Gordon & Gordon Attorneys at Law P.L.L.C.                                                                          Cottonwood  (928)  649-8609
                                                                                                                                                                              
Prescott (928)  717-4447
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Bankruptcy

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Chapter 7
 

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation proceeding in which the debtor's non-exempt assets, if any, are sold by the Chapter 7 trustee and the proceeds distributed to creditors according to the priorities established in the Code. 

A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy wipes out all a person's eligible debts usually within four months.  In the vast majority of cases the debtor has no assets that he or she would lose. Chapter 7 bankruptcy gives a person a relatively quick "fresh start".


Eligibility to file Chapter 7
 is determined by the means test instituted with the 2005 amendments to the bankruptcy code.

In most consumer cases, all the assets are exempt, and therefore there are no assets to liquidate and there is no dividend to creditors. Chapter 7 is generally the simplest and quickest form of bankruptcy and is available to individuals, married couples, corporations and partnerships. 



The Bankruptcy Process

Meet with the attorney.  Having an initial consultation with the attorney will provide you with valuable information that will help you in the Bankruptcy process.   This is your chance to inform the attorney about all your financial situations and will enable the attorney know whether Bankruptcy is the best option for you and what chapter to file. 

Bringing in Documentation.  In order to file your Bankruptcy, you need to provide us with all of your financial information that is pertinent to filing.  This includes, but may not be limited to, 3 months of bank statements, tax returns for the previous 2 years,  Six (6) months of paystubs, car titles.  There is also a questionnaire that will need to be completed and returned.  

Take a Credit Counseling Course.  You must have finished an approved counseling course within the 6 months prior to filing.  

Signing Bankruptcy Documents for filing. After we have received all of the necessary documentation and have had time to enter it into our systems, we will call you to meet with the attorney so he can review the paperwork with you before you sign.  Once you have signed the Bankruptcy documents your Bankruptcy documents are filed with the court.

Bankruptcy Documents are Filed at the Bankruptcy Court.  

Day #14- you will be advised that a petition has been filed.

Day #20-#40- A meeting of Creditors is held at the Court.  This is also called a 341 meeting.

Day #20- 30- and After- The trustee will sell any non-exempt assets.

Take a Second Credit Counseling Course.  Prior to receiving your discharge you must have finished an instructional course concerning personal financial management in order to be eligible for a discharge.

Day #90 (after the creditor meeting)-  the debtor is discharged and all debts (with some exceptions) are written off.  More than 99% of the bankruptcys are discharged.   




Will Creditors stop contacting me?
Yes, they will! By law, all actions against a debtor must cease once the documents are filed. Creditors cannot initiate or continue any lawsuits, wage garnishees, or even telephone calls demanding payments.   Secured creditors such as banks holding, for example, a lien on a car, will get the stay lifted if you cannot make payments. 

Who Will Know that I Filed?
Bankruptcy filings are public records.  However, under normal circumstances, no one will know you went bankrupt. The Credit Bureaus will record your bankruptcy and it will remain on your credit record for 10 years. 


What are the most common causes for Bankruptcy?
The most common reasons for filing bankruptcy are: 
Unemployment: Large medical expenses; Seriously overextended credit; Marital problems, and; Other large unexpected expenses.

What don't I get to keep?
In a bankruptcy, assets in excess of your allowed personal exemption, or non exempt assets such as, real estate, automobiles and boats will be liquidated by the trustee.  


I was filed for Bankruptcy before.  Can I file again?
A person can file Chapter 7 again if it has been more than 8 years since he or she filed the previous Chapter 7 bankruptcy.


Credit Counseling Agencies

1st Choice Credit Counseling & Financial Education 
2049 Marco Drive 
Camarillo, CA  93010  
877-692-5669

A 123 Credit Counselors
703 Waterford Way (NW 62nd Ave.) 
Suite 220 
Miami, FL  33126  
305-269-9201

Abacus Credit Counseling
15760 Ventura Boulevard 
Suite 700 
Encino, CA  91436  
800-516-3834

Alliance Credt Counseling, INC
13777 Ballantyne Corporate Pl. 
Suite 100 
Charlotte, NC  28277  
888-594-9596

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