How Often Can You File Bankruptcy in Phoenix?

How often can you file bankruptcy in Arizona? You may be surprised by the number of people who file multiple bankruptcies in Arizona. For some, one bankruptcy is not enough. You may need to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy in Arizona to deal with your unsecured debt and then turn around and immediately file a chapter 13 bankruptcy in Phoenix to help you deal with secured debt or special debt circumstances. You may need to file bankruptcy because of credit card bills in your 20’s and again because of medical bills in your 50’s. The point is, every financial situation is different and there is nothing wrong with filing multiple bankruptcies in Arizona providing you do not abuse the system. However, how often can you file bankruptcy is a matter of law rather than circumstance.

Laws Limiting Multiple Bankruptcy Filings in Arizona

So, we have established that you may file for bankruptcy more than once. But, how often can you file bankruptcy in Arizona? In 2005 bankruptcy law was changed placing certain limits on how often and how many times someone can file bankruptcy in Arizona. Now, if you already completed a chapter bankruptcy in Arizona and your debts were discharged, you cannot file another chapter 7 bankruptcy for 8 years. If you have already completed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, you may not file a Chapter 7 case for 6 years. An exception to this would be if you received your previous Chapter 13 bankruptcy discharge in good faith, after paying at least 70% of your unsecured debts.

You do not need to wait as long to file multiple chapter 13 bankruptcies, but you still must wait two years after the discharge of your previous chapter 13 before filing another chapter 13 bankruptcy. The waiting periods can be confusing. In general, the time frames are from discharge to discharge which is why you can file a chapter 7 bankruptcy and have it discharged and immediately file a chapter 13 bankruptcy because the discharge date of chapter 13 is as much as 5 years away.

Should You File Bankruptcy Again?

You should always consult with a Phoenix bankruptcy attorney before filing a second bankruptcy. Many issues may come up in the second bankruptcy like a challenge to whether the filing is in good-faith. But, providing you have waited the required amount of time since your last bankruptcy case and otherwise qualify, you can file another bankruptcy. The question, however, is should you file a second bankruptcy? Again, check with your bankruptcy attorney in Phoenix to see what they recommend. Also, keep in mind that generally, the rules are the same in the second bankruptcy regarding back taxes, child support you owe, student loans, etc. If most or all of your debt load is made up of debts that won’t be discharged, a second bankruptcy filing won’t do you any good.  Of course, the other thing to consider is that a bankruptcy can stay on your credit report for up to 10 years.