Proposal would change what bankrupt Arizonans can keep

2013-02-09T13:01:00Z Proposal would change what bankrupt Arizonans can keepHoward Fischer Capitol Media Services Arizona Daily Star
February 09, 2013 1:01 pm  • 

PHOENIX — The head of the House Judiciary Committee wants to update Arizona’s dated and sometimes anachronistic bankruptcy laws.

Nothing in the proposal by Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, a Gilbert Republican, would alter the process that allows individuals to seek protection from creditors. Those are set in federal law.

That same federal law allows each state to decide what people declaring bankruptcy can keep. And Arizona’s list is long overdue for an overhaul, Farnsworth said.

The big problem, he said, is that it is far too specific.

Consider: The Arizona law allows debtors to keep one kitchen table and one dining room table with four chairs each. They can keep additional chairs if there are more than four in the house.

The list of permissible items also includes three living room lamps, one radio alarm clock, one vacuum cleaner and a choice of one television set, radio or stereo.

The total value of all that cannot exceed $4,000.

House Bill 2325 would keep that $4,000 limit for household items. But it would strike the specifics of what can be included, to give those in bankruptcy some individual choices in deciding what’s important to them.

Read more of this story Sunday in the Arizona Daily Star.

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