One of the most powerful legal tools to ward of bad financial situation is bankruptcy. While filing for bankruptcy, you can get rid of huge amounts of debts thereby overcoming financial distress. However, one of the most popular misconception that people have is that if they have filed for bankruptcy once, they cannot file again. Well, lawyers of Sacramento based law firm Recovery Law Group, say that nothing could be further from the truth!
The U.S. bankruptcy code allows people who have previously filed for bankruptcy in the past to file a new case. It must be noted that time restrictions exist so that consumers do not misuse the benefits of bankruptcy. The silver lining to financial problems is that the bankruptcy option is available if you require it. Bankruptcy lawyers can help assess if you are eligible to file a new bankruptcy case, and if not, what are the available options for you. For a better understanding of the federal laws with respect to time restrictions on bankruptcy filings, a chapter wise information is provided below:
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
If you have previously filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy; all your qualifying debts were either wiped off or discharged. In this case, you need to wait 8 years before you are allowed to file again under the same chapter. However, the time frame may vary if despite filing you didn’t get a discharge. In case you had previously filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can file under Chapter 7 after 6 years.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Under Chapter 13, restructuring of debt takes place with repayment plan continuing for up to 5 years. Once the repayment is finished, the remaining dues are discharged. You are eligible to file again under the same chapter after 2 years of getting a discharge. In case you filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy previously but want to file under Chapter 13 now, you can file the papers after 4 years of debt discharge.
Many times, the timeframe when you can file again varies and depends on the dismissal of a previous bankruptcy.
Sometimes cases are dismissed before the debt is discharged (due to incomplete paperwork, failure to appear in court, defaulting on Chapter 13 payment arrangement). In case your case was dismissed due to any such reason, you have to wait for only 6 months to restart the process.
Despite the numerous advantages of bankruptcy, people might end up in financial trouble again. It, therefore, makes sense in consulting a bankruptcy attorney who will guide you through the procedure of filing a new case or if help outside bankruptcy filing is required by the client.