left home state due to separation from wife, unable to return to home and family, ex wife incurred many debts and all possessions were in collections, the divorce was final 2.5 years later without notification, can a bankruptcy be filed this late and is there a statue of limitation?
It needs to be filed where you live, once you meet the length of residency requirements. You seem very confused about what you can accomplish with a bankruptcy and should consult with a bankruptcy attorney in the state where you live at least to find out what is possible for you.
This should not be considered legal advice and is intended for educational purposes only. It does not constitute a contract for legal services between any parties. Answers are given to questions for which there may be additional facts not mentioned which might change the legal issues or consequences.
You can file where you live once you've lived there for 91 days. What exemptions you cam use depends on a variety of factors that would be best addressed in your consultation with a local bankruptcy attorney. It sounds like the debts that concern you can be discharged and there is no time limit after which you cannot file.
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You can file in one of 2 places: where you have lived the most of the last 180 days (i.e. once you have lived in AZ 91 days it is that state; or you can file where substantially all your assets are.
You can file a bankruptcy anytime. Whether you should, which chapter 7 or 13, and what you should do between now and then, and whether you qualify or not are all subjects the attorney you meet with will go through with you. Thus, other facts and issues can affect your case so I will point those out next so you know you simply have one thing left to do: Call and discuss with an experienced AZ Bankruptcy attorney.
You need and want to enjoy your fresh start also. But the most important thing is to meet with an attorney as you asking this question means you have not. You care about 2 goals: keeping everything you have equity in and discharging all your debts. If you don't have any of the exceptions to discharge you will obtain that goal; most exceptions are set forth in 11 USC. 523 (Google it) like child support, some income taxes, traffic (in a ch 7) and criminal fines , and presumption of student loans. But some debts are dischargeable in a ch 13 but NOT in a ch 7 so you want to make sure and your attorney will discuss any such types with you also!
Your exemptions depend on what state you have lived in in the last 2 years and thus if in your state, then your states exemptions will apply. Most persons filing keep everything they own but your attorney will confirm that with you when they learn everything you own and the equity thereof!
Some secured debts like homes, vehicles, other secured debts an attorney will discuss your options on also as you must list any debts; but that does not mean you will lose them unless you have too much equity or are in default on paying for them! Discuss those options if they apply with your attorney too.
But other issues can arise that can greatly harm your case. Just one example: If you paid back a relative $3,000 11 months ago and now file bankruptcy next week, the trustee can SUE that relative to retrieve that $3,000 (under what is called a preference) for the benefit of the bankruptcy estate. As a result, most attorneys don't charge to meet with them the first meeting so meet with one no matter what.
Many great attorneys can be found right here on AVVO in your state so look, call, and meet one as soon as you can.
You should also want to know when to file: is there an advantage of waiting versus filing now and who should you pay between now and then! Good luck and enjoy your later fresh start.
The other attorneys are not trying to avoid answering your questions, it is just that your questions are too complicated for a forum designed to answer basic bankruptcy questions. Please understand that bankruptcy is a very complicated process. There are hundreds of wives tales out there with misleading information about the bankruptcy process and your rights or obligations. Below is a link to some free videos prepared by the Bankruptcy Court that explain how bankruptcy works. But as the other attorneys mentioned - it is wise to talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney before deciding to take this important step. Most Arizona consumer bankruptcy attorneys offer a free consultation about the basics of bankruptcy.
Please take time to educate yourself about bankruptcy and to determine which attorney is the best to assist you in the process. Don’t assume the attorney is being honest about their experience and capabilities. Check them out. Beware of firms advertising on TV. Those ads are paid by the client in the form of higher fees. Talk to the attorney you will be working with, not a staff person. When interviewing the attorney ask how long they have practiced bankruptcy law. Ask what percentage of their practice is focused on consumer work. Ask whether they are experienced in both chapter 7 and chapter 13 cases. Ask the attorney for references. Ask about their policy of returning phone calls. They should be committed to answering specific questions about your situation and help you understand your options. If, after talking with them you are still confused about the issues you raised, find another attorney. Check them out with the various ranking sources: such as www.AVVO.com, and the Arizona State Bar www.azbar.org..
An attorney is should be your guide through this process. They should educate you, be there to assist you in how to avoid pitfalls and help you plan for your future after bankruptcy. There are hundreds of “bankruptcy” attorneys in Arizona. Of those just a few will fit the criteria set forth above. Again, bankruptcy is a very complicated process and you want to use an attorney who will be there when you need them.
I hope this information is helpful.
Diane L. Drain, Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A. Phoenix, Arizona. This firm is in the business of helping people and companies file for bankruptcy protection. Therefore, the bankruptcy code requires that we call our firm a "debt relief agency." This information is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to be a legal opinion, legal advice or a complete discussion of the related issues. Nor is this advice intended to create a client - attorney relationship. Every individual's factual situation is different and you should seek independent legal advice from an attorney familiar with the laws of your state or locality regarding specific information.
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