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Nov-13-2020 12:07printcomments

How Often Can You File Bankruptcy?

When you get a bankruptcy discharge, creditors cannot make any move to collect their debt.

Photo by Markus Winkler, Pexels

(SALEM, Ore.) - You may be facing financial hardship and are wondering what relief options are available to you. You may have become unemployed and bankruptcy is now looking like a legitimate option.

Whatever you are facing, the purpose of this article is to explore the bankruptcy option in Oregon for those who have already filed a bankruptcy in the past.

There’s no limit on the number of times you can file for bankruptcy. The Bankruptcy Code enables you to file for bankruptcy an unlimited number of times in a lifetime.

The reason for this is the acceptance that an individual may experience a financial crisis multiple times. Thus, they didn’t restrict people from filing for a bankruptcy discharge again.

However, there’s a restriction on the number of discharges an individual can get within a specified period. You can file for a bankruptcy discharge at any interval, but there is a time-frame for getting a discharge.

What is a Bankruptcy Discharge?

Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy discharges are primarily designed to eliminate debts. A bankruptcy discharge is an order issued by a bankruptcy court to eliminate any responsibility to pay a debt.

When you get a bankruptcy discharge, then your creditors cannot make any move to collect their debt.

You can get a bankruptcy discharge on most types of debt. Examples of those debts are old rent payments, credit card bills, medical debts, child support, and most personal judgments. Examples of debts that are not dischargeable are student loans, most tax debts, debts owed to the government, child support, and alimony.

A bankruptcy discharge doesn’t get rid of a secured lien on a property. As such, it’s impossible to get a discharge on a car loan or mortgage. However, if you want to stop loan payments, a way out is by forfeiting the property.

It’s a complete waste of time and money to file for bankruptcy without getting a bankruptcy discharge. Without the discharge, you will be required to pay your debt payment even though you filed for a bankruptcy discharge.

However, there are some ways a debtor can benefit from merely filing for bankruptcy discharge. For example, you can file for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Oregon immediately after filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Oregon to stretch out undercharged debts.

Although it can be tricky to file for bankruptcy that soon, you should speak to your lawyer about what the law says on that.

How Often Can You Receive a Bankruptcy Discharge—The 2-4-6-8 Rule

As we mentioned earlier, you’re allowed to file for multiple bankruptcies at any time. However, filing for bankruptcy does not mean you’re eligible for one. Thus, the most relevant question is that: are there waiting periods between bankruptcy discharges? The short answer is yes.

There are two things that determine the waiting periods between bankruptcy discharges, and they are: The Chapter of the past bankruptcy discharge issued and the chapter filed. The 2-4-6-8 rule applies to anyone that got a bankruptcy discharge in their previous case.

The 2-4-6-8 rule restricts people from getting a bankruptcy discharge until after 2, 4, 6, or 8 years after the last bankruptcy discharge. But how do you know the waiting period that applies to you? You simply have to look at the last discharge you got and the chapter of bankruptcy you’re filing now.

In short, it all depends on the different types of bankruptcy. To reiterate, you must qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, so a helpful question to answer is. “What is the income limit for filing chapter 7?”

The following determines the waiting period between bankruptcy discharges:

  • Two years—(Chapter 13 to Chapter 13)—you have to wait for two years if you’re filing for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy discharge after filing one.
  • Four years—(Chapter 7 to Chapter 13)—you’ll have to wait for four years if you want to file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy discharge after getting a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge.
  • Six years—(Chapter 13 to Chapter 7)—You’ll have to wait for a six-year-period if you want to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge after getting a Chapter 13 bankruptcy discharge.
  • Eight Years—(Chapter 7 to Chapter 7)—the waiting period for getting a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge after getting one before is eight years.

The time limit for getting bankruptcy discharges are calculated from the day that the previous bankruptcy case was filed. Thus, the waiting period is calculated from the filing date to filing date and not from discharge to the filing date.

In the past years, we’ve seen an upsurge in the number of people that want to file a Chapter 13 after a Chapter 7. Other things you may consider is how much cash is exempt in a Chapter 7.

What about cases where no bankruptcy discharge was issued?

Your waiting period to file another bankruptcy case might be shorter if you did not get a bankruptcy discharge in your previous bankruptcy filing.

For example, you can file for another bankruptcy discharge within 180 days if the court dismissed your previous bankruptcy case. However, you can’t discharge debts in your previous bankruptcy case if the court denied your application.

In a case of a bankruptcy discharge denial or dismissal, the best thing is to consult with an experienced lawyer before filing for bankruptcy again.

Some special circumstances can alter the time limit attached to filing another bankruptcy discharge. As such, you should speak with a bankruptcy lawyer to clarify that.

Explore other debt-relief options before talking to an attorney. You may be wondering about the alternatives to bankruptcy that you can explore. The main options are the following:

  1. Debt Settlement
  2. Debt Management
  3. Debt Payoff Planning

Debt settlement is where a company or you negotiates a lower total amount due. For debt settlement, you should look up reviews of companies before pursuing this option. For example, check Oak View Law Group reviews, ClearOne Advantages reviews, or National Debt Relief Reddit that can provide insights as to what you should be doing.

For debt settlement, your debt is also going unpaid for a long period of time, so you should consider this question, “How often do debt collectors take you to court?” before pursuing this option.

Debt management is where a company negotiates a lower interest rate. Debt payoff planning is lining up your debt and prioritizing which to put a monthly extra amount.

Source: Special Features Dept.


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