How Often Can You File Bankruptcy in Arizona?
To ensure that people don’t use bankruptcy filings to continuously rack up debt and then have it dismissed, the government put protections in place to limit how often and when you can file for bankruptcy in Arizona. If you’ve previously filed for bankruptcy in Arizona or another state, you should contact an Arizona bankruptcy attorney to evaluate your circumstances and whether or not you’re eligible to file again.
In October 2005, the government passed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA). This act set forth the rules and regulations for how and when you can file for both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy to prevent abuse of the system.
The BAPCPA also set forth the means test, which ensures that those who had the means to pay off their debts should file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Within the law, Arizona outlined how often and when an Arizona bankruptcy attorney can file bankruptcy for one debtor.
Reasons you might need to file for bankruptcy in Arizona again
To the outside world, it might look strange or seem wrong that you’re trying to file for bankruptcy after already having your debt discharged once. However, there are a variety of reasons why you might need to file for bankruptcy again – many of which are outside of your control.
- Illness: sadly, health care is not free, which means illnesses can ruin a person’s finances. Even if you’ve recently dug yourself out of debt, one hospital stay, disability or chronic illness could change everything.
- Loss of employment: not all types of employment loss are covered by unemployment benefits. And even when your job loss is covered under unemployment benefits, you might be left with bills you can’t pay. It’s a perfectly legitimate reason to file for bankruptcy.
- Undergoing divorce: when you’re married, especially if you live on two incomes, you have help with paying for various things. When you undergo divorce, your finances can suffer. You’ll split assets and debts based on your income. In some cases, though, that split can leave you short on the amount of money you need to live alone. You also might have to pay child support or alimony, which further reduces your spending money each month.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy rules in Arizona
You can only file Chapter 7 bankruptcy every eight years in Arizona. The time period begins from the date of your previous filing.
Click here for an article on multiple bankruptcy filings.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy rules in Arizona
There is a bit more leniency in the rules for when you can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You can file if it has been four or more years since you filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or two years since you completed the payment plan under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing.
You can get an automatic stay for your payments if you plan to pay them off in full using a payment plan for the next three to five years. This would allow you to stop accruing interest to make your payments more attainable. There are even more rules surrounding this though that your Arizona bankruptcy attorney can explain in more detail.
Rules on total bankruptcy filings
Arizona law does not have a rule on how many total times you can file for bankruptcy. Each case will be unique and evaluated accordingly. The best next step on learning if you qualify for bankruptcy and which type is to contact an Arizona bankruptcy attorney. An attorney can walk you through the steps and help you understand the benefits and risks of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.
Click here for information on Chapter 13 bankruptcy law in Arizona.