How Often is Too Often to File for Bankruptcy in Arizona?
Life happens. And when it does, it can get expensive. You can lose your job and drain your savings or start living on your credit cards. You can get sick and suddenly have tens of thousands of dollars in medical debt to deal with. Or you can get divorced and struggle to learn how to live on one income – or to actually get an income after being the stay-at-home partner for so long.
Bankruptcy can give you the debt relief you need when life happens. A bankruptcy attorney in Mesa can help you review your finances to determine if bankruptcy might be right for you and how it would best help you.
But what if you’ve already filed for bankruptcy in the past? Can you do it again?
The short answer is “yes.” However, there are a few caveats, depending on where you live. Here’s what the rules are in Arizona:
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Mesa gives many people the maximum debt relief possible by discharging all of their unsecured debts, such as credit card balances, medical bills, and personal loans. Chapter 7 bankruptcy cannot discharge student loans, back child support, criminal arrears, or more. However, it can clear up so much of your other debt that you will have likely have the means to pay off those other debts and still have a little left over.
Just because you righted your finances once by filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy doesn’t mean you won’t have the need to file for it again. A job loss or illness can strike at any time – and, unfortunately, they can occur multiple times in your life time. Fortunately, you can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy more than once. In fact, you can file for it every six years from the date of your last filing.
Theoretically, you could file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy 10 times or more over the course of your life. However, many judges will look unfavorably on your filing if you have filed multiple times. Judges understand that misfortunate can happen more than once, but they are also alert to the possibility of people abusing the bankruptcy system.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 bankruptcy helps you to restructure your debt so that it is more affordable. Under this bankruptcy filing, you work out a repayment plan over the next three to five years to pay back what you can to your creditors. You will make one payment, which will almost certainly be on a lower interest rate. You may end up paying less than what you owe when the repayment plan is finished.
There are no limits to how frequently you can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Mesa since this type of filing primarily restructures your debt. Some debts can be discharged at the end of your repayment plan, but the focus on this type of filing is repaying what you can.
However, you may find that continuing to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy can also become expensive once you factor in attorney fees, credit counseling fees, and the hit that your credit continues to take, resulting in higher interest rates and fees.
Choosing to File for Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy in Mesa is an important debt relief tool, but it must be used wisely. You should consult with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to determine when filing for bankruptcy will give you the most benefits and when other debt relief measures may be more appropriate. Your attorney will give you tailored recommendations based on your current financial situation and your financial history, including any previous bankruptcy filings.
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, call My AZ Lawyers today. Our experienced attorneys can help you understand the benefits of Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy for your specific financial circumstances. They will help you understand all your legal rights and responsibilities under bankruptcy, and they can recommend other measures for debt relief, where appropriate. Our bankruptcy law office serves clients throughout the Phoenix area, as well as in Mesa, Glendale, and Tucson. Call our bankruptcy law office today to talk with a bankruptcy attorney about your options for debt relief and what your next steps might be.
1731 West Baseline Rd., Suite #100
Mesa, AZ 85202
Office: (480) 448-9800
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Glendale, AZ 85308
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Tucson, AZ 85701
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Avondale, AZ 8539