2nd Bankruptcy?: Can I file a 2nd bankruptcy even if I filed a bankruptcy before?

    Once you have filed for bankruptcy your ultimate goal is to get the discharge that relieves you of all personal liability to the debts identified in your bankruptcy case. However, life isn’t that straight cut. There may be circumstances where filing a second bankruptcy just makes sense or is the only option that you have left.

Under your first bankruptcy, although you may have gotten most of your debts discharge, there may be some debts that were not able to discharge due to their non-dischargeable nature and you need the automatic stay protection that is available through the bankruptcy to protect you and your assets. Or, you may not have gotten that job or source of income to alleviate your financial situation as you expected when you got out of the first bankruptcy. At such times, filing a second bankruptcy may provide you with the relief you may need. However, there are limitations. Specifically, under the bankruptcy code, for you to get a discharge in your second bankruptcy after getting a discharge in your first bankruptcy, you must wait a certain amount of years. Depending on what type of bankruptcy you filed for your first case and the type of bankruptcy you are seeking in your second may vary to waiting period. The following is the break down provided under the bankruptcy code

1. If you filed a Chapter 7 and received a discharge, you must wait 8 years from the “date you filed the first Chapter 7 case” before you can receive a discharge in your 2nd Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Ie: You filed your 1st Chp 7 bankruptcy on July 1, 2006. You received a discharge on October 30, 2006. In order for you to qualify for another discharge in your 2nd Chp 7 bankruptcy, you must wait until July 2, 2014 to file your 2nd Chp 7 bankruptcy to get a discharge.

2. If you filed a Chapter 7 and received a discharge, you must wait 4 years from the date you filed your Chapter 7 case before you can receive a discharge under your 2nd bankruptcy case under a Chapter 13 case.

Ie: You filed your 1st Chp 7 bankruptcy on July 1, 2006. You received a discharge on October 30, 2006. In order for you to qualify for another discharge in your 2nd bankruptcy under a Chapter 13, you must wait until July 2, 2010 to file your 2nd bankruptcy under a Chapter 13 to receive a discharge.

3. If you filed a Chapter 13 and received a discharge, you must wait 2 years from the date you filed your Chapter 13 case before you can receive a discharge under a 2nd bankruptcy case under a 2nd Chapter 13 case.

Ie: You filed your 1st Chp 13 bankruptcy on July 1, 2006. You received a discharge on July 1, 2011. In order for you to qualify for another discharge in your 2nd bankruptcy under a Chapter 13, you must wait until July 2, 2008 to file your 2nd bankruptcy under a Chapter 13 to receive a discharge.

4. If you filed a Chapter 13 and received a discharge, you must wait 6 years from the date you filed the first Chapter 13 case before you can receive a discharge in your 2nd bankruptcy filing under a Chapter 7. *Exception* If your Chapter 13 proposed a Plan that provided more than 70% to your unsecured creditors and you received a discharge, than you can file your 2nd bankruptcy under a Chapter 7 within the 6 years from the date of filing your first bankruptcy under a Chapter 13.

Ie: You filed your 1st Chp 13 on July 1, 2006. Your Chp 13 Plan proposed to pay 70% to your unsecured creditors. You received a discharge in your Chp 13 on July 1, 2011. In order for you to qualify for another discharge in your 2nd bankruptcy under a Chapter 7, you can file within 6 years from the date you filed your first case under a Chp 13 bankruptcy.

Filing your bankruptcy within the proper time frame does not mean that you cannot file a bankruptcy during the time frame. It is not unusual for an individual to have filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and get a discharge and immediately afterwards file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This is called a Chapter 20. The reason why someone will file a subsequent bankruptcy during the non-dischargeable time period is to utilize the bankruptcy protection rather than getting the bankruptcy discharge the 2nd time around. This situation may occur where debts that were non-dischargeable in a Chapter 7 carries over and in order for the individual to protect his assets, he may file a Chapter 13 to further protect himself from the non-dischargeable debt.

Filing a second bankruptcy has its obstacles and requires a certain level of scrutiny and concern. Allow KimLy Law Firm, PLLC, your Houston Bankruptcy Attorneys to assist you to determine the best options for you.

The 1st consultation is FREE with an live Attorney

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Houston, Texas 77090

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