Esq. & MBA
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Call: (520) 795-5600
Planning Bankruptcy with a Lawyer
The bankruptcy process begins with a debt consultation. The purpose of this meeting is to explore bankruptcy, as well as, other possible debt relief options. If bankruptcy is the appropriate strategy, clients are given some general advice, such as to stay current on any secured assets they wish to keep, not to repay any family members prior to filing bankruptcy, not to transfer or sell assets without attorney oversight, and not to incur any new debts.
Careful legal consideration goes into the pre-bankruptcy planning, also known as “negative estate” planning. Through legal counsel, debtors are advised of their options, which includes spending down reserves on necessities, preemptively liquidating non-exempt assets, modest contributions towards retirement accounts, etc. Negative estate planning does not mean transferring assets for less than fair market value, hiding property, or otherwise committing conduct that has the sole effect of hindering creditors. Any type of negative estate planning should be done with a competent attorney that is familiar with guiding case law, Arizona’s fraudulent transfer laws, and the Federal Bankruptcy Code.
Another key aspect to pre-filing preparation is determining the appropriate file date. Early in the year, it is seldom advisable to file a case until after a tax refund has been received and wisely spent. Typically cases are filed prior to a debtor getting paid, since bank accounts must be spent down to the permissible exemption amounts. In addition, if a debtor has accounts receivable, commissions due, a personal injury claim, trust distributions, or is expecting an inheritance, it may be advisable to wait to file bankruptcy. Other considerations that may warrant waiting to file include “look back” periods on any pre-bankruptcy transfers (fraudulent transfers) and any payments made to family members are business partners (preferential payments).
A Debtor’s Duty & Bankruptcy Fraud
A discharge can be revoked by the request of a trustee, a creditor, or the U.S. trustee if the debtor commits fraud in obtaining a discharge. Fraud includes misrepresentations and material omissions, such as if the debtor knowingly and fraudulently fails to report the acquisition of property that belongs to the bankruptcy estate. A discharge can also be revoked if the debtor fails to 1) surrender property to the trustee, 2) cooperate with the trustee, and 3) makes a material misstatement or fails to provide documents or other information in connection with an audit of the debtor’s case.
Fortunately, a revocation of discharge is exceptionally rare with honest and cooperative debtors. Bankruptcy provides Tucson families with the tremendous benefit of a fresh start, free of most debts and with no tax consequences. It would be disastrous to jeopardize this fresh start.
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.
July 18, 2017
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
July 13, 2017
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.
May 23, 2017
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.
March 6, 2017
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.
October 21, 2016