If you’re thinking about filing for bankruptcy, and have filed in the past, you may be wondering how often you can file for bankruptcy. How often you can file depends upon your specific circumstances. This includes which type of discharge you received previously.
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:
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 isn’t 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.
How often can you file consecutive Chapter 7 bankruptcies? If you received a discharge in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must wait eight years. This period begins on the date the previous case was filed before another Chapter 7 can be filed. To be clear, you count the 8 years from the old filing date to the new filing date. You do not count from the old discharge date to the new filing date.
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 (a) paid back 70% of your unsecured debts, (b) your plan was proposed in good faith and (c) you used your best effort to pay your debt.
Facing the decision to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is already a difficult one. You don’t want to make it more difficult by having your bankruptcy denied by the courts.
The right counsel and representation will work with you to ensure it that doesn’t happen. At Parker & DuFresne, we represent clients in the Northeast Florida area, including Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Orange Park and the beaches, and we can help safely guide you through the bankruptcy process. Contact our offices for a free consultation today.
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