Why You Should Pay a Lawyer

Often people ask, “Why should I pay a lawyer?” when legal document prepares in Arizona can often prepare documents that people would normally go to a lawyer to prepare instead. Arizona  is  rather lax in allowing non-lawyers prepare what are essentially “legal documents.” These individuals typically prepare wills, trusts, powers of attorney, divorce and bankruptcy petitions, Limited Liability Company filings and other such documents. In addition to these “document preparers”, there are several online websites that essentially offer the same services.

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Significant Changes to AZ Bankruptcy Laws

Help for self-employed debtors and others. (DEBTORS IN ARIZONA CAN NOW KEEP THEIR iPad)

The following is current as of April 24, 2013.  Bankruptcy exemptions can change based on new laws, and interpretation of current laws by the courts.

Arizona Bankruptcy Laws have changed in a significant way, as the updated exemptions will make it harder for creditors to force the sale of the assets of a person filing bankruptcy (“debtor”).

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How to Prepare for a 341 Hearing (“Meeting of Creditors”)

WHERE IS THE HEARING HELD: For most bankruptcy cases there will only be one time when you, the debtor, go to court for the meeting of creditors.  This meeting is not usually held in a courtroom with a judge, but is held before a trustee in a meeting room where you sit across a table from the trustee.  (In some areas outside of Maricopa County the hearing may be held in other places such as a city council room.)

For Downtown Phoenix, Arrive early, and plan to park in a parking garage.  There is a parking garage across the street from the United States Bankruptcy Court. (Note that this is a different building from the Federal Court House where civil and criminal federal matters are heard.)

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Make this Year the Last Year that the IRS takes your Tax Refund

Is the IRS taking your tax refund year after year from a tax debt that is more than three years old?

Do you have large old debts that you cannot pay?  Did you get a first time home buyer tax credit in 2008 but then found out that you did not qualify, or have sold the home before the three year residency requirement?  Did you have an audit last year that left you with a large tax debt from income taxes?

IRS tax problems can be real and can last for years.  In some cases, IRS tax problems can be solved through bankruptcy.  Bankruptcy laws say that income tax debt can be wiped out in when the following conditions apply:

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The Fiscal Cliff and Your Mortgage

Many people have heard about the nation’s “Fiscal Cliff” with tax and spending changes that would have a large impact on the economy.  One change people often overlook in this debate is the Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007, that will be extended and will expire on December 31, 2013. There are still many “underwater” homes where homeowners need to move or can no longer make the mortgage payments.  A short sale offers a solution to selling an underwater home, where the bank forgives the difference between the amount owned and the amount received in the short sale transaction.

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Bankruptcy and Student Loans

With a new school year just beginning, students are starting back at schools and universities all over Arizona. Many people are looking into student loan options and figuring out how to finance their education. After graduation, many students can have substantial student loan debts in the thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars, and cannot afford to make the monthly payments. When dealing with outstanding debt and student loan payments, you may consider filing bankruptcy. In most cases today, however, student loan debt is not dischargeable in bankruptcy.  A student loan debt is unsecured, meaning that there is nothing for the bank to take possession of and sell to reduce their losses. Student loan debt was not always this difficult to discharge. In the mid-1970s, student loan debt was treated the same as credit card and auto loans.

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