Recent tough economic times have made it difficult for many people to meet their financial obligations. However, debt should not be the end of the road for debtors. The law provides different alternatives to allow people to pay what they owe while they build a new financial beginning. Bankruptcy has been a powerful tool to manage and solve debt problems for decades – but can you file multiple bankruptcies? How often can you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 in California? Our skilled Roseville bankruptcy attorneys invite you to read as we answer these critical questions.
Can You File for Bankruptcy Twice?
You have no restrictions on the amount of times you can file for bankruptcy. However, there are limits on the times you can obtain a bankruptcy discharge, which is different from simply filing. The discharge is what actually eliminates your liability for debts.
Your eligibility for another bankruptcy discharge will depend on the kind of bankruptcy you filed for in the past, and the type you intend to file for next. For instance, if you previously filed for Chapter 7 and were successful in getting your debts discharged, you would need to wait eight years before obtaining another Chapter 7 discharge. An experienced Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer can assist you with this process.
If you filed for Chapter 13, your waiting time may differ. To begin with, Chapter 13 bankruptcy usually takes three to five years to complete, compared to four to six months in Chapter 7, building time into the process. However, the waiting period to receive another Chapter 13 discharge after your initial Chapter 13 discharge is only two years, compared to eight years for successive Chapter 7 discharges.
But what happens if you received a Chapter 7 discharge, and you want to file for Chapter 13? You may be able to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy after receiving a Chapter 7 discharge. However, you need to wait at least four years from the initial Chapter 7 filing date to be eligible for Chapter 13.
Likewise, you may also file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after receiving a Chapter 13 discharge. However, you will have to wait for a period of six years from the initial Chapter 13 filing to be eligible for a Chapter 7 discharge. However, you may be able to bypass the six-year waiting period if, during your Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you were able to pay back all your unsecured debts in full, and you acted in good faith.
Keep in mind that filing and receiving a discharge under bankruptcy law requires truthfulness and compliance from the debtor. If the debtor disregards court orders, or if the case is dismissed with prejudice by the court, he or she can be restricted from filing again. The court may impose a determined amount of time you can be barred from filing for bankruptcy.
What Are the Benefits of Filing for Bankruptcy?
Filing for bankruptcy in California can bring many benefits to debtors who are going through a difficult financial situation. Selecting the appropriate bankruptcy chapter can help you get a new financial beginning.
Chapter 7 or “straight bankruptcy” is a process through which debtors can obtain the benefit of discharging most of their debt, including medical debt and credit card debt. Keep in mind, however, that a bankruptcy cannot remove certain obligations, such as child support payments. Another advantage of Chapter 7 is that it is a fast process. Many bankruptcy cases can take as little as three to four months to resolve. That means you can be debt-free, or at least dramatically reduce what you owe, in a matter of mere months.
Chapter 13 is also known as a “reorganization bankruptcy.” In Chapter 13, debtors create a repayment plan that can last from three to five years. During this period, the debtor has to make payments without delay. If the debtor fails to follow through with the plan, he or she can have their case dismissed and miss the opportunity of receiving the benefits of a Chapter 13 discharge.
People filing for a Chapter 13 also have the benefit of potentially protecting their homes from foreclosure. Ask our attorneys about filing bankruptcy to stop foreclosure if you are worried about losing your home.
Your bankruptcy discharge will appear in your credit history no matter which chapter or chapters you filed for. However, a Chapter 13 discharge will stay on your credit report for seven years, compared to 10 years for Chapter 7.
California Bankruptcy Attorneys Serving Roseville and Sacramento
Do not let debt take control over your life. Bankruptcy can help you build a new path towards financial recovery.
At The Bankruptcy Group, we understand how difficult it can be to face a tough financial situation. That is why we dedicate our practice to providing nothing but high-quality bankruptcy services to each one of our clients. Our knowledgeable Roseville bankruptcy lawyers will guide you through the entire process, making sure you understand each step of your bankruptcy. To learn more in a free, confidential consultation, our law offices today at (800) 920-5351, or contact us online.