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Individuals struggling financially may have already filed for bankruptcy and received a discharge of debt. Nevertheless, it is common to face continuing challenges. If you are considering a repeat filing for bankruptcy, there are time limits that must be adhered to in order to discharge debt. At the Bankruptcy Center of Illinois, our DuPage County bankruptcy lawyers can help you understand the process and provide legal counsel for your bankruptcy matter. A repeat filing under Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be appropriate based on your particular circumstances.
The benefits of filing for bankruptcy include the overall goal of discharging debt. Additionally, people receive an automatic stay. When filing under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, people seek to relieve themselves of dischargeable debts. A discharge helps to provide a clean financial slate. It is important for consumers to understand that there are some debts that cannot be discharged, and yet even in these situations, it may still be advantageous to file for bankruptcy.
The time period you must wait to file for bankruptcy and receive a discharge depends on the type of bankruptcy you previously filed for, and the type you intend to file for now. In other words, if you are filing for bankruptcy under the same chapter, you will need to wait a certain period of time before filing again.
If you are planning to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must wait eight years after you previously filed to seek another discharge of debt under Chapter 7. Eight years begins to run from the date you filed the initial petition for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you file a repeat filing too early, you will not receive a discharge. If you previously filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, received a discharge, and intend to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, you must wait four years.
Chapter 13 requires you wait two years to file for another discharge if you received a discharge under this Chapter previously. For Chapter 13 cases, you will be required to complete a debt repayment plan in order to receive a discharge. This is usually structured over a period of 3-5 years.
For those seeking a Chapter 7 discharge after receiving a Chapter 13 discharge, they must file a Chapter 7 case six years after the date they filed for Chapter 13. It may be possible to receive an earlier Chapter 7 discharge if you have paid your unsecured creditors in full in the Chapter 13 case, paid at least 70% of the claims under the repayment plan, and the court determines the plan proposed was in good faith.
The general rule is that a debtor can file for bankruptcy any time if they did not receive a discharge in their first bankruptcy case. Filing another bankruptcy case close in time to the original may affect an automatic stay. An automatic stay that limits creditors’ ability to collect debts may last a short period of time if you filed your second case within one year of the first. If you file for bankruptcy twice in one year, there will not be an automatic stay for the third filing.
Repeat filings for bankruptcy require adherence to the time limits. If you have already filed for bankruptcy and are considering filing again, we can help. At the Bankruptcy Center of Illinois, an experienced DuPage County repeat filings bankruptcy attorney is prepared to walk you through your next steps. Our office proudly represents debtors throughout Illinois, including localities such as Cook County, DuPage County including Wheaton, Aurora, and Naperville, and Lake County. Phone our office today at (773) 993-0024 or reach us online to set up a free consultation.