Category: Bankruptcy blog

Can I Convert a Chapter 13 to a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Can I Convert a Chapter 13 to a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Gilbert Bankruptcy Attorneys Explain How to Convert a Chapter 13 to a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

You may wish to file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and get a total discharge of your debts, but you may not qualify, so you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead. Or you may want to protect some assets, such as your vehicle or your home, so you opt for Chapter 13 instead. But what you may find is that after you have been paying on your Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan for a while, your circumstances change and you want to switch to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Is that possible? Yes. And a Gilbert bankruptcy attorney can help you. 

A person converting a Chapter 13 to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy thanks to Gilbert bankruptcy lawyers.

Reasons to Convert

There are two reasons that you would need to convert from a Chapter 13 to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy: Your financial circumstances have changed, or your goals for the bankruptcy have changed. 

If your financial circumstances have changed, you may be struggling to keep up with your Chapter 13 bankruptcy payments. Your income may have dropped, or you may have lost your job completely. In that case, you may be able to switch to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy because you can no longer afford the payments on your Chapter 13 repayment plan. 

You may also wish to switch because your goals have changed. For example, you may have chosen Chapter 13 bankruptcy so that you could catch up on your late payments for your car and could keep the vehicle. But now, you may no longer wish to keep the vehicle, and you want to get the discharge that Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows. 

If you find yourself facing either of these circumstances after entering a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, talk to a bankruptcy attorney about your options. You may be able to convert to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. 

Eligibility to Convert to Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Of course, you won’t be able to just switch over to Chapter 7 bankruptcy because you want to – you’ll still have to meet the original eligibility criteria. Otherwise, everyone who couldn’t qualify for Chapter 7 at first would just file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and convert later. Your bankruptcy attorney will review your finances to determine if the change in your circumstances has been enough to qualify you for Chapter 7 now.

You may be able to transfer some of the paperwork that you submitted for your Chapter 13 filing, but you are likely to have to fill out a lot of new paperwork. Work closely with your bankruptcy lawyer on this step as any mistakes you make could prove costly. You could even face penalties for some errors. 

Forced Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Conversion

In some cases, the bankruptcy court may actually force a conversion from Chapter 13 to Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The circumstances for a forced conversion vary, but they include you not being able to keep up with your Chapter 13 payments and suspicion that you are abusing the bankruptcy system. Your bankruptcy lawyer will help you understand when a forced conversion may be imminent and why. 

If you just miss a few Chapter 13 payments, that is unlikely to trigger a forced conversion. The bankruptcy court would likely just work with you to get current on the plan.

Always consult with a bankruptcy attorney to better understand how the bankruptcy laws apply to your situation. The laws can be complex, and not every person will have the same outcome under the system. Your attorney can help you understand how to use creative filings to get the results you need. 

Contact Gilbert Bankruptcy Lawyers today to learn more about your options for debt relief through bankruptcy protection. We can help you with a new bankruptcy filing, or we can talk to you about converting your current bankruptcy filing. We’ll help you understand how you can get the maximum debt relief possible under the law. We offer our services with no money down, and we offer affordable rates to ensure that you have no barriers to getting the debt relief you need. We serve clients throughout Gilbert and the surrounding area. Call our bankruptcy law office today to schedule a free consultation with a bankruptcy attorney and learn more about your options.

Gilbert Bankruptcy Lawyers
Office: 480-448-9800

Keeping Your Holiday Credit Card Debt In Check

Keeping Your Holiday Credit Card Debt in Check

Keeping Your Holiday Credit Card Debt in Check


Gilbert Bankruptcy Lawyers Share Tips on how To avoid holiday credit card debt

Everyone gets into the spirit of gift-giving around the holidays – some of us a little more so than others. It can be easy to spend a lot of money on family and friends with the intention of showing them how much you care and how special they are to you. However, if you’re not careful, you can spend your way into debt and even bankruptcy in your efforts to express your affection.

We’re sure that your friends and family would much rather have the gift of your presence than to see you run up serious debt that could lead to your need for a bankruptcy attorney. Here are a few other things you can do to keep your holiday credit card debt in check so that you don’t run into serious financial troubles: 

Stressed Out Woman Trying To Pay Credit Card Debt In Gilbert

Budget: Don’t Overspend With Credit

Make a complete list of everyone you want to give a gift. Include not just your immediate family members and close friends, but also anyone else you might want to give even a small gift, such as your children’s teachers, your mail carrier, or your trash pickup. You will then need to set a budget for each person – and stick to that budget.

It can be easy to overspend at the holidays because you shop on impulse and spend more than you intended for each person. You can also overspend because you forget to include people in your list, such as those teachers and professionals, and you nickel and dime your way up to hundreds more dollars in spending. Create a comprehensive budget and stick to it. 

Avoid Department Store Credit Cards

Many stores offer their own credit cards. They offer you great introductory rates or other perks, like cash back or free gifts, to entice you to sign up for the card. But these cards encourage you to overspend (you can’t use them anywhere else, and you feel more free to shop when you know you have the credit with the store). The stores are also counting on you not to pay off the balance each month and so to incur interest.

Just say no to these store credit cards. If you must shop with credit, use one of your other credit cards. But better still is to purchase all your gifts with cash. Credit just encourages you to buy what you can’t actually afford

Limit Credit Purchases With A Gift Exchange

Why do you need to purchase a gift for every person you know? You can still get into the spirit of the holidays and not spend as much money by participating in a gift exchange. Then you draw one name, give one great gift, and get one great gift in return. Everyone feels like they have been a part of giving and receiving, and everyone keeps their expenses low. 

Suggest a gift exchange with your family and with your friend groups. You may end up buying a handful of gifts for the season instead of dozens. 

Buy Early for Next Year

When the holiday season is over, stores start selling everything at deeply discounted prices. If you have some foresight, you can buy gifts for a fraction of the cost, and save big next holiday season. If you get into the practice of doing this every year, you can always have nice gifts ready without overspending. 

Just be mindful not to put these gifts on your credit card. Even discounted gifts can accrue interest on a credit card, and you can end up paying more than full price over the long term if you aren’t careful. Don’t overspend in January only to call a bankruptcy attorney in July. 

Keep Gift Giving in Perspective

You don’t need to keep up with the Joneses and buy Beat headphones or brand new iPhones for everyone on your list. You can give a small but meaningful gift that costs you very little and get the same enjoyment out of the holidays. 

Keep your gift giving in perspective. Focus on gifts that are thoughtful, rather than on the labels they carry or how much they cost. You may even consider making gifts or giving the gift of your time. Know that your loved ones would rather have a gift that came from your heart instead of a designer gift that cost you so much it led to debt problems that required a call to a bankruptcy lawyer. 

Make your holiday season truly bright. Follow these tips to keep your credit card debt under control while still being able to give your loved ones great gifts and enjoying the holiday season together. 

If you have already run up credit card debt that has gotten out of control, call Gilbert Bankruptcy Lawyers to learn more about your options through bankruptcy protection. We represent clients in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which offers a total liquidation of credit card and other unsecured debt, and in Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which restructures your debts into a repayment plan, allowing you to keep assets such as your home or vehicle. Call our bankruptcy law office in Gilbert today to schedule a consultation with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer and learn more. 

Gilbert Bankruptcy Lawyers
Office: 480-448-9800

Ascena Retail Group bankruptcy blog

Four Arizona Lane Bryant Stores to Close in Ascena Retail Group Bankruptcy

Ascena Retail Group, the parent company of clothing stores like Lane Bryant, Catherine’s, and Justice, has joined a long list of large companies to file bankruptcy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Brick and mortar retail was already struggling, and months of stay at home restrictions have been the final straw. Ascena has chosen Chapter 11 so that some of its subsidiaries can continue operating. However, a significant amount of Arizona clothing stores will be closing as part of this bankruptcy. 

Ascena Retail Store Closures in Arizona

There are 688 Lane Bryant locations, Ascena has announced that four Arizona Lane Bryant stores would be closing as part of the bankruptcy.

The Lane Bryant stores Closing are located at:

• Gilbert- 3855 South Gilbert Road

• Gilbert- Baseline Road and N. Cooper Road

• Mesa- 6555 E. Southern Ave.

Tucson- 5351 S. Calle Santa Cruz

Ascena Retail Group bankruptcy blogAscena also owns Catherine’s, a plus size women’s store. Ascena plans to focus attention for this brand on online retail, as opposed to brick and mortar. All of its locations are closing in the bankruptcy.

The 6 Catherine’s Stores Closing in Arizona:

• Chandler- 2986 N. Alma School Road

Glendale- 5350 W. Bell Road

Mesa- 5052 S. Power Road

Mesa- 833 N. Dobson Road

Peoria- 9282 W. Northern Ave.

Tucson- 4730 E. Broadway Blvd. 

Justice, a girls’ clothing store formerly known as Limited Too, is also owned by Ascena Retail Group. Justice has 826 locations, approximately 600 of which are closing in the bankruptcy. As with Catherine’s, Ascena plans to focus more on the online side of this brand.

The Justice clothing locations Closing in Arizona include:

  • Avondale- 9945 W. McDowell Road
  • Gilbert- 1073 W. Baseline Road
  • Glendale- 5350 W. Bell Road
  • Glendale- 6800 N. 95th Ave. 
  • Mesa- 6555 E. Southern Ave. 
  • Peoria- 25546 N. Lake Pleasant Highway
  • Phoenix- 21001 W. Tatum Road
  • Phoenix- 2501 W. Happy Valley Road
  • Scottsdale- 16451 N. Scottsdale Road
  • Tempe- 5000 S. Arizona Mills Circle
  • Tucson- 4500 N. Oracle Road
  • Tucson- 5870 E. Broadway Road

Ascena also owns Ann Taylor and LOFT, but only one Ann Taylor Factory Store is closing in Arizona. It is located in Glendale at 6800 N. 95th Ave. Stores that have begun to reopen as stay at home orders are lifted have realized it’s too little too late, and it’s time to file bankruptcy. Ascena Retail Group will be joining Neiman Marcus, JC Penney, J. Crew, True Religion, Lucky Brand, and more on the list of fashion retailers to fall victim to COVID-19. Many of the Ascena locations that are closing are even at the same shopping malls. The pandemic has made it clear that online shopping has officially won the battle over fashion retail. 

Arizona’s Unemployment Rate

Ascena Retail Group bankruptcy blogArizona saw a spike of unemployment claims in April 2020, with an unemployment rate of approximately 13.4 percent. Conditions improved and the unemployment rate was down to around 9% in May, but has crept back up to 10% for June. The extra $600 weekly federal unemployment benefit is ending soon, as well as Arizona’s eviction moratorium. With at least 20 Ascena-owned stores closing in the bankruptcy, Arizona will hopefully at least be able to keep the unemployment rate static for July. 

What is Chapter 11 Bankruptcy?

Ascena has chosen Chapter 11 Bankruptcy because it allows the company to keep some store locations running and also continue operating online sales. Chapter 11 is also known as a Business Bankruptcy. It is the Chapter that a lot of businesses have to use when considering a bankruptcy for their business that they intend on still operating the business. When a company files Chapter 11, its top creditors will form a bankruptcy panel. This will give them control over business decisions like entering new contracts and selling assets, while leaving day to day operations in the hands of ordinary management. Debts will be restructured with the approval of the panel, with the filing company usually securing funding to emerge from the bankruptcy with a well-defined plan to return to profitability. Businesses also have the option of filing Chapter 7, which would discharge the liabilities for all of the company’s debts. However, the business would have to shut down entirely and surrender all of its assets and inventory. Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 are available to businesses as well as individual filers. Individual filers also have the option of Chapter 13, which is a debt reorganization payment plan not available to businesses.