The circumstances that cause a person to need to file bankruptcy can, unfortunately, occur more than one time in a person’s life. This is the reason that there are no set limits on how many times a person (or married couple) can file for bankruptcy. There are some time limits to consider, however, that determine what kind of bankruptcy is available for us to use to help previous filers out of their current debt problems. The good news is that in almost every circumstance, we can craft a solution to your debt issues regardless of your previous bankruptcy history.
The first consideration is whether there was a discharge in the previously filed case. If a case was dismissed without discharge it is likely that the following time limits will not apply. A consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney can help sort out what kind of bankruptcy we can help you with.
If the case you previously filed was a Chapter 7 or straight bankruptcy:
You cannot file and receive a discharge in another Chapter 7 for eight years from the previous case’s filing date.
You can file a Chapter 13 or reorganization bankruptcy to stop all collection efforts and force creditors to take what the law says you can afford to pay them anytime after a Chapter 7 filing. If a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is filed within 4 years of the prior Chapter 7, you will not receive a discharge on the balances of the debts at the end of a plan. A Chapter 13 filed 4 year after the previous Chapter 7 case does result in a discharge of your debts.
If the case you previously filed was a Chapter 13 or reorganization bankruptcy:
You are eligible to file a receive a discharge in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy 6 years after the previous Chapter 13 case’s filing date. You are eligible to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy with no waiting period if you paid back 70% or more of your unsecured debts in the prior Chapter 13.
In what is a rare occurrence, a person who files a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and receives a discharge, cannot receive a discharge in a subsequent Chapter 13 case filed within 2 years of the previous case’s filing date.
A consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you sort out how best to get a fresh start free from debt. Please feel free to call us now at 317-759-1483 or send us an email to schedule a free consultation with an attorney to review your personal situation.
About the Attorneys
Andrew Sawin received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University in 1989 and his Doctor of Jurisprudence from Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis in 1995. He has concentrated his practice in the field of Consumer Bankruptcy for the past 15 years.
Richard Shea graduated from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona with a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management in 1995 and received his Doctor of Jurisprudence from Indiana University School in 1998.
Larry Des Jardines graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Indiana University School of Law. Larry is a member of the Indianapolis Bar Association, the Indiana State Bar Association, the American Bar Association and the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys.