What are the time limitations on being able to file bankruptcy ?

A person can file a bankruptcy almost anytime in their effort to obtain a fresh start and put their financial problems behind them. However, there are certain restrictions on whether the filing can be under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.

                                                       ELIGIBILTY TO FILE A CHAPTER 7 BANKRUPTCY

a.  A person can only file a Chapter 7 every eights years. The eight year time period restricts the filing of your case within eights years of your present filing. Otherwords, it is calculated from the date of filing not the date of discharge.

b.  A person cannot file a new Chapter 7, if they previously filed a Chapter 13 in which they received a discharge, and the new Chapter 7 is being filed within six years from the date of the filing of the Chapter 13. Again, it should be pointed out that the calculation is from the date of filing not the date of discharge. An exception to where a person would be able to file a Chapter 7, where the filing of the Chapter 13 which resulted in a discharge is less than six years from the previous filing, is where creditors in the earlier case were paid at least 70 percent of their claims. 

                                                   ELIGIBILITY TO FILE A CHAPTER 13 BANKRUPTCY

a.  A person cannot receive a discharge in a Chapter 13, if they previously filed a Chapter 7 in which they received a discharge, and the filing of the new Chapter 13 is being filed within four years of the previous filing of the Chapter 7. Again, it should be pointed out that the relevant time period is from the date of filing not the date of discharge. 

b. A person cannot receive a discharge in a Chapter 13 case, if they previously filed a Chapter 13 in which they received a discharge, and the filing of the new Chapter 13 is being filed within two years of the filing of the previous Chapter 13. Again, it should be pointed out that the calculation is from the date of filing not the date of discharge.

                     ELIGIBILITY TO FILE A CHAPTER 13 BANKRUPTCY EVEN IF UNABLE TO RECEIVE A DISCHARGE

A person can still file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy even though they may not be eligible to receive a discharge. The main benefit is that you will still receive the protection of the automatic stay. This is what prohibits creditors from proceeding against you. That being the case, you could file to cure a mortgage default or any other type of default. 

                                                    IMPORTANT DISTICTION BETWEEN CHAPTER 13 AND CHAPTER 7

An important distinction between Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 is that a person can file a Chapter 13 and receive a discharge that is within eights years of a prior filing of a Chapter 7 that resulted in a discharge. Otherwords, the receiving of a discharge in the Chapter 13 is less than the eights years required to receive a discharge in a Chapter 7.

Since most Chapter 13s last anywhere from three to five years, a prior Chapter 13 will almost never prevent a person from filing a new Chapter 13. In essence, there are basically no restrictions on a person's ability to file a Chapter 13.

If you are seriously thinking about filing bankruptcy or simply have unanswered questions, then give Pittsburgh Bankruptcy Attorney Rodney Shepherd a call today at 412 471-9670 or fill out our client contact form. An appointment will be scheduled in which you will receive a free consultation to assist you in obtaining your much deserved fresh start.