bankruptcy information

Matthew Foley

Matthew Foley

Esq. & MBA

Contact a Friendly Attorney

We are affordable, exceptionally knowledgeable, and nice! You’ll love our office.

Call: (520) 795-5600

 

CLIENT TESTIMONIALS:

Excellent

Mr. Foley handled my chapter 7. After my first meeting with him I instantly felt better about the whole thing. I was stressed about my finances and felt guilty for even considering a bankruptcy. I felt like a total failure. Mr. Foley was able to help me see that it was the right business decision and was also able to help me by pointing me to resources for a redemption loan on my vehicle. If you are considering a bankruptcy attorney, I would recommend you consult with Mr. Foley.

Client #1
July 18, 2017

CLIENT TESTIMONIALS:

Your Excellent Choice

Matt and his team rock !!!!!!!!
They took the stress and worries out of the whole process and made it smooth and stress free. He and his staff are caring, knowledgeable, very organized, honest and affordable. They responded quickly to any questions or concerns I had.

I would highly recommend Matt and his team to anyone who needs a bankruptcy…… Thank you so much

Karina
July 13, 2017

CLIENT TESTIMONIALS:

Very helpful even though not client (yet)

Matthew represented us at a Trustee meeting when our Phoenix attorney could not be present. He was knowledgeable and helpful. In addition, when my existing attorney became “disengaged”, we contacted Matt and he spent a lot of time helping us understand some issues we were having. He was supportive, helpful, and gave excellent advice even though we were not his clients. I highly recommend him and he will be my first call for any future legal issues.

Doug
May 23, 2017

CLIENT TESTIMONIALS:

Caught in a Bind

I was in a real bind and not knowing the law, I contacted the best reviewed bankruptcy lawyer in town. After the consultation I left feeling better about my situation with a much better understanding of the law. The man knows his stuff and is very knowledgeable. I hired him and he did an amazing job. I literally did nothing but answer questions in an honest manor. The staff is a collection of incredible people, who are kind and very nice and understanding towards your situation. Thank you so so much for everything and would recommend the heck out of this gentlemen. Awesome experience.

Jesus
March 6, 2017

CLIENT TESTIMONIALS:

Truly Awesome

Matt and his team rock!!! They took the stress and worries out of the whole process and made it smooth and stress free. He and his staff are caring, knowledgeable, very organized, honest and affordable. They responded quickly to any questions or concerns I had. I would highly recommend Matt and his team to anyone who needs a bankruptcy or debt settlement attorney.

Teresa
October 21, 2016

Bankruptcy Overview for Tucson and Southern Arizona Cases

There are two types of consumer bankruptcies for families and small business – Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.  In some instances, consumers can file an Individual Chapter 11 case, however, these are infrequent and expensive.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a “liquidation” proceeding.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a “liquidation” proceeding, where assets are categorized as exempt and non-exempt assets.  To the extent that non-exempt assets meet a particular amount, those assets are sold and creditors are paid a “dividend.”  In this context, debtors must be carefully advised as to the risk involved in losing particular interests/assets, such as tax refunds, inheritances, mineral rights, trust estates & distributions, etc.  With a good attorney, a debtor should never lose their home or car(s) (Out of 8,000 cases filed, I’ve never had a client lose something they wanted to keep).

Upon filing the case, a case trustee is assigned to oversee the case administration. Currently, Tucson has 3 chapter 7 trustees – Gayle Mills, Trudy Nowak, and Stan Kartchner.  These are great trustees and easy to work with.  The assigned trustee reviews requested documentation, conducts the § 341 Meeting of Creditors, researches assets, and in the event there are available non-exempt assets, the trustee takes the appropriate steps to liquidate them.  If the bankruptcy estate captures funds, creditors are then notified to submit a proof of claim, which will be evaluated and potentially paid upon.

Upon filing the case, the “bankruptcy estate” is created, which includes all of a debtors assets, including legal, equitable, and possessory  interests, with only several carved out exceptions ((11 U.S.C. § 541).  Property that makes up the bankruptcy estate is immediately protected by the “automatic stay”, which acts as an injunction to prevent creditors from collecting on a debt after the debtor files ((11 U.S.C. § 362).  The automatic stay immediately stops garnishments and temporarily halts foreclosures and repossessions.  In addition to obvious property interests, the bankruptcy estate can be increased with the chapter 7 Trustee has “strong arm” powers, which includes avoiding recently acquired liens and “avoiding” preferential payments and fraudulent transfers ((11 U.S.C. § 544-553). Your attorney will review your scenario and screen for these issues.

To qualify for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, a debtor’s income must be either 1) beneath the median income and they must be negative on their cashflow, or 2) if a debtor’s income is above the median income, a “means test” is administered to determine if a debtor is still eligible for Chapter 7 debt relief (11 U.S.C. § 707(b)(1)). If a debtor is deemed mathematically ineligible, a debtor may overcome this “presumption” with a showing of special circumstances.  The alternative to not qualifying is to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy (reorganization).  There are some exceptions to the mean’s test, which your attorney looks for, such as a “non-consumer” bankruptcy qualification.

The primary purpose of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to secure a “discharge”, which will end creditor harassment & collection efforts, and provide honest debtors with a “fresh start.”  Upon discharge, a debtor has no personal liability for discharged debt – typically including credit card debt, medical debt, repossession, garnishments, lawsuits, broken leases, and even some tax liabilities.  Student loans and domestic support obligations are non-dischargeable.  Also, the discharge does not “avoid” a lien on property, but rather merely extinguishes the personal liability.

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a “repayment” proceeding. 

For some Tucson families, a chapter 13 bankruptcy provides an excellent debt relief option.  A chapter 13 bankruptcy is routinely mischaracterized as an unattractive “repayment plan.”  In actuality, a chapter 13 bankruptcy plan provides incredible debtor assistance for particular debtors, including saving a home, reducing interest and principal amounts owed on a vehicle, consolidating tax debt, etc.

A chapter 13 repayment plan will be 3 – 5 years in duration.  The actual payment amount on a chapter 13 bankruptcy will vary depending upon multiple factors, including a “means test” analysis, a cash flow calculation, the amount of priority debt, the amount of non-exempt assets a client wishes to retain, diversions of income, etc.   In many cases, the plan payment changes through the life of the bankruptcy to accommodate the debtor(s).  It is understood that a debtor’s situation may change over the course of 3 – 5 years, in which case the plan can be readily amended or modified.  This repayment amount is calculated by the debtor’s lawyer, which must comply with the Federal Bankruptcy code, state law, and local court rules.  In addition, each chapter 13 has their own preferences, legal perspective, and case instructions.  If the debtor(s) are above the median income, the plan must be 5 years in length or provide 100% repayment to general unsecured creditors.  If the debtor is beneath the median income, there is more freedom in determining the plan length, ranging from 3 – 5 years.

In Tucson, cases are overseen by trustee Dianne Kerns.  Debtor’s make monthly payments, which she then distributes to creditors per the terms of the chapter 13 plan.  The creation of a repayment plan is outlined by local and federal bankruptcy laws, however, an experienced attorney can structure a plan to offer tremendous benefits to a debtor.

Bankruptcy is a financial tool. 

When used correctly, bankruptcy provides incredible benefits to help a family receive a fresh start.