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cfortunato, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience:  Bankruptcy professor.
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I live in AZ for 2+ years. I am planning on filing for chapter

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I live in AZ for 2+ years. I am planning on filing for chapter 7 BK. Currently there is a judgement aginst me for a second mortgage by a debt collection organization. They have subpoenaed me for a Debtors Exam. I missed the scheduled date and plan to file Chapter 7 BK to make this all end. I have no income and am unemployed. I own my home which is worth ~ 90,000. I own my car which is worth ~ 14,000 and an ATV worth about 2000. I plan on selling the car and the ATV and purchasing a vehicle fro 5000. The remainder of the money, ~ 11,000 I would like to spend on medical, dental and new appliances for the home, new hardwood floors and other upgrades to the home. My understanding is that I will have no problem doing this since these items are exempt from bankruptcy proceedings. Can you confirm this?
Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Bankruptcy attorney here to assist you.

Yes - you are allowed to convert non-exempt assets - such as a car worth more than $5,000 and an ATV - into exempt assets prior to filing a Bankruptcy. There is no time limit for doing this. In other words, you do not have to wait a certain amount of time after conversion before filing a Bankruptcy.
You can certainly use the money from the sale of your car and your ATV for medical and dental expenses in an unlimited amount. However, you are allowed to keep only up to $4,000 of household furnishings and appliances, so you don't want to spend too much on appliances.

I think this is what you wanted to know. If not, please let me know.
Thank you.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Are the house upgrades unlimited such as new floors, kitchen cabinets, house painting etc? Will I need to have all the medical, dental and house work completed prior to filing the BK? I was unclear on that part?
Anything that is put into your home that is attached - such as kitchen cabinets, floors and paint - cannot be taken by the Bankruptcy court, because anything that is attached become a part of your homestead. So, those things would also be exempt in an unlimited amount - as long as those improvements does not result in a home that is valued at more than the homestead exemption ($150,000). In other words, there would be no problem as long as the improvements do not add more than $60,000 in value to your home, since it is currently worth around $90,000.
There is no exemption for the pre-payment of medical or dental bills, so you would want to have most of the medical and dental work done before you file. In other words, if you paid a dentist $2,000 for caps, and if the caps were not already put in before you filed, a Bankruptcy trustee would be able to get some of that money back from the dentist.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Excellent - thank you - I am thinking of doing the filing of the BK myself. I have extensive mortgage and real estate experience. I have researched all the paperwork and it looks easy to complete and file. What are your thoughts on this - Also, are you local in AZ and available to do the BK for me? And what would the cost be? I believe the attorney fee is exempt??
It is extremely difficult to fill out the Bankruptcy paperwork yourself - as there are 60 pages that have to be filled out and filed. Instead of paying a Bankruptcy attorney around $1200 or more to fill out and file the papers, you can pay a Bankruptcy preparer around $200 to fill out the papers, and then you can file them on your own.
You can find a Bankruptcy preparer here:
The fee for either a Bankruptcy attorney or a Bankruptcy preparer is exempt.
(The experts at JustAnswer are not allowed to prepare and/or file papers for JustAnswer customers, so I would not be able to do your Bankruptcy. However, you can always come back here if you have more questions.)
cfortunato and other Bankruptcy Law Specialists are ready to help you