How Soon Can I Re-file Bankruptcy?

by admin on October 23, 2010

It’s one of the sadder questions I face as a bankruptcy lawyer: “How soon can I refile another bankruptcy case?”

Bankruptcy is no fun, folks. If you think people are gleefully rushing to file bankruptcy instead of just paying their debts, you’re absolutely wrong. I’ve counseled hundreds of individuals and couples over the course of my career as a bankruptcy attorney and I can honestly say that no one, but no one, wants to file a bankruptcy case. To the contrary — they would do almost anything to avoid it.

So why does this question ever happen? Why do people file bankruptcy the first time — not to mention, a second time on the bankruptcy not-very-merry-go-round?

Most people who file a bankruptcy case have tried almost everything else to avoid it. They’ve prayed and hoped, and hoped and prayed. They’ve robbed Peter to pay Paul, and vice-versa: paying Mastercard this month, Visa the next, and Discover the month after. They’ve borrowed all the money they can from Mom or Dad or Grandpa. In short they’ve made all the wrong moves, but out of desperation — not greed or selfishness so much as just plain simple terror.

I’ve developed a reputation for trying to talk people out of bankruptcy. Partly because there are alternatives for those who don’t wait too late and who have the right motivation. But also because if you fail to learn the lessons of what left you vulnerable to bankruptcy in the first place, you’re very likely to stumble into the same problems after bankruptcy and end up asking me this very question.

The answer to the question, by the way, is that you can only get a second Ch. 7 discharge in a case that is filed at least 8 years after the filing of the first Ch. 7. (4 years if the second case is a Ch. 13; 2 years if you’re filing a second Ch. 13 case after an original Ch. 13 case. See 11 U.S.C.  § 727(a)(8) and § 1328, respectively.)

The good news is that, barring the extremely rarely-used involuntary bankruptcy, no one is going to force you to file bankruptcy. More good news is that believe it or not, most creditors will never sue you even if you stop paying them. And when they do, it’s not the end of the world — with a little effort, you can survive and avoid most garnishments and the effects of a judgment.

A judgment, after all, is not much more than a piece of paper saying that you owe someone money. But you already had plenty of those — they’re called “bills” and they arrive in your mailbox daily.  In the meantime, with some help and support and a little specialized knowledge, you can fight through this and live to fight another day.

I counsel people to treat bankruptcy as an emergency parachute. One that they can keep and know is always available to them if they really need it. But until that fourth engine on your financial airliner catches fire, you can concentrate on regaining control of your personal finances and safely land it on the ground once the danger has passed.

If your financial airplane is encountering engine trouble, give me a call. I’m legendary for helping people get control and find financial peace and stability. I can help you stop the creditor collection calls, and let you confidently open all of your mail again. I promise you, you won’t be sorry that you called me. I’m a different kind of bankruptcy attorney — one who is more interested in helping you find a permanent solution and financial peace, than making a quick fee.

Ben Callicoat; 918 409-2462

5 comments

My experience exactly. Despite the handful who use the system fraudulently, the vast majority do it out of desperation. They need someone to hold their hand, not to treat them like pariahs, or–as some attorneys who will go unnamed seem to do–like so many component parts to a well oiled bankruptcy machine.

by Bob on November 1, 2010 at 10:08 pm. Reply #

Exactly, Bob. Thanks for the comment.

I’ve been involved in bankruptcy in one fashion or another since 1987 when I went to work for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. In all those years, I think I could count on one hand the number of cases that were questionable.

by Ben on November 2, 2010 at 7:39 am. Reply #

Great work keep it coming

by Ron Tedwater on November 13, 2010 at 4:14 pm. Reply #

Nice blog! I learn many things about bankruptcy law. Keep posting. Keep up the good work.

by marlon on December 8, 2010 at 1:22 pm. Reply #

Really nice post,thank you, best website ever

by maria andros on December 8, 2010 at 6:21 pm. Reply #

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