With debt loads in U.S. households on the rise, it is not surprising how many Arizona residents find it necessary to file for bankruptcy. If you are checking out your options and wondering how many times you can file, read on.
Chapter 7—Every Eight Years
You can file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy every eight years, on the heels of the date of the first one you filed. That means you can file more than once. If you have massive credit card debt, consult with a seasoned bankruptcy attorney in Phoenix, AZ before filing.
Chapter 13—It Depends
On the other hand, if you qualify for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, to receive a discharge of debts, the new case must be filed no earlier than six years after filing a Chapter 7 and no earlier than four years after filing a chapter 13. However, if the goal is to save your home or another asset after filing a Chapter 7, you can file a Chapter 13 any time, just remember, you cannot discharge (eliminate) any debt that is not paid through the Chapter 13 plan. This option is most commonly used by Arizona residents to stave off foreclosure, since it makes it possible to reschedule debts.
Which One is Better?
Both types of cases will eliminate almost all debt (debts for child support, taxes fraud, and wilful and malicious damages may be excluded). Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to keep certain assets you may lose in a Chapter 7, it allows you to pay missed mortgage payments so you can cure any mortgage default; save money on a vehicle financing; and to pay taxes that would survive a Chapter 7 filing. Chapter 13 is typically a better option for your credit report, but not buy much. A Chapter 13 allows you to tailor a monthly payment based on available disposable income, income above and beyond paying for household necessities. If you do not have assets that you could lose in a Chapter 7, or debt that will not survive a Chapter 7 (or debt you can handle), then, if you qualify to file a Chapter 7 would be the best option for you.
Hiring a Lawyer
It is essential that you consult with a bankruptcy attorney to discuss your options. Their expertise will be able to guide you in between choosing between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. For a bankruptcy attorney in Phoenix, AZ that you can trust, contact The Law Office of Larry Karandreas.