Consumer Bankruptcy:

Filing For Successive Bankruptcies

While the new bankruptcy law does not eliminate the ability to file as many bankruptcy cases as often as an individual might wish, it does considerably reduce the purpose of this “serial filing.”
 
Further elements that are important to note include conditions concerning discharges. A discharge for Chapter 7 cannot be obtained by an individual if he or she has received a prior discharge in 1) a Chapter 7 case filed with the previous 8 years, or 2) a Chapter 13 case, filed within the previous 6 years. The time limit is calculated from the start of the bankruptcy cases, not from the date the discharge was obtained.
 
Additionally, a Chapter 13 discharge cannot be obtained by an individual if she or he has received a prior discharge in 1) a Chapter 7 case filed within the previous 4 years, or 2) a Chapter 13 case filed within the previous 2 years. Once again, the time limit is calculated from the start of the bankruptcy cases, not from the date the discharge was obtained.
 
Beyond these changes, Congress also ratified further changes with the goal of cutting down or entirely ending the effect of the bankruptcy stay on individuals that file serially. On the most basic level, the law reduces the length of the stay to 30 days, in the event that a bankruptcy case that the debtor filed which was pending in the previous year was dismissed.  If two or more cases within the previous year were pending and then dismissed, the stay will not be enacted. Finally, if a Chapter 7 case was dismissed on the grounds of abuse and the debtor files again under a different chapter (for example, Chapter 13), the length of the stay is unaffected. 

 

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