[COLUMN] Go bankrupt again? Here’s what you need to know —

If you’ve ever had to file for bankruptcy in the past for any reason, you’ve probably thought to yourself that hopefully you’ll never have to do so again. But sometimes you never know where life is taking you and if you ever find yourself in a financial bind where bankruptcy becomes necessary again, fear not. It’s not your fault and there’s no reason to feel bad or sorry for yourself. Here’s what you need to know if you’re in this situation?

There’s no shame in trying to protect yourself, your family and everything you own when the stakes are just too high and you have to do what you have to do. For example, many people have been struggling financially since the start of the pandemic. All the government help helped, I’m sure, but it was only temporary. Many people have lost their income and businesses over the past 2 years and have not been able to pay their bills.

A lot of people have asked me recently how often you can get bankruptcy relief, so I decided to write this article. If you have already declared bankruptcy, you may be wondering if it is possible to start again. Generally, the answer is that you can declare bankruptcy as often as necessary BUT subject to certain limitations such as the following. I will try to simplify but here are the general rules:

Consecutive Filings in the Same Chapter: If you are filing under the same bankruptcy “chapter” (7 or 13), timing is critical. If you are trying to file a Chapter 7 after you have already filed another Chapter 7 in the past, you must wait 8 years from the date your last case was filed. For consecutive Chapter 13 filings: If you received a pre-Chapter 13 discharge, you cannot receive a second discharge in a Chapter 13 case that is filed within 2 years from the date your last case has been dropped.

Chapter 13, then Chapter 7: If you obtained a prior discharge (i.e. a “debt write-off”) under Chapter 13, you will not be permitted a second discharge in a subsequent Chapter filing 7 unless 6 years have elapsed since the application was filed. Chapter 13 to filing your Chapter 7 case. There is an exception to this rule, however: you will be allowed to obtain a discharge in your current Chapter 7 case if you have paid all unsecured creditors in your previous Chapter 7 case. 13 or if you paid at least 70% of the unsecured claims and the plan was your “best effort” and offered in “good faith”.

Chapter 7, then Chapter 13: If you discharged your debts in an earlier Chapter 7, you cannot get another discharge in a later Chapter 13 filing unless four years have passed since your filing date in Chapter 7. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t file for Chapter 13 if your intention is to pay creditors as best you can. It only means that since there is no discharge available, anything not paid through your Chapter 13 will still be your responsibility. Now, you may ask: why file a Chapter 13 then if a discharge is not available in these circumstances? The answer is that it depends on your goals in the current Chapter 13 filing. For example, one of the reasons for filing may be to obtain court protection while consolidating non-dischargeable debts such as IRS taxes. Or it can be stopping a foreclosure and paying off arrears with a 3-5 year payment plan.

There are other “tricky” rules you need to know that apply to dismissals and conversions from chapter to chapter, but I can imagine how your head can spin trying to make sense now. to all these rules. The best thing to do if you find yourself in a situation where you may need to file for bankruptcy again (although you have done so in the past) is to consult a competent bankruptcy lawyer who can analyze your case. and provide you with appropriate advice.

For a free consultation, call toll-free 1-866-477-7772. NOTE: Due to pandemic-related safety concerns, I am offering free consultations OVER THE PHONE to anyone who needs help dealing with their debt issues.

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NOTE: Due to virus security concerns, I am offering free PHONE OR VIDEO consultations to anyone who needs help with their debt issues.

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None of the information contained herein is intended to provide legal advice for any specific situation. Atti. Ray J. Bulaon has successfully helped over 6,000 clients get out of debt. For a free evaluation of your situation by an attorney, please call RJB Law Firms toll-free at 1-866-477-7772.

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