FREQUENTLY ASKED BANKRUPTCY QUESTIONS
Clients who choose to seek bankruptcy protection as the best means to eliminate debt have a fear losing their doctor if they file bankruptcy to discharge medical debt owed.
Doctor bills are unsecured debt. Unsecured debt may be wiped out in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. When a bankruptcy is filed, and money is owed to a doctor, this debt and creditor is required to be listed in your bankruptcy petition. Filing bankruptcy on your doctor doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to change physicians. Basically, even if you intend on paying the medical debt, it is unavoidable that it be documented on the bankruptcy paperwork.
It is possible that your doctor will drop you as a patient if you discharge the money you owe in a bankruptcy, as long as you’re not needing emergency care.. A federal law requires a person seeking emergency medial treatment at an emergency department be treated and stabilized.
On the other hand, a doctor may understand your financial situation, offer payment options, and continue treating you. It does depend on what kind of relationship you have with your physician and if you are able to pay back money owed to the doctor after your debt is discharged in bankruptcy.
If you file for bankruptcy, your credit will likely be affected. Bankruptcy may actually help a credit score if your debt is causing your credit score to be poor to begin with. Once your debt is eliminated through bankruptcy, you can start again and proceed to improve your credit score immediately. Our law firm and bankruptcy team will assist you after the bankruptcy discharge so that you can recover and improve your credit.
Many Arizona residents struggle with debt. Because of the economy, medical bills, loss of job, or life circumstances, people find that bankruptcy is the right option for eliminating debt and starting with a clean financial slate. If you are experiencing overwhelming bills and extreme debt and need debt relief, talk to an attorney at our firm to determine if bankruptcy is your best option.
Part of the bankruptcy process is appearing in bankruptcy court. After filing a bankruptcy petition, it is required to attend a Meeting of Creditors hearing. Your attorney will prepare you for and accompany you to this meeting.
The Meeting of Creditors is at the bankruptcy court, and is presided over by a bankruptcy trustee who oversees the proceedings. At the hearing you will answer questions about your bankruptcy papers and financial debt. Creditors are permitted to attend as well. Typically, after this hearing there is not need to return to court.
Chapter Bankruptcy Lawyers will represent your bankruptcy. With experience and knowledge of the law on our side, they will be by your side every step of the way through the process. We will help you to understand the Meeting of Creditors, so it is not an intimidating court appearance, but instead a legal experience in which gets you to the next step of financial freedom.
You might wonder how you can afford a bankruptcy if you are already struggling to pay bills and experiencing severe debt. The truth is, you cannot afford to do nothing. If you continue to make minimum payments on your debt, you will only fall further behind. If you file bankruptcy without an experienced attorney, you risk making costly mistakes.
Chapter Bankruptcy Lawyers offers a FREE consultation. Anyone can afford a free phone call to learn about the filing costs and benefits of filing bankruptcy. The first initial appointment is free so that you can discuss your case with an attorney and learn more about helping yourself out of debt. We will explain the bankruptcy process so that you can feel good about decisions you make regarding your financial future.
What Bankruptcy Cannot Do:
Bankruptcy is an option for many debt problems, but it is not the cure-all for every financial problem. Bankruptcy may not be the right choice for each client. We encourage you to take advantage of our firm’s free consultation with an experienced Arizona Bankruptcy Law attorney in order to discuss your specific case. A debt evaluation will give you answers and options and our bankruptcy team can help you determine if a bankruptcy is the right move toward your financial goals.
Bankruptcy can wipe out certain debt, but there are some debts that cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy:
- Back child support, debt dedicated to family support, or alimony obligations
- Debt caused by DUI or personal injury/death
- Student loans, unless hardship can be proven
- Criminal restitution or fines for violating the law
- Income tax debts (within 3 years) and other tax debt
- Certain debts of secured creditors
Filing a Bankruptcy in Arizona may allow for:
- The elimination of debt obligations — wiping out all of most of your debt. This discharge of debt allows you to achieve a fresh financial beginning.
- Stop a repossession of a vehicle or other property.
- Prevent the foreclosure on your home. A bankruptcy may also give you the opportunity to catch up on payments that have bene missed.
- Restore any termination of utility service or prevent this from happening.
- Stop a wage garnishment or other actions by creditors attempting to collect a debt.
- Stop creditor and debt collection harassment.
Yes, you may be able to save your home. If you are in danger of losing your home through foreclosure, filing a bankruptcy petition stops the foreclosure process. Not only does bankruptcy stop the foreclosure, but also give s some more time to work out a solution and save your property. There are options to saving your home, and contacting Chapter Bankruptcy Lawyers is the first step. In a free debt evaluation, and experienced bankruptcy attorney can review your options and listen to your needs and urgent matters, such as losing your home.
Both spouses DO NOT have to file bankruptcy. If only one files, the non-filing spouse will be fully liable for all debts that are in both names (or in his/her name alone). If most of the debt are in both names, it may make sense for you to file together. Also, a joint filing allows for double the exemption amount allowed for assets. On the other hand, if all or most of the debt is entirely in one person’s name, then there may be no need for both to file. The court fees for filing are the same for individual or joint petitions.
My Spouse is currently in the military and currently deployed or is about to be deployed. Can I still file bankruptcy?
The answer is: definitely! Any exempt property may be kept as well as anything obtained after the bankruptcy filing. Exception: if an inheritance, settlement, or life insurance benefit is received within 180 of filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, that will likely be used to repay creditors/debt, if it is not exempt. Chapter Bankruptcy Lawyers know the Arizona bankruptcy law — and the exemptions. Contact our attorney to discuss what you can keep if you choose bankruptcy as the best means of your debt relief.
A bankruptcy will not ruin your credit forever. A bankruptcy will cause a drop initially in your credit score, but in many cases, this score can come back up fairly quickly. Taking the necessary steps after a bankruptcy discharge will ensure that your credit is repaired as quickly as possible. In fact, some cases have a higher credit score AFTER bankruptcy within one year. That is typically because pre-bankruptcy debt was already damaging the credit score. Every major credit bureau uses a different formula to determine a credit score, so it may vary.
If you are at risk of losing your home, bankruptcy may be a solution to eliminate debt and stop a foreclosure. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy includes the automatic stay. This stay will temporarily prevent a foreclosure, stop a wage garnishment, or vehicle repossession. The Arizona bankruptcy law is complicated, and each financial situation is different, so we encourage you to contact Chapter Bankruptcy Lawyers in order to successfully eliminate debt and stop a foreclosure. In a Chapter 13 repayment plan, you may keep your house through a plan payment.
You may consider bankruptcy if your current situation includes:
- A creditor threatening foreclosure
- You are facing a repossession
- You are facing or experiencing a wage garnishment
- If your unpaid debt and missed monthly payments are causing irrevocable damage to your credit report
- If the total amount of unpaid bills is too great to consider ever repaying them
- A creditor is threatening a lawsuit against you
- Creditors are harassing you with phone calls and communication to collect a debt.
Each bankruptcy case is unique, so are the needs of each client. You may not lose your car or your house in a bankruptcy. Arizona has exemption laws in order to protect a debtor’s assets. Consult with Chapter Bankruptcy Lawyers for a free debt evaluation and consultation. You may seek options and advice from an experienced Arizona bankruptcy attorney and communicate your concerns regarding your property and and car to determine if bankruptcy is the best method of debt relief for your particular financial situation.
Your employer is not notified that you filed bankruptcy, however bankruptcy filings are public records. An exception is if your employer is one of the creditors to whom you owe money. It is against the law for an employer to fire or discriminate against an employee based on filing bankruptcy. So even if your employer does find our about your bankruptcy, you cannot be fired for this reason.
According to the bankruptcy law, your filing will show on your credit report for a period of 10 years. You can immediately start repairing your credit, however. Starting after your bankruptcy discharge, making payments on time on your car, mortgage, rent, and other bills will help your credit score. There are many cases where a person who has filed bankruptcy is able to purchase a car or even a home within a year after a bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy is a federal court process. Through this process, debtors are allowed to eliminate or reorganize debt. Bankruptcy protection is supervised by the bankruptcy court. The purpose of a bankruptcy is to provide legal protection for persons who struggle with debt so overwhelming they are unable to repay their debt obligations to creditors.
Debt stress is caused by debt so overwhelming, that a person may need bankruptcy protection in order to start a new, debt-free chapter in their life.
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