go broke! Lawyers can be incredible and affordable. Let us show you how.

Dodge & Vega, PLC

Call Ben Dodge, your incredible Arizona Lawyer today at 1.480.656.8333.

Mr. Dodge can also be reached by email at [email protected]

His main Arizona offices are located at:

Mesa Arizona (home base office)
7227 E. Baseline Rd. STE 109,
Mesa, Arizona 85209

Phoenix Arizona office
2415 e. Camelback Rd., suite 700
Phoenix, Arizona 85016

Tucson Arizona office
One South Church Avenue, 12th Floor
Tucson, Arizona 85701

Mr. Dodge relentlessly represents clients in the entire state of Arizona including but not limited to Mesa, Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma, Gilbert, Peoria, Glendale, Scottsdale, Ahwatukee, Tempe, Chandler, Prescott, Sedona, Flagstaff, Surprise, Kingman, Page, Lake Havasu City, Payson, Goodyear, Buckeye, Queen Creek, Paradise Valley, Show Low, Winslow, Maricopa, Nogales, Globe, Avondale, Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, Apache Junction, Carefree, Wickenburg, Pinetop-Lakeside, Strawberry, Anthem, Safford, and more. Ben Dodge is an experienced Arizona Personal Injury lawyer, Arizona Family Law lawyer, Arizona Divorce lawyer, Arizona Bankruptcy lawyer, Arizona Child Custody lawyer, Arizona Estate Planning lawyer, and an Arizona Bicycle Accident lawyer. He can cover all areas of family law, personal injury, bankruptcy and estate planning for you.

When an individual has failed to pay his or her debts one of the “last resort” collection tools a creditor can use is to request that the court authorize a wage garnishment. This is also a tool commonly used by the government to collect past due taxes. A wage garnishment is a legal process through which a creditor can successfully collect upon a debt without having to rely on the debtor to make a payment. In cases where the court orders an individual’s wages to be garnished, the amount of the garnishment will be taken directly out of the individual’s paycheck prior to the check being issued. To help ensure an individual is not left without sufficient income to pay his or her bills there are limits set by Arizona law to dictate the amount and extent of wage garnishments.

If you suspect you are about to have your wages garnished, or you already have a wage garnishment order that has been issued against you, waste no time in contacting Dodge & Vega, PLC to seek counsel from one of our skilled bankruptcy attorneys. Whether your garnishment is as a result of credit card debt, past due alimony or child support payments, or back taxes, our attorneys will be able to advise you of the legal options available and help you determine how best to proceed. The attorneys at our firm have extensive experience with all types of finance-related issues. We understand what you are going through, and we are here to provide you with the aggressive representation you need. From start to finish, we will work with you closely with the objective of preventing your wages from being garnished or helping you get your wage garnishment orders lifted. This can often be accomplished very quickly, and for urgent cases, we move fast. Should you need to pursue the option of filing for bankruptcy we will use our 35 years combined experience to guide you through the entire process, and help you get the fresh start you rightfully deserve.

If you are struggling with debts and believe that you will not be able to repay your creditors, it may be time to consider bankruptcy. Through Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, you may be able to finally secure the financial freedom for which you have been searching. Bankruptcy can be confusing, but with the assistance of a caring and proven legal counselor, you can take back control from your creditors and achieve debt relief. Every situation is unique, so it is best to discuss your circumstances with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer before making any decisions. Bankruptcy may be the right choice if the following statements are true of your situation:

  • You are purchasing even basic necessities with credit cards
  • You are borrowing from friends and family just to pay your bills
  • You have to live paycheck to paycheck
  • You are constantly being harassed by your creditors
  • You have to dip into your retirement or savings accounts to make ends meet
  • Your financial problems are making your life stressful and overwhelming
  • You are always worried about your debts and inability to pay your bills

Do those statements describe your family’s financial troubles? If so, do not hesitate to speak to a skilled legal counselor as soon as possible. Although you can file for bankruptcy on your own, it is important to be fully informed before making any decisions, so that you are confident filing is the right choice for your family.

Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13

After assessing your circumstances, if you believe bankruptcy is right for your family, the next step is determining which Chapter is best for your debt, with the help of a knowledgeable attorney. Chapter 7 uses the liquidation of nonexempt assets to repay creditors, and after the liquidation process is complete, the filer is released from the remaining balances of most of their unsecured debts. In
Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the filer works with their attorney and a court-appointed bankruptcy trustee to create a monthly repayment plan through which they will repay their creditors over a 3 to 5 year period.

There are a number of benefits to each Chapter, but there are also implications that must be considered carefully before making your choice. If you are interested in bankruptcy to help your family overcome debt and regain control of your financial future, our team would be proud to help. Our attorneys at Dodge & Vega, PLC have helped countless clients in Mesa and all over the state through the bankruptcy process, and we can assist you with exceptional legal counsel during this difficult time. To determine your available options and learn how bankruptcy could benefit your financial situation, please call our team at your earliest convenience!

Bankruptcy often enables people to discharge much of their debt once the process is completed. Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 allow for the cancellation of many remaining debts, although the processes used are different. Chapter 7 uses the liquidation of nonexempt assets to repay creditors, and once the filing is complete, the individual will be released from many of their debts with remaining balances. In
Chapter 13, the court works with the individual to a reorganize their debts into a repayment plan that will last three to five years. Through more affordable monthly payments, the individual repays their creditors, and once the time period of the plan is complete, they are able to discharge many of the balances that remain.

Many people file for bankruptcy because they want to be rid of their debts, but it is important to know that there are certain types of debt that cannot be discharged through bankruptcy. The debts that you cannot cancel through bankruptcy include:

  • Student loans
  • Child support
  • Alimony payments
  • Debts incurred through fraud or deceit
  • Most unpaid taxes
  • Payroll taxes
  • Sales taxes
  • Property taxes
  • Willful tax evasion or fraudulent tax return
  • Criminal fines
  • Restitution
  • Drunk driving injury claims
  • Fines or penalties owed to a governmental unit
  • Damages owed to a victim for causing willful injury to their person or property
  • Expensive or luxury charges incurred shortly before filing for bankruptcy
  • Debts incurred after the repayment plan was created

If the majority of the types of debts you are struggling to repay are included on this list, you may need to consider bankruptcy alternatives to address your debts. Before making any decisions, speak with a knowledgeable attorney who can determine your options and assist you in pursuing relief from debt. Our team at Dodge & Vega has helped countless people file for bankruptcy and pursue financial freedom all across Arizona, and we would be proud to guide you in the fight to regain control of your finances. Do not hesitate to call our firm to discuss your unique situation and possible options!

In 2005 the bankruptcy law was revamped to its current form. Periodically, the rules that govern bankruptcy are reviewed and tweaked. On December 1, 2011, some of those tweaks took effect. In chapter 7 and chapter 13 cases, creditors will feel the greatest effect with the new changes.

Creditors filing proofs of claim in bankruptcy cases will not be required to file documentation to support the amounts they are claiming, as opposed to a simple summary. Creditors must include all charges that are included in the claim. Creditors who hold a security interest (like a mortgage) must disclose the amount of any default at the time of filing. Mortgage creditors must also attach documentation proving the security interest and an escrow statement if an escrow account exists on the property.

Mortgage creditors will also be required to file with the Court any changes in mortgage payments, regardless of the reason. They must also serve on a debtor an itemized statement of any post-petition charges, including late fees, NSF charges or attorney fees. Along with the new requirements for mortgage creditors, the trustee in a chapter 13 case must file a notice of the final cure payment being made to a mortgage lender. The mortgage lender then has 21 days to dispute that notice.

If you have any questions regarding these changes and how it may affect your bankruptcy case, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We always look forward to helping in any way we can.