Eight years between Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases. Many who come to me really don’t pay attention to what was taken away from them by government in bankruptcy reform. Few understand the years required between their old and their new bankruptcy cases. These break into four classes:
- Eight between filing chapter 7 bankruptcy cases.
- Six between chapter 13 and chapter 7 bankruptcy cases.
- Four to file a chapter 13 from the filing date of your last case if you got a discharge.
- No time between chapter 13 filings unless limited by court order
Eight years between chapter 7 bankruptcy cases
This is one of the biggest penalties of bankruptcy reform visited upon regular people. The time span was formerly 6 years. That had been the limit for a long time. I still have couples come to my office hoping to file chapter 7 who filed 6 years ago. They are not deadbeat serial filers just out to screw their creditors. They are people who suffer illness, job loss and sometimes marital separation. Credit card companies painted them as deadbeats and Congress forced then to suffer under the yoke of debt for two additional years. Actually it gave the collection law firms two more years to squeeze money from them.
Six years from chapter 13 to chapter 7 bankruptcy cases
The credit card lobby was in such a hurry to get bankruptcy reform passed, that this vestige of the six yr. span above slipped through the cracks. They forgot to amend this provision. Basically if you file a chapter 13 and get a discharge, you can file a chapter 7 six yrs. later and still get a discharge of your debts.
Four years to get a chapter 13 discharge
Bankruptcy lawyers often call this a chapter 20. First you file chapter 7 to unload your unsecured debt. Then you file chapter 13 to address mortgage arrearages, cram down of secured debt, and tax problems. Not to be outdone, Congress limited this opportunity. Chapter 20 is still available, but you can not get a discharge in the subsequent chapter 13 case unless more than 4 years passes from the first filing date to the subsequent chapter 13.
Chapter 13 after chapter 13
The golden haired boy of bankruptcy reform is the Chapter 13. Congress wants everyone to have one. Just like a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage. This is their way to make everyone pay all their bills. Just what the credit card and collection lobbies want too. If you file chapter 13 and it is dismissed for some reason you can file again and again. There are only two limits..
- If in your prior chapter 13 case a creditor filed for relief from stay, then if you voluntarily dismiss you must wait 180 days to refile.
- Eventually the chapter 13 trustee or the judge will get tired of seeing you with a new case. If you are a serial filer who does not properly take the steps to propose a feasible plan and carry it out, you will be limited in your right to refile by court order. This will require a motion by the chapter 13 trustee, the court, or a creditor.
Other lawyers playing the nationwide bankruptcy alphabet game are:
- Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska Bankruptcy Attorney, Ryan D. Caldwell writes that O is for Objection.
- New York Bankruptcy Lawyer, Jay S. Fleischman says O is for Own.
- Bay Area Bankruptcy Lawyer Cathy Moran claims O is for Omitted.
- Suburban Philly Bankruptcy Lawyer, Chris Carr reports that O is for Options to Bankruptcy.
- Colorado Springs Bankruptcy Attorney Bob Doig says O is for Obligations.
- O is for OOPS according to Metro Richmond Consumer and Bankruptcy Attorney, Mitchell Goldstein.
- Omitted Creditor is discussed by St. Clair Shores MI bankruptcy attorney Kurt OKeefe.
- Taylor, Michigan Bankruptcy Attorney, Chris McAvoy thinks O is for Objections by creditor.
- Los Angeles Bankruptcy Attorney, Mark J. Markus suggests you be Organized.
- Marin County Bankrupttcy Lawyer, Cate Eranthe als write on the very important topic, Organize.