Tucson Bankruptcy FAQs
Q. How much will a bankruptcy filing affect my credit?
Answer: For nearly all filers, a bankruptcy filing is the only way to actually restore and improve your credit score. Many people think the opposite, that a filing will destroy their credit. But by filing a case, all your credit report entries get re-coded and the ongoing negative reporting stops…allowing your credit score to rise, on average, about 100-150 points within 6 months to a year of your filing.
In addition, filing a case will not make you ineligible for future loans for the rest of your life. Right after filing, in the mail you will receive numerous offers from companies offering new credit cards and car loans, so you will have credit available to you should you need it in the future. Also, many clients of Meiners Law Office find that they are eligible for new loans they were never eligible for previously because of their poor credit scores…and the interest rates offered on the loans are far better than what they would have received without a case.
Q. Will everyone know I filed a case?
Answer: No. None of the major Southern Arizona local daily newspapers publish bankruptcy filings. The Arizona Daily Star, Green Valley News and Sun, The Sahuarita Sun, The Sierra Vista Herald, and Nogales International do not publish bankruptcy filings.
We also make it a point to note that a bankruptcy filing is nothing to be ashamed of. You’re clearing out bad debt that, in our experience over the years, almost always results from circumstances outside your control. A filing can reshape your finances to build for a great future. It is likely that you know friends, family members, coworkers and neighbors who have filed cases, but they just don’t advertise it. Many famous people have used the bankruptcy process to their benefit, including Abraham Lincoln, Henry Ford, Wayne Newton, and Donald Trump’s business (multiple times).
Q. How much does it cost to file a case?
Answer: The fees depend on the nature of your case. The bankruptcy court charges a fee to file your case ($335.00 for Chapter 7 and $310.00 for Chapter 13), and the rest of the fee you would pay to to file the case would be for your attorney Ross Meiners to represent you and handle all aspects of your case with care and attention to detail from the beginning to the very end. Attorney Meiners normally charges a flat fee that is very reasonable with affordable and easy payment options. The customer service, knowledge and personal attention you get is tops among Tucson bankruptcy attorneys. In no time, you’ll have your case fees paid and on your way to freedom from debt.
Q: How long does a case take?
Answer: From the filing date, Chapter 7 cases are normally completed within 5 months. Chapter 13 cases run between 36-60 months.
Q: Do I have to go to court?
Answer: Yes, but just once. This is a meeting with your case trustee a few months after your case is filed. Fortunately, you won’t have to meet a judge or even appear in a courtroom. The court has a dedicated room that holds meetings with the case trustee. Attorney Meiners will be there at that meeting with you, and will give you plenty of preparation materials before the court date to ease your anxiety. You will rest easy knowing exactly what to expect at your trustee hearing. Attorney Meiners knows that filing bankruptcy cases isn’t an everyday occurrence for most folks, and makes the experience easy for you.
Q: I recently filed a bankruptcy case but have new debt, can I file again?
Answer: You are eligible to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy eight years after the filing date of your last Chapter 7 case. If it has been less than eight years since your Chapter 7 case, you are still able to file for Chapter 13 relief four years after your prior Chapter 7–and in may cases, your Chapter 13 will resemble a Chapter 7. You will still be able to eliminate all your unsecured debts, and get the added advantages of Chapter 13 like car loan modification, 2nd mortgage lien stripping, and other super discharge provisions.
If your previous case was a Chapter 13, you are eligible to file a Chapter 7 six years after your previous Chapter 13 filing. You can file a new Chapter 13 case 2 years after a prior, discharged Chapter 13, although some flexibility is built into this provision. If you recently completed a Chapter 13 to discharge and have new debt, or filed a Chapter 13 and had it dismissed prior to discharge, please contact the office for an appointment.