I’ve been asked this question a few times lately, so I decided to write an article about it. If you’ve ever filed for bankruptcy, you might be wondering if it’s possible to start over. Usually the answer is that you can file for bankruptcy as often as needed BUT subject to certain limitations such as the following. I’ll try to simplify but here are the general rules:
Consecutive filings from the same chapter: If you are filing under the same bankruptcy “chapter” (7 or 13), now is critical. If you are trying to file a Chapter 7 after you have already filed another Chapter 7 in the past, you must wait 8 years from the date your last case was filed. For consecutive Chapter 13 filings: If you received a pre-Chapter 13 discharge, you cannot receive a second discharge in a Chapter 13 case that is filed within 2 years of the date your last case was deposit.
Chapter 13, then Chapter 7: If you have obtained a previous discharge (that is, âdebt forgivenessâ) under Chapter 13, you will not be allowed to obtain a second discharge in a subsequent filing in Chapter 7 unless 6 years have passed from filing Chapter 13 to filing your Chapter 7 case. There is, however, one exception to this rule: you will be allowed to be discharged in your current Chapter 7 case. if you paid all of the unsecured creditors in your old Chapter 13 case or if you paid at least 70% of the unsecured debt and the plan was your “best effort” and offered in “good faith.”
Chapter 7, then Chapter 13: If you paid your debts in a previous Chapter 7, you cannot get another discharge in a subsequent Chapter 13 filing unless four years have passed since your Chapter filing date 7. This does not mean, however, that you cannot file a Chapter 13 if your intention is to pay creditors the best you can. This only means that since there is no landfill available, anything not paid for through your Chapter 13 Plain will still be your responsibility. Now you can ask: Why file a Chapter 13 then if a discharge is not available under these circumstances? The answer is that it depends on your goals in the current Chapter 13 repository. For example, one of the reasons for filing may be to obtain legal protection while consolidating non-dischargeable debts such as IRS taxes. Or it could be stopping a foreclosure and paying off the arrears through a 3 to 5 year payment plan.
You must know some other ‘hard’ rules that apply to layoffs and conversions from chapter to chapter, but I can imagine how your head can spin now trying to make sense of all these rules. . The best thing to do if you find yourself in a situation where you may need to file bankruptcy again (although you have done so in the past) is to consult a bankruptcy lawyer who can analyze your case and help you. provide appropriate advice.
For a free consultation, call the toll-free number 1-866-477-7772. If this is your first time to file for bankruptcy, or even if this is a second or third filing for you, I would love to help, so please call my office.
* * *
NOTE: Due to viral security concerns, I offer free PHONE OR VIDEO consultations to anyone who needs help dealing with their debt issues.
* * *
None of the information in this document is intended to provide legal advice for a specific situation. Atty. Ray Bulaon has successfully helped over 5,000 clients get out of debt. For a free legal assessment of your situation, please call RJB Law Offices Toll Free at 1-866-477-7772.