There is no second opinion to the fact that it is easy to fall back into debts even if you have had a good financial restart using a Chapter 7 bankruptcy process. Same is the case with debtors who have successfully paid off their creditors using an effective Chapter 13 reorganization plan. Statistics reveal that 16% of the bankruptcy filings are repeat ones and 8% of the filers are the ones who have declared bankruptcy earlier. Imagine the ordeal that one goes through in the bankruptcy process! Hence it is advised that a second time declaring / filing of bankruptcy has to be avoided. One of the other key aspects to keep in mind is that a Chapter 13 bankruptcy remains on your credit report till about seven years from the date of filing and it is ten years in the case of Chapter 7 bankruptcy. We can give you some guidance on how a second-time bankruptcy situation can be avoided. Additional clarifications may be sought from an experienced attorney.
Limit on dischargeable debts
There are no limits associated with filing bankruptcies but there are limits around the discharge of debts that you seek through them. The period shown below indicates the date from the previous bankruptcy:
- Chapter 7 followed by Chapter 7 – Eight years
- Chapter 13 followed by Chapter 13 – Two years
- Chapter 13 followed by Chapter 7 – Ideally Six years, it can be sooner if you have paid the unsecured creditors their full amount or the at least 70% of the claims. The repayment plan should have been proposed and executed in good faith
- Chapter 7 followed by Chapter 13 – Four years
Despite the limit on the time period for dischargeable debts, the debtors are always advised to stay away from situations that can lead them to a second-time bankruptcy filing.
Read through some of the below pointers that can aid you on the same –
- Don’t purchase homes/properties beyond your capabilities – Most bankruptcies arise due to the fact that home mortgages cannot be paid. So if you have already been through a bankruptcy ordeal, then be wise when making judgments about buying a home that is beyond your payment capacity. If Los Angeles is becoming a costly affair with regards to buying a home, then expand and move to other regions of the California state where your affordability is good.
- Do not keep credit card dues–The revolving debts of credit cards are a common problem that debtors face after they get a discharge of these dues in bankruptcy. They get flooded with new credit card offers but availing them to the debtor’s benefit will be tricky for the debtor. He needs to show his ability to repay the dues as well as not get too immersed in debts. So if you are having any credit card payments, then get them cleaned regularly (every month)
- Plan your expenses with a budget–Being in control of your expenditure will be the wisest method to adopt after your bankruptcy situation. Reducing high-cost expenses (around living and food) and loan consolidation of your existing loans like the credit cards/ student loans can be some measures that can be put to use. Also, plan with a budget at hand (one may use any of the available budgeting apps) or seek professional help for managing your post-bankruptcy situation.
- Save for emergencies–A situation of sudden unemployment or a medical emergency can lead a person to get immersed in further debts. Statistics reveal that 40% of the U.S. population cannot handle an emergency need of $400. So, create an emergency fund and grow it to a value that is enough to cover three months of your expenses. An emergency fund to cover six months or more would be the best case situation for the debtors
- Co-work with creditors – Though it may sound annoying for a debtor, it is one of the recommended practices to reach out to his creditor. A proper payment plan can be drafted and executed with the help of your creditor when you have successfully explained your situation to them. They can concede on co-working with you and eventually it is benefiting too.
- Increasing your income source – Another job or a second job option opens up avenues for a higher income. It is a trend in Los Angeles that people are turning towards Uber and Etsy in order to earn a few dollars in addition to their regular pay. It certainly does help to explore the micro-gigs options for you if you are falling short of income
- Revisiting Chapter 13 plan – If you have earlier raised a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and in the midst of your repayment plan, it is advised to revisit and make amendments based on the current financial condition of yours. This can put you in a better position with clearing your debts and at times of crisis, you can become eligible for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
- Purposeful spending – Be vigilant of the income every month and especially the expenses that you manage. Better tracking can save your financial condition and in adverse conditions, reach out to professional assistance from bankruptcy attorneys. They will work with you well ahead of your bankruptcy conditions.
Recovery Law Group is a law firm in Los Angeles, California. They also handle clients in Dallas, Texas. Call them at 888-297-6203 to know their services around the chapters of bankruptcy.