Already filed for bankruptcy once but have fallen on hard times and are looking to file again? Before you start looking for a chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer in Las Vegas, it’s important to understand when and if you are eligible for bankruptcy once more. If you’re thinking of filing again, read on for information you’ll need to know first:
How Often Can I File?
Re-filing generally depends on whether or not you received a discharge the first time around, as the discharge provides information about repeat filings via bankruptcy code. If you were not presented with a discharge following your first filing, there is no time limit concerning when you can re-file. You may file for bankruptcy up to three times.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Receiving a discharge after filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy means you cannot file for this type of bankruptcy again for eight years. Filing before the eight-year period is up will result in being denied a discharge. If denied, you are still legally responsible for settling your debts. Should you file for chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will have to wait six years before you can file for chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you haven’t paid at least 70% of your unsecured chapter 13 creditors, you will not be entitled to a discharge when you file for chapter 7, even if you file after six years.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Receiving a discharge from chapter 7 bankruptcy requires a four-year wait period before you can file for chapter 13 bankruptcy. Filing bankruptcy twice before the four years is up means you will still have to settle debts such as medical and credit card bills, as well as personal loans. For example, if you filed in March of 2008, you will need to wait until March 2014 to re-file. If you have received a discharge for chapter 13 bankruptcy and want to file for chapter 13 again, you must wait at least two years before you re-file. Failing to do so means you will not receive a discharge for the second filing.
What is a discharge in a bankruptcy case?
An order issued by the bankruptcy court, the discharge releases an individual from all legal obligation for a debt. The discharge order permanently prohibits creditors from seeking collection on the debt by any means, including personal communication or legal action. In the simplest terms, a discharged debt no longer has to be paid by the debtor.
How do I know if there was a discharge in my bankruptcy case?
If you are unsure whether there was a discharge order in your case, contact the clerk of the bankruptcy court where your case was filed. The clerk’s office can perform a search and send you copies of discharge orders found. You can also contact the clerk’s office if you have lost your copy of an order or need additional certified copies. The clerk’s office does charge fees for research and producing copies of court documents so be sure to ask about the cost before ordering multiple documents.
Does a discharge happen in every case?
Every bankruptcy case is unique and the outcome will depend on the specific details of each case. Not all types of debts qualify for discharge or filing bankruptcy twice. It is also important to understand that discharging a debt may not release a lien and secured property may still be foreclosed on by creditors. Additionally, creditors can challenge the inclusion of debts within a bankruptcy case through litigation. If all objections by creditors have been resolved and the debts are eligible, the court will automatically issue a discharge.
Understanding the time limits concerning re-filing is essential to avoid losing discharge eligibility. For more on bankruptcy services, please contact us today. Have any tips on re-filing you’d like to share? Leave your advice in the comments section!
Main photo by: Fried Dough