How Often Can I File Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy laws were designed to assist people who honestly fall into difficult financial straits. It is not intended as a way to bail people out who continually find themselves in debt due to carelessness. That said, it is not uncommon in today's economy for a person who previously filed to need to file again. A Conroe bankruptcy lawyer will assist you in filing, but the following criteria should be kept in mind.
Chapter 7 and 13 Bankruptcies
Chapter 7 is a total liquidation bankruptcy, and allows individuals to discharge all eligible debt in order to provide them with a fresh start. You generally are not eligible to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy again for eight years following the discharge of a previous one. You must also wait six years to file a Chapter 7 after having filed a Chapter 13 reorganization. Similarly, you cannot complete a Chapter 7 for at least four years following discharge of a Chapter 13, nor a Chapter 13 for two years.
If you find yourself in financial distress and feel that you need to file bankruptcy before one of the above waiting periods has lapsed, a Conroe bankruptcy lawyer will work with you to determine if an alternative exists. For instance, you can convert an existing Chapter 13 into a Chapter 7 before the eight year period has passed.
You may also find that filing bankruptcy is to your benefit even if you have not yet received a discharge. This can be a way, for instance, of preventing your home from falling into foreclosure because the bankruptcy filing creates an automatic stay. Previous to 1985 this stay would remain in effect, but now you will need to seek authorization from the court to keep it effective past 12 months.
It is important to keep in mind that in certain rare instances you may be barred from filing bankruptcy for 180 days if you refuse to abide by a court order or a creditor received relief from an automatic stay, which then led to voluntary dismissal of your case.
Call Us if You Need to File Bankruptcy
Filing bankruptcy can be a complex and difficult process. It is in your best interests, therefore, to work with a strong and experienced Conroe bankruptcy lawyer who will fight for you. Call Peterson Law Group to arrange a consultation today at 979-703-7014 or 936-337-4681.