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While bankruptcies are lowering in AZ, debt relief options exist

For those still facing financial challenges in this struggling economy, debt relief and personal bankruptcy options exist to help.

Bankruptcy filings in the greater-Phoenix area in 2013 were at their lowest numbers since 2008 at the beginning of the recession. The struggling economy and unemployment have seen some improvement, as unemployment in the U.S. is at 7 percent from 7.9 percent. Arizona December bankruptcy numbers were down 8.9 percent from December 2012 numbers. Nationally, bankruptcy filings were down 13 percent in 2013 from numbers reported in 2012. Mortgage and credit card delinquencies have also lowered, suggesting consumers are finding ways for successfully addressing debt. Consumer bankruptcy filings accounted for 95.7 percent of the national total of bankruptcy filings.

Personal bankruptcy can serve many important purposes in the lives of those struggling with financial matters. While the economy and jobless numbers slowly improve as the years pass by, those still facing financial challenges due to the struggling economy, unemployment or other unexpected life changes may search for solutions. There are two primary types of individual bankruptcy for consumers. Both types provide debt relief to the filing party.

By filling a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a party can eliminate debt and help repay creditors by liquidating non-exempt assets, with certain property exempt from the process. Chapter 13 bankruptcy also provides debt relief to those with a reliable source of income by allowing the filing party to reorganize debt into manageable payments. The repayment plan developed through the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process will provide a filing party with debt relief.

For those seeking to eliminate debt in this struggling economy, different personal bankruptcy options exist to help. A trained bankruptcy attorney can help a filing party better understand the different bankruptcy options and select and path that is best for the party's individual goals and needs.

Source: The Republic, "Phoenix-area bankruptcy filings lowest since 2008," Russ Wise, Jan. 8 2014