Bankruptcy Protection Lawyer Phoenix, AZ
Many people think of filing for bankruptcy as giving up and giving in to creditors. But in many ways, the opposite is true. Bankruptcy actually provides you with protection and financial relief. It is a powerful legal tool to help you resolve overwhelming debt and get back on the road to financial recovery. Some of the many protections that can be extended to you should you decide to file for bankruptcy are discussed below. For more information, contact Kamper & Estrada, PLLC to speak with a bankruptcy protection lawyer Phoenix, AZ residents trust.
Halting Creditors and Harassment with the Automatic Stay
Whether you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, your bankruptcy filing triggers what is known as an “automatic stay.” This is an immediate freeze on debt/bill collection attempts, communication from creditors and penalties associated with non-payment.
When the automatic stay goes into effect, it stops:
- Creditors and bill collectors from contacting you or otherwise seeking to collect payment
- Eviction proceedings
- Foreclosure proceedings
- Wage garnishment
- Disconnection of utilities
- Government agencies who may be trying to take back public benefit overpayments
You should know that the automatic stay doesn’t permanently stop or prevent the actions above. They can begin again after a certain period of time. However, the automatic stay provides a much-needed break from the chaos of overwhelming debt, and it gives you the time and space you need to resolve your bankruptcy action. Depending on your unique circumstances, an experienced Phoenix, AZ bankruptcy protection lawyer from our firm can help you to restructure your debt or even help you eliminate eligible debts outright.
You May Be Able to Protect and Keep Your Home
If you are behind on mortgage payments and in danger of foreclosure, filing Chapter 13 may give you the second chance you need in order to keep your home. The automatic stay stops foreclosure activities temporarily. During that time, you can set up a repayment plan that includes repaying past due mortgage payments. You’ll also need to keep current on your monthly payments during this time, which can be financially tricky while also repaying arrearage. But if you can manage this with the help of a Phoenix, AZ bankruptcy protection lawyer, you may be able to keep your home.
Protect Your Health and Your Dignity
Being in debt is highly stressful and demoralizing. Prolonged stress and low self-esteem are disastrous for your long-term health. By filing bankruptcy, you are calling an end to the stress, harassment and poor treatment that you may have been suffering for years. And when the process is completed, you will have a fresh financial start and a newfound sense of personal dignity. These benefits should never be overlooked or undervalued.
What to know:
Once you file for bankruptcy, your creditors are required by law to stop all collection activity. After all, it would be very difficult for you to reorganize your finances if creditors continue collection actions like repossession or lawsuits. The automatic stay gives you time to work with your bankruptcy protection lawyer in Phoenix, AZ, creditors and the court to create a plan to discharge your debts.
An automatic stay can protect you against:
- Eviction: If you are in danger from being evicted from your house or apartment, an automatic stay may help temporarily. However, if your landlord has a judgment against you while you file for bankruptcy, the automatic stay may not affect the proceeding.
- Foreclosure actions: If your home is being foreclosed, an automatic stay will halt the process. What happens afterward will depend on the type of bankruptcy you are filing. If you choose Chapter 13, for example, you can typically keep your home. If you file for Chapter 7, on the other hand, you might not be able to keep your home.
- Wage garnishments: When you are struggling with debt, the last thing you need is for your wages to be garnished. If you file for bankruptcy with the help of a bankruptcy protection lawyer in Phoenix, AZ, you will not have to worry about this. You will take home your full salary and can pay your bills..
- Disconnection of utilities: If you have not paid your utility bills in a while, you may be worried that they will be shut off soon. An automatic stay can prevent your utilities from getting disconnected for at least 20 days.
However, an automatic stay can’t protect you against tax proceedings, loans for a pension, criminal proceedings and child support actions.
When Does the Automatic Stay End?
Generally, the automatic stay comes to an end when the bankruptcy is discharged. However, understand that attempts to collect on collateral that is property of the estate is treated differently. You have to return the collateral property to the lender or pay the lender a fair market value of the property.
What Happens If the Automatic Stay Is Violated?
Once you file for bankruptcy, creditors will automatically be notified to stop contacting you. They can’t call you, garnish your wages or send letters. However, not all creditors follow the rules. Some may still attempt to contact you after they have been told not to. If this happens to you, let your bankruptcy protection lawyer in Phoenix, AZ know immediately. He or she will help you file a violation.
Contact Us to Learn More About Your Options
Our firm helps good people facing difficult situations, and that likely describes you. Bankruptcy is not surrender. Rather, it is more like calling in reinforcements to help even out an unfair fight.
If you want to know how bankruptcy may benefit you or which type of bankruptcy is most appropriate for you, contact our firm to speak with an experienced and compassionate Phoenix, Arizona bankruptcy protection lawyer. We will walk you through the process, fully explain your rights and options and help you get started.