Frequently Asked Questions about Bankruptcy and Debt Relief in Chandler, Arizona
Will I lose my doctor if I file bankruptcy?
Doctor bills are considered unsecured debt in a bankruptcy. Unsecured debt may be wiped out in a Chapter 7. If money is owed to a doctor and a bankruptcy is filed, this debt and creditor is required to be listed in your bankruptcy petition. Filing bankruptcy on your doctor doesn’t mean that you have to change physicians, or that your doctor will drop you as a patient. Basically, even if you intended on paying the medical debt, it is unavoidable that it be listed on the bankruptcy paperwork.
It is possible that your doctor will drop you as a patient if you discharge the money you owe in a bankruptcy, as long as you’re not needing emergency care.. There is a federal law that requires a person needing emergency medial treatment at an emergency department be treated and stabilized.
A doctor may understand a patient’s financial situation, offer payment options, and continue treatment. If this is the case, the physician would continue to see the patient. It does depend on the relationship between physician and patient, and if money owed to the doctor is able to be paid back after the debt is discharged in bankruptcy.
Can I get a new credit card after I file for bankruptcy?
Yes! It is actually recommended that you do so to help rebuild your credit. You may have to start with a secured card but making timely payments will help increase your credit score. You will want to pay attention to the interest rates and apply for whichever offer has the lowest. Starting with a small limit and making a purchase each month will greatly help.
Many experienced bankruptcy attorneys can point you in the right direction to not only rebuilding your credit after filing bankruptcy but also in assisting you with finding a new credit card after. Additionally, other debt relief options should be considered including: Arizona Zero Down Bankruptcy, Medical Bankruptcy, Bankruptcy by phone, Debt settlement, and Debt Consolidation.
If I am married do I have to file a joint bankruptcy?
No, you do not have to file together. However, it is important to remember that Arizona is a community property state and any debt that has been incurred since the day of your marriage is community debt. Qualifying for a bankruptcy filing is also based off household income, so the income of the non-filing spouse is still included. Be sure to speak with an experienced attorney to see what your best option is.
Do I have to take a credit counseling class?
Yes. You will actually have to take two separate courses. One is taken before your case is filed and one is taken after. The classes can be taken online or over the phone for a minimal fee. The certificates must be filed with the court. The first class provides information about alternatives to filing for bankruptcy and typically takes about 60 minutes. The second course provides information on budgeting and rebuilding after bankruptcy.
When does my certificate expire?
Your certificate will be good for 6 months from the date of completion. You will be required to retake the course if you do not file within 180 days of taking the course.
Do I need a copy of my credit report or a list of my debts?
While it may be helpful to have one, it is not necessary. Most attorneys will pull an up to date credit report for you. However, not all debts are listed on credit reports. If you have outstanding medical bills or pay day loans those are typically not reported to the credit bureau until they are in collections and it would be beneficial to provide that information to your attorney.
Where can I obtain a free copy of my credit report?
You can obtain a free copy once a year at www.annualcreditreport.com. This report will include all 3 bureaus.