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

Common Debt Mistakes

1. Continuing to Make Minimum Payments

Many families struggle to make minimum payments on debt, even if they cannot afford to repay the entire debt.  Eventually, clients are forced to stop paying, either because their savings (and retirement accounts) are gone, or because of a reduction in monthly income.  The mistake with continuing to make minimum payments is that it only focuses on the present, versus future. This is the most common mistake.

There comes a point where clients should do a self-evaluation of whether repaying the debt is financially reasonable.  All clients want to repay their obligations.  However, there simply comes a point in time where families cannot repay their debt.  This realization is critical.

With each month of minimum payments, households continue to “throw good money after bad” (an idiom that candidly describes spending money on a losing proposition).  Tucson families should be doing a financial self-reflection if their general unsecured debt (such as credit cards) exceeds $8,000 – 10,000.  Consumers should not convince themselves that high debt amounts are “normal.”  Rather, high debt amounts are stressful and financially unhealthy.  The key is knowing how much debt is too much?

 

2. Settling Debt

Settling debt seems like a good idea.  If a credit card company is offering to satisfy a delinquent balance at half the outstanding balance, how is that not great?  The problem with settling a debt is that it could be equivalent to putting out a forest fire with a garden hose.  If a family has a few small debts, settling them might be the right debt relief option.  However, if a household has multiple debts, settling them is often much more expensive than bankruptcy.  In addition, settling debt can be more of a detriment to a consumer’s credit score, and in some instances, forgiven debt can trigger a tax consequence.

Before settling a debt, a consumer should meet with a bankruptcy attorney to discuss all of their options. Consumers should avoid debt management companies that offer debt settlement services.  These companies are not law firms and cannot offer bankruptcy services.  In fact, many of these companies dissuade families from filing bankruptcy by scaring them with false bankruptcy myths.  In addition, many debt management companies physically operate outside of Arizona, which makes it extremely difficult to get your money back from them.

A typical debt settlement candidate either makes too much money to file a chapter 13 bankruptcy or has significant “non-exempt” property that prevents them from filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy.  Most other clients are better served by not settling debt.  The key is to look at the big picture, which includes a family’s reserves, exempt versus non-exempt property, amount of debt, type of debt, income level, as well as, tax considerations.  Obviously, this is a complex decision that requires legal insight.  Therefore, consumers are encouraged to take advantage of free bankruptcy consultations.  Most bankruptcy firms offer these case evaluations.

 

3. Do Nothing

Initially, “doing nothing” is the least costly mistake, as compared to making minimum payments or settling debt.  The problem with inaction is that it squanders time.  Years ago, failure to pay credit card debt only meant annoying collection letters coupled with harassing phone calls.  However, the debts eventually went away.

Today, failure to pay credit card debt can lead to lawsuits, wage garnishments, and bank account levies.  Most national credit card companies now have relationships with collection attorneys that service their collection portfolio.  In fact, Tucson has at least three large collection law firms that prosecute many of the credit card lawsuits filed in Arizona.

Upon being sued, many consumers eventually seek legal help.  Some call an attorney after they receive a summons, while others wait until their bank account balance disappears or until their pay check is missing 25% of their gross earnings.  The point is that if a consumer needs to file bankruptcy to get comprehensive debt relief, why wait until being sued?  Doing nothing only postpones the inevitable.  Ironically, the “inevitable” includes debt relief, restored credit, and peace of mind.

Exceptions to the Rule:

The mistakes listed above are general in nature, and in some instances, they are actually the correct path.  Sometimes it makes sense to continue to make minimum payments on credit card debt.  Some families have to wait to file bankruptcy and minimum payments will buy them time.  In some scenarios, settling a debt can be a great debt relief option.  Sometimes debt settlements are even mandatory to lower overall debt amounts for chapter 13 bankruptcy purposes.  Temporarily, doing nothing provides breathing room to save up enough money to hire a bankruptcy attorney.  Sometimes doing nothing works because an elderly client is otherwise “judgment proof.”  The underlying theme is that each situation is unique.