Filing that Second Bankruptcy: Should or Should Not? - Westgate Law

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Filing that Second Bankruptcy: Should or Should Not?

Poor financial decisions, recessions or the loss of a job can happen at any time during a person’s life.  These times may happen more than once in a person’s life and require considering many less than ideal options.  Sometimes filing a second bankruptcy is a way to wipe the slate clean once again.

A person can only file Chapter 7 bankruptcy and receive a bankruptcy discharge once during an eight year time period.  So, while filing another bankruptcy may be in your future, this eight year time frame must be considered.  The eight year time clock starts from the date you filed your previous case, not when the case was discharged or closed.  Even if the eighth year is close, you may be up against creditor’s lawsuits.  If you are faced with this amount of pressure, you may want to consider filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy while awaiting that eighth year.

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy involves a repayment of some or all of your debt over a 3-5 year period.  In some cases, a person who is filing could have a very low monthly payment.  Often, that amount will not pay back very much to your creditor; but, if you are facing lawsuits or garnishment of wages, some sort of bankruptcy protection is needed.

Hiring an experienced bankruptcy attorney who deals with fair debt collection issues is essential.  The attorney will act as a goalkeeper,  to help protect you from creditor harassment and at times, from lawsuits.  Collection agencies do not want to sue someone who is close to filing for bankruptcy.  Collectors must weigh the benefit of suing as opposed to collecting as much as they can without the legal cost of court.  Debt collectors will take the threat of filing bankruptcy more seriously if the person has retained an attorney.  Hiring an attorney will at the very least, buy you some time.   This is really an attempt to slow down the creditor’s collection activity until you are eligible to file another Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This extra time may be exactly what you need to clear your head and allow you to make the best financial decision for you and your family.

If you still aren’t sure if you should file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, get in touch with a southern California bankruptcy attorney at Westgate Law.

About the Author

Justin Harelik

Justin has a singular goal: to get people out of financial distress and move them to financial stability and prosperity. He does this by combining 15 years of in-depth experience in bankruptcy, credit management, debt negotiation and student loan modifications, and he does it with both English and Spanish-speaking clients.

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