CAN I FILE BANKRUPTCY IF I FILED BEFORE?

Posted By Natasha Meruelo, Esq. || 10-Sep-2012

It is possible to file for bankruptcy more than once. Often times, although a person may never plan to file more than once, a person is faced with circumstances where they want to consider filing for bankruptcy again. If you are unsure of whether you qualify for a second bankruptcy discharge, consider the following information.

I Would Like to Discharge My Debts But I Filed For Bankruptcy Before- What Are My Options?

1. If you filed for Chapter 7 before and you want to get another Chapter 7 Discharge, you must wait more than 8 years from the filing date of your previous Chapter 7 case.

2. If you filed for Chapter 7 before and you want to get a Chapter 13 Discharge, you must wait more than 4 years from the filing date of your previous Chapter 7 case.

3. If you filed for Chapter 13 before and you want to get a Chapter 7 Discharge, you must wait more than 6 years from the filing date of your previous Chapter 13 case.

4. If you filed for Chapter 13 before and you want to get another Chapter 13 Discharge, you must wait more than 2 years from the filing date of your previous Chapter 13 case.

Qualifying For A Discharge May Not Be The Most Important Reason To File For Bankruptcy

Believe it or not, it may not be essential to your case that you qualify for a discharge. There are some circumstances where a bankruptcy can be very helpful and assist you in accomplishing your goals even if you do not get another discharge. The most common example would be filing a Chapter 13 case even though you are not eligible for another discharge yet.

Let's say that one year after you receive a Chapter 7 discharge and get rid of all your credit card debt, you fall behind on your mortgage payments because you lose your job. Luckily, you are able to become re-employed but in the interim fell 9 months behind on your mortgage. As a result, the bank is now refusing to accept your payments unless you come up with all of the money you supposedly owe to bring the loan up to date. Well, even if you are not eligible for a discharge, you can use the structured repayment aspect of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to pay back your arrears over 36-60 months and reinstate your mortgage. In this scenario, as long as there are no problems with the plan you propose which violate the Bankruptcy Code, fail to pay back what you owe or otherwise make your plan "unconfirmable", the bank can no longer refuse to accept your regular monthly payments. All that matters here is that you have a vehicle to get current and pay your debts, not that you have an ability to receive a discharge.

Filing for bankruptcy for a second time can be confusing and you should speak with a qualified bankruptcy attorney to understand your options.

Questions or interested in a consultation about your case? Email Natasha Meruelo, Esq. at meruelolaw@gmail.com or call me at (914) 517-7565.

Categories: Bankruptcy