Phoenix & Mesa Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer Chapter 13
As an Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer, chapter 13 is a very powerful tool. A lawyer is best suited to assist you with the process of putting together a Chapter 13 Plan that will be accepted by the Court. We have the experience and knowledge to put you in the best position to succeed.
A Chapter 13 Plan, based upon whether your income exceeds the median income for a family of your size, is thirty-six (36) or sixty (60) months. It is important to know, certain debts must be paid within the time frame of the commitment period of your Chapter 13 Plan. There are exceptions to this rule for items like a mortgage.
The bankruptcy code provides a priority in which debts are paid. 11 U.S.C. 1322 provides the contents of the Plan that must be met. Click here to read 11 U.S.C. § 1322.
For instance, child support and taxes are paid before medical bills and credit cards. A Lawyer understands the difference between these issues and can help you obtain the most affordable Chapter 13 Plan payment.
Please call the office and set up an appointment to discuss your financial situation and determine whether your Chapter 7, 11, or 13 make sense.
Phoenix & Mesa Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer Chapter 13 Steps
Phoenix & Mesa Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer Chapter 13: Step 1
We review the client’s finances and determine whether their situation allows for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This is a mixture of financial examinations including the Means Test and a comparison of the client’s average or expected monthly expenses and income. This analysis allows us to know how much of the client’s current and future income must be committed to make a feasible Chapter 13 Plan while paying the priority claims in full.
If Chapter 13 is feasible (if it makes financial sense), we review the client debt, how the creditors are handling your loans, garnishments, types of debt, and what debt can be discharged. Then we determine whether Chapter 13 bankruptcy is in the client and the client’s families’ best interest.
Phoenix & Mesa Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer Chapter 13: Step 2
We review the client’s assets and determine what can be protected and what will be exposed. This allows for you to understand the risks of filing and what must be paid back through the Plan. For a number of people, bankruptcy poses little risk of losing assets. This why you seek the help of an attorney, to ensure you don’t lose any assets unnecessarily.
The client provides a list of documents necessary to determine any additional risk and to create the bankruptcy schedules. This includes tax returns, pay advices, bank statements, etc.
Phoenix & Mesa Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer Chapter 13: Step 3
Based upon the client statements and documents, we prepare the paperwork. This means we prepare a Chapter 13 Petition, Schedules A – J, Statement of Financial Affairs, Chapter 13 plan, Means Test (Form 22B), Declaration of Pay Advices, and Declaration of Electronic Filing.
Phoenix & Mesa Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer Chapter 13: Step 4
We will schedule the client for a final sign and review of the documentation. When the client signs, the documents are signed under penalty of perjury that disclosed all assets and liabilities. Mistakes can be made, but you must do your best to provide an accurate accounting.
Different than a Chapter 7, a Plan is prepared that pays back the client debts as provided under the bankruptcy code. Debts are prioritized under the bankruptcy code and certain debts are paid before others. For instance, if a client needs to make up payments (arreages) on their home, these get paid before say a credit card (unsecured debt). The same is true of tax debt, child support or other domestic support obligations, and other priority debts.
A Plan is not determine by how much you owe creditors. It is determined by, much money a client can pay according to the bankruptcy laws.
Phoenix & Mesa Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer Chapter 13: Step 5
The client takes a Credit Counseling Class either online or on the telephone. The cost can be anywhere from $5 – $55.
After the class is taken and the client is prepared for the day of filing, we file the case and obtain a trustee. The client will get a hearing date approximately thirty days from the date of filing.
Phoenix & Mesa Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer Chapter 13: Step 6
The Chapter 13 Trustee will send you a packet asking for documents as they investigate your case. They documents will be similar to what we require prior to filing. This is documentation that is not provided to our office. We can help you through the process, but the Trustee will only send it to the address you provided to the Court.
This is another reason why it is important to keep the Court up to date with your current address.
Phoenix & Mesa Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer Chapter 13: Step 7
After providing the documents, the client will attend a hearing known as a 341 or Creditors’ Meeting. The client will need to bring a form of government identification and proof of social security card. The Trustee will ask a series of questions about the paperwork and then any specific questions about the case. Most of the time, the hearings are less than five minutes. It is possible for Creditor’s to appear at the hearing. As an attorney, I will make sure, if they appear, that we minimize the affect of the Creditor’s questioning.
Phoenix & Mesa Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer Chapter 13: Step 8
After the Creditors’ Meeting, you must take a second class called financial management. This can cost anywhere from $10 – $80. After the client obtains the certificate, we can file it with the court.
After you go to the meeting of creditors’ you will make you monthly payments.
Phoenix & Mesa Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer Chapter 13: Step 9
Plan payments begin thirty (30) days from the day of filing and continue monthly until the chapter 13 is discharged. It is possible to obtain a moratorium from the court in time of emergency.
Phoenix & Mesa Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer Chapter 13: Step 10
After a period of time, the Chapter 13 Trustee will issue a Trustee Recommendation. In order to confirm your Plan, our office will work with you and the Trustee to resolve all of the issues. In the best case, you will stipulate with the Trustee regarding the Plan. There will be times when this will increase your payment.
At times, circumstances will change. When this happens, the Plan can be modified. At times, you can obtain a hardship discharge.
Phoenix & Mesa Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer Chapter 13: Step 11
Your plan is confirmed with the agreement of all of the relevant parties. This is called a stipulated order of confirmation. There may be times when the parties won’t agree and a judge may rule on an issue, but most of the time this will be done by agreement.
Phoenix & Mesa Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer Chapter 13: Step 12
After making your payments, you will receive a discharge. This is a piece of paper signed by a judge that says no one can collect any of the debts prior to filing bankruptcy. This is the purpose of filing bankruptcy. If you are stripping a lien off of your house, this will only take place upon receiving the discharge.
If you have any questions or would like a free consultation, please call the office: (480)464-4667