You Can File For Bankruptcy As Many Times As You Like
If you have run into financial difficulties before and filed for bankruptcy, youll know the advantages it can give you. If you are unable to pay your debts, bankruptcy gives you the option to start resolving your financial difficulties and rebuilding your credit.
You may have already filed for bankruptcy but are experiencing financial problems again. In this situation, it can be tempting to file for another bankruptcy. However, filing for a second or even third bankruptcy is not the same as filing the first time.
Every year hundreds of thousands of Americans file for bankruptcy. Most people who file for bankruptcy use a lawyer to help them through the process. The legal process can be complicated and to ensure you get all your entitled benefits it is a good idea to research bankruptcy law on a site like Alllaw.com.
Bankruptcy Court Time Limits For Consumer Bankruptcy
- Chapter 7: To receive another Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge, you need to wait eight years to file from the date you filed the previous Chapter 7 case.
- Chapter 13: While it takes three to five years to complete a Chapter 13 repayment plan and discharge your case, you are usually able to file again immediately. However, if you want to file sooner, you need to wait two years after the date you initially filed.
Can One Spouse File Bankruptcy Alone
Financial hardships may come at some point, and sometimes your only way out is through bankruptcy. Can you file it without your spouse?
Yes, you can file for bankruptcy without your spouse. And it makes the most sense when you and your spouse keep your finances separate, or you dont want to affect your spouses ability to file for bankruptcy in the future.
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Experienced California Bankruptcy Lawyers
Have you previously filed for bankruptcy relief and are now wondering if you are eligible to file again? The attorneys at Resnik Hayes Moradi LLP can help. Call 344-0043, orcontact our firm online to arrange a free consultation.
Our bankruptcy professionals meet with clients from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Weekend appointments are also available.
From Chapter 7 Bankruptcy To Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Actually, you can file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy immediately after filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It is known as a Chapter 20 bankruptcy. This is a strategy employed for a client who is eligible to file a Chapter 7 but is also in need of:
- catching up a house payment
- restructuring a car payment
- or paying off a priority debt, like the IRS.
The Chapter 7 bankruptcy eliminates all unsecured debt. Upon discharge, the Chapter 13 bankruptcy is filed to restructure the secured debt payments. There is no Chapter 13 bankruptcy discharge in this scenario. However, the discharge isnt needed, since the client already received a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge.
If there is at least 4 years between the Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing and the subsequent Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy discharge will be granted upon the successful completion of your Chapter 13 plan.
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What Was The Outcome Of Your Prior Bankruptcy
How soon you can file for bankruptcy again depends largely on the outcome of your prior bankruptcy case. If your debts were discharged and the court closed your case, nothing changes. You must wait two to eight years depending on the bankruptcy chapter you filed before and plan to file now.
If, on the other hand, your debts were not discharged and the court dismissed your case, different rules apply. If the bankruptcy court dismisses your case with prejudice, you may be prohibited from filing another bankruptcy for 180 days. A case is dismissed with prejudice when court orders are not followed or the bankruptcy rules are abused.
Bankruptcy fraud, such as not disclosing assets, lying, or acting in bad faith, has harsher consequences. The bankruptcy court could ban you from filing for bankruptcy for a long time or for life. If this happens, you would be unable to have your debts discharged indefinitely.
A courts dismissal of your bankruptcy case could also cut short the term of your automatic stay. A dismissal that occurred within one year of filing bankruptcy can result in an automatic stay of just 30 days. Even more dismissals within one year of filing can strip you of any automatic stay at all.
How Many Times Can You File Bankruptcy In Texas
If youre weighing your options regarding filing bankruptcy in Texas, you may be wondering
- How many times can I file bankruptcy?
- What if I need to do this more than once?
- Will one bankruptcy be enough to help me bail myself out?
- What if I need a second, or even a third, fresh start?
Filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy involves an individual person filing a case in federal court, and working with a specially-appointed, specially-qualified trustee in hopes of partially or completely eliminating their otherwise overwhelming debt. A third type of bankruptcy, called Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, is available for businesses. Regarding each of these types of bankruptcy, the Houston bankruptcy attorneys at the Law Offices of Kretzer and Volberding P.C. have expertise in this area of law after years of working with clients seeking a debt-free future.
There is no reason to feel ashamed for filing bankruptcy in fact, the U.S. Courts recently reported that nearly 1 millionAmericans file for bankruptcy every year, with 97% percent of the filers being individuals struggling with consumer debts like credit cards and loans. The same report also noted that Texas four federal judicial Districts are among the top 20 of the nations 94 federal district courts in terms of bankruptcy filings.
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What Does The Law Say About The Number Of Times You Can Declare Bankruptcy
Surprisingly, there is no statutory limit on how many times a person can declare bankruptcy in their lifetime. There are limits on how frequently debt can be discharged, and abuse of the system could definitely land the filer with legal difficulties.
In one of the most prolific cases, a California couple was barred from filing again after their 9th failed filing in 7 years!
Bankruptcies in all states are governed by Federal law, specifically United States Code Title 11. Encompassing 238 pages as of the latest revisions, entire chapters of this legislation are dedicated to a single type of bankruptcy and its particular rules and regulations. This is why an adjustment of debts of an individual with regular income is commonly called a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, and why liquidation of assets to settle debts is called a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Understanding A Bankruptcy Discharge
A bankruptcy discharge occurs at the end of a successful bankruptcy where all of the filers debts are wiped out with the exception of those that cannot be discharged. Getting a bankruptcy discharge is the end goal for all bankruptcy cases, and the date of discharge is a significant one in that it sets when a debtor can file for bankruptcy again in the future.
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When A Second Filing Might Be Beneficial Even Without A Discharge
Sometimes you don’t need a dischargeyou need time to pay off a debt. For instance, suppose that you owed federal taxes that you couldn’t discharge in bankruptcy, and you could not work out a reasonable payment plan. Rather than have your wages garnished, you could file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and stretch out the payments over a five-year Chapter 13 bankruptcy payment plan.
A similar approach is to file a Chapter 13 case immediately after receiving a Chapter 7 discharge . Again, all you might need is time to pay off nondischargeable debts, such as domestic support arrearagesnot a discharge.
However, not all courts allow the process, and it can be tricky to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and then demonstrate that you have sufficient available income to pay into a Chapter 13 plan. It’s possible, though, after taking into account the debts wiped out. In any case, it would be wise to consult with a local bankruptcy lawyer before attempting to go this route.
Filing Chapter 13 After A Chapter 13 Discharge: 2 Years
If you had a Chapter 13 bankruptcy discharge and are looking to file again, you must wait two years from the previous filing date.
While this is the shortest time allowed between any two filings, it is also the rarest sequence because a Chapter 13 restructuring typically takes three or five years to repay. But a Chapter 13 can sometimes be discharged early due to additional extreme hardship.
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Are There Any Situations Where You Cannot File For Bankruptcy
How often can you file bankruptcy in Texas? As many times as you need to, with one very narrow set of exceptions. In very narrow circumstances well call rapid fire bankruptcy, you cannot file a bankruptcy case under any chapter earlier than 180 days after the dismissal of a prior case. Also, you may be barred from filing if ordered by a bankruptcy judge in a motion or order.
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Waiting Period For Subsequent Chapter 7 Cases
The waiting period between Chapter 7 discharges is longer than the waiting period between Chapter 13 cases involving discharge or between a Chapter 7 case and a Chapter 13 case. The primary reason for the difference is that Chapter 7 is used to wipe out unsecured debt through a fairly quick and easy process, while Chapter 13 debtors typically pay a significant portion of their outstanding debts through the plan.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Code precludes granting a discharge in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case if the debtor has previously received a discharge in either:
- A prior Chapter 7 case that was filed within the eight years preceding filing of the current case, or
- A prior Chapter 13 case that was filed within the six years preceding filing of the current case
In other words, while it is the prior discharge that creates the lock-out period, time is counted from commencement of the prior case, not from the date of discharge.
Although this limitation wont affect most consumer debtors, the eight-year period applied to prior Chapter 7 cases also applies when the consumer has previously received a discharge in a Chapter 11 reorganization case.
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Dont Ask How Often You Can File For Bankruptcy Ask How Many Times You Can Be Discharged
If you have already filed for bankruptcy and are thinking about filing again, the question you should be asking is not How many times can I file for bankruptcy? but How many times can I have a personal bankruptcy discharged?
It is possible to file for multiple bankruptcies but being discharged is strictly administered. You must meet certain requirements and the timing can often be tricky. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy it is critical that you seek legal advice.
An experienced bankruptcy lawyer will be able to advise you on the best sources of action to take and help you file for a bankruptcy that is most beneficial for your situation.
Complaints Seeking Revocation Of Discharge Will Require Retaining Counsel
Keep in mind that the mere filing of an adversary proceeding seeking to revoke the discharge will require hiring an attorney to answer the allegations of improper conduct. If these allegations are not addressed in a timely fashion, the debtor will lose their discharge by default.
The possibility that a bankruptcy discharge can be revoked highlights the importance of full disclosure to your bankruptcy attorney. You must inform your bankruptcy attorney of all assets and debts in order to ensure that your discharge is not subsequently challenged.
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Receiving Another Bankruptcy Discharge
You’ll qualify for another discharge if you meet the waiting period rules. Here’s how it works.
Chapter 7 to Chapter 7. If you received a Chapter 7 discharge previously, eight years must elapse between the old and new filing dates.
Chapter 13 to Chapter 13. Two years must elapse between the two filing dates to receive a discharge in Chapter 13. Because a Chapter 13 repayment plan usually takes three to five years to complete, you’ll likely be eligible for a second discharge after finishing the first case.
Chapter 7 to Chapter 13. Four years must elapse between the Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 filing dates. Chapter 13 has its benefits even if you don’t receive a discharge, however. For instance, you can pay off priority debts, such as newly-incurred taxes or domestic support arrearages. Or, you can catch up on missed mortgage or vehicle loan payments and keep a house or car. Filing for Chapter 13 immediately after receiving a Chapter 7 discharge is commonly referred to as a Chapter 20 bankruptcy.
Chapter 13 to Chapter 7. If you received a Chapter 13 discharge and you’d like to receive a Chapter 7 discharge, you’ll have to wait six years between filing dates. But there is an exception to this rule. The six-year rule won’t apply if, in the previous Chapter 13, you paid back:
- all of your unsecured debts, or
- at least 70% of your unsecured debts in a plan proposed in good faith and implemented through your best efforts.
Talk To A Bankruptcy Attorney To Find Out What The Best Option Is
Are these options confusing? Have you never filed for bankruptcy before? Or have you filed but never had your bankruptcy discharged? No matter where you are in the process, you can benefit from talking to a bankruptcy attorney. Call The Law Offices of Paul Y. Lee at 888-748-0025 now for your free bankruptcy consultation. We are standing by to ensure you understand your options and can make the most informed choice.
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When Are Multiple Bankruptcy Filings Abusive
The term abusive bankruptcy filing can refer to a Chapter 7 filing that doesn’t meet the means testthe qualification standard that determines a filer’s right to a debt discharge. But it can also describe a case filed by someone who inappropriately uses the bankruptcy process to evade a creditor or buy time in a collection action, such as a foreclosure or lawsuit.
Simply put, the court frowns on debtors who file with no intention of following through with the case. Repeat filers face the consequences for using such tactics, such as a lack of protection from collections or the denial of a discharge.
How Many Times Can Someone File For Bankruptcy
No limits are placed on how many times a person can file for bankruptcy in total. But the law does place requirements for how much time needs to have passed between filings. If someone is considering filing for bankruptcy a second or third time, it is important to know what these limits are and how they can affect a future bankruptcy case.
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Should I Hire A Bankruptcy Attorney If I Want To File For Bankruptcy More Than Once
While hiring an attorney adds another expense for people who are already strapped financially, it is usually well worth the money to hire a bankruptcy lawyer. An attorney will make sure everything is filled out and filed correctly, and can guide you throughout the entire bankruptcy process.
- No fee to present your case
- Choose from lawyers in your area
- A 100% confidential service
From Chapter 13 To Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
If you received a discharge in a previous Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must wait six years from the date the Chapter 13 was filed before you can file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and receive a discharge. However, there are two little-known exceptions to this general rule. If you paid back 100% of your unsecured creditors you can immediately file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In addition, you can file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy immediately after Chapter 13 bankruptcy discharge in certain cases. If you paid back 70% of your unsecured debts, your plan was proposed in good faith and you used your best effort to pay your debt.
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How Often Can You File For Bankruptcy In The State Of California
Even as unemployment continues to go down, many people are living with more debt than they can handle. When this happens, they often consider their bankruptcy options. At The Law Offices of Paul Y. Lee we can provide a free consultation so you can find out if bankruptcy is right for you. In the meantime, we can cover a common question people have: Can they file for bankruptcy more than once? And if so, how much time must pass between filings?