Debtor FAQs

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  • Can the court waive the chapter 7 filing fee?

    An application to waive the chapter 7 filing fee can be filed at the time of opening a case. The application is available under the forms section of this website.

  • What are Exemptions?

    Click here for information on exemptions in Arizona.

  • If I file for bankruptcy, will it stop an eviction?

    The Clerk's Office is prohibited by federal statute from providing legal advice. If you have any questions on how a bankruptcy filing affects enforcement of an eviction proceeding, please contact your local county sheriff's department or your legal advisor.

  • What documents do I need to file bankruptcy?

    The documents required to file for bankruptcy are available in the forms section of this website.

  • What is a discharge?

    A discharge is a release of a debtor from personal liability for certain dischargeable debts set forth in the Bankruptcy Code. (A discharge releases a debtor from personal liability for certain debts known as dischargeable debts and prevents the creditors owed those debts from taking any action against the debtor to collect the debts. The discharge also prohibits creditors from communicating with the debtor regarding the debt, including telephone calls, letters, and personal contact.)

    Video: Discussion on Discharge for Chapter 7 Debtors.

  • What is a creditor matrix (master mailing list)?

    A creditor matrix is also known as a master mailing list, which is a list of creditors' addresses where mailed notifications will be sent to. The creditor matrix (master mailing list) is typically filed when opening a new case and can be added to as the case progresses. Information on the requirements for the creditor matrix (master mailing list) can be found under the forms section of this website under the form name MML Requirements.

  • What is Financial Management?

    The "instructional course in personal financial management" in chapters 7 and 13 that an individual debtor must complete before a discharge is entered. There are exceptions to the requirements for certain categories of debtors, exigent circumstances, or if the U.S. trustee or bankruptcy administrator have determined that there are insufficient approved credit counseling agencies available to provide the necessary counseling.

    The U.S. Trustee's Office provides a list of Approved Financial Management Course Providers.

  • What is Credit Counseling?

    Credit counseling generally refers to the "individual or group briefing" from a nonprofit budget and credit counseling agency that individual debtors must attend prior to filing under any chapter of the Bankruptcy Code. There are exceptions to the requirements for certain categories of debtors, exigent circumstances, or if the U.S. trustee or bankruptcy administrator have determined that there are insufficient approved credit counseling agencies available to provide the necessary counseling.

    The U.S. Trustee's Office provides a list of Approved Credit Counseling Providers.

  • How do I get a Bankruptcy removed from my credit report?

    The Bankruptcy Court has no jurisdiction over credit consumer reporting agencies and the court does not notify reporting agencies when a bankruptcy case is filed, nor can the court request that a specific record be changed. Information on your credit report has generally been reported by your creditors and is gathered from public sources by the reporting agencies.

    The Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. Section 1681, is the law that controls consumer reporting agencies. The law states that reporting agencies may not report a bankruptcy case on a person's credit report after ten years from the date the bankruptcy case is filed. Generally, most negative credit information is removed after eight years.

    If you have a complaint about a company, organization or business practice, you may wish to contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Consumer Response Center, 600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20580. The toll-free FTC help-line number is: 1-877-382-4357. That office can also provide further information on reestablishing credit and may be able to help you in addressing other credit problems. Further information about your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and corrections to credit reports is available on the FTC website.

  • What are the consequences of filing for bankruptcy?

    Depending on a debtor's financial situation and reasons for filing, the consequences of filing for bankruptcy protection may outweigh the benefits. Those considering bankruptcy should be aware of the following:

    • Filing for bankruptcy protection is not free.
    • Not all debts are dischargeable. Example: Secured creditors retain some rights which may permit them to seize property, even after a discharge is granted. Spousal and child support obligations and most tax debts are not dischargeable.
    • Within 15 days of the filing of a bankruptcy petition, schedules of the debtor's assets and liabilities must be filed. Failure to timely file the appropriate schedules will result in dismissal of the bankruptcy.
    • If a case is not dismissed and a discharge is entered by the court, the debtor is prohibited from being granted another discharge in chapters 7 and 11 within eight years.
    • Fraudulent information or acts by the debtor are grounds for denial of a discharge and may be punishable as a criminal offense.

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