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What To Know Before Filing Bankruptcy

Before filing for bankruptcy there are some things you can do to make the whole process go a lot smoother. These tips will also help you find a good bankruptcy attorney you can trust.

The decision to file for bankruptcy is never an easy one. But once made, there are several things that can be done to make the entire process run a lot smoother. Before seeing an  Arizona bankruptcy attorney, read through this article and make the preparations that will make your first meeting a lot more beneficial and speed the whole bankruptcy process along. 1. Gather information on debts.
Make a list of all secured and unsecured debt. List these debts separately. Unsecured debt includes credit card debt and some personal loans. Secured debt has a security interest, this includes car loans, house loans, and student loans. Secured debts cannot be discharged under a chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Write down the name and address of each creditor that you are in debt to. This list is required to present in court and it will speed things up if it is already prepared.
2. Determine value of your properties.
Determine the value of your car. In Arizona the exemption laws allow a car to have a value of up to 5,000 dollars for chapter 7 bankruptcy. A good way to determine the value of your car is by looking it up on Kelly blue book. 
Determine the value of your home. There are many ways to do this. If you google “determine the value of my home” many good websites will come up. One recommended is Zillow. If you are filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy the exemption laws allow up to 150,000 dollars in value. If you are filing chapter 13 and you have a second mortgage, then with the chapter 13 cram down tool the second mortgage can be crammed down and pass it off as unsecured debt. 
Assess the value of your personal items as well, including furniture and home appliances. 
3. Stop using credit cards! 
Stopping credit card use 3 months before filing bankruptcy will go a long way in having your case go through the courts without a hitch. Credit cards should only be used for absolute essentials only and only when it is the last option for paying. Keep a record of any purchases and what was purchased within the three months prior to filing. 
4. Find an Arizona bankruptcy attorney you trust.
Most bankruptcy lawyers will offer free initial bankruptcy consultations with no obligations. Take advantage of this opportunity to find one you feel comfortable with and feel will treat your case with the care you’re entitled to. If you have already followed the first three points, when you go into see the bankruptcy lawyer you will be able to get a feel for his level of competence and commitment as he reviews your case. Don’t be afraid to shop aroundFeature Articles, selecting a lawyer is the most important part of the pre-filing process. 

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This article should not be taken as legal advice. For a free bankruptcy consultation from a Phoenix AZ bankruptcy lawyer contact Jackson White Law.

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