Can I file Chapter 7 bankruptcy again if it is an emergency? How? 16 Answers as of August 10, 2015

I filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy 6 years ago and I received credit cards within 2 years of filing. I was let go from my job in March 2013 and am having a hard time paying the credit card companies. Three credit cards to be exact. Can I file again if it is an emergency? One card has a collection agency after me. I just need to be done with credit cards for the rest of my life.

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Tokarska Law Center
Tokarska Law Center | Kathryn U. Tokarska
You can either wait out 2 years until you reach 8 years since filing your previous chapter 7 case, in which I assume you received a discharge OR file chapter 13, which is a restructure/repayment type of bankruptcy. Which option is better depends on more details about your situation. One consideration is that while dealing with credit collection agencies is frustrating unless and until you are actually sued and such lawsuit(s) are reduced to a judgment it is at this point that there may be a compelling reason to protect assets: such as wages or money in the bank. There may be compelling reasons for moving forward with chapter 13 now and there may be other reasons for wanting to wait 2 years and go with another chapter 7. You'll want to review your situation with an attorney to help you make the best decision based on your particular circumstances.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/10/2015
Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
Good idea about swearing off credit cards, except that people should generally have one (and not more) for time when you need to use ite.g. when renting a car, or reserving a room at a motel. There is no emergency which permits filing a chapter 7 and receiving a discharge unless at least eight years have passed from the date of the first filing to the second. You are permitted to file under Chapter 13 after only four years. Consult a lawyer well-versed in bankruptcy in your area for a detailed review of your situation.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 8/7/2015
Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
There is no emergency exception to the 8 year rule between Chapter 7 bankruptcies. Between a Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13 only 4 years is required. ?You could file a Chapter 13 now.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 8/7/2015
Eranthe Law Firm
Eranthe Law Firm | Cate Eranthe
Its too soon to file another chapter 7. You could file a chapter 13 or you can wait. Just because collections is after you isn't an emergency. Please go see a local knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney who can help provide some perspective and give you specific advice based on all the facts.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/6/2015
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C.
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
You can file a Chapter 7 once every 8 years. Your only option is to file a Chapter 13 BK, and make a small monthly payment to the CH13 Trustee for 36 months. Meet with an experienced BK lawyer to explain the process to you. Any lawyer worth their salt is going to charge you a small amount for the meeting, but the meeting takes at least an hour to explain everything to you.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 8/6/2015
    Marc S. Stern
    Marc S. Stern | Marc S. Stern
    There is a big difference between filing and receiving a discharge. You cannot receive a discharge in a Chapter 7 that is filed less than 8 years after the first bankruptcy. You can file a Chapter 13 after 4 years and receive a discharge in the 13.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/6/2015
    Patrick W. Currin, Attorney at Law | Patrick Currin
    There are no exceptions in the time to file laws.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/6/2015
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    Whether you have an emergency or not, you could file another chapter 7 case but you will not be eligible to obtain a discharge of any of your debts as a result of a 2nd bankruptcy filed less than 8 years after a previous bankruptcy case. So filing another Chapter 7 will protect you for no more than 6 months, maybe less. Your definition of an emergency is not the same as the laws definition of an emergency, which might be something like a diagnosis of cancer.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/6/2015
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
    The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
    No, you can not file until the 8 years is up, but if a collection agency is harassing you we may have a harassment lawsuit against them for which you get money damages and they pay your legal fee.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/6/2015
    Law Office of Michael Johnson
    Law Office of Michael Johnson | Michael Johnson
    No but you can file 13 and pay very little back over three years.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/6/2015
    Novakov & Associates, PLLC
    Novakov & Associates, PLLC | LINDA S. NOVAKOV
    You may only file Chapter 7 once every 8 years. You may be able to file for Chapter 13 - and if unable to continue plan payments - convert later to a Chapter 7.
    Answer Applies to: Kentucky
    Replied: 8/6/2015
    The Orantes Law Firm
    The Orantes Law Firm | Giovanni Orantes
    You can file a bankruptcy case again even if you are not eligible for a discharge if the filing is done for valid purposes. However, your question suggests that what you want is not only to file but also to discharge your debt. To get a discharge in a subsequent Chapter 7 case, you currently must wait 8 years from the date of filing of a Chapter 7 case in which you received a discharge. Since 6 years have already passed, you already qualify for a Chapter 13 discharge, but qualifying to file a Chapter 13 case would require that you first have regular income in some amount and then that you be subject to a plan to pay your disposable income for at least 3 years. That is, to state it simply, pay the money you have left over at the end of the month to the Chapter 13 Trustee to distribute to your creditors, but the amount you pay to your unsecured debt would be in an aggregate amount not to exceed the amount of your debt to such unsecured creditors. Although many Chapter 13 debtors pay little or nothing to unsecured creditors, the Chapter 13 trustees usually oppose to the end any plan that proposes to pay less than at least $100 per month. That money usually goes to pay for the administrative expenses due to the Chapter 13 trustee and to pay any unpaid portion of fees charged by the Debtor's attorney. If that is not satisfactory to you and what you seek is to file a Chapter 7 case and receive a discharge of your debt like you did before, then you must really wait for 8 years to pass since the filing date of your Chapter 7 case regardless of "emergency." Contact us at 213-389-4362 to set up a free in-person 1/2-1 hour consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/6/2015
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C.
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C. | Stuart M. Nachbar
    You can file for another 7 eight years from the date that you filed the first one, or you can file a Chapter 13 after five years from that same date.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/6/2015
    Charles Schneider, P.C.
    Charles Schneider, P.C. | Charles J. Schneider
    No but you can file a chapter 13.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/6/2015
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    You need to look into a ch13 bankruptcy at this time. You can not file a ch7 yet. You need 8 years for a new ch7.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/6/2015
    Garner Law Office
    Garner Law Office | Daniel Garner
    The required waiting period between chapter 7 cases is 8 years. Therefore, your only bankruptcy option at this time is a chapter 13 which requires a repayment plan geared to your ability to pay. The chapter 13 still provides a stay against all collection activities and would prevent the creditors from getting a judgment against you. However, it is a 3 to 5-year commitment and is considerably more expensive than a chapter 7. Therefore, you might be better off trying to settle with the collection agency.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/6/2015
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