Tailored Legal Guidance in Phoenix, AZ
It can be easy to feel helpless when you face mounting debt. Whether you have fallen behind on your mortgage, credit cards, medical bills, tax liabilities, or vehicle payments, you can be entitled to a fresh start with the help of a Glendale Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer.
At The Law Office of Larry P. Karandreas, I leverage my nearly 30 years of legal experience to help individuals and small businesses obtain the clean financial slates they deserve. My firm exclusively focuses on bankruptcy law and is familiar with the many intricacies of the filing process in the state of Arizona. I will work with you one-on-one to review your legal options and develop a plan for addressing and eliminating your debt. No matter what financial challenges you face, I am determined to provide the capable guidance you need to move forward.
To qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must first pass the state of Arizona’s Means Test. This Test assesses your current ability to pay your obligations. If your current income is less than the state’s median income for your household size, you will automatically qualify to file. If you meet or exceed the median, you will need to calculate your disposable income.
I can help identify all available deductions to give you the best chance at passing the Means Test qualifying for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Should you not qualify, I can also help you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy or negotiate directly with your creditors.
Benefits of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Arizona
Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy institutes the automatic stay, a court order that temporarily protects you from collection attempts.
Once the automatic stay goes into effect, the following creditor actions must cease:
Successfully completing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can eliminate all personal liability on many types of unsecured debt, including medical debt, credit card debt, personal loans, and unpaid utility bills. In other words, when these debts are discharged, you will no longer have to pay them, and creditors cannot seek repayment.
What Debts Cannot be Eliminated in Chapter 7?
Not all types of debt can be discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. While you can eliminate your personal liability on car loans, mortgages, and other secured debts, there is a large possibility you will lose the underlying asset in the process.
You will also not be able to discharge:
- Recent tax debt
- Missed spousal support payments
- Debt incurred as a result of bad acts
- Student loans (unless you can establish paying them would constitute undue hardship)
As an experienced Chapter 7 attorney, I can evaluate your financial situation and advise what types of debt you can expect to discharge.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy does involve liquidation, a process through which nonexempt assets of filers are sold to partially repay creditors. In other words, you may need to sell certain items to pay back some of what you owe.
However, the Bankruptcy Court is a court of equity, and bankruptcy is not meant to punish you for being unable to pay your debts. Bankruptcy is meant to facilitate a fresh start, and you will be permitted to keep many of your assets. Liquidation may sound scary, but the system is not meant to leave you without property.
Federal and state schedules allow you to exempt certain types of assets up to a certain value. Those who have lived in Arizona for at least two years must use Arizona's exemption laws, rather than federal exemption laws.
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Arizona, you will likely get to keep:
- Household goods (including appliance, furniture, and electronics) - Up to $6,000, or $12,000 for married couples
- Clothing - Up to $500
- Wedding jewelry, including rings - Up to $2,000
- Equity in your home - Up to $150,000
- Equity in your vehicle - Up to $6,000
- Tools of your trade
- A majority of your disposable income
These are just a few examples of exemptions available in Arizona. Others exist for more specific situations, from farm animal exemptions to exemptions for insurance benefits.
There are maximum value limitations on what you can exempt in each category, but you may be surprised at how much you can safeguard. I can work closely with you to protect what matters most to you and maximize exemption schedules.
Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Right for Me?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is not right for everyone.
The following people do not qualify to file:
- If you currently have substantial income, you will likely not qualify to begin with.
- While exemptions do allow you to safeguard a majority of the assets you will need for a fresh start, you may need to give up valuable or sentimentally important non-exempt assets, such as collectibles, works of art, and large instruments.
- There is also a decent chance you will not be able to keep your vehicle or home in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
The Law Office of Larry P. Karandreas can help assess whether filing makes sense for you. If you do not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or wish to avoid the liquidation process, I can also assist you with filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
I am compassionate to the challenges you experience when facing overwhelming amounts of debt and am prepared to guide you through each step of the bankruptcy process.
We were very fortunate to have found Mr. Larry KarandreasJ.R.
A Bankruptcy Lawyer Who Cares
With an over 90% success rate, Attorney Larry Karandreas takes your case seriously. He personally handles all client correspondence, never overbooks his schedule, and makes sure every client receives his full attention.
Limited Caseload to Ensure Personalized Attention
Attorney Karandreas ensures that his caseload is not overloaded in order to provide top-quality care and attention to each of his clients.
Little to No Money Down on Bankruptcy Filings
We offer as low as $0 down on Ch. 13 filings and as low as $700 on Ch. 7 filings for qualifying cases.