The legal matters in which it’s advisable to represent yourself are few and far between. This also extends to bankruptcy, whether you’re filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. The right bankruptcy attorney can make the process clear and simple so bankruptcy can be the most beneficial to your debt situation. Bankruptcy can clear your debts and make your finances more manageable, all the while protecting you from your creditors. If it feels like debts are making the walls close in on you, bankruptcy may be the way to break free. A bankruptcy lawyer can help you achieve these goals, but not all firms offer the same level of service. Our Phoenix bankruptcy team makes filing easy and affordable- Click here or call 602-609-7000 to schedule your free consultation today.

Bankruptcy attorney with a client in Arizona

What Can Happen If You Don’t Have the Right Legal Representation

There are so many mishaps that can happen during a bankruptcy case if it isn’t prepared correctly. When a case is closed out due to some mistake or inaccuracy, it is dismissed rather than discharged. Debts aren’t cleared when the case is dismissed rather than discharged. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the dismissal, it may be dismissed with or without prejudice. That is the difference between being allowed to re-file the case and not having that opportunity.

Case dismissal can have more negative consequences if you file for bankruptcy with your creditors on your heels. If one of your creditors was eager to repossess your vehicle or foreclose upon your home, they may have been disappointed to receive notification of your bankruptcy filing. They may also be inclined to move more swiftly after dismissal to try to collect while the protections from the automatic stay have lapsed.

You’ve probably heard of someone getting in trouble for tax fraud- similarly, a debtor can be charged with bankruptcy fraud for making false statements on their petition and lying elsewhere throughout the bankruptcy process. Depending on the severity of the situation, a debtor can be sentenced to prison time for committing bankruptcy fraud. Your attorney will help you list all of your assets and obligations correctly so this won’t be a concern for you. If you have concerns about mistakes and other issues that could arise in your bankruptcy case, click here or call our firm at 602-609-7000 for your free consultation.

Questions To Ask During Your Initial Consultation

While it may feel inconvenient, it wouldn’t be ethical for a bankruptcy attorney to accept your case without conducting a consultation first. The initial consultation serves many purposes. It is your chance to get a feel for the law firm and make sure you are comfortable with the attorney who will be handling your case. It is the attorney’s chance to make sure you qualify for bankruptcy and are a good candidate in general. However, you should also keep in mind that in Phoenix, you have plenty of options when it comes to bankruptcy law firms. Consider asking some of the following questions during your consultation so you can assess if the lawyer you’re interviewing is the right fit for you.

  • Do you primarily file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases?
  • Can you describe your experience with Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy in the Phoenix area?
  • Who else in your office will be working on my case?
  • Which chapter of bankruptcy do you think I should file and why?
  • What can I expect to happen throughout my bankruptcy case?
  • Does it seem likely that any of my creditors will file an adversary proceeding against me?
  • What kind of payment plan options does your firm offer for my attorney’s fees?
  •  Does your law firm have a secure portal where I can upload my documents rather than needing to mail or bring physical documents to your office?
  • Does your office offer phone appointments or will I need to come into the office to complete my bankruptcy case?
  • Should I file my case now or would it be more strategic to wait to file my bankruptcy petition?
  • What should I be doing to protect my financial situation in the period leading up to my bankruptcy filing?
  • Will you be available for questions and concerns that arise after my case has been discharged?

What If I Need a Payment Plan to Pay for Bankruptcy?

One issue that many bankruptcy debtors find is that there is a cost barrier to enjoying the protections and benefits that bankruptcy offers. Represented debtors will need to pay filing fees to the court and legal fees to their attorneys. The filing fees for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy are $338, and the filing fees for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy are $313. The court allows for fee waivers when it would cause the debtor undue financial hardship, but fee waivers are rarely granted for bankruptcy debtors who have retained counsel. The court may also accept a debtor’s request to pay their filing fee in installments.

Paying bankruptcy court filing fees is one thing, and paying bankruptcy attorney’s fees is an entirely different thing. Bankruptcy attorney’s fees tend to be much more significant than the filing fees. Not only that, but most bankruptcy attorneys require that their fees be paid in full before a filing can proceed. This is because any debt that can be discharged upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition will be discharged- there are no special exceptions for debts to bankruptcy lawyers, family members, specialized doctors, etc. So using a standard filing method, a bankruptcy attorney who files a Chapter 7 bankruptcy on behalf of their client before being paid in full will wipe away their client’s obligation to pay. But paying for bankruptcy before bankruptcy may simply be impossible for some. Extra expenses like interest payments, overdraft fees, and wage garnishments won’t stop until the bankruptcy petition has been filed with the court. So what is a debtor who can’t afford bankruptcy until they file bankruptcy?

We understand just how important it is to file your case when you need to, not when your finances allow for it- that day may never come if your debt situation is serious. That’s why our Phoenix bankruptcy firm has implemented a zero-down filing option for eligible clients. Our firm will bifurcate your case so that it is filed in two parts. The first half of your case is filed for free, while the second half of your case is filed after you can once again accrue debts. Your payment plan will be based on the fees for the second half of your case. Click here or call  602-609-7000 to schedule your free consultation to see if you qualify.

Start Your Phoenix Bankruptcy Case with a Free Consultation with Our Dedicated Legal Team

Calling Arizona Zero Down Bankruptcy could be what it takes to turn stress and debts into a clean slate. That’s the kind of service that you and your family deserve when you’re choosing a bankruptcy attorney to help with your financial situation. The right legal representation will make bankruptcy less complicated and more effective. See if our firm is right for you by scheduling your free consultation- call 602-609-7000 or contact us through our online form.

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Arizona Offices

Phoenix Location:
343 W Roosevelt Street, Suite #100
Phoenix, AZ 85003
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 602-609-7000

Mesa Location:
1731 West Baseline Rd., Suite 101
Mesa, AZ 85202
Email: [email protected]

Glendale Location:
20325 N 51st Avenue, Suite #134
Glendale, AZ 85308
Email: [email protected]

Tucson Location:
2 East Congress, Suite #900
Tucson, AZ 85701
Email: [email protected]