City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More
Featured Image

Featured Article

Understanding Bankruptcy

When to Seek Legal Help

Article by Kelley Durham

Photography by Kelley Durham

If the thought of bankruptcy feels overwhelming or frightening, you're not alone. We're here to demystify the bankruptcy process, offer real-world insights, and explain when it's crucial to seek the expertise of an experienced bankruptcy attorney.

Understanding Bankruptcy: A Legal Lifeline

So what is bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a legal process involving a person or business that is unable to repay their outstanding debts.

It provides a structured way for individuals and businesses to either eliminate their debts or create a plan to repay them.

While it can offer a fresh start, navigating the bankruptcy legal process requires careful consideration and expert guidance.

Real-world Examples of Bankruptcy Cases

  1. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Often referred to as "liquidation bankruptcy," Chapter 7 is typically the most straightforward form. It involves selling non-exempt assets to pay off creditors. Individuals or businesses can discharge most of their debts and start anew.

  2. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Known as "reorganization bankruptcy," Chapter 13 allows individuals with regular income to create a repayment plan to pay off their debts over three to five years. This type helps debtors keep their property and catch up on missed mortgage or car payments.

  3. Chapter 11 Bankruptcy: Primarily used by businesses, Chapter 11 allows companies to continue operations while restructuring their debts. This type of bankruptcy is complex and requires a detailed reorganization plan that must be approved by the court.

  4. Chapter 12 Bankruptcy: Tailored for family farmers and fishermen, Chapter 12 provides a streamlined process to restructure debts while continuing operations. It combines aspects of Chapter 11 and Chapter 13, offering unique benefits for these specific professions.

When to Seek Bankruptcy Help from a Lawyer

Navigating the bankruptcy process can be an overwhelming or frightening concept. That’s why we suggest you use an experienced bankruptcy attorney to support you with your case.

At K Durham Law PLLC, we work with individuals and businesses who are going through the bankruptcy process in Arizona. Here is what the process often looks like:

  1. Initial Consultation: A good bankruptcy attorney provides an initial consultation to assess your case. They will evaluate your financial situation, discuss your goals, and outline your options, including bankruptcy and alternatives like debt settlement or debt management.

  2. Legal Advice and Planning: Accurate information and documentation are crucial for sound advice. It's essential for both spouses, if married, to attend the attorney meeting. Your attorney will help you understand whether bankruptcy is the most viable option and, if so, which type suits your situation best.

  3. Paperwork and Filing: Filing for bankruptcy involves a substantial amount of paperwork and strict adherence to legal procedures. Your attorney will help you gather necessary documents, complete the paperwork accurately, and file it with the court to protect your assets.

  4. Court Representation: Whether it's Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, bankruptcy cases often require court appearances. Your attorney will represent you in court, ensuring that your case is presented effectively and that you understand each step of the process.

  5. Developing a Repayment Plan: For Chapter 13 cases, your attorney will help you develop a repayment plan that meets the Bankruptcy Code’s requirements and is realistic for your financial situation. This plan must be confirmed by the court to take effect.

Bankruptcy is not always the only solution; alternatives like debt settlement or debt management may be considered. It's important to talk to someone experienced to see which may be right for your case.

And if bankruptcy is your most viable option, having an experienced attorney by your side is invaluable.

At K Durham Law PLLC, our goal is to help our clients receive the best possible outcome for their case. Should you find yourself in a situation involving bankruptcy, our experienced Arizona bankruptcy lawyers will evaluate your unique situation, provide answers to your legal questions, and give your case the personal attention it deserves.

Schedule your free consultation today to see if this is the help you need.

Businesses featured in this article