Can You File Bankruptcy While in Jail in Arizona?
Just because someone is in jail doesn’t mean they don’t have bills. Most inmates are only in jail for a few years or even a few months. While they’re in jail, they have no income to speak of, yet their debts continue to increase. Interest on credit cards doesn’t stop just because you get locked up. It just becomes a lot harder to pay when you can’t work. If you’re lucky, you have relatives or friends who can help you out. If you have savings, that can help. Unfortunately, most people who go to jail don’t have savings. Nor do they have family members in a position to help pay their bills. Your Arizona bankruptcy lawyer may be able to help get your debts organized. If need be, they can help you file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In order to get the process started, you can contact our office yourself or you can have your family contact us on your behalf.
You Don’t Lose the Right to File When You Go to Jail
There are certain things you can’t do if you’re in jail or prison. For example, certain felons aren’t allowed to vote. Many others are not allowed to own handguns or firearms once they’re released from prison. But when it comes to filing bankruptcy, prisoners have the same rights as everybody else. It just isn’t as easy for them to do this because they can’t just hop in their car and drive to an Arizona bankruptcy lawyer’s office. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible. If they have no way to communicate with an attorney directly, they can always appoint someone as power of attorney, even if it’s limited to handling the bankruptcy.
You May Need to Appoint a Power of Attorney
If you’re going to be in jail for a long time, it’s a good idea to appoint someone as your power of attorney. Whether you intend to file bankruptcy or not, it’s a good idea to have someone who can speak on your behalf. If you are considering bankruptcy, it may be a good idea to have a power of attorney (POA) drawn up before you seek out an attorney. This way, your Arizona bankruptcy lawyer can contact your POA directly from the start. This will help get the process started as soon as possible.
Your Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer Will Have to Get Your Appearance Waived
Obviously, if you’re in jail, you won’t be able to attend your court appearances for the bankruptcy. Most petitioners only have to attend one or two hearings at most. All petitioners must attend something called a 341A hearing. This is when the creditors get their chance to challenge the bankruptcy. Your Arizona bankruptcy lawyer will request that you not have to appear in-person for this hearing.
You Still Have to Pay the Fee or Get it Waived
Even though you’re in jail and have no income, you’re still expected to pay the $338 filing fee. Your Arizona bankruptcy lawyer will have to file a motion to get the fee waived for you. The court often honors these requests when they come from prisoners. For example, in a project involving inmates who needed to file bankruptcy, the court agreed to waive the fee for 7 of the 8 inmates involved.
Arrange to Talk to an Experienced Arizona Bankruptcy Lawyer
If you’re in jail and need help filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you’re going to need help. Reach out to one of our Arizona bankruptcy lawyers and see how you can go about getting the process started.