Step 1 : You must learn what creditors can do and what your rights are, including a little about the about the bankruptcy process.
Step 2 : I will also need to learn about your unique situation.
To get started, please provide your full legal name, phone number and email. We will not share your information with anyone. This is simply a way for us to get in contact with and understand your current situation.
Let’s get started, review the 9 bankruptcy educational videos below. When you are finished, click next.
Download and or print the Arizona Exemptions PDF
IMPORTANT: Please have a copy ready for use in our discussion by downloading and printing the list or having it displayed on your screen.
If you have not lived in Arizona for two years, Federal exemptions may apply in bankruptcy. Diane will explain more during your consultation.
Before reviewing the list, now is a good time to save your progress. Click on the “SAVE and CONTINUE” link below. This will save your progress and allow you to begin the next step.
We realize you are extremely nervous about your financial situation. Most likely you jump every time the phone rings and lose sleep because you are terrified about your financial future. Let us help you get your life back on track. Our commitment is to provide excellent assistance for very reasonable fees.
Estimated time to complete the entire form is 30 to 40 minutes. Most of these questions can be answered without the need of your financial documents, but some will require a little more detailed information. Step three deals with income so is a little more complicated, but very important. Filling out this information and talking with me is not a commitment to filing a bankruptcy, nor is it intended to create an attorney-client relationship. I am not your attorney until you sign a retainer agreement.
Please proceed to Step 2 of our General Questions so that we may get a better understanding of how we can help.
WARNING: TO AVOID LOSING YOUR INFORMATION
DO NOT TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER OR LEAVE THIS SITE UNTIL THE FORM IS SUBMITTED (YOU WILL RECEIVE AN E-MAIL CONFIRMATION WHEN IT IS SUBMITTED). PLEASE NOTE - WE DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO ANY INFORMATION UNTIL THE FORM IS SUBMITTED.
Your answers to these general questions will help me to understand your unique situation, including what you have done or has been done to you. Many people make decisions that do not lead to problems outside bankruptcy, but in a bankruptcy those same innocent decisions can be disastrous. Based on your answers I will customize my advice with the goal of helping you avoid problems, if possible. I realize this is a lot of information, but accurate information will be your best friend. A friend of mine says “garbage in, garbage out”. He is correct because if I get the wrong information from you I will most likely give you the wrong legal advice.
Effective October 17, 2005, the Bankruptcy Code was amended in such a way as to try to interfere with the relationship between attorneys and clients. Clients are now described as “assisted persons” and attorneys are referred to a “debt relief agency.” To quote a prominent Bankruptcy Judge [the new legislation provisions] “require debt relief agencies to give notices and warnings that are not relevant in many of the circumstances in which they must be given, that will be false in some required contexts and that are just mean and scary for no obvious benefit.” This legislation (sponsored at great expense by the lobbyists and executives of the consumer credit industry) shall not stop me from rendering the proper advice and information to which you are entitled to. Particularly, I question the assertion that filing a bankruptcy is “routine.” I advise you to question me about any provision of these forms that contradicts anything that I may have said to you.
If someone is living with you - include their NET income even if they do not give it to you. To calculate NET income deduct their own expenses such as: taxes, insurance, expenses related to vehicles, medical, credit cards, student loans, other housing, business debts, etc.
Finish the following page ONLY if your average gross income (ANNUAL income before taxes and other deductions) exceeds the amount permitted for the number of people that live in your home. Normally that means the number of people you deduct on your tax returns, but there are always exceptions. The more accurate job you do here the more accurate legal advice I can give you.
For now include income for everyone who lives in your home. Prepare an explanation if your family has unusual income. Do not include anyone’s social security income as part of the following calculation.
Annual Gross Income (before any deductions):
each additional person: $9,000 Even if you income does NOT exceed these amounts, you must answer 'yes' or 'no' to the next question.
IMPORTANT: The following expenses are monthly, not annual and not per pay check.
These questions pertain NOT to what you were actually paid or received over the last six months. Instead, these are for expenses you will spend or should spend in the future. In other words, unlike income this is a forward looking review of your expenses.
(e.g.: what is the correct amount you should be deducting from your paycheck(s). Or, if you want but do not have life insurance, disability insurance, or health savings plan, etc. Make sure you talk to Diane about this.
Include all expenses, those deducted from your paychecks AND those that you pay directly in cash or by check.
TAXES: If your income fluctuates then add all taxes for the 6 months above, including anticipated taxes on 1099 income then divide by 6.
Are you paid the same amount every week? If so, multiply the taxes from one paycheck by 52 and divide by 12 to determine your monthly taxes.
Are you paid the same amount every two weeks? If so, multiply the taxes from one paycheck by 26 and divide by 12 to determine your monthly taxes.
In accordance with § 342(b) of the Bankruptcy Code, this notice: (1) describes briefly the services available from credit counseling services; (2) describes briefly the purposes, benefits and costs of the four types of bankruptcy proceedings you may commence; and (3) informs you about bankruptcy crimes and notifies you that the Attorney General may examine all information you supply in connection with a bankruptcy case. You are cautioned that bankruptcy law is complicated and not easily described. Thus, you may wish to seek the advice of an attorney to learn of your rights and responsibilities should you decide to file a petition. Court employees cannot give you legal advice.
1. Services Available from Credit Counseling Agencies
With limited exceptions, § 109(h) of the Bankruptcy Code requires that all individual debtors who file for bankruptcy relief on or after October 17, 2005,
receive a briefing that outlines the available opportunities for credit counseling and provides assistance in performing a budget analysis. The briefing
must be given within 180 days before the bankruptcy filing. The briefing may be provided individually or in a group (including briefings conducted by
telephone or on the Internet) and must be provided by a nonprofit budget and credit counseling agency approved by the United States trustee or bankruptcy
administrator. The clerk of the bankruptcy court has a list that you may consult of the approved budget and credit counseling agencies.
In addition, after filing a bankruptcy case, an individual debtor generally must complete a financial management instructional course before he or she can
receive a discharge. The clerk also has a list of approved financial management instructional courses.
2. The Four Chapters of the Bankruptcy Code Available to Individual Consumer Debtors
Chapter 7: Liquidation
1. Chapter 7 is designed for debtors in financial difficulty who do not have the ability to pay their existing debts. Debtors whose debts are primarily
consumer debts are subject to a “means test” designed to determine whether the case should be permitted to proceed under chapter 7. If your income is
greater than the median income for your state of residence and family size, in some cases, creditors have the right to file a motion requesting that the
court dismiss your case under § 707(b) of the Code. It is up to the court to decide whether the case should be dismissed.
2. Under chapter 7, you may claim certain of your property as exempt under governing law. A trustee may have the right to take possession of and sell the
remaining property that is not exempt and use the sale proceeds to pay your creditors.
3. The purpose of filing a chapter 7 case is to obtain a discharge of your existing debts. If, however, you are found to have committed certain kinds of
improper conduct described in the Bankruptcy Code, the court may deny your discharge and, if it does, the purpose for which you filed the bankruptcy
petition will be defeated.
4. Even if you receive a general discharge, some particular debts are not discharged under the law. Therefore, you may still be responsible for most taxes
and student loans; debts incurred to pay non-dischargeable taxes; domestic support and property settlement obligations; most fines, penalties, forfeitures,
and criminal restitution obligations; certain debts which are not properly listed in your bankruptcy papers; and debts for death or personal injury caused
by operating a motor vehicle, vessel, or aircraft while intoxicated from alcohol or drugs. Also, if a creditor can prove that a debt arose from fraud,
breach of fiduciary duty, or theft, or from a willful and malicious injury, the bankruptcy court may determine that the debt is not discharged.
Chapter 13: Repayment of All or Part of the Debts of an Individual with Regular Income
1. Chapter 13 is designed for individuals with regular income who would like to pay all or part of their debts in installments over a period of time. You
are only eligible for chapter 13 if your debts do not exceed certain dollar amounts set forth in the Bankruptcy Code.
2. Under chapter 13, you must file with the court a plan to repay your creditors all or part of the money that you owe them, using your future earnings.
The period allowed by the court to repay your debts may be three years or five years, depending upon your income and other factors. The court must approve
your plan before it can take effect.
3. After completing the payments under your plan, your debts are generally discharged except for domestic support obligations; most student loans; certain
taxes; most criminal fines and restitution obligations; certain debts which are not properly listed in your bankruptcy papers; certain debts for acts that
caused death or personal injury; and certain long term secured obligations.
Chapter 11: Reorganization
Chapter 11 is designed for the reorganization of a business but is also available to consumer debtors. Its provisions are quite complicated, and any
decision by an individual to file a chapter 11 petition should be reviewed with an attorney.
Chapter 12: Family Farmer or Fisherman
Chapter 12 is designed to permit family farmers and fishermen to repay their debts over a period of time from future earnings and is similar to chapter 13.
The eligibility requirements are restrictive, limiting its use to those whose income arises primarily from a family-owned farm or commercial fishing
3. Bankruptcy Crimes and Availability of Bankruptcy Papers to Law Enforcement Officials
A person who knowingly and fraudulently conceals assets or makes a false oath or statement under penalty of perjury, either orally or in writing, in
connection with a bankruptcy case is subject to a fine, imprisonment, or both. All information supplied by a debtor in connection with a bankruptcy case is
subject to examination by the Attorney General acting through the Office of the United States Trustee, the Office of the United States Attorney, and other
components and employees of the Department of Justice.
Section 521(a)(1) of the Bankruptcy Code requires that you promptly file detailed information regarding your creditors, assets, liabilities, income,
expenses and general financial condition. Your bankruptcy case may be dismissed if this information is not filed with the court within the time deadlines
set by the Bankruptcy Code, the Bankruptcy Rules, and the local rules of the court.