For many people, some tough breaks can negatively affect their finances for the long term. Although filing for bankruptcy protection may help, they may find the need to file a second or subsequent time if their financial struggles continue.
If you find yourself in this situation, the good news is that you can file for bankruptcy in Georgia more than once. However, there may be some limitations on your case depending on your situation and the details of your first bankruptcy filing.
For example, you may need to wait a certain period of time after your most recent bankruptcy discharge to file again. This time period depends on the type of bankruptcy you most recently filed and the chapter under which you would like to file now. The following are some guidelines for each situation.
If you have already received a Chapter 7 discharge, you must wait at least eight years from the date on which you filed the previous claim before you can file for Chapter 7 again.
However, you only need to wait four years after the filing date of the Chapter 7 case to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. While it might seem like a bad idea to file for bankruptcy twice in four years, this is one circumstance in which it might be helpful to do so. You can use the restructuring processes of Chapter 13 to develop a repayment plan that helps you catch up on missed payments and other high-priority debts that could not be discharged when you filed for Chapter 7.
The process of filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy after a Chapter 7 discharge is often referred to as a Chapter 20 bankruptcy.
If you had debts discharged in a previous Chapter 13 claim, you cannot receive another Chapter 13 discharge for at least two years after the filing date of the first. It usually takes three to five years to complete a repayment plan, so you can typically file for another Chapter 13 bankruptcy as soon as you close the first case.
If you want to file Chapter 7 after having filed for Chapter 13, you have to wait at least six years from the filing date of the original case. However, this six-year rule does not apply if you paid back all your unsecured debts or at least 70 percent of your unsecured debts with a plan that was proposed in good faith.
For more information on the rules regarding when and how you can file for bankruptcy in Georgia, consult an attorney at Jeff Field & Associates. Call the firm at 404-381-1278 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.
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