Unfortunately, some debtors who have filed bankruptcy in the past may find that over the next five, seven, or ten years their financial situation has not changed and they continue to have debts they cannot pay. Whether it’s due to a job loss, severe illness, or simply bad money management, federal banking laws do allow many debtors to file bankruptcy a second time.Recently on our bankruptcy forum a user asked, “I filed a Chapter 7 Oklahoma bankruptcy in 2010. I am wondering if I can file bankruptcy again, and if not, what are my options to pay my bills?”
Filing a Chapter 7 Oklahoma Bankruptcy a second time
Federal bankruptcy laws do not limit the number of time you can file bankruptcy, but they do limit the number of times you can receive a discharge under both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. So let’s review the debtor’s question.
This debtor filed a Chapter 7 Oklahoma bankruptcy in 2010. Under current federal bankruptcy laws this debtor is not allowed to receive a second discharge for another Chapter 7 bankruptcy case until eight years from the date the first Chapter 7 Oklahoma bankruptcy was filed. So this debtor will have to wait until at least 2018 to file their next case.
Filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy after filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
Although this debtor is not allowed to file another Chapter 7 Oklahoma bankruptcy, they may be allowed to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Under current federal bankruptcy laws, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be filed within four years from the date the Chapter 7 bankruptcy was filed. Consider, however, due to the filing regulation, there will not be an option to convert the Chapter 13 bankruptcy to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy if the bankruptcy plan is not confirmed.
Chapter 13 filed can I file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy again?
Although our debtor did not specifically address this questions, let’s consider what would happen if they had initially filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If the debtor had filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and received a discharge, they would be allowed to file a second Chapter 13 bankruptcy two years from the date the first Chapter 13 bankruptcy was filed.
What if the debtor had filed Chapter 13 and wanted to file a Chapter 7 Oklahoma bankruptcy? They would be allowed to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy after a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but they will have to wait at least six years from the date the first Chapter 13 case was filed.
There, however, exceptions to the six year waiting period. For example, the court may allow a second discharge under Chapter 7 if the debtor has paid all of their unsecured creditors through the Chapter 13 debt repayment plan or paid at least seventy-percent of the claims after making their best effort to pay.
What are my options if I cannot file bankruptcy?
Debtors who cannot file bankruptcy a second time will have to find other ways to repay their debts. Common methods include getting a second job, reducing expenses, making and sticking to a budget, and borrowing money from friends or family members.
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