Category Archives: bankruptcy

Another Bankruptcy Declaration on the Horizon for President Trump?

Another Bankruptcy Declaration on the Horizon for President Trump?

by Tucson Bankruptcy Attorneys at Arizona Zero Down Bankruptcy, PLLC

In the upcoming 2024 presidential election, the probable Republican candidate has found himself once again embroiled in controversy. Donald Trump is making headlines due to an $83 million defamation judgment against him. This legal judgment stems from a court finding that the former president defamed E. Jean Carroll by falsely denying sexual abuse allegations dating back to the 1990s. The $83.3 million judgment comprises $11 million designated for a reputational repair campaign for Carroll and $7.3 million to address the emotional harm caused by Trump’s defamatory statements. With this sizable lawsuit debt looming, some speculate that Trump might resort to filing for bankruptcy.

 A person writing on a document at a desk with scales of justice in the background, indicating legal work possibly related to bankruptcy in Tucson, AZ

Possible Indications That Could Indicate a Bankruptcy Filing in the Near Future?

In 2019, New York enacted a law allowing rape victims to pursue civil suits for damages beyond the statute of limitations. Carroll filed a suit under this law, resulting in a $5 million award against Trump for liability. Subsequently, a jury in the defamation lawsuit awarded her an additional $83 million, as Trump had previously labeled her allegations as a hoax and a lie. Trump has announced his intention to appeal the decision, but the significant judgment remains a financial challenge.

This judgment is substantial on its own, but it is only one of Trump’s legal battles. He faces a civil fraud trial in New York involving $370 million in illegal profits. If the verdict goes against him in this case, his total debt could exceed $400 million. While Trump mentioned having around $400 million in liquid assets in a deposition last year, some estimates suggest his liquid assets could be over $600 million. Additionally, he faces four separate criminal prosecutions encompassing 91 total offenses, and the legal fees for these matters are likely substantial. Trump’s campaign finances are separate from these assets, and he may need to place funds in escrow during pending appeals, potentially requiring him to submit 110% of the judgment. This amounts to roughly 15% of his net worth, making bankruptcy a conceivable option to protect his wealth.

A History of Trump Bankruptcy Cases

If Trump resorts to bankruptcy due to these recent lawsuit judgments, it wouldn’t be the first time. Given his diverse business ventures, Trump’s bankruptcies have been filed under various entities.

Trump has had at least six companies declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy:

  • In July 1991, the famed Taj Mahal Hotel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
  • In 1992, two of his casinos declared bankruptcy.
  • The Plaza Hotel in New York also filed for bankruptcy in 1992.
  • Trump Hotels and Casinos Resorts faced a second bankruptcy in 2004.
  • Trump Entertainment Resorts declared bankruptcy in 2009 due to economic factors stemming from the 2008 recession.

All of Trump’s bankruptcy cases thus far have been Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases. Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows individuals and businesses to address overwhelming debt while continuing to operate. Creditors play a significant role in Chapter 11 bankruptcy through a creditor committee. It’s worth noting that even individuals like Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s former attorney, have turned to Chapter 11 bankruptcy after facing defamation lawsuits. Large organizations such as Catholic churches and the Boy Scouts of America have also used Chapter 11 to manage class action lawsuits and substantial judgments.

Other Presidents Who Declared Bankruptcy

It’s interesting to note that Donald Trump is not the only U.S. president who has faced bankruptcy:

  • Abraham Lincoln, our leader during the Civil War, struggled with failed business ventures before entering the legal profession. He even had to sell his horse due to financial difficulties.
  • Thomas Jefferson, the third president, faced bankruptcy due to extravagant living and bad loans, leading to the sale of his estate in 1831.
  • James Monroe, the fifth president, dealt with family mismanagement of a plantation, which resulted in pressure from creditors. He discharged $30,000 in his bankruptcy filing, equivalent to nearly a million dollars today.
  • Ulysses S. Grant, known for his role as a general during the Civil War, was defrauded of several million dollars, leading him to publish his memoirs to provide for his family.
  • James Madison had agricultural investments that drained his funds through property maintenance and bailing out his stepson from gambling debts. He also sold slaves as part of his bankruptcy filing.
  • William McKinley, unlike many other presidents, did not come from a wealthy background. He went bankrupt after co-signing a loan for a friend who couldn’t repay it during the Great Depression.

Seeking Professional Guidance for Bankruptcy in Tucson and Pima County, Arizona

These examples demonstrate that bankruptcy is not exclusive to the rich and powerful. If former U.S. presidents have benefited from debt relief, ordinary individuals can as well. Various forms of bankruptcy are available to address different financial situations. While Trump may opt for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, most individuals find Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy more suitable, depending on their circumstances and state-specific qualification requirements.

To navigate the legal complexities of a personal bankruptcy filing, it’s advisable to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney like Tucson Bankruptcy Attorneys. Such legal counsel can help protect your assets and ensure a smooth filing process. Don’t assume that you can’t afford quality representation; many clients can file for bankruptcy with no upfront costs using a zero-down bankruptcy payment option. Moreover, a 0% interest payment plan can aid in rebuilding credit following a bankruptcy discharge. If you’re in Arizona and interested in exploring bankruptcy options or understanding the process further, you can contact us or call us at 520-307-0020 for additional information about Tucson Debt Relief.

TUCSON BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEYS
2 East Congress Street, Suite #900-6A
Tucson, AZ 85701

Office: (520) 307-0020
Website: https://tucsonbankruptcyattorney.co/

Will Inflation in Arizona Lead to More Bankruptcy Filings?

Will Inflation in Arizona Lead to More Bankruptcy Filings?

Inflation has been a growing concern in the United States, and its impact is being felt across the nation, including in the state of Arizona. With rising prices for everyday goods and services, many Arizonans are finding it increasingly challenging to make ends meet. This financial strain has led some individuals and businesses to consider bankruptcy as a potential solution to their growing debt problems. In this article, we will explore the relationship between inflation in Arizona and the potential increase in bankruptcy filings. Additionally, we will touch upon the importance of consulting a Tucson bankruptcy lawyer and the process of filing bankruptcy in Pima County.

Person calculating finances with coins stacked on a table, representing the struggle with inflation and bankruptcy in Arizona

Understanding Inflation in Arizona

Before delving into the connection between inflation and bankruptcy, it’s crucial to understand the current economic climate in Arizona. Like the rest of the country, the state has been experiencing inflationary pressures, leading to higher prices for goods and services. Inflation erodes the purchasing power of consumers and can strain household budgets, making it difficult for individuals to meet their financial obligations.

Inflation impacts various aspects of daily life, including housing costs, transportation expenses, and even the price of groceries. As these costs rise, many Arizonans find themselves grappling with increased debt and financial stress, which can eventually lead to bankruptcy considerations.

The Role of a Tucson Bankruptcy Lawyer

For individuals and businesses facing overwhelming debt, consulting a Tucson bankruptcy lawyer is a critical step in exploring their options. A bankruptcy attorney in Tucson, Arizona, can provide expert guidance and legal advice tailored to each client’s unique financial situation. These professionals specialize in bankruptcy law and can help individuals and businesses understand their rights, responsibilities, and the various types of bankruptcy available to them.

Bankruptcy attorneys play a pivotal role in assisting their clients throughout the bankruptcy process, from evaluating the eligibility for bankruptcy to representing them in court if necessary. Their expertise in navigating the complex legal procedures involved in bankruptcy filings is invaluable.

The Connection Between Inflation in Arizona and Bankruptcy

The relationship between inflation and bankruptcy is multifaceted. As inflation continues to rise, individuals and businesses may face the following financial challenges that can lead to bankruptcy considerations:

  • Increased Cost of Living: Inflation drives up the cost of living, making it more expensive for households to cover their basic needs, such as housing, food, and utilities. As these expenses increase, individuals may turn to credit cards and loans to bridge the gap, leading to mounting debt.
  • Wage Stagnation: In many cases, wages do not keep pace with inflation. This means that even though prices are rising, people’s incomes may remain stagnant, resulting in a decreased ability to cover their expenses. The gap between income and expenses can push individuals toward bankruptcy.
  • Business Struggles: Inflation can negatively impact businesses by increasing the cost of production and reducing profit margins. Smaller businesses, in particular, may find it challenging to adapt to these changes, leading to financial difficulties and, potentially, bankruptcy.
  • High-Interest Rates: To combat inflation, central banks may raise interest rates, making borrowing more expensive. For individuals and businesses with existing debt, higher interest rates can result in increased monthly payments, making it even more difficult to manage their finances.

The Types of Bankruptcy in Arizona

In Arizona, individuals and businesses considering bankruptcy have several options to choose from, each with its eligibility criteria and benefits. The two primary types of bankruptcy available to individuals and some small businesses are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy:

  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Also known as “liquidation bankruptcy,” Chapter 7 allows individuals to discharge most of their unsecured debts, such as credit card debt and medical bills. Assets not protected by exemptions may be sold to pay off creditors. Chapter 7 bankruptcy can provide a fresh start for those with overwhelming debt, but is subject to income eligibility requirements.
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Chapter 13 bankruptcy is often referred to as “reorganization bankruptcy.” It allows individuals to create a manageable repayment plan to gradually pay off their debts over a three to five-year period. This type of bankruptcy is suitable for individuals with a regular income who want to protect their assets while addressing their debt.

Pima County in Bankruptcy Filings

Pima County, located in southern Arizona, encompasses Tucson, the state’s second-largest city. As the economic challenges of inflation persist, Pima County residents may find themselves increasingly seeking bankruptcy relief. Filing bankruptcy in Pima County follows the same federal bankruptcy laws as the rest of the nation, but may involve local processes and procedures specific to the county.

Individuals considering bankruptcy in Pima County should be aware of the following key aspects:

  • Local Bankruptcy Courts: Pima County has its bankruptcy court, where bankruptcy cases are filed and heard. This court operates under the jurisdiction of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Arizona.
  • Bankruptcy Exemptions: Bankruptcy exemptions determine which assets individuals can protect from liquidation during Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Arizona has its set of exemptions, which can be different from those in other states. Consulting a Tucson bankruptcy lawyer can help individuals understand and maximize their exemptions.
  • Credit Counseling for Pima County Bankruptcies: Before filing for bankruptcy, individuals must complete a credit counseling course from a court-approved provider. Pima County residents can access local resources and organizations that offer these courses.

Contact Our Tucson Bankruptcy Law Office Today

Inflation in Arizona, including Pima County and Tucson, has created financial challenges for individuals and businesses alike. The rising cost of living, stagnant wages, and other economic pressures can lead to mounting debt and financial distress. As a result, bankruptcy considerations are becoming increasingly common.

Navigating the complex process of bankruptcy in Pima County requires the guidance of a knowledgeable Tucson bankruptcy lawyer. These legal professionals play a crucial role in helping individuals and businesses explore their bankruptcy options, understand their rights and responsibilities, and work towards a more stable financial future.

While the relationship between inflation and bankruptcy is complex, seeking professional legal advice is a vital step for those facing overwhelming debt. As inflation continues to affect the financial landscape in Arizona, the assistance of Tucson Bankruptcy Attorneys can make all the difference in finding a path to financial recovery. Contact us today for free consults and zero-down bankruptcy options or call us for assistance: 520-307-0020.

TUCSON BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEYS
2 East Congress Street, Suite #900-6A
Tucson, AZ 85701

Office: (520) 307-0020
Website: https://tucsonbankruptcyattorney.co/

First Half Of 2023 Shows Increase In Bankruptcy Filings

First Half Of 2023 Shows Increase In Bankruptcy Filings

It seems like over the past few years, the economy has been tumultuous with no periods of rest and growth. Inflation has increased the price of just about everything, and interest rates only continue to rise. It’s no surprise that upon the start of the second half of 2023, data available from the first half of the year shows an increase in business bankruptcy filings. Chapter 11 bankruptcy gives businesses with debt issues a chance to restructure more profitably while under protection from the court from their creditors. The main difference between a business filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy and filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that the business can stay open and continue operations in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. So while an increase in Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings can signal disruption in the market, there is a silver lining that these businesses haven’t completely given up hope. If you live in the Tucson area and are considering declaring bankruptcy, our firm offers free consultations and experienced guidance. To set up your free consultation, click here or call 520-307-0020.

Bankruptcy Filings

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing Rates Skyrocket For First Half Of 2023

When July comes around, it allows economists and other experts to examine data from the first half of the year, as well as compare that data to the first halves of previous years. In the first half of 2023, there were 2,973 commercial Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings in the United States. There were 1,766 commercial Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings in the first half of 2022, which is an increase of 68 percent. Subchapter V Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings increased by 55%, and personal Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings increased by 23%. 

So what is behind this sharp increase in bankruptcy filings? One thing that makes the market so different from last year is the high-interest rates, as well as the length of time that interest rates have been high. The Federal Reserve has increased rates to a target of 5% to 5.25%. This level has been reached after 10 straight interest rate increases. Interest rates are expected to rise two more times in 2023. Combined with inflation increasing business operating costs, it’s no surprise that many businesses have turned to bankruptcy.

How Does Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Work?

There are several different types of bankruptcy that debtors can file, and they all work differently. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is reported here because it shows how many businesses have filed for bankruptcy with the chance to restructure and continue operating. Both businesses and individuals can declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Filing any chapter of bankruptcy triggers the automatic stay, which protects the bankruptcy debtor from its creditors in many ways. Creditors can’t file many types of lawsuits, including evictions, proceed with foreclosures and repossessions, and other forms of collection while the automatic stay is in place. 

When the petition is filed and the automatic stay is protecting the debtor, the debtor’s top creditors form a committee. Any major business decisions must be run past the committee before the company can proceed with them. The debtor will also need the committee’s approval on a plan to emerge from bankruptcy. If the creditors and debtor can agree on the plan, the court will sign off on it and it will proceed. If the committee disapproves of the debtor’s plan, the committee can create its own proposed plan. Once the debtor discharges the Chapter 11 bankruptcy, they will resume authority over the entire business, including major business decisions. 

Alternatives To Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

If you’re considering bankruptcy, chapter 11 bankruptcy might be superfluous to your needs. Filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy could help you achieve your financial goals with fewer resources expended. Perhaps bankruptcy isn’t the right option at all, and a different form of debt relief would be more beneficial to you. Our Tucson bankruptcy team can help you decide with your free consultation- click here or call 520-307-0020 today.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most frequently filed bankruptcy in Arizona and the United States as a whole. Depending on your situation, chapter 7 could be the fastest and most convenient way for you to get rid of your debts. This is most often true when the majority of your debts are unsecured and nonpriority debts. You also must be eligible based on income limitations in the state in which you file. While not technically a barrier to filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, only certain assets are protected when a debtor files this chapter. The assets must be protected by exemptions, which vary by state, and Arizona doesn’t allow for the use of federal exemptions. The debtor must complete credit counseling courses and attend a 341 Meeting of Creditors- 60 days after that hearing, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy debtor will be eligible for discharge. If you’re considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the Tucson area, click here or call 520-307-0020 to see if you qualify. 

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy works must differently than Chapter 7 because it reworks debts into a payment plan rather than just wiping them away. Unlike Chapter 7 bankruptcy, chapter 13 bankruptcy offers debtors the opportunity to pay off secured debts and priority debts while protected from their creditors by the automatic stay. Chapter 13 bankruptcy either lasts 3 or 5 years, which is dependent on how the debtor’s income compares to the state median income. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy debtor will need to complete the credit counseling courses and 341 Meeting of Creditors just like a Chapter 7 bankruptcy debtor but will need to continue paying on their plan after the hearing to successfully discharge the case. 

Debt Negotiation

Instead of filing for bankruptcy, some people choose to negotiate with their creditors to try to reduce the balance of their debts. You can hire an attorney to do this for you, or you can do it on your behalf. If you do negotiate your debts, it’s important to stay on top of your payment plans once they’re in place. If you enter into payment agreements that you still can’t afford, you might just end up in bankruptcy court anyway. 

Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation involves taking out a line of credit with a lower interest rate to pay off the rest of your debts. This will leave you with just one loan payment for your debts rather than juggling several. However, when debts are too high, debt consolidation may simply not be enough. It can also come with significant fees that don’t accompany a bankruptcy filing. 

Considering Bankruptcy? Call Our Tucson Bankruptcy Law Firm.

Bankruptcy filings are up, and you may be among the people who could benefit from protection from your creditors and relief from your debts. If you’re considering declaring bankruptcy in the Tucson area, our law firm is here to help. Our Tucson Bankruptcy Lawyers have years of experience helping clients just like you clear debts and build a stronger credit history. Whether your needs are better suited by Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, we can help you navigate your case effectively. When you’re ready to get started with your free consultation, call 520-307-0020 or contact us.

MLB to Take Over Diamondbacks Broadcasting After Bankruptcy Court Ruling

MLB to Take Over Diamondbacks Broadcasting After Bankruptcy Court Ruling

It seemed like during the pandemic, there were headlines of a massive company declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy almost every day. While the market calmed down for a bit, bankruptcy filings- particularly Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings- are back up. One Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing that has been relevant for many Arizonans this year has been Diamond Sports Group. This company has been responsible for broadcasting the Arizona Diamondbacks’ games since purchasing the rights from Sinclair Broadcast Company in 2019. On July 18, 2023, a bankruptcy court ruled that the MLB could take over broadcasting Arizona Diamondbacks games due to Diamond Sports Group’s financial troubles. The MLB plans on airing Diamondbacks games without blackouts and making them available on its streaming service. If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy in the Tucson area, our firm can help you get started on the right track. To set up your free consultation, click here or call 520-307-0020.

MLB to Take Over Diamondbacks Broadcasting After Bankruptcy Court Ruling

Diamond Sports Group’s Bankruptcy

Diamond Sports Group, which also owns Bally Sports, declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy and reported debts exceeding $8.5 billion. As mentioned above, the company purchased the broadcasting rights for Diamondbacks games from Sinclair Broadcast Company in 2019- the purchase price was $10 billion including rights to other teams as well. Through that contract, Diamond Sports Group had a 20-year deal with the Diamondbacks for 20 years and $1.5 billion. Diamond Sports Group asked the bankruptcy court to reject that contract with an offer from the MLB to take over Diamondbacks broadcasting at 80% of the contract value. It appears that the MLB will be paying the Diamondbacks contract in full for the current season, but it’s unclear how much they will be paying for 2024 and onward. Now that the MLB will be responsible for airing Diamondbacks games and lifting blackout restrictions, they will be available to 5.6 million households.

What is Chapter 11 Bankruptcy?

Many people have little concept of how Chapter 11 bankruptcy works because Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 have much higher filing rates. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is usually beyond the needs of the average bankruptcy debtor, but it does have provisions available for small business owners. Chapter 11 bankruptcy offers businesses the benefit of staying open and attempting to become profitable once more through the filing. Usually, a committee of the debtor’s top creditors is formed upon a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition filing. The small business provisions allow a debtor to skip this step and speed up the bankruptcy process in general. Once the debtor and creditor committee agree on how the debtor should come out of bankruptcy and the court signs off, it is up to the debtor to act. The business will maintain control of its day-to-day operations while the case is pending.

Should I File Chapter 11 Bankruptcy?

Chances are, if you’re reading this, you aren’t the CEO of a major corporation. But you may own your own small business that is struggling with debts. If so, chapter 11 bankruptcy might be useful and allow you to preserve your livelihood. But more than likely, your needs would be better served by filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Both of these chapters are generally less complicated and more affordable for the average bankruptcy debtor.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most frequently filed chapter of bankruptcy. It is popular for many reasons. It is the fastest and simplest of the available forms of consumer bankruptcy. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy typically will only last 3 to 6 months from filing to discharge. It can erase many types of unsecured debts, including credit cards, medical bills, and personal loans. It is hardly the financial death sentence some used to believe it to be, especially in this turbulent economy. A bankruptcy debtor is also protected during their bankruptcy by a legal mechanism called the automatic stay. The automatic stay stops wage garnishments, lawsuits, repossessions, and more, which can be crucial to stabilizing the debtor’s financial situation. However, there are many limitations to Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Among other restrictions, the debtor must either earn less than the state median income or pass the means test to qualify based on income for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. To see if you qualify, call to schedule your free evaluation with one of our Tucson bankruptcy lawyers at 520-307-0020 or click here.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is meant for debtors with higher income who need to pay off secured debts and other debts that are ineligible for discharge in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 13 bankruptcy lasts 5 years for debtors who earn more than Arizona’s median income, and 3 years for debtors who earn less. The first type of debt to be paid off in Chapter 13 is bankruptcy fees, including court fees and your attorney’s fees. Second, secured debts will be paid off in the Chapter 13 payment plan. Next, priority debts need to be paid. The last type of debt paid off in a Chapter 13 payment plan is unsecured debt. These are the debts that would be dischargeable in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If the debtor’s disposable income isn’t high enough to pay off all the unsecured debts, some or all of them may be discharged at the end of the payment plan. A bankruptcy attorney who is practiced in Chapter 13 cases can help you determine if you qualify for Chapter 13 and how much your monthly payments would be. To schedule your free consultation with our firm, click here or call 520-307-0020.

The Benefits of Declaring Bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy is a major decision that should be planned carefully, ideally with the assistance of a skilled bankruptcy lawyer. There are some drawbacks to declaring bankruptcy- for example, you will lose your credit cards and the filing will remain on your credit history for several years. But bankruptcy also provides tremendous benefits for anyone facing insurmountable debts, including:

  • Clearing debts with little to no repayment
  • Activating the automatic stay, which can stop lawsuits, wage garnishments, repossessions, foreclosures, utility shutoffs, and more
  • Stopping creditor calls and harassment during the bankruptcy preparation process
  • Creating opportunities to rebuild your credit and build a more positive credit history
  • Offering the option to surrender a financed vehicle or another asset that has a higher loan balance than its market value
  • Closing out other unexpired leases and contracts
  • Learning more about how to avoid amassing debts in the future
  • Making more income available to pay off debts that can’t be discharged in bankruptcy
  • Improving your credit history and score for future financial endeavors

Affordable, Reliable Bankruptcy Representation for Tucson Residents

If you’re thinking about declaring bankruptcy, you’ve probably been experiencing a stressful period in your life. You can ease some of the burden by hiring an expert to guide you through the process. Our Tucson bankruptcy team will help make bankruptcy easy, and that includes paying for it- we offer affordable payment plan options starting as low as zero dollars down. Guard yourself from creditors and begin working towards a brighter financial future. Initiate the process by scheduling your free debt evaluation with one of our experienced bankruptcy lawyers. To get started, click here or call 520-307-0020.

What To Expect From Your Tucson 341 Meeting Of Creditors

What To Expect From Your Tucson 341 Meeting Of Creditors

Dealing with debt is stressful, and so is just about any type of legal matter. When you mix the two, you might be close to filing for bankruptcy. Mistakes at any step in the bankruptcy process can result in negative consequences like asset seizure, loss of the automatic stay, and case dismissal. One of the most crucial parts of a bankruptcy case, whether it’s filed under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, is the 341 meeting of creditors. This is a bankruptcy hearing in which a debtor must appear before the bankruptcy trustee, and possibly their creditors as well. A skilled Tucson bankruptcy attorney can ensure you’re fully prepared for your 341 Meeting of Creditors and the rest of your bankruptcy case. For your free consultation with our Tucson bankruptcy team headed by attorney Candace Kallen, click here or call 520-307-0020

What To Expect From Your Tucson 341 Meeting Of Creditors

What Is a 341 Meeting Of Creditors?

The 341 Meeting of Creditors gets its name from U.S.C. Title 11 Section 341. A 341 Meeting of Creditors is required in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Creditors, attorneys of creditors, and representatives of creditors are allowed to appear at a debtor’s 341 hearing. The point of the hearing is for the trustee to conduct an oral examination of the debtor seeking four pieces of information:

  • What consequences will a bankruptcy discharge have on the debtor, including effects on the debtor’s credit history;
  • If the debtor can file bankruptcy under a different chapter;
  • The effect receiving a debt discharge will have on the debtor;
  • The effect of reaffirming any of the debtor’s debts. 

What Happens At The 341 Meeting Of Creditors?

While your 341 Meeting of Creditors may be scheduled to last 30 minutes or longer, you shouldn’t need to appear before the trustee for nearly this long. Several other debtors may be scheduled to appear at the same time as you. Your hearing could take as little as 5 minutes, so you will just need to wait until you are called for your turn. Your attorney should be with you if you are represented, but otherwise, it will be your duty to represent yourself at the 341 Meeting of Creditors. 

The first order of business at your 341 Meeting of Creditors will be confirming your identity. You need a form of photo identification and an original form of identification with your social security number to do this. Most people use their driver’s license as their form of photo identification. Ideally, you will have your social security card available to verify your identity as your 341 Meeting of Creditors. If you don’t have your social security card, you can use a W-2 form, but it must be an original and not a copy. 

There are general questions that trustees will ask most bankruptcy debtors during their 341 hearings. Bankruptcy debtors will need to confirm their identities and that the information in their petitions is true and correct to their knowledge. Other questions will be more specific and based on the debtor’s petition. A Tucson bankruptcy attorney should have their client fully prepared for any and every question the trustee might ask during the 341 Meeting of Creditors. 

Telephonic Hearings

Many bankruptcy courts switched to Zoom appearances for 341 Meetings of Creditors and haven’t switched back since. It’s important to test your internet connection, background noise, and other factors that could interrupt your hearing. You may need to submit a declaration verifying your identity since it isn’t being done physically like in the past. Your trustee should provide your Zoom Meeting ID in advance. Make sure you have information available like your forms of identification, lien documents, and most recent tax returns. For more questions about telephonic 341 Meetings of Creditors, call our Tucson bankruptcy firm for your free consultation at 520-307-0020

What Should I Bring To My 341 Meeting Of Creditors?

As mentioned above, you will need to bring your two forms of identification to your 341 hearing. The trustee may need to continue the hearing to a different date if you don’t have these available. You should have already provided the trustee with your most recent tax return before the hearing, but if you haven’t, you should bring that with you as well. Your trustee will probably want to see your most recent income and accounts statements. Your trustee may inform you in advance of any documentation they would like you to bring to the hearing. While your case likely won’t be dismissed due to your attire, it’s important that your 341 Meeting of Creditors is conducted in a courtroom and you should be dressed appropriately. Candace Kallen and the rest of our Tucson bankruptcy team will make sure you feel confident about your 341 Meeting of Creditors and any other appearance related to our bankruptcy. Click here or call 520-307-0020 to schedule your free consultation today. 

What Do I Need To Do After My 341 Hearing?

After your 341 Meeting of Creditors, you need to complete your second credit counseling course. You should take this course from the same provider as your first credit counseling course. You should set aside about 1-2 hours to complete the course, and your spouse will need to take it with you if you are declaring bankruptcy together. You may also need to complete a short chat with a counselor from the service provider. If you have an attorney, they will receive a copy of the course completion certificate and file it with the court. If you don’t hire an attorney, you need to complete this step yourself. Your second credit counseling certificate must be filed with the court within 60 days of your 341 Meeting of Creditors. If your certificate isn’t filed within this deadline, your bankruptcy is likely to be dismissed. 

If you filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there isn’t much for you to do after finishing your second credit course. Your creditors have 60 days after the 341 hearing to object to the discharge. Otherwise, you will simply wait for your letter from the court discharging your bankruptcy after that 60-day period has elapsed. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy debtor will need to wait much longer to see their case discharged. Once their plan has been confirmed, they will need to keep up with the payments for the plan’s lifespan, which is either 3 or 5 years. For more information about your post-341 bankruptcy requirements, click here or call 520-307-0020 for your free consultation with our firm. 

For Skilled Representation At Your 341 Hearing, Call Our Firm For Your Free Consultation Today

Hiring a Tucson Bankruptcy Attorney to represent you through your case means having a professional by your side at your 341 Meeting of Creditors. You can count on this expert guidance not just at your hearing, but at every step of the bankruptcy process. Protect your assets and set yourself up for a brighter financial future. Qualified clients can utilize our zero-down filing plan, which allows you to pay your bankruptcy fees after your case has been filed. When you’re ready to schedule your free consultation with Candace Kallen or another member of our bankruptcy team, click here or call 520-307-0020.

It’s Not Your Fault! Dealing with Bankruptcy Guilt

Many people reach the point where they know that they need to file for bankruptcy but resist doing so because of the many myths and stereotypes surrounding the legal process. Others file but continue to live with guilt over doing so, feeling like they have let down their family or done something bad.

The truth is that it is not your fault! Bankruptcy was established by law to provide debt relief to those who need it, and it is a valuable financial tool. Here are a few things you can do to move past the stigma and get over your guilt surrounding the idea of filing for bankruptcy:

It's Not Your Fault! Dealing with Bankruptcy Guilt

It’s Not Your Fault! Dealing with Bankruptcy Guilt

Bankruptcy was established by law to provide debt relief to those who need it, and it is a valuable financial tool.
Tucson, Arizona

Understand the Truth about Bankruptcy

There are many myths surrounding bankruptcy that can make you think negatively about it, but your bankruptcy lawyer can help you understand the truth about these myths.

Myth #1: Only irresponsible spending leads to bankruptcy. The truth is that there are a great number of situations that can lead to financial problems. You might lose a job unexpectedly and be unable to find employment. You can burn through your savings and max out your credit cards while you are trying to stay afloat. You could become seriously ill or injured and face the same predicament. Or you could divorce and lose a great deal of income. There are many things that can happen that are beyond your control that lead to bankruptcy.

Myth #2: Only the poor or uneducated file for bankruptcy. You can just look at the news to know that this isn’t true. High-profile billionaires like Donald Trump have filed for bankruptcy several times. Bad things can happen to anyone, regardless of education or status. It is not always bad choices that lead to bankruptcy.

Myth #3: Bankruptcy doesn’t affect a lot of people. In Arizona alone, more than 50,000 people file for bankruptcy every year. Many, many more are in situations that bankruptcy could help but are struggling not to file because of the misconceptions they have about the process.

By understanding the truth about bankruptcy, you can maintain the proper perspective about your filing and let go of that guilt.

Be Honest about How Your Finances are Affecting Your Situation

Tucson Bankruptcy Help
Many people put off filing for bankruptcy because they deceive themselves about their financial predicament. They believe that things aren’t that bad, or they tell themselves that they will have the situation under control “soon” by working harder or getting a loan.

When you are honest about your financial situation and how it is impacting your life, you can be objective about the choice to file bankruptcy and know that it is the best solution. You won’t feel guilty about making that choice because you’ll see that it is the best way to handle your finances and will provide the most benefits. You can liken it to taken medicine that you don’t like so that your body will heal.

Forgive Yourself for the Things You Cannot Control

Bad things happen to even the best people. You can’t control whether a tornado destroys your home and wipes out your savings or whether your spouse gets cancer and medical bills reach into the hundreds of thousands. Even with the best planning and the most fastidious of savings, you won’t be able to come through the other side of some of these situations unscathed.

Forgive yourself for the things that led to your situation that you cannot control, and let go of the guilt you feel. If bad decisions led to your bankruptcy filing, forgive yourself for those, as well. Learn from your mistakes and vow to make better decisions going forward.

Accept that Bankruptcy is a Legal Right

Filing for bankruptcy isn’t a way to game the system or “get one over” on your creditors. In fact, there are provisions built into the bankruptcy law to ensure that no one is able to spend prolifically with the idea of discharging it all in bankruptcy.

Accept bankruptcy for what it is: A legal right. The law was designed to protect people like you who are struggling. It is not social welfare — it is a legal way to get out from under crushing debts when you do not have the means to pay for them. That way, your life is not destroyed and you have the chance to start fresh.

Learn more about bankruptcy and how it might help you by calling My AZ Lawyers. Our experienced Tucson bankruptcy lawyers will help you understand the different types of bankruptcy and how each might help you get the debt relief you need. You may be able to completely discharge your unsecured debts, such as credit card balances, or you may be able to get a structured debt repayment plan with lower interest rates. Contact us today to talk with a bankruptcy lawyer and learn about your options.

Published By:
My AZ Lawyers

Tucson Location:
2 East Congress St., Suite #900-6A
Tucson, AZ 85701
Office: (520) 441-1450

 

The Reason Tucson Lottery Winners End Up Filing for Bankruptcy

The day you’ve dreamed of finally comes: Those winning numbers on the screen match up with the winning numbers in your hand, and you’re now worth millions. If the lottery jackpots keep growing the way they have, you could even end up being worth billions. In that moment, you are set for life.
Or are you?

The Reason Tucson Lottery Winners End Up Filing for Bankruptcy

The Reason Tucson Lottery Winners End Up Filing for Bankruptcy

Here are just a few of the reasons that many lottery winners eventually file for bankruptcy!
Tucson, Arizona

Many lottery winners thought that they had more money than they would ever need or be able to spend but were surprised to find themselves filing for bankruptcy after a few short years. How can that have happened? How can they have been on top of the world one moment and at the
bottom in such a short time? Here are just a few of the reasons that many lottery winners eventually file for bankruptcy:

Spending Like Crazy

If you suddenly had several hundred million dollars, you’d probably do what a lot of other lottery winners have done: Go out and buy a house (or two or three), a few cars, a whole new wardrobe, some pricey jewelry, and some other treats. The problem is that once you start spending like there’s no
bottom, you tend to keep spending like that until you actually find the bottom.

In order to avoid losing it all, you need to set up a financial plan immediately after you learn about your winnings. In fact, you should see a financial advisor, a tax lawyer, and an estate lawyer before you even collecting your winnings. This team will help you establish a spending and investing plan, including how much you will have to spend each month. You may scoff at the idea of a budget when you have so much money, but it is essential to helping you stay on track. The more money you have, the more you’ll spend, unless you put budgetary measures in place.

Giving Money to Family and Friends

Right after buying their dream home, the next thought most people have after winning the lottery is to help out their family and friends. They want to buy everyone houses and cars, pay off debts, and pay for college tuition.

While these are certainly noble goals, you can easily lose all your winnings by trying to help out family and friends. Even if you have very specific ideas in mind about who you will help and how, you are likely to be inundated with requests from family and friends that you haven’t even talked to in years. You’ll also likely be subject to numerous requests for hand-outs, even from those you have already helped.

When you consider helping family and friends, you have to think about more than just the cost of the request. Depending on what you give and how much you give, you could end up paying some hefty taxes on the amount. For example, you can typically pay for college tuition tax-free, but you can’t just give someone $1 million in cash without paying tax.

The best thing to do is consult with a tax lawyer and an estate lawyer about how you can help family and friends. You may be able to set up trusts for family or put people on your figurative payroll to help them out. An experienced Arizona attorney can help you understand what’s possible.

Making Unwise Business Investments

The state of Arizona does not allow lottery winners to remain anonymous. You can stay undercover for 90 days after you collect your winnings, but after that, your name becomes a matter of public record. After that, you will inevitably get all kinds of offers for investment and business opportunities that are promised to make you even more money.

Unfortunately, as a lottery winner, you are an easy target. It can be very difficult to distinguish the legitimate offers from the scams. The best way to protect yourself is to work with a team of financial advisors who can put together a sound investing strategy based on your individual goals and tolerance for risk.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t invest in business. But just keep in mind that having money doesn’t suddenly make you a business guru. You need to educate yourself before making any kind of investments, and that may mean getting more education in addition to working with professionals.

Not Saving for Retirement

How to prevent filing for bankruptcy in Tucson
Though you may not be able to imagine ever running out of money after winning the lottery, it is still a possibility. You will still need to save for retirement, just like everybody else. You’ll just have the means to save a lot more than others and to do so a lot more quickly.

Here’s where working with the right financial advisor can help. You can learn about savings opportunities in addition to the standard options such as the Roth IRA. Your financial advisor can also help you put together a plan for your health care, including the potential for serious illness.

When you are thinking about retirement, you should also think about your estate planning. Here’s where working with an estate attorney and possibly a tax attorney can help. You will learn about the right trusts and other measures to put in place to maximize what you leave to your family and minimize what you lose in taxes.

Winning the lottery is a dream come true. Don’t let it become a nightmare by losing everything that you gained and find yourself consulting with an attorney on how to file for bankruptcy.

If you do find yourself in financial trouble — whether you have won the lottery or not — My AZ Lawyers can help you find a Tucson bankruptcy attorney who can help you understand bankruptcy law and how it can help you get the fresh financial start you need. Bankruptcy law was established to give people just like you the chance to free yourself of overwhelming debt and to start over. Work with one of our Tucson bankruptcy lawyers to file for bankruptcy or to learn more about your options.

Published By:
My AZ Lawyers

Tucson Location:
2 East Congress St., Suite #900-6A
Tucson, AZ 85701
Office: (520) 441-1450