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Is timing important when filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Although self-help resources may be available, there is no substitute for a consultation with a bankruptcy lawyer. A lawyer can help a debtor not only to avoid easy mistakes, but also to maximize the protections available under federal bankruptcy law.

The benefits of complying with all court rules and orders are significant, since not all mistakes are easily forgotten. Specifically, even an inadvertent violation of a court order might result in dismissal of a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 filing, accompanied by a six-month mandatory waiting period before filing again.

An attorney can help a debtor decide when the time is right for seeking bankruptcy protections. Although an individual may have been struggling with debt management for months or even years, the entire process of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is much shorter. From the date of filing until the final order of discharge, the average Chapter 7 lasts between three and six months. After discharge, an individual may be free of his or her dischargeable debts. 

Bankruptcy law also contemplates the possibility of a few stumbles before one regains his or her financial footing. For that reason, a Chapter 13 debt management plan can be pursued even after going through a Chapter 7. Repeat Chapter 13 filings are also available. However, the order cannot be reversed: An individual who filed for Chapter 13 first cannot subsequently file for Chapter 7 until after six years, save for a few exceptions. The same waiting period applies for filing a second Chapter 7. 

Source: FindLaw, “Pros and Cons of Declaring Bankruptcy under Chapter 7,” copyright 2015, Thomson Reuters

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Goldman & Beslow, LLC

Goldman & Beslow, LLC is a Federal Debt Relief Agency by an Act of Congress. We have proudly assisted consumers seeking relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code for over 38 years.

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