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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.