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Diane L. Drain

Diane L. Drain

Helping You Get Your Life Back on Track
  • Bankruptcy
  • Arizona
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Our clients come to us at a time they are overwhelmed and scared. Everyone has a right to a peaceful night’s sleep without the worry of unwanted phone calls, law suits or their wages being garnished. We want all our clients to have that peace of mind and know we are in their corner. Some attorneys went to law school to make their fortune; I committed my life to making a difference for those who need a helping hand. Many believe they cannot afford good legal advice. That may be true for some, but NOT for consumers seeking advice regarding bankruptcy because the initial advice is free, at least at our office.

Some people believe they can prepare their own legal documents: bankruptcy, complicated tax returns or plan their own estate. They do not understand the planning that goes into every bankruptcy. Without proper planning they will lose their tax refunds or other non-exempt property. Worse yet is that they repaid relatives or transferred assets, then filed bankruptcy. Now the bankruptcy trustee demands the relatives return the funds or face a law suit. When this falls apart the same people who filed their own bankruptcy pay hundreds of dollars to hire a lawyer, but find that once the problem is created it cannot be undone without a lot of work, if ever.

As a well known attorney, Diane truly believes that “when you find your passion, going to work every day is a joy, not a job.” Her clients and fellow lawyers can attest to her passion and commitment to excellence. She practices only the areas of bankruptcy. Diane is a retired professor of law and has taught bankruptcy since 1990. Since 2006 she has received an AV rating by Martindale-Hubbell. This is the highest rating for an attorney and shows that she reached the pinnacle of professional excellence and is recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity by both her clients and fellow lawyers.

Something to consider - you would not do your own surgery, so don't try filing your own bankruptcy.

University of Arizona
J.D. | law
Honors: Law Review
University of Arizona Logo
Professional Experience
Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A.
- Current
Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.C. was founded in 1990 by Diane L. Drain, counselor and attorney-at-law, an Arizona native. Ms. Drain has over thirty years of practical legal experience. Since 1985 she has worked as a lawyer in Phoenix, Arizona. She is licensed in the State of Arizona and the United States District Court of Arizona and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Ms. Drain left her large firm to open her own firm focusing on creditor and debtor rights and real property lien enforcement. Prior to law school Ms. Drain spent 15 years as a paralegal and law office administrator. She regularly appears before the United States Bankruptcy Court. Ms. Drain is a conservative and practical advocate for her creditor and debtor clients.
Articles & Publications
Best Practices for Filing Chapter 13, 2012 ed
spatore Books, a Thomson Reuters business
The Road to Independence, Commission on Women in the Profession
American Bar Association
• Flying Solo: A Survival Guide for the Solo and Small Firm Lawyer
American Bar Association
Life, Law and the Pursuit of Balance; A Lawyer's Guide to Quality of LIfe
American Bar Association
Speaking Engagements
Numerous bankruptcy, foreclosure and law office management programs, Arizona
State Bar of Arizona
Ms. Drain has led or participated in more than 100 CLE programs
Professor, Scottsdale
Arizona School of Real Estate
Professor for more than 20 years - teaching on foreclosure and bankruptcy
Law Professor
Arizona Summit Law School
Law Professor
Phoenix School of Law
highest rating possible by both peers and clients
38 clients reviews and 19 peer endorsements - for a rating of 10 out of 10 since 2011.
Ruth V. McGregor Award
Arizona Women Lawyers Association, Maricopa County
This reception is a celebration of individuals who support women in the law by contributing to the advancement of women in the profession. Diane Drain, Esq., is our honored guest this year and will be receiving the Ruth V. McGregor Award for her support of women in the law. Ms. Drain focuses her solo practice on bankruptcy and has been a long-time, active participant in AWLA, and currently serves in a leadership role on a number of boards and committees including the State Bar of Arizona Board of Governors, the State Bar’s Bankruptcy Section and Sole Practitioner/Small Firm Section.
Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to helping Arizona citizens understand their rights in bankruptcy
State Bar of Arizona, Bankruprtcy Section and Bankruptcy Court
Chief Judge Daniel Collins, of the Arizona Bankruptcy Court, presented Diane with a Lifetime Achievement Pro Bono Award, sponsored by the Arizona Bankruptcy Section, “(f)or a career of overwhelming and extraordinary pro bono services in establishing the Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center and leadership in the bankruptcy pro bono programs.”
Service and Volunteerism as the Small Business Annual Award.
Governor's Commission
Arizona State Bar President’s Award
State Bar of Arizona
Received the Arizona State Bar Member of the Year Award
State Bar of Arizona
Professional Associations
Arizona Consumer Bankruptcy Counsel 'ACBC'
co-Founder and co-Executive Director
- Current
Activities: ACBC was established to help consumer debtor attorneys in better representing their clients. Our goal was to raise the level of professionalism within the consumer debtor bar and undo the damage done by TV advertising firms that treat their clients like cattle. We have had two successful runs at passing new laws to protect the Arizona consumer.
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various organizations
- Current
Activities: Following the lead of her mentors, Ms. Drain is also dedicated to teaching. Since 1988 she has taught basic bankruptcy and real property issues at the Arizona School of Real Estate. She also teaches her fellow practitioners how to efficiently manage their law firms. She has published numerous articles on law office management and technology for the American Bar Association, State Bar of Arizona and many of the County Bar Associations; along with several local newspapers, including the Arizona Business Gazette. In 1994 she established The Legal Resource Group to help bring technology to law firms. In addition to being a member of the State Bar of Arizona and the United States District Court, District of Arizona, she is also a member of several professional associations: National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, various State Bar sections: including the State Bar Professionalism Committee, the Bankruptcy Section and the Real Property Section. Ms. Drain is a past President of the Maricopa Chapter of the Arizona Women Lawyer's Association, a past Chair of the Solo Practitioner's Section of the Arizona State Bar, a past Chair of the Maricopa County Continuing Legal Education program and the founding Chairperson for the Arizona Trustee's Association. Ms. Drain was appointed by the Supreme Court to the Commission on Judicial Review and the Supreme Court's Commission on Technology. Ms. Drain's community activities include participation in the Volunteer's Lawyers Programs, Law Week, Senior Citizens Law Project, Legal Assistance for the Elderly, and Volunteer Mediation Services. in 2009 she received Governor's Commission on Service and Volunteerism as the Small Business Annual Award. She also assists as a practice monitor for the State Bar's Law Office Management Assistance Program.
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Board of Governors, State Bar of Arizona
Board member
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Arizona Summit Law School
Ret. Adjunct Professor
Activities: teaches bankruptcy law and law office administration
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Arizona School of Real Estate
Activities: teaches bankruptcy and real estate law
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Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
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9th Circuit
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  • Free Consultation
    As a retired law professor my focus is to educate everyone about the bankruptcy process (both debtors and creditors). We offer a detailed free consultation for everyone, including referrals to other non-bankruptcy options. Our fees are based on the complexity and type of work needed. Normally we offer flat fees with a focus on your ability to pay, depending on circumstances.
Practice Area
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Debt Relief
Additional Practice Areas
  • Chapter 7 bankruptcy
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
  • Trustee Sales
  • English: Spoken, Written
Legal Answers
Q. Is 401K money protected in a chapter 7 bankruptcy from creditors. I am owed 401K money from my ex, and haven't received
A: When a bankruptcy is filed, it should be planned ahead. The goal is to make the debtor and their transactions as boring as possible. You can do this with an experienced bankruptcy attorney who cares about their clients.

As to your questions, first you have to determine which exemptions you use when filing a bankruptcy. Exemptions are used to protect certain assets from your creditors. If you lived in Arizona for more than two years, then you use the Arizona exemptions plus certain federal exemptions. Funds in most retirement accounts (like 401k) are exempt, but only the funds in the 401k. If funds are removed from the retirement account, then they are not exempt. If a family court order determines certain assets of the marriage to be maintenance or child support, those are exempt, but there are rules on how to protect those funds (talk to the bankruptcy attorney about the rules). The same may be true with property settlement, but the obligation to perform on a property settlement order differs between chapters 7 and 13 (talk to a bankruptcy attorney about the difference.).

Don't file a bankruptcy until you understand your rights and obligations.
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Q. Would we be able to file for an Arizona homestead exemption in a bankruptcy filing if we have relocated to C CO in Aug
A: I wish your question had a simple 'yes' or 'no' answer, but the answer depends on timing. There are specific time periods that apply to the filing of any bankruptcy and which exemptions can be used. Your unique situation makes it extremely important that you talk to an experienced Arizona bankruptcy attorney immediately. You only have a short time to take action that will protect the equity in your Arizona home.

Most consumer bankruptcy attorneys, including our office, offer a free consultation.
Q. Local court has sued my sister-in-law for credit card debt that I have incurred. They think she is spouse. Options?
A: Your sister-in-law needs to file an answer stating that she is not your wife, nor is she liable to for the debt (unless she is).
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Websites & Blogs
Contact & Map
Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A.
2375 East Camelback
Suite 600
Phoenix, AZ 85016
Telephone: (602) 246-7106
Fax: (602) 249-1969
Monday: 8:30 AM - 6 PM
Tuesday: 8:30 AM - 6 PM (Today)
Wednesday: 8:30 AM - 6 PM
Thursday: 8:30 AM - 6 PM
Friday: 8:30 AM - 4 PM
Saturday: 10 AM - 3 PM
Sunday: Closed
Notice: We provide free phone and Zoom consultations for those wanting to learn more about bankruptcy. At this time all client meetings will be on Zoom. Please call if you have any questions