Sometimes life has a way of repeating itself, and not all of the things that come around again are welcome. History is full of stories of people who have been knocked down, and gotten back up more than once. When money problems come up, there is no guarantee that once resolved they will not resurface. So, if you have filed for bankruptcy before and are having a hard time paying your bills again, you might need to file a second (or even third) case. But there are rules in place about how often you can file, and what type of case you can file if you have filed before. In order to make a choice that works for you, it is good to know what these rules include.
If you want to file bankruptcy but have filed a case before, here is what you need to know:
• If your first case was a Chapter 7, you cannot receive another Chapter 7 discharge for 8 years from the date your first discharge was entered.
• If your first case was a Chapter 13, you cannot receive another Chapter 13 discharge for 2 years from the date your first Chapter 13 discharge was entered.
• If your first case was a Chapter 13, you cannot receive a Chapter 7 discharge for 6 years.
• If your first case was a Chapter 7, you cannot receive a Chapter 13 discharge for 4 years.
These rules can limit what you are able to do, and so should be considered thoughtfully if you need to file a subsequent bankruptcy case. In some instances these rules lead to what is informally known as a Chapter 20, which is a combination of a Chapter 7 and 13 during the same case, most often achieved by converting from one chapter to the other before discharge is entered. It is also important to note the timeline restrictions are as to the actual entry of discharge, and not to the act of filing a case. That said, you will need help making sure any case you file is done properly. Call our office to learn more, and find out what you are eligible to file.
For more information about debt management and what you can to do get out of debt, contact us at www.DsouzaLegalGroup.com. We will help by coming up with solutions that work for you.