How Long do You Have to Wait Before Filing Bankruptcy Again?

These personal bankruptcy questions were posted on the internet in 2011 in a bankruptcy discussion: “I declared bankruptcy in 2004, how long do I have to wait to file another bankruptcy? Does it vary for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13?”

In 2005, Congress passed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act to control the perceived abuses caused by serial bankruptcy filers. As part of those changes, an individual is limited by law on when they can file, but not on how many times they can file.

There are basically two types of bankruptcies most individuals can file: Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.

A debtor cannot obtain a discharge in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case if the debtor obtained a discharge in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case filed within the past 8 years, or a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case filed within the past 6 years.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy can be filed 4 years from a prior Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filing or 2 years from a prior Chapter 13 Bankruptcy filing. The time periods in either case are measured from the commencement dates of the respective cases. The dates of discharge have no bearing on the disqualification.

Congress has also recently made changes in the bankruptcy laws intended to reduce or eliminate the effect of the “bankruptcy stay” for serial filers.

The moment you file bankruptcy, a judge will order all collecting actions to cease through an automatic stay. The automatic stay, applicable to all types of bankruptcy filings, means that the mere request for bankruptcy protection automatically stops certain lawsuits, foreclosures, utility shut-offs, evictions, repossessions, garnishments, attachments, and debt collection harassment.

If you have had a bankruptcy dismissed in the previous year, the new changes in the laws now makes the automatic stay only good for 30 days, and the stay will not even come into existence if the filer has had two bankruptcies dismissed in the previous year.

Another change in the law includes being barred from filing a new case for 180 days when a case has been dismissed, if the dismissal is because you willfully failed to abide by an order of the court, to properly prosecute the case, or if it was at your request after a creditor requested relief from the automatic stay.

The laws also imply if you are found guilty of bankruptcy fraud, depending on the severity, you can be barred from filing bankruptcy for life.

If you need relief from the stress of debt and you live in or around the metropolitan area of Orlando, Florida, contact us at . We will help you find a bankruptcy attorney in your area who can answer your bankruptcy questions.

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