On November 4th, 2011 a default judgment
was filed against me for ~ $50,000 (Maricopa County case number XXXXX@ http://www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/docket/CivilCourtCases/caseInfo.asp?caseNumber=CV2011-013492). Recently I was served with a summons to appear for a Debtors Exam in Maricopa county. I failed to appear due to a previous work commitment. A civil arrest warrant was issued for my arrest. I know I can pay the $250 filing and $26 bond handling fees at the Clerk of Court office and get a new court date. I AM concerned however of being arrested and processed and ‘held’ up overnight in Phoenix detention. Is this a possibility? How likely is it?
I have delayed filing Ch. 7 – of which I pass the means test
– for some time now. I feel because of the Debtors Exam (DE) and the arrest warrant I must file chapter 7
immediately. Is this concern valid? What is the outcome of a DE? How long will it take? Can I put off filing BK for several months even with this DE and its outcome?
The motivation for these questions is because I have assets. I own a home worth $90,000 which is paid off (owned since 8/2008 & resident for over 2 years in AZ), a trailer worth ~ $600, an ATV worth ~ $2,000 and an automobile worth ~ $12,000. I know the home is exempt up to $150,000 and the auto up to $5,000. I would like to convert the non-exempt portions of the above assets to exempt assets before filing chapter 7. If I convert these assets how long do I need to wait before filing the chapter 7 so the trustee
will not attempt to recover the assets?
I have a buyer for the ATV and Trailer right now. I can sell these two items and use the money for dental work and medical tests I have been putting off for several years. As I understand it this is an acceptable and non-challengeable method of conversion. Do you agree?
For the automobile I have examined several options. The one that yields the most money back in my pocket (~ 12,000) is to sell the vehicle as a private owner. This will take time. Another option is to trade the vehicle in at a dealership for ~ (8,000) and get a vehicle worth $5,000 and take the remaining cash. This method takes one week but reduces my cash in hand by over 50%. Another option I have is to finance the car through a third party for ~$7,000 cash back with a promissory note
of the debt at the time of bankruptcy. This method is immediate and my most preferred. Of these options which do you think will reduce the likelihood of an unfavorable view by the trustee or judge? How long will I need to wait after doing each of these to file Ch 7? As I understand it – I do not need to wait at all – but realistically what is the time frame?
In any of these scenarios I would take the resulting cash and purchase a washer and dryer, refrigerator, hardwood floors for my home and make other improvements to the exterior and interior including painting. An alternative idea I had was to return to college and earn a Master’s degree in order to become employed. I don’t think tuition is exempt however. Is it? What are your thoughts on the exemption strategy for the excess cash?
I do not have any retirement funds so I don’t believe I can use the resulting cash to start a retirement fund. Can I? Would that be another possible conversion strategy?
The reason I am in this situation of BK is due to a $6 million real estate portfolio I had go south in 2007. Several partners took their money and ran. I was left holding the bag, stress and creditors. Poor decisions, poor choice of partners. I need to let go of all this and move on.
What is a realistic expectation of cost and time frame to discharge for this scenario?