Salt Lake City Bankruptcy Lawyer | How long do I have to wait to file bankruptcy again?

One of the provisions of the Bankruptcy code that I deal with very frequently as a Salt Lake City Bankruptcy Lawyer is  the provision dealing with how long you must wait after receiving a discharge in bankruptcy to file for bankruptcy again and receive a second discharge.

How long do I have to wait to get a Chapter 7 discharge? 

Any Salt Lake City bankruptcy attorney should know by heart that under 11 U.S.C. section 727(a)(8) you cannot receive a discharge until 8 years after a previous Chapter 7 discharge.

How long do I have to wait to get a Chapter 13 discharge?

The waiting time for a Chapter 13 discharge is much shorter than for a Chapter 7.  In general, the Bankruptcy code attempts to encourage people to file under Chapter 13 instead of Chapter 7 because it generally works out better for creditors.  Thus, you will find looser restrictions for Chapter 13 cases in the bankruptcy code relating to various things such as income restrictions, waiting periods, etc.  Under 11 U.S.C. section 1328(f) you cannot receive a discharge until 4 years after a Chapter 7 discharge, or until 2 years after a Chapter 13 discharge.

Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish by filing for bankruptcy, sometimes these waiting periods will not affect you, however.  If you are still inside of the waiting period, it is important to realize that although you cannot file for bankruptcy and receive a discharge of your debts, you can still file for bankruptcy.  

As a bankruptcy attorney in Salt Lake City, I suggest this option frequently.  Why would someone do this?  Well, sometimes the goal in filing bankruptcy is not necessarily to extinguish your debts, but simply to protect you from your creditors.  Thus, by filing for bankruptcy under either chapter 7 or chapter 13 you can still prevent a foreclosure on your house, a wage garnishment, or get your debts under control and pay them off with a monthly payment.

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