Bankruptcy Lawyers in Surprise AZ
Providing Legal Guidance for Clients Seeking a Fresh Start
When you find yourself in hard times and are overwhelmed by debt that adds up to more than what you earn every month, it may be time to consider whether filing for bankruptcy is the right choice for you. At The Dodds Law Firm, PLC, we know that filing for bankruptcy sounds like a scary and nerve-wracking process, but in reality, it can give you the possibility to start over and reset your financial situation when done properly. Learn how bankruptcy works, the different types of bankruptcy you may file for, and see how an attorney can help guide you through the process. If you have questions about your specific situation, contact The Dodds Law Firm, PLC at (623) 267-0026.
How The Dodds Law Firm Can Help You with Your Bankruptcy
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you may have heard about Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. These are the two most common types of bankruptcy available to individuals. Chapter 7 is referred to as liquidation bankruptcy, which means that non-exempt assets are sold to pay off debts. The Dodds Law Firm exclusively handles Chapter 7 bankruptcies only. When filing for Chapter 7 with the help of an attorney, it is not unusual for clients to end up having to sell very few assets, if any. This type of bankruptcy is generally available to individuals and businesses with limited assets and income but may not necessarily stop the foreclosure of their homes.
In contrast, Chapter 13 is a type of reorganization bankruptcy that allows individuals with a steady income to create a repayment plan to pay off their debts over a period of three to five years instead of liquidating their assets. This type of bankruptcy allows you to become current on your home mortgage payments and can possibly be a way for you to pay off your vehicle for a lower amount than what you originally owed and even become current on any late child support or spousal maintenance payments without any negative consequences. You may also be able to pay off tax debt without having to sell any of your property. In addition, creditors are not allowed to contact you or pursue legal action against you during the repayment period. At the end of the repayment period, the remaining debt is usually discharged.
Will My Property Be Protected if I File for Bankruptcy?
If you are planning to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Arizona, it is important to understand which assets may be exempt, meaning they cannot be taken and sold to liquidate a debt in the process of bankruptcy. The state of Arizona has a list of exemptions that include a debtor’s home, vehicles, retirement accounts, pension, social security income, personal property (such as household furniture and appliances), firearms, tools used for a trade, funds in a bank account and even wedding rings.
However, there are certain monetary limits for these exemptions. For example, a person’s primary residence is exempt as long as it does not exceed $400,000.00 in equity (per the new law passed in November 2022). In addition, each debtor may keep one vehicle with less than $15,000.00 of equity, and their retirement or pension plans, as well as social security money, is 100% exempt regardless of their value.
Regarding household furnishings (anything from clothes to home appliances, furniture, electronics, and bicycles), most of these items are exempt as long as the total replacement value of all these items does not exceed $15,000.00. A person may keep tools used for a trade provided that their value is below $5,000.00, and the same limit applies to money kept in a bank account. Finally, wedding rings and firearms valued at not more than $2,000.00 are also exempt.
Why Should I Hire a Bankruptcy Attorney for My Case?
If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy in Surprise, AZ, speak to a skilled bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible. The legal guidance of a knowledgeable bankruptcy lawyer can make the process much smoother for you and allow you to begin the process of moving forward with your life. Contact The Dodds Law Firm, PLC, at 623-267-0026 to learn more about how we can help you get a clean slate for your financial situation.