The first step is to meet with our office to see if bankruptcy is a possibility given your specific circumstances. Folks tend to get in trouble by filing when they should not have as this could cause them to lose certain assets. Once you dip your toes into the bankruptcy court it is very difficult if not impossible to get out of the mess. Once an attorney determines bankruptcy is in your best financial interests there are some basic practical concerns.
Gather all of your monthly billings and documentation of litigation you are facing. In turn Mohave Law will pull your credit report to make sure we have a good understanding of all of your debts. You will need to complete our intake packet so we can ascertain your budget since this factors into your eligibility for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The intake form also lets us see the various assets to be considered in filing or not.
We will direct you to a couple of vendors from which you can chose to perform your credit counseling online. This counseling normally takes about an hour and a half and the vendor will give you proof of completion which we will attach to your bankruptcy petition. Once we verify the accuracy of your bankruptcy petition which is usually around 40 pages, we will upload it with your permission to the court electronically.
Shortly after the petition is filed the court will set a meeting of creditors. If you live in Mohave County the meeting is conducted in Bullhead City, Arizona. This is the case whether you live in Bullhead City, Kingman, Lake Havasu City or elsewhere in Mohave County. If you live in Phoenix, Arizona, then your bankruptcy is filed in Maricopa County and the meeting is in downtown Phoenix. At this hearing the Trustee conducts a meeting to make certain your bankruptcy petition is accurate and to get an idea of any assets you may have that are not exempt from the bankruptcy estate. Normally the Trustee is following up on items they have already seen listed in your bankruptcy petition.
In the usual Chapter 7 case the discharge or relief from your debts is granted 60-75 days after the meeting of creditors. The bankruptcy is still open and is normally closed within a year.
What to Expect When Filing For Bankruptcy
A Chapter 7 is a total liquidation of your debt, the goal of which is to provide a fresh start with ones finances. There are income limitations to qualify for a Chapter 7, but the amount of money you are permitted to make and still file bankruptcy is surprisingly high. If you meet with our office we will be able to determine if a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for you.
Chapter 13 is designed to lower the payments on all of your debts with the goal of repaying most of your creditors. A plan is submitted to the court and approved if it appears you will be able to make the same payment every month which will be disbursed to service all of your debt.
Start by reviewing the steps in a typical bankruptcy case for both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Then learn about important bankruptcy procedures, protections, and requirements, like the credit counseling requirement, the powerful automatic stay, the creditors' meeting, the Chapter 13 confirmation hearing, and the role of the bankruptcy trustee.