Mesa Bankruptcy Attorneys of Ariano & Associates, PLLC
If you are one of the millions of Americans struggling with oppressive debt, an underwater mortgage, and never ending harassment by creditors, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may provide you with a way to unshackle yourself from debt and move towards a brighter financial future. Nationally, over a million individuals will file for bankruptcy each year. In Arizona, over 20,000 individuals and businesses annually find relief from debt through Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
The experienced Mesa bankruptcy attorneys at Ariano & Associates, PLLC, will help you to determine whether Chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for you. We will carefully assess your entire financial picture and guide you towards the course of action that will best alleviate your debt and allow you to build a positive financial future. Ariano & Associates, PLLC, is known as Arizona’s 24/7 bankruptcy firm. We understand that issues might arise at any time, any day of the week. We are always here to meet your legal needs with excellence of service.
Chapter 7 Basics
Chapter 7 is the most common form of bankruptcy. It offers individuals and businesses a means of eliminating most or all of their unsecured debt. Unsecured debt can include anything from medical bills and credit cards to deficiency balances from a foreclosure or payday loans. Chapter 7, unlike Chapter 13, does not involve any sort of repayment plan. It is commonly referred to as the liquidation chapter, as it will involve the trustee’s sale of your non-exempt assets to pay off creditors. Many assets are, however, protected by Arizona state exemptions. For instance, Arizona offers a homestead exemption that allows you to maintain up to $150,000 of the equity of your home. An experienced bankruptcy attorney will meticulously examine your assets and be able to determine what will be protected before the process is initiated.
Qualifying for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is available to individuals or businesses. In order to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must pass what is known as the “Means Test.” Rather than assessing your debt or insolvency, the means test looks at whether your income is low enough to qualify under Chapter 7. If your income is less than the median income in Arizona for a household of your size, you will generally qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Even if your income is above the median, you may still qualify if you can provide additional information about your expenses and secured debt obligations sufficient to satisfy the court.
In addition, all Chapter 7 filers are required to complete a credit counseling course within six months prior to filing. The course is available online or over the phone.
The Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Process in Arizona
The bankruptcy process officially begins with the filing of your Chapter 7 petition. Your petition must include detailed information concerning your debts, assets, income, expenses, and any monetary funds transfer made in the two years prior to filing. These forms must be completed with accuracy and thoroughness, or you could face a denial of your petition and even fraud charges. A skilled bankruptcy attorney is necessary to assist in this crucial step.
After your petition is filed, an automatic stay will issue, stopping all collection calls and attempts to collect debts. A trustee is appointed to sell all non-exempt assets and distribute the proceeds among the creditors. Your bankruptcy attorney will help to ensure your exempt assets are protected throughout the process, and may have you complete a reaffirmation agreement, essentially stating you can keep certain property outside of the bankruptcy.
At the completion of the bankruptcy process, all of your dischargeable debts will be discharged and your future can begin.
Ariano & Associates, PLLC: Providing You with a Fresh Start!
Making the decision to file for bankruptcy is undoubtedly difficult, but you do not have to reach this important decision alone. The experienced, compassionate bankruptcy attorneys at Ariano & Associates, PLLC will carefully examine your circumstances to determine whether Chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for you. If you elect to proceed with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, we will guide you through the process with precision, leading you to your renewed financial future. Contact the knowledgeable Mesa Bankruptcy Attorneys at Ariano & Associates today at (602)-466-9631 to schedule a free consultation.