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Do I qualify for more than one Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

After discharging debt in a Chapter 7 liquidation, a debtor may sometimes need additional relief from his or her debt. While it is possible for a single person to receive multiple discharges under Chapter 7, it requires special planning and patience. There are a number of actions a debtor may take that could invalidate a second Chapter 7 procedure, leaving the debtor with many fewer options than he or she may believe are available.

Courts generally choose to deny Chapter 7 bankruptcies if the person filing received a discharge under Chapter 7 within eight years of filing the second bankruptcy. The debtor may even see a Chapter 7 bankruptcy denied if he or she underwent a Chapter 12 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy with in the last six years.

However, a debtor may see an additional Chapter 7 procedure honored if he or she meets two standards. That person must pay all "allowed unsecured" claims from the previous bankruptcy in full, and must have made the payments to over at least 70 percent of the previously owed debts while abiding within the rules of the bankruptcy.

If you believe that you may need to file for an additional bankruptcy, an experienced attorney can provide guidance before you make any big moves. Qualifying for multiple bankruptcies requires very special attention to detail to ensure a court does not deny your application and put you in a worse position than you were beforehand. With professional legal counsel, you can assess your needs and choose the solutions that fit you, keeping your future protected as you work toward financial freedom.

Source: Findlaw, "The Debt Discharge in Bankruptcy FAQ," accessed Dec. 22, 2017

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