The bankruptcy process provides a legal way for someone to get rid of debts he cannot pay to get a fresh start. Most people file for bankruptcy relief under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. Our Gilbert bankruptcy lawyers guide you through the bankruptcy process so that you can put your financial problems behind you and begin rebuilding your finances for a better financial future.
Filing Chapter 7 in Gilbert
Chapter 7 is the quickest and easiest form of bankruptcy. It is often referred to as a “straight” or “liquidation” bankruptcy. A Chapter 7 debtor can get rid of debts in about four to six months in a no-asset Chapter 7 case.
However, there are three essential factors that you need to discuss with an experienced Gilbert Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer before filing Chapter 7:
- Do I meet the Chapter 7 income requirements to receive a bankruptcy discharge?
- Do bankruptcy exemptions protect all of the equity in my property?
- Don, I have any debts that are not dischargeable in bankruptcy?
Most Chapter 7 cases filed in Arizona do not result in the loss of property. However, a Gilbert foreclosure attorney should review your situation carefully before you file your case.
Also, most debts are discharged in bankruptcy, but there are a few types of debt that you cannot get rid of in bankruptcy. In general, you cannot get rid of tax debts, student loans, alimony, restitution, DUI accident judgments, and child support in a Chapter 7 case.
If you are behind on your car payments or mortgage payments, earn a high income, have high-net-equity property, or debts you cannot discharge in bankruptcy, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case may be the better choice for you.
Filing Chapter 13 in Gilbert
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy case is a repayment plan. Most Chapter 13 plans are 60 months, but some individuals may qualify for a three-year Chapter 13 plan. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy case can help you stop foreclosure and prevent repossessions. It allows you to spread out non-dischargeable debts over several years. Chapter 13 also protects property that could be at risk of being sold in a Chapter 7 case.
However, the Chapter 13 process does require a five-year commitment. You cannot incur new debt or sell major assets without court approval. If your income increases during your Chapter 13 case, your monthly plan payment could increase.
Our Gilbert Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyers have extensive experience calculating the Means Test, which determines disposable income. Disposable income is a factor in calculating the amount of your Chapter 13 plan.
Our lawyers also have a great deal of experience calculating the Chapter 13 plan. Our goal is to propose a Chapter 13 plan that has the lowest plan payment allowed by law to make Chapter 13 as affordable for you as possible.
Benefits of Filing for Bankruptcy Relief
When you file for bankruptcy relief, your creditors cannot take any legal action to collect a debt without bankruptcy court approval. Therefore, creditor harassment and debt collection efforts cease. In many cases, you can get rid of all, or most, of your unsecured debts through a bankruptcy filing. Getting rid of debts that you cannot pay gives you a fresh start to recover after a financial hardship.
Filing bankruptcy with the help of a Gilbert bankruptcy attorney is not as difficult or expensive as you might assume. In many cases, individuals are amazed at how smoothly the process works and how affordable it is to file bankruptcy in Gilbert.