Meiners Law Office, PLC
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Chapter 7 & Chapter 13 Basics

Chapter 7

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common type of filing. The purpose of the case is to eliminate the debt you have, and come out with a fresh start—and most often an improved credit score. This makes future borrowing you may need to do at much lower interest rates then you currently may qualify for. Debts that can be discharged include a long list of unsecured debt, like credit cards, collection accounts, auto loan deficiencies, lawsuit judgments, medical bills, personal loans, taxes older than 3 years from the date they were due, contract debts, leases, etc.
Credit Cards
Collections Accounts
Auto Loan Deficiencies
Lawsuit Judgments
Medical Bills
Personal Loans
Taxes Debts
Contract Debts
For secured loans, like houses and cars, you can continue paying on those debts if you’d like to keep them. To keep them, you’ll still need to keep current and pay them, but any personal liability on the loan will be discharged. So if on a car you initially keep and then later change your mind on whether to keep it, you can give the car back without any further financial liability assuming no reaffirmation is filed during your case.

In this case we list your assets in your petition, and exempt (protect) them so that you keep them. These exemptions include keeping your personal property and household items, wages, house, and vehicles, retirement accounts, etc. Our office will analyze your case for any non-exempt assets you may have. Overall, a Chapter 7 case typically lasts about 4 months from filing to discharge.

Chapter 13

Chapter 13 cases work differently. In this case, you will pay certain creditors back over a 3-5 year period. There are specific reasons to file a Chapter 13 vs. a Chapter 7, which Attorney Meiners will help determine. These reasons often include too high of income to qualify for a Chapter 7, you have some non-exempt assets you’d like to keep, or we can modify certain vehicle loans down to the current fair market value if you’ve had the loan long enough (currently about 2.5 years).
In a Chapter 13, you can also cure mortgage payment arrears over the life of the plan, or do a loan modification through the court’s Mortgage Modification Mediation Program (MMM) Program. Attorney Meiners has completed many successful modifications, which eliminated the arrears and many also came with interest rate and/or principal reductions. Chapter 13 also offers a chance to strip off a second mortgage on your home if the value of the home is below the balance owed on the first mortgage. Many Chapter 13 cases have a very low repayment percentage to unsecured creditors, so it operates a lot like a Chapter 7. But, the case gives you an opportunity to address other creditors like mortgages, cars, priority taxes owed, and domestic support obligations that can’t be addressed in a Chapter 7. Once you complete your plan payment terms, you get a discharge and your case closes.

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A Strategic Bankruptcy Attorney Attending to Southern Arizona

If you are being harassed by creditors or have received notices for wage garnishments or foreclosure, contacting a lawyer should be the first step to handling your struggle.
CALL TODAY (520) 777-2198

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Meiners Law Office, PLC

4400 E Broadway Blvd.
Suite 600S
Tucson, AZ 85711
Phone: 520-777-2198
Fax: 520-202-7317
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Areas Served: Meiners Law Office, PLC, is located in Tucson, Arizona, and attends to clients in Tucson, and surrounding areas, including Benson, Bisbee, Casa Grande, Douglas, Green Valley, Marana, Nogales, Oracle, Oro Valley, Sahuarita, San Manuel, Sierra Vista, Vail, Safford, Morenci, Sells; in counties including: Pima County, Cochise County, Santa Cruz County, Pinal County, Graham County, and Greenlee County in Southern Arizona.

Disclaimer: Results of a bankruptcy filing described on this website apply to most filers; however, each client’s financial situation is unique and results are dependent on the factual and legal circumstances of each case. Our office is a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code. The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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