Reputable Phoenix Attorney Assists with Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Effective relief for consumers straddled with overwhelming debt
If you, like so many Americans, have fallen on difficult financial times, it may be helpful to consult an attorney about personal bankruptcy. Depending on your circumstances, you might be able to discharge the majority of your debt while retaining important personal items, the tools of your trade and even your car. But if you’re thinking about bankruptcy, don’t simply go to a “bankruptcy mill,” where a paralegal processes your paperwork and you hardly get to speak to a licensed attorney.
Michael Gerity, Attorney at Law, is someone you can trust for an honest appraisal of your financial circumstances. Attorney Gerity is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell® in recognition of his high ethical standards and professional ability, the Irish Legal 100, and has been selected by the American Institute of Legal Counsel for its 10 Best in Arizona list in client satisfaction for 2016 in the Litigation, Lawsuits & Disputes Division. In our office, you’ll get candid, knowledgeable advice about your best course of action.
How Chapter 7 bankruptcy works in Arizona
Chapter 7 bankruptcy offers a way for individuals and married couples to get out from under crushing debt and get a fresh start. Here’s how it works:
- You must qualify for Chapter 7 — You must demonstrate through a means test that your income is less than the median amount for a household of your size. If you qualify, you must receive credit counseling before you are allowed to file. If you do not qualify for Chapter 7, you may be able to file Chapter 13.
- Only your eligible debt is discharged — Chapter 7 discharges your unsecured debt, such as credit cards, medical bills, personal loans and utility bills. Secured loans, such as home mortgages and car loans, are not dischargeable, but you can still file and reaffirm those kinds of loans. However, other types of debt generally aren’t dischargeable at all, such as student loans, back child support and alimony, criminal fines, and most taxes. If most of your debt is nondischargeable, Chapter 7 may not give you the relief you need.
- You can keep exempt property — Arizona allows you to claim state exemptions, so you can keep a certain amount of property in various categories, including up to $150,000 in equity in your home and a car worth up to $6,000. Property that is not exempt is collected and sold to partially repay creditors. This is known as dissolution.
- Your creditors can object — After you file, the Bankruptcy Court sets up a meeting of your creditors, who are allowed to object to a discharge of your debt. In reality, creditors rarely attend these meetings, unless there is evidence you ran up your debts fraudulently, with the intention of declaring bankruptcy rather than paying them off.
- You get immediate relief — When you file for bankruptcy, the court immediately issues an automatic stay, which is a court order prohibiting your creditors from contacting you in an attempt to collect. That means all those annoying collection calls must cease immediately.
- You get a quick discharge — If the court accepts your bankruptcy petition, you can get an official discharge of your qualifying debt, meaning you’re free and clear and don’t have to repay those creditors, within a matter of two or three months.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is not for everyone. But with Michael Gerity, you’ll get an honest appraisal of your situation, a full disclosure of the pros and cons for your unique circumstances, and reliable advice based on your best interests.
Contact our Phoenix office to schedule a free bankruptcy consultation
When considering bankruptcy, the most important thing is to get advice from an ethical attorney who will put your best interests first. Michael Gerity, Attorney at Law, has a strong reputation for integrity in Phoenix and throughout Maricopa County and the rest of Arizona. To learn more about how we can help you discharge your overwhelming debt, call us at 602-529-6881 or contact our office online to schedule a free consultation.