Ellett Law Offices, P.C.

Since 1993, Ellett Law Offices has provided thousands of clients with quality bankruptcy attorney representation. Bankruptcy law is complicated but you will be guided through the process by a knowledgeable and experienced bankruptcy attorney.

Can I Discharge a Judgment in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

August 28, 2014 by  
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If you are party to a lawsuit and lose your case, the court may issue a judgment for money damages against you. Such a judgment is an order for you to pay the money you owe to the plaintiff in the lawsuit. Judgments may arise from many types of lawsuits, including for personal injury, wrongful death, credit card collections, and more.

In many situations, people have judgments so high that they believe they may never pay them off. Further, the other party may be able to obtain a lien on your property or a garnishment of your wages in order to collect on the judgment. Such actions may put a further strain on your finances and may cause you to fall behind on your usual household expenses and bills. Overall, a judgment can have a significantly negative effect on your financial situation. This leads many people to wonder whether bankruptcy can possibly help their position.

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Discharge of Judgments

Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be a viable solution for many people facing legal judgments. Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharges many types of debt, and a qualifying judgment is considered to be like any other debt. The automatic stay that goes into effect when you file for bankruptcy can also work to halt any pending legal actions or wage garnishments you may be facing.

Unfortunately, not every type of judgment is dischargeable in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, as the law does exclude certain types of judgments. Some examples of judgments that are automatically disqualified from bankruptcy discharge arise out of the following types of cases:

  • Certain types of debts to the government
  • Child or spousal support orders
  • Student loans
  • Personal injury or wrongful death arising from a DUI

Other types of judgments are not automatically disqualified, but may be deemed nondischargeable by a court if a creditor challenges the discharge. These include judgments arising out of acts of fraud, embezzlement, or malicious acts of violence, such as assault.

Contact an Arizona bankruptcy lawyer for a free consultation

In order to determine whether bankruptcy can help with your judgment, you should not hesitate to consult with experienced Arizona bankruptcy attorney at the Ellett Law Offices, PC. Call our office today at (602) 235-9510 to schedule a free consultation today.

What is the Difference between a Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

August 25, 2014 by  
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versusMillions of consumers every year benefit from consumer bankruptcy. Among the most commonly filed forms of bankruptcy are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, both can only be filed by natural persons, not by corporations.  A husband and wife can file jointly in the same case or file separately.

While both Chapter 7 and chapter 13 provide consumers relief under the United States bankruptcy code, there are significant differences between the two.  As a result, the type of bankruptcy appropriate for your situation will depend on your specific circumstances. An experienced Phoenix bankruptcy attorney will be able to review your finances and then advise you as to what type of bankruptcy, if any, could benefit you.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common type of bankruptcy filed in the United States. Also known as a “liquidation bankruptcy,” Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves liquidating a debtors non-exempt assets and using the proceeds to pay off outstanding debts. Most debts that are not satisfied are discharged, meaning that they are completely wiped out. Importantly, there are certain debts that are nondischargable in most circumstances, including student loans and any unpaid child support payments. Among the types of debts that are generally dischargeable include:

  • Credit card debt
  • Personal loans
  • Civil judgments
  • Business loans
  • Payday loans

More information here:
http://www.ellettlaw.com/chapter-7-bankruptcy

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy differs significantly from Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In  a Chapter 13, a debtor is able to keep most of his or her property, while restructuring debts and making payments of a court approved payment plan.  In many chapter 13 cases only a very small fraction of unsecured dect is repaid- most of it is discharged upon completion of the case. In a  Chapter 13 bankruptcy a consumer makes payment to a trustee who distributes funds to creditors. Generally, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is beneficial for people who have steady income who are having difficulty keeping up with their monthly payments. Chapter 13 can also be effectively used to avoid foreclosure in many cases as well.

More information:
http://www.ellettlaw.com/chapter-13-bankruptcy

Contact a Phoenix bankruptcy lawyer today to schedule a free consultation

If you are experiencing financial difficulty, bankruptcy may be an option you may want to consider. Bankruptcy is not right for everyone, and an experienced Phoenix bankruptcy lawyer will be able to go your situation and advise you if he or she believes that bankruptcy could benefit you. Attorney Ronald J. Ellett has over 20 years of experience helping Phoenix consumers obtain a fresh start through bankruptcy. To schedule a free consultation, call Ellett Law Offices today at (602) 235-9510.

 

 

Should I Use a Debt Settlement Company or Hire a Phoenix Bankruptcy Attorney?

August 21, 2014 by  
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Debt SettlementMany people who are experiencing financial distress may consider working with a debt settlement company in order to try and reduce the amount of money they owe. Debt settlement companies work with a person’s creditors and attempt to negotiate a settlement for less than the total amount owed, and typically charge consumers fees based on the amount of debt that is forgiven. In addition, they typically advise consumers to stop paying their bills, often resulting in the accrual of significant late fees and other penalties. Additionally, these practices have the potential to have a substantial adverse impact on your credit score.

Because of these and other issue, the United States Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) calls working with a debt settlement company “risky,” and advises consumers to be aware of the following facts:

  • Debt settlement companies often charge high fees
  • In many cases, a debt settlement company will not be able to settle all of your debts
  • Creditors may refuse to work with debt settlement company
  • The money that a debt settlement company may save you could be offset by fees and penalties that occur as a result of not paying your bills
  • There may be tax consequences for debt forgiveness

In many cases, people who are considering working with a debt settlement may be better off filing for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy often can completely eliminate many types of debts, including credit card debt, personal loans, certain tax debts, and vehicle loans. Additionally, unlike debt settlement companies, a bankruptcy attorney is ethically required to act in your best interest, so you can rest assured that the advice you are receiving will benefit you and not leave you worse off. Filing bankruptcy can improve your situation immediately, as the moment you file you come under the protection of the “automatic stay” which halts all collection attempts and prevents creditors from filing suit in order to collect a debt.

Contact a Phoenix bankruptcy attorney today for a free consultation

People who are experiencing financial difficulty should discuss their situation with an experienced Phoenix bankruptcy lawyer as soon as possible. To schedule a free consultation, call Ellett Law Offices today at (602) 235-9510.4

Ellett Law Offices , P.C.
2999 N. 44th Street,
Suite 330
Phoenix, AZ 85018
Phone: 602-235-9510
Fax: 602-235-9098

What Property can I Keep in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

August 19, 2014 by  
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chapter 7 bankruptcyWhen you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy (http://www.ellettlaw.com/chapter-7-bankruptcy), a bankruptcy trustee will take some of your property, liquidate it, and use the proceeds to pay off some of your debts. Though losing property may deter you at first from filing for bankruptcy, you should know that Arizona law provides numerous exemptions that allow you to keep certain kinds of assets, income, and property. Arizona Bankruptcy Exemptions While some states allow bankruptcy filers to use the exemptions set out in federal law, Arizona requires you to apply the exemptions in state legislation. Under state law, filers may keep the following property:

  • Up to $150,000 of equity in your home
  • Up to $6,000 of motor vehicle equity
  • Up to $6,000 of home appliances and furniture
  • Up to $2,000 of wedding or engagement rings
  • Life insurance benefits up to $20,000
  • Up to $300 in bank account deposits
  • Up to $500 in clothes
  • Up to $400 in musical instruments
  • Up to $1,000 in goods including guns, computers, bibles, bicycles, or sewing machines
  • Up to $800 worth of pets
  • Up to $250 in books
  • Up to $150 in wrist watches
  • All prescribed home health aids
  • All materials used to teach children
  • Up to $5,000 of tools used for a trade or profession
  • Generally, worker’s compensation and unemployment compensation payments
  • 75% of your disposable income or up to 30 times $7.25 per hour, the federal minimum wage

In addition to these basic exemptions, married couples may be able to double the amount of many of the above, including home goods and motor vehicles. A couple may not, however, double the amount of equity they get to keep in their home.

Contact a Phoenix Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer for a free consultation

An experienced bankruptcy attorney knows how to make the best use of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy exemptions in Arizona to make sure you keep the maximum amount of property and assets possible. At the Ellett Law Offices, our attorneys are committed to achieving the best possible results for every individual client. If you are facing financial struggles, do not hesitate to contact our office at (602) 235-9510 for a free consultation. Ellett Law Offices , P.C. 2999 N. 44th Street, Suite 330 Phoenix, AZ 85018 Phone: 602-235-9510 Fax: 602-235-9098

What are the Credit Counseling Requirements of Personal Bankruptcy?

August 14, 2014 by  
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If you fell you feel like you are financially under water, you may be considering filing for personal bankruptcy. Personal bankruptcy works to discharge the debts of individuals so they may start fresh. However, there are many steps involved in filing for bankruptcy, many of which must be followed completely and accurately in order to have your bankruptcy granted. An experienced Phoenix bankruptcy lawyer can guide you through the process to make sure all criteria are met.

Proof of Credit Counseling Course

credit counselingOne of the requirements you must meet as you prepare to file for personal bankruptcy is that you show proof that you consulted with a credit counseling agency. This counseling is intended to go over your financial situation to see if bankruptcy is necessary or if there may be other debt relief solutions that can help instead. This counseling is really just a technicality, however, because you may go ahead with your bankruptcy even if the credit counselor suggests other solutions.

Your credit counseling must be conducted by an agency that is licensed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee’s office, and you must complete the requirement in the 180 days prior to your filing. The agency will issue you a certificate of completion, which you must file with the bankruptcy court within 15 days following the filing of your bankruptcy petition.

There are a few exceptions to the credit counseling requirement, which may include physical or mental disabilities, active military service overseas, need for an emergency bankruptcy filing, and more. An attorney can tell you whether one of the exceptions applies to you or not.

Contact a Phoenix, Arizona Personal Bankruptcy Attorney for a free consultation

Bankruptcy helps over a million Americans get back on their feet every year. If you are considering filing for personal bankruptcy, you want to make sure all rules are followed and that all requirements are properly met to ensure your bankruptcy is successful. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer at the Ellett Law offices will make sure that you meet all the qualifications for bankruptcy so you receive the best results possible. If you are considering bankruptcy, call our office today at (602)235-9510 to set up a free consultation.

 

How do I a Modify a Second Lien on my Home?

August 12, 2014 by  
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Owning a home is a source of accomplishment and pride for many American families. Your home can also be used as an asset to borrow additional money to cover large purchases or consolidate other debts. For this reason, many people end up taking a second lien on their home.

lien on homeHowever, your home is also one of your largest monthly expenses. If you are experiencing financial troubles, it may be difficult to stay current on your monthly payments for both your first and second mortgages. Fortunately, there are some options to modify or even eliminate second liens on your home, and an experienced attorney can help determine which option is best for you.

Lien Modification Options

The following are some ways that an attorney can help you make your mortgage payments more affordable:

  • Lien stripping—Lien stripping works to completely remove a second lien under certain circumstances in the process of a bankruptcy filing. A second lien may be eliminated, or stripped, if your first lien is greater than the value of your home.
  • Loan modification—Your lawyer can negotiate with your mortgage company in order to modify your second lien. By reducing the principal amount or interest rate on your second mortgage loan, your mortgage payment can be made more affordable.
  • Second Lien Modification Program (2MP)—This is a part of a federal program called the Making Home Affordable initiative that works to help Americans keep their homes by making payments affordable. If you meet certain qualifications, 2MP can work to modify your second lien so you can keep your house.

Contact a Phoenix Lien Modification Attorney for a free consultation

If you are behind in your first or second mortgage payments, you have courses of action available to you that will keep you from losing your home. At the Ellett Law Offices, we understand that your house is usually your most valuable asset, and that it is extremely important to you and your family. In order to explore options for lien modifications or other help in making your mortgage payment affordable, call our office today at (602) 235-9510 to schedule a free consultation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which should I File First: Bankruptcy or Divorce?

August 11, 2014 by  
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Divorce can be extremely emotionally traumatic and can bring significant changes in almost every aspect of your life. As if divorce were not stressful enough, it often also causes substantial financial problems for one or both spouses. All of your hard-earned marital assets and property will be equitably divided, so you will lose approximately half of what you have worked for. In addition to dividing your property, you will also have to divide your debts. This means you may be responsible for significant debts even though your household income and assets may be dramatically decreased. For this reason, divorce often leaves one or both spouses close to financial ruin, and many divorcing parties end up filing for bankruptcy.

In what order should I file?

divorce documentWhether you should file bankruptcy before divorce or vice versa depends on the specifics of your situation. In many situations, if you are your spouse can work together, it is generally better to file bankruptcy prior to a divorce. This can allow you to discharge all of your joint and individual debts, so there is no need to fight over debt division. In addition, you can make use of additional exemptions, so you can keep more property than if you had filed on your own.

On the other hand, some couples are better off waiting until their divorce is over to file bankruptcy. If you and your spouse have a high combined income, it may disqualify you from filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you wait until after your divorce, you may qualify based on your separate income alone. No matter what your situation may be, an experienced attorney can advise you on the best course of action.

Contact an Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer for a free consultation

At the Ellett Law Offices, our attorneys understand that when you are going through an emotionally traumatic divorce, that last thing you need is additional financial stress or court proceedings. We will help you make the best decision regarding bankruptcy and will work to make sure the process is as stress-free as possible. We aim to make your life easier—not harder—in this stressful time for your family, so contact us today at (602) 235-9510 for a free consultation.

 

 

 

How can a Lawyer Help with Credit Card Debt Relief?

August 7, 2014 by  
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credit card debtMillions of Americans are struggling with credit card debt. Many people do not understand the nature of credit cards, interest, or repayment. At times, a credit card can feel like free money and suddenly a person is facing an overwhelming balance. Other people mistakenly believe that they can make a dent in their credit card debt by simply making the minimum required payment each month, and they do not realize how interest is compounding. Others spend within their means, however then suffer a traumatic event such as unemployment or a medical emergency that completely changes their financial capabilities. No matter what the reason is behind your inability to keep up with payments, you should always contact a debt relief lawyer if you are facing overwhelming credit card balances.

An experienced debt relief attorney can help with the following actions:

  • Negotiate with creditors to lower minimum payments or interest rates.
  • Represent you if a credit card company files a lawsuit against you.
  • Get wage garnishments or bank account attachments lowered or eliminated.
  • Help remove liens on your home or car.
  • Assist you in filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

If you decide to file bankruptcy, your creditors will have to immediately stop all collection efforts, including calls, letter, garnishments, lawsuits, and more. Additionally, Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to completely discharge unsecured credit card debt and will relieve you of a payment obligations. Even if you decide against bankruptcy, there are many additional tactics and tools an experienced debt relief lawyer has to help you experience relief in the face of significant credit card debt. It is often difficult for a consumer to have the same success in dealing with credit card debt as an attorney.

Contact an Arizona Credit Card Debt Lawyer for a free consultation

If your credit card debt has spiraled out of control, you do not want to put off consulting with an attorney any longer. The experienced attorneys at the Ellett Law Offices are committed to helping Americans get their finances under control. We will go over all of your options and help you choose the best one for your credit card debt situation. Call our office at (602) 235-9510 to schedule your free consultation today.

Ellett Law Offices , P.C.
2999 N. 44th Street,
Suite 330
Phoenix, AZ 85018
Phone: 602-235-9510
Fax: 602-235-9098

How Does the Automatic Stay work in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

August 6, 2014 by  
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Falling behind on your bills is always stressful and likely weighs constantly on your mind. You likely have frequent reminders of your overdue bills due to regular phone calls, letters, or other communications by your creditors and bill collectors. It is not uncommon for communications by collectors to reach the level of harassment. Additionally, you may be afraid of losing your family home or your car if you do not figure out a solution soon. If you are in this situation, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be a good option for you, and can help give you financial relief.

How the Automatic Stay Helps

chapter 7 bankruptcyIn addition to providing long-term relief from debts, Chapter 7 bankruptcy also works to provide immediate peace of mind through something called the automatic stay. As soon as you file for bankruptcy, the automatic stay goes into effect and all of your creditors are notified that you have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The automatic stay immediately stops all the following:

  • Collection efforts and communications, including phone calls and letters
  • Repossession efforts
  • Foreclosure proceedings
  • Wage garnishments
  • Eviction efforts
  • Civil Law Suits
  • Collection efforts for public benefit overpayments

As you can see, immediate relief from the above actions can help you situation immensely. You will not have to worry about losing your vehicle or place to live. The stay remains in effect and continues to protect you throughout the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process, so that you may work on getting back on your feet. The automatic stay is only one of the many benefits Chapter 7 bankruptcy can provide.

Contact an Arizona Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney for a free consultation

If you are overwhelmed by debt and unable to pay all of your bills, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help you wipe away the majority of your debts and start over with a clean financial slate. You will no longer have to worry about harassing phone calls or dodging collectors. If you are struggling financially, an experienced Arizona bankruptcy attorney can advise you whether Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a good option for you. Do not hesitate to call the Ellett Law Offices today at (602) 235-9510 for help.

 

 

Is a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Right for Me?

August 4, 2014 by  
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You often hear Chapter 11 bankruptcy in connection with large corporations such as United Airlines or General Motors. This does not mean that Chapter 11 filings are limited to huge, multi-million dollars companies, however. Chapter 11 bankruptcy can help businesses of any size, and often helps prevent small business owners from having to close their doors. If you are a business owner and are struggling to pay your debts or suppliers, consider discussing Chapter 11 bankruptcy with an experienced attorney today.

Are you a business owner?

bankruptcy questionsOnly businesses can file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy under the United States Bankruptcy Code. Though companies of all sizes may file under Chapter 11, there are special circumstances for small business owners. If the total of all of your claims is less than $2,490,925, you are considered to be a “small business debtor.” The small business debtor label allows you to skip certain restructuring steps and complete the Chapter 11 process in a shorter period of time.

Do you operate as a partnership, corporation, or limited liability company (LLC)?

Business owners have the option of choosing between Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. However, only individuals are allowed to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This means that if you operate as a certain type of business entity, such as corporation, LLC, or partnership, you are not eligible for Chapter 13 and Chapter 11 will be the best option for you.

How much debt do you owe?

Even if you are an individual business owner, you still may not be eligible for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 13 has a cap on the amount of debt your business may have, and these limits are as follows:

  • $1,149,525 in secured debts
  • $383,175 in unsecured debts

If you owe more than these amounts in either secured or unsecured debts, Chapter 11 bankruptcy will be you business’s best option.

Contact an Arizona Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Lawyer for a free consultation

If your business is struggling, an experienced Arizona bankruptcy attorney can advise you whether Chapter 11 filing is the right solution for you. Do not hesitate to contact one of our lawyers at the Ellett Law Offices to start solving your business’s financial problems. We offer free consultations, so call today at (602) 235-9510 for help.

 

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