On August 18, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts issued a press release declaring “Bankruptcy cases continue to break federal court caseload records – total bankruptcy filings and non-business filings hit highs.”
In Arizona bankruptcy proceedings, the rate of increase in individuals who file grew at a record pace – 16.1% over last year – which is significantly above the national average of +9.6%. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases filed by individuals accounted for 97.6% of all Arizona bankruptcy filings in the last year. The state rate for filing is the 07th highest in the country.
Current Arizona bankruptcy laws still allow for the full & final discharge of debts in Chapter 7. Chapter 13 combines past due amounts into one monthly payment, at reduced interest, for up to five years. Additionally, partial payments are available which discharge remaining balances at the end of the plan term. The maximum payment in Chapter 13 is determined based on net income after paying living expenses. In ether chapter, all Arizona bankruptcy cases are subject to court review.
Also be aware that Arizona bankruptcy courts may set a hearing if an objection is filed by a trustee, creditor, party in interest, or upon their motion. After all, objections are resolved to the satisfaction of the court, discharge of debts, or confirmation of the plan is mandatory. Conversely, if objections are not resolved, cases are usually dismissed. Most often, the success of each case is determined by careful planning before selecting a chapter, options, and filing date.
Arizona Bankruptcy Questions
New bankruptcy laws are expected to limit the value of the homestead exemptions. Also, new Ch. 7 restrictions will prevent anyone earning over the state median income from filing, Ch. 13 payments will be increased, and judges will lose judicial discretion imposing mandatory sanctions upon debtors in many new circumstances. These new laws narrowly missed passage each year and may become effective at any time. Now, more than ever, timing and planning are critical.
Most Arizona bankruptcy attorneys who specialize in consumer/debtor cases offer free initial consultations. Virtually all private attorneys welcome opportunities to meet qualified potential clients.
After debtors become familiar with current requirements, initial consultations offer an excellent opportunity to explore options and receive free legal advice, before deciding upon any course of action. If you have considered filing, make a detailed list of questions. Meet with several lawyers. By comparing costs, benefits, and options without obligation, your most profitable path will become clear.