How To Handle New Debts After Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

25 Sep How To Handle New Debts After Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Your Chapter 7 case is done, your attorney sent you the Order of Discharge and you are ready for your “fresh start”. And the next thing that happens, you end up in the hospital, unemployed, or a death leaves you with mounting bills. Some awful thing happens and you end up right back where you started–unable to pay your bills and in financial difficulty. What can you do? Your attorney told you that the 2005 Act changed the filing time to 8 years from Chapter 7 filing to new Chapter 7 filing.

All is not lost. You can still file a Chapter 13. The 2005 Act changed the ability to get a discharge in a Chapter 13 after filing a Chapter 7 (and getting a discharge) to 4 years after the Chapter 7. That means, you can still file a 13 but not get a discharge until 4 years have passed. BUT, the protections of the automatic stay still are available, so creditors cannot harass you for the time that your Chapter 13 is open and operating. You may be able to get a discharge in less time if you are paying 100% or are paying 70% of the bills making your best efforts. This may be the time that a 5-year plan (optional for some people; mandatory for people with high income) would be the better option as another discharge is available after the 4th year.

Talk to an attorney who is experienced in these matters and explore your options. You may be able to get relief from creditor harassment.

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I'm a consumer protection lawyer in Oregon, working with people in Klamath; Lake; Jackson; Josephine; Curry; and Deschutes County. I speak regularly on bankruptcy and consumer protection issues nationwide.
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