Find Out How Much Time Must Pass Between Bankruptcy Filings To Qualify For Debt Discharge Again
Nothing in the bankruptcy laws restricts you from filing for bankruptcy whenever you’d like. But, if you want the court to wipe out qualifying debt by issuing a discharge which most people dotiming requirements exist. How long you’ll have to wait will depend on the type of bankruptcy you intend to file, as well as the type you filed previously, when you filed it, and the outcome.
How Long Do I Have To Wait To File Bankruptcy Again
Filing prior to the 8 year waiting period will result in the denial of discharge in the second case and you will be legally liable for all of your debts.
In cases with extenuating circumstances, the waiting period in a Chapter 7 can be as short as two years after discharge. For a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the waiting period is two years after discharge or four years after dismissal.
What If You Need To File Again
Since the goal of filing for bankruptcy is to attain a fresh financial start, the question isnt how many times can you file bankruptcy? instead, how often will your filing receive a successful discharge of debts? You can file bankruptcy as many times you need, but the timing between discharges matters. The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act is a law that prevents consumers from abusing the bankruptcy process by ensuring people were not merely using it to get out of debt quickly. Before the BAPCA, one could file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and immediately liquidate their assets regardless of income level.
The BACPA now states that individuals can only file a Chapter 7 if they fall within a certain income bracket depending on the state they file in or pass a means test that shows they cannot afford a payment plan for their debts. If the individual is unable to pass either of the above requirements, they must file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
This law limits how often one can file for bankruptcy by stipulating the amount of time between filings. While you are able to file for bankruptcy as many times as you need to, you will not receive a second discharge unless the appropriate amount of time has passed. The law does not limit the order in which chapters are filed, making it possible to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy followed by Chapter 13 or vice versa as the situation permits.
See If Our Program Is Right For You
Don’t Miss: How To File Bankruptcy In Wisconsin
Consider The Pros Of Double Filing
Getting a Chapter 7 discharge and immediately filing for Chapter 13 will give you more time to pay back debts that cannot be discharged, such as child support or spousal support.
Similarly, if you just need more time to pay off your debt, you can consider filing for a second Chapter 13 early. This will not discharge any debt but adds another five years to your bankruptcy payment plan. This will buy you more time instead of having automatic wage garnishment applied to your paychecks.
If you did not receive a discharge during the first filing, you might get one in the second bankruptcy.
If you are considering double filing, you need to work with a bankruptcy lawyer to get it right. There are many nuances that could lead a court to declare that you have filed again in bad faith.
The Automatic Stay Isn’t Always Automatic
Filing a bankruptcy within one year of the dismissal of a previous case comes with consequences: The automatic staythe order that stops collection activitywill last only for 30 days. Your attorney will need to file a motion asking the court to extend the automatic stay to protect you the entire time you’re in bankruptcy.
Also, if you’ve had more than one bankruptcy in the last year, the automatic stay won’t attach at all, and your attorney will need to file a motion asking the court to impose the stay on your creditors.
Recommended Reading: Bankruptcy Petition Preparer Guidelines
How Long Do You Need To Wait Between Bankruptcies
While theres no law restricting how frequently you can file a bankruptcy, there are a few practical matters that can limit you.
First, if your filings are abusive or for the sole purpose of delaying or frustrating your creditors, a bankruptcy judge can stop you from filing. When this happens, a judge may dismiss your case with a one year bar, for example, restricting you from filing a bankruptcy petition within the next year.
Second, the bankruptcy code restricts how frequently you can obtain a bankruptcy discharge. In other words, the bankruptcy code restricts how often your debts can be forgiven. If you received a discharge in your first bankruptcy, then a set amount of time must pass before you can have your debts discharged by the courts again. So, while you can file for bankruptcy as many times as you need, you wont receive a second discharge until a certain amount of time has passed.
You may be wondering why you would want to file a bankruptcy if you cant have your debts forgiven, but there are many reasons you would do this. You may want to file for the purpose of establishing a payment plan, to repay mortgage arrears, or to catch up on missed car payments, for example.
Whether your eligible for a discharge in your second bankruptcy case depends on whether you received a discharge in the first case, what type of discharge you received, and what type of case youre filing. We discuss these rules below.
The following combinations are how long that wait is.
What Is Chapter 20 Bankruptcy
Chapter 20 bankruptcy is not officially a chapter. A chapter 20 bankruptcy is the practice of filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy promptly after filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy and receiving discharge. It is a strategy to resolve financial problems that could not otherwise be solved with Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 alone. Filing a Chapter 7 case will relieve you of your dischargeable unsecured debts, which will bring you under the Chapter 13 debt limit, effectively giving you the ability to file a subsequent Chapter 13 and deal with, for example, mortgage arrears, or perhaps strip off a second mortgage from your home.
In some isolated cases, it might makes sense to file what is more commonly known as a Chapter 20. This occurs when you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy immediately after receiving a Chapter 7 discharge. Although the Chapter 13 bankruptcy cannot be discharged, you might be eligible for bankruptcy protection while you work to pay off debts that are not dischargeable in a Chapter 7, such as certain back taxes. This is an extremely tricky area of the law. Whether you receive any benefits from this filing depends on your specific circumstances. Qualified and experienced legal representation is absolutely critical if you plan to try this unusual type of filing.
Also Check: How Many Times Has Trump Filed For Bankrupsy
There Are Rules In Place Regarding How Often You Can File Bankruptcy
While the foremost question you may have in mind regarding bankruptcy involves the total number of times that you can file, the more important detail might be how often you can do so. If you have filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy in the past, when you did so will be key in determining how soon youll be able to file again.
In the simplest terms, you will have to wait at least eight years from the date of your previous filing to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy again. If you previously filed for a chapter 11 bankruptcy, you will also have to wait eight years before choosing a chapter 7. It is important to note that this eight year period begins the day that your previous bankruptcy was filed and not the date on which it was discharged.
There are several other types of bankruptcies that you may have previously filed that have different times constraints in regard to how soon you can file a chapter 7 bankruptcy afterward, so if this is your first time considering this specific chapter of bankruptcy, you may be in luck. Chapter 12 or chapter 13 bankruptcy requires at least a six year wait before filing for chapter 11, unless you have met certain, fairly stringent financial requirements in terms of what you have repaid from your bankruptcy agreement. If you are filing for chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may have a significantly shorter wait since your last filing, so be sure to consult with your bankruptcy attorney about which chapter is the best option for your situation.
How Often Can Someone File For Bankruptcy
As an example, you could file Chapter 7 bankruptcy to eliminate most of your unsecured debt. At some point down the road, you could file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which would allow you to reduce certain payments, eliminate a second mortgage, removal all junior liens and pay off specific debts more quickly than without filing.
You May Like: Has Donald Trump Filed Personal Bankruptcy
If I Filed Bankruptcy Before How Long Before I Can File Again
Imagine you file a Chapter 13 case and do well making payments for a year or two, but then chaos ensues. Perhaps you lose your job, get sick, or find that you can’t keep up with your repayment plan.
Although you may have used a bankruptcy filing to get out of prior financial struggles, unfortunately, federal law limits how often you can file a new bankruptcy case. And even if you’re allowed to file a case, one of the benefits of that filingthe automatic staymay be restricted or delayed.
An automatic stay stops creditors from taking actions against debtors. It stops collections calls, foreclosures, and repossessions.
Different Types Of Bankruptcy Explained
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy eliminates most debt, including credit card debt, without requiring repayment of any kind. Instead of a repayment plan, the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process liquidates your non-exempt assets to partially repay your debts. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to keep all of your property as long as the monthly repayment plan pays for the value of your assets. The debts that donât get paid as part of the repayment plan are discharged once the plan has been completed. The discharge of your debts gives you the fresh start you need.
The Chapter 11 bankruptcy process provides similar relief to that provided in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, but is generally reserved for filers with businesses or significant assets and is a lot more expensive than even a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This article will focus specifically on Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Recommended Reading: How Many Bankrupcies Has Trump Had
Apr 2 4 6 8 How Long Must I Wait To File Bankruptcy
Youve had to file bankruptcy before, but now you need that emergency relief again. How long do you have to wait between bankruptcy cases? It used to be that the rule was simple you only had to wait 6 years between Chapter 7 cases. Now there is a more complicated rule of 2, 4, 6, 8.
The Two Year Rule
If you received a discharge in a previous Chapter 13 case, you must wait two years before filing another Chapter 13 case or you will not get a discharge in the new case. This is tricky stuff because there is a line of thought and some authority to say that if you do not need a discharge in the new case, but only need time to stretch out your current obligations, then you dont need to worry about this restriction because you are not looking to discharge anything. That would mean you could file another Chapter 13 case immediately after receiving your discharge in the prior case.
The Four Year Rule
If you received a Chapter 7 Discharge in a previous case, then you must wait 4 years before filing a new Chapter 13 case. Again, if you dont need a discharge in the new case, but intend to pay 100% of your creditors over the life of the plan, you dont need to wait 4 years.
The Six Year Rule
The Eight Year Rule
You must wait 8 years between Chapter 7 cases. The previous rule was six years, but has been extended to 8 years in 2005. However, this may be the time to consider a Chapter 13 as there are many hidden benefits to a budget plan than you might think.
What Happens After My Bankruptcy Requirements Are Completed
When you complete all your duties in bankruptcy, you will obtain a type of discharge, which is the official certification of how it was completed.
A record of your bankruptcy will remain on your for several years after your discharge.
Apart from the note of your past bankruptcy, your credit status will be clear. It will be as if you had never had credit. Like a young adult starting independent life, you will have to earn the trust of creditors from the ground up.
Read Also: Diy Bankruptcy Chapter 13
Filing Chapter 7 After A Chapter 7 Discharge: 8 Years
If you had a Chapter 7 that resulted in discharge of your debts, you must wait at least eight years from the date you filed it before filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy again.
While Chapter 7 is typically the quickest form of debt relief, the eight-year period to refile is the longest waiting time between cases.
How Often Can You File Bankruptcy
4 minute read â¢ Upsolve is a nonprofit tool that helps you file bankruptcy for free. Think TurboTax for bankruptcy. Get free education, customer support, and community. Featured in Forbes 4x and funded by institutions like Harvard University so we’ll never ask you for a credit card. Explore our free tool
In a Nutshell
You can file more than one bankruptcy in a lifetime. How many times depends on how long it’s been since your last bankruptcy case and what type of bankruptcy you filed. We’ll break it down for you.
Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer.
Have you filed bankruptcy in the past but are faced with a financial situation that you canât resolve despite your best efforts? If youâre facing a possible wage garnishment due to unexpected medical bills, unpaid tax debts, or any other type of debt youâre no longer able to pay, you can ask the court for bankruptcy protection a second time.
Know that youâre not alone. A 2006 paper on a found that 8% of bankruptcy filers end up filing bankruptcy again. The 2005 changes to the Bankruptcy Code, intended to reduce overall filings, have not had much of an impact on this number.
Bankruptcy is a legal way for individuals who can no longer afford to pay their debts to get permanent debt relief through a bankruptcy discharge. The Bankruptcy Code provides for three types of consumer bankruptcies known as Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Why Was My Bankruptcy Discharge Denied
In most instances, you case will be discharged. Rarely, when a debtor intentionally commits fraud against the creditor, will your discharge be denied. Below are some examples of why you would be denied discharge:
- You are not honest with the court or your trustee about assets, income, debts, or expenses.
- You did not disclose previous bankruptcy cases to the court.
- You attempted to hide assets or did not account for loss of assets .
- You committed fraud against creditors.
What Is Californiadebtrelieforg
CaliforniaDebtRelief.org is a free resource where residents may find help through free do-it-yourself tools. In addition, residents may request a free evaluation and savings analysis to find out which of their bills are eligible for assistance.
We’re here to help you. We’ve served over 2million California residents since 2009.
Also Check: How Many Bankruptcies Has Donald Trump
Can You File Chapter 7 Twice
Yes under certain conditions. If your previous bankruptcy was a Chapter 7, and it was fully discharged, you cannot have another Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharged if it was filed less than 8 full years after your original bankruptcys filing date.
Double check your filing date from your previous bankruptcy if you are not absolutely certain that 8 years have elapsed. If 8 years have not elapsed since your last filing, denial of discharge will occur, and you will remain legally liable for your debt.
Chapter 7 Vs Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Whats The Difference
Its important to note the differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy before we discuss how often consumers can file for this type of protection.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a process that helps consumers liquidate their assets and pay off delinquent debts. While Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows consumers to keep some of their personal assets up to certain limits, consumers typically choose this type of bankruptcy when they dont have many assets to protect. Chapter 7 bankruptcy can take three to six months to complete, but it does allow consumers to discharge delinquent debts and get a fresh start.
With Chapter 13 bankruptcy, consumer debts are restructured instead of discharged. Families and couples typically choose this type of bankruptcy because they have assets to protect, such as significant equity in their home. Once the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process begins, a court-approved debt repayment plan is set up and followed over three to five years. At the end of Chapter 13 bankruptcy, consumers will have been able to keep all their property and pay off unsecured debts included in their bankruptcy.
Read Also: How To File For Bankruptcy In Ma