You may file for Bankruptcy again, but certain rules apply.
October 6, 2014
Sometimes there are circumstances beyond your control that make filing multiple bankruptcies a reality. Perhaps you became sick and incurred a large amount of medical debt. Maybe you lost your job and simply cannot afford to pay your bills. The bankruptcy lawyers at JRQ & Associates understand this reality and are knowledgeable of the bankruptcy code and its requirements for this type of situation.
Typically, the bankruptcy filing requirements only apply to discharges; not filings. There are some exceptions to this rule that can affect your subsequent bankruptcy case. One such exception is if your first case was dismissed for failure to obey court orders, failure to appear in the case, or if you voluntarily dismissed your case after a motion for relief from stay was filed by a creditor. In this instance, a 180 day waiting period may apply. Another exception that may apply is if your discharge was denied in your prior case. You can likely file again, but might not be able to obtain a discharge of the debt from your first case. It’s extremely important to speak to an experienced bankruptcy attorney at JRQ & Associates to determine whether you may file a subsequent bankruptcy and receive a discharge.
Time frame for same bankruptcy chapters
You must wait 8 years to receive a discharge in a subsequent Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you received a discharge in a prior Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. The filing date of the prior case is what counts when deciding if you’re eligible to file again.
You will not be entitled to a discharge in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy that is filed within 2 years of the filing date of your prior Chapter 13 bankruptcy if you received a discharge in that case. This is a rare situation because the vast majority of Chapter 13 bankruptcies take at least 36 months to complete and obtain a discharge.
Time frame for different bankruptcy chapters
You are not entitled to a discharge in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy if it is filed within 4 years of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing and you received a discharge in that case. Again, the filing date is what is important when determining whether you are entitled to a discharge in the second case.
You may not get a discharge in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy if it’s filed within 6 years of the filing of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy that was successfully discharged. Two exceptions to this rule: You paid 100% of your unsecured creditors in your Chapter 13 bankruptcy or you paid at least 70% and the plan was proposed in good faith and represented your best effort.
Situations arise in which these time periods are blurred and things become complicated. There are even circumstances where it actually makes sense to file a successive bankruptcy that will not receive a discharge. Click here to read more about a Chapter 20 bankruptcy. It’s very important that you call the experienced bankruptcy attorneys at JRQ & Associates if you have filed bankruptcy before and need to file another one. One of our bankruptcy attorneys will thoroughly review your case and advise whether you meet the requirements to obtain a discharge in a new bankruptcy filing. Call today to schedule a free bankruptcy consultation.