Filing For Bankruptcy More Than Once
Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Michigan is a complicated process. It can become even more complex if you attempt to file a second time. There are several factors that determine whether or not you qualify for a second bankruptcy.
If You Have A Prior Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows for your property to be liquidated and sold to pay off your debts, which are then discharged. If you successfully filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and had your debts discharged, you must wait eight years from the time you filed before you can file again.
If you decide to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can file four years after your original Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 13 is different, in that it follows a structured reorganization of your debt, with a payment plan of 3-5 years.
If You Have A Prior Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
If you have previously filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, then you must wait two years after your original filing to file again. Remember, if you file after only 2 years, you will still be in your original repayment plan, which might make you eligible for a second discharge immediately after your first plan is paid off. Consult your Michigan bankruptcy attorney to learn more about this option.
You might consider a Chapter 7 bankruptcy after your original Chapter 13. In that case, you must wait six years from the original Chapter 13 filing. Keep in mind that if you have paid 100% of your debt, the court has the option to waive the waiting period. They may also waive the waiting period if you have paid 70% of the debt.
Whether you have paid 100% or 70%, your repayment must have been in “good faith”. This means that the court finds that you did your absolute best to pay off what you could.
Filing Again After A Bankruptcy Dismissal
Sometimes, you’re unable to meet the obligations set forth in your bankruptcy case. This can lead to your case being dismissed rather than having your debts discharged. In this case, you are back to being in debt, and will affect how and when you can refile.
If you made mistakes, such as filing the wrong forms or missing deadlines, the court can dismiss your case without prejudice. This means that you didn’t intend to abuse the system, and you can refile immediately.
If the courts find that you did intend to abuse the system, they will dismiss your case with prejudice. This can happen if you have committed fraud or if you have filed several cases to receive an automatic stay.
In bankruptcy cases dismissed with prejudice, the court will determine the length of time before you can file again.
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