Bankruptcy Topics

Bad News for Consumers With Credit Card Debt

A recent Arizona Court of Appeals ruling in the matter of Mertola, Inc. v. Alberto J. Santos, et al is bad news for consumers when it comes to credit card debt. Until now, creditors in Arizona had a limit of six years from the time a minimum monthly payment was missed to file a debt collection lawsuit.

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When will I get my discharge?

If everything goes smoothly in your Chapter 7 case, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court will mail a form called “Discharge of Debtor” to you and your creditors approximately 120 days (4 months) after you file.

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What is a Chapter 7 trustee?

The Chapter 7 trustee is an officer of the court appointed to administer your Chapter 7 case. The Chapter 7 trustee’s duties include conducting the meeting of creditors, gathering any of your nonexempt property of significant value, turning it into cash, using the cash to pay your creditors and ensuring that you perform all of your duties as a Chapter 7 debtor. A trustee is appointed in a Chapter 7 case even if the debtor has no nonexempt property for the trustee to collect.

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Will I have to go to court after I file for bankruptcy?

No. However, about 6 weeks after you file, you must attend what bankruptcy law calls the “meeting of creditors.” This administrative hearing is conducted by the Chapter 7 trustee assigned to your case; no judge is present. An attorney from our office (if retained) will accompany you at the meeting. The trustee asks you very simple questions which can be answered with “yes” or “no.” Any of your creditors attending the meeting may then briefly ask you a few questions. This is rare however, since in most consumer Chapter 7 cases non of the creditors a

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Can filing under Chapter 7 stop lawsuits, garnishments or attachments?

Yes. The filing of a Chapter 7 case automatically stays or stops most lawsuits and attachments that have been filed against you. Usually with 7-10 days after your Chapter 7 case is filed, the court will mail a notice to all your creditors ordering them to refrain from any further collection action against you. However, when necessary, we will immediately notify one or more of your creditors of the filing of your case.

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Which debts are non-dischargeable?

Some of the most common debts that are NOT released by a Chapter 7 discharge are:

debts for certain taxes, including taxes that became due within the last three years;
debts for obtaining money, property, services, or credit by means of false pretenses, fraud or a false financial statement (including certain debts for luxury goods or services and for certain cash advances made within 90 days before the case is filed);

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How does filing under Chapter 7 affect my credit rating?

It depends. Some financial institutions openly solicit business from people who have recently filed under Chapter 7, apparently because it will be at least eight (8) years before they can file under Chapter 7 again, and their financial situation is better because they have little or no debt. If there are compelling reasons for filing under a Chapter 7 that are not within your control (such as illness or injury), some credit rating agencies may take that into account in rating your credit after filing. Inquire with our office for detailed information on ways to reestablish your credit. It is often possible to totally reestablish good credit 6 months to 2 years after filing.

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What is a Chapter 7 discharge?

It is a court order releasing you from all of your dischargeable debts and ordering the creditors not to attempt to collect them from you anymore. A debt that is discharged is one that you are released from and do not have to pay. Some debts, however, are not released by a chapter 7 discharge, and some people are not eligible for a chapter 7 discharge.

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What is Chapter 7 and how does it work?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the part of the federal banktuptcy laws (Title 11 of the United States Code) that permits you to discharge certain debts by filing a case in the United Bankruptcy court, turning all of your non exempt property over to a trustee.

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You Can Get Credit After Filing Bankruptcy

Traditionally, filing bankruptcy was viewed as an option reserved only for those in the direst financial straits. There was a stigma attached to the option similar to the stigma associated with divorce.

Recent economic challenges facing the country have eroded much of the social stigma associated with bankruptcy. Now, bankruptcy is utilized by many as a strategic financial planning tool. Bankruptcy is a practical and accessible solution giving honest debtors relief and a second chance at financial autonomy.

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Bankruptcy? I’m too rich – and too poor

The March rains swelled the Salt River, testing the capacity of the Tempe Town Lake so the floodwaters spilled down the Salt River bottom making it perfect for Farmley Bigbucks to jump off the Mill Avenue Bridge and end it all. He was so under water on his properties that this was only too fitting.

Luckily Officer Shaymus saw Farmley and quickly got out his squad car to try to talk him out of an irreversible decision.

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