This is one of the most common questions we receive in our office and generally the answer is YES. It is rare that clients are not eligible to file a new bankruptcy case if they have filed a previous bankruptcy. In fact, many of our clients have had to file bankruptcies with our office in the past and come back again to see us if they need to re-file. At Wootton and Wootton we are always happy to help guide you through the bankruptcy process and determine your eligibility to file another bankruptcy case.
In a Ch 13 bankruptcy, if your previous case has been dismissed and you have not had more than 2 cases pending within the last 12 months then we can work with you to help you file a new Ch13. If you are unsure of when your previous case was pending just call our office and we will be more than happy to assist you in determining the timing of your previous case and when you can file a new case. If you have received a discharge in a previous Ch 13 you are usually eligible to file another Ch 13. The rule is, if you received a discharge in a previous Ch 13 you have to wait two years from the FILING DATE of the original Ch 13 to file a new case. Since most Ch 13 plans are at least 3 years long it is very rare that we ever see anyone who has been discharged from a Ch 13 case not be eligible to file another Ch 13.
If you have previously filed a Ch 7 bankruptcy you would be required to wait 8 years from the filing date of the original Ch 7 to file a new Ch 7 bankruptcy. However, you can file a Ch 13 bankruptcy 4 years after the filing date of the original Ch 7. This can be a huge benefit to someone that may have had a decrease in income and is now behind on a house or car they are trying to keep. Also, many of our Ch 13 clients end up paying 0% plans to their unsecured creditors. This means many clients don’t have to pay money back to credit cards, unsecured loans and medical bills in a new Ch 13 filing.
The best rule of thumb if you are considering re-filing a new bankruptcy case is to call our office and just ask. At our office you can speak directly with an attorney and we always offer free consultations. We will never charge you a fee until you are ready to file a case. Knowledge is power and we are here to provide you with the answers you need to make the best decision possible.