Debt Still A Problem? Good News, It’s Possible To File Bankruptcy Again
If you have filed bankruptcy in the past and are back in debt, you are in good company. Millions of people have filed bankruptcy during the last ten years. With the sluggish economy and job losses of the last four years, many people are likely going to find themselves back at the bankruptcy court.Many people believe that they can file bankruptcy a limited number of times in their lives, but this is not the case. However, depending on when you filed your last bankruptcy, there are some rules about the type of bankruptcy you can file the second time around.
Eligibility for Chapter 7 After Chapter 7 Discharge
Under the bankruptcy code, the general rule is that a debtor cannot receive another Chapter 7 discharge if he or she received a Chapter 7 discharge within
eight years before filing the second bankruptcy. The time is calculated from the date that the first Chapter 7 bankruptcy was filed.
Keep in mind that if your prior case was dismissed or you did not receive a discharge, this rule generally does not apply and you can file another Chapter 7 without having to wait the eight years.
Eligibility for Chapter 13 After Chapter 7 Discharge
If the debtor received a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge in the past and is considering filing a Chapter 13, the minimum time period is not as long as it is for a second Chapter 7. Under the bankruptcy code, the debtor must wait 4 years from the date he or she filed the Chapter 7 to file a Chapter 13.
Eligibility for Chapter 7 After Chapter 13
In general, a debtor is eligible to receive another Chapter 7 discharge six years from the date that the previous
Chapter 13 was filed. However, this time period does not apply if the debtor:
- Paid back all unsecured claims under the previous Chapter 13 plan; or
- Paid at least 70 percent of the unsecured claims under the previous Chapter 13 plan and the plan was the debtor’s best effort given the state of his or her financial situation.
If either of these exceptions applies to your situation, you may be eligible to receive a Chapter 7 discharge without having to wait the six years.
Eligibility for Chapter 13 After Chapter 13
Debtors do not have to wait long between Chapter 13s. The bankruptcy code allows debtors to file another Chapter 13 two years after the date of filing for the previous one.
Consult an Attorney
If you have filed bankruptcy in the recent past and are considering filing another one, contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney. In addition to determining your eligibility for the different types of bankruptcies, an attorney can advise you as to what type of bankruptcy would be best for your current financial situation.