Bankruptcy Filings Up 60% in Arizona:

The Arizona Republic reports that Arizona bankruptcy filings for the first half of 2007 have increased 60 percent from the number of Arizona bankruptcy filings for the first half of 2006, with 895 bankrutpcy petitions filed in June, the highest monthly total of 2007.

The article cites credit card debt, higher mortgage payments, and medical bills as factors driving the trend.

Many bankruptcy attorneys I have talked with would agree with this and have commented that the current market conditions have lead to the “perfect storm”, with adjustable rate mortgages dramatically increasing, credit card minimums increasing, and home equity loans becoming harder to qualify for due to the soft housing market and tighter lending requirements.

The dramatic increase in filings may surprise some people, but the Arizona bankruptcy statistics are misleading. I attribute the increase to primarily be a result of the bankruptcy law change (BACPA), which created a huge rush to file at the end of 2005, artificially depressing the number of bankruptcy filings for the first half of 2006. The bankruptcy law changes have being widely criticized, but most individuals still qualify for either a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13bankruptcy.

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