How many bankruptcy cases can you file?
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Some things are once-in-a-lifetime experiences for most people. Climbing Mount Everest or getting married are common "one and done" occurrences. Some other things you only want to do once (or never), like heart surgery. But how about bankruptcy? Ideally, Wilmington bankruptcy should be one and done, and you get Chapter 7 debt relief and need never repeat the process. But if you wanted (or needed) to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy again, can you?
Yes, You Can File More Than One Wilmington Bankruptcy
The short answer is yes - you can file more than one Chapter 7 bankruptcy case in your life. Most people see Wilmington bankruptcy as a last resort. While most filers do feel like they’ve hit rock bottom when they file, really Chapter 7 is an opportunity for a fresh start to climb out of debt and recover. The after-effects of bankruptcy can include less stress, better sleep, a higher credit score, and a better marriage.
Those are things you don’t usually associate with bankruptcy, but getting out from under debt stress can be life-changing. For most of our clients, we don’t see them for a second Wilmington Chapter 7. Why? Most bankruptcy filers had a life-altering event that initiated their debt spiral. For some, it’s job loss. For others, it may be a divorce. Others have cancer or a car accident that triggers money problems.
Once the underlying problem is resolved and bankruptcy discharge rids them of unaffordable debt, the consumer has a clean slate. That means they can move forward and hopefully never get back into a financial crisis again. Although repeat business is nice, we hope our clients need never come back to file a subsequent bankruptcy because they make the most of the fresh start after discharge.
How Many Times Can You File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
How many cases you file is limited only by the legally mandated gap between filings and how long you live. If you file your first bankruptcy at age 18 and live into your 90s, you could file 10 Chapter 7 cases, if you were so inclined, and had ongoing money problems. Very few people file more than one bankruptcy case in their life. It is usually a one and done event, like heart surgery as mentioned above.
What’s far more likely is that a Wilmington consumer files Chapter 13 and then converts to Chapter 7. Or they file Chapter 7 and follow it with a Chapter 13. Converting from Chapter 13 to 7 is common if you find you can’t afford the repayment plan or decide the asset you were trying to save (home or auto) isn’t worth the trouble. This can happen if you have low or negative equity and for other reasons.
In other cases, you may file Chapter 7 to shed credit cards and medical bill and then file Chapter 13 to help you catch up on secured debt that you couldn’t diminish or discharge in Chapter 7. In most cases, though, one bankruptcy chapter filing is adequate to meet your goals. Don’t decide what course of action is best until you speak to a reputable North Carolina bankruptcy attorney.
Your Financial Goals Should Determine Bankruptcy Filing
Sometimes filing Wilmington bankruptcy is an ideal solution, but not right now. Depending on your income, whether you have assets to protect, and whether you’re facing foreclosure or repossession, an attorney may advise you to file Chapter 7 (or 13) immediately or wait a few months. Since the court looks at the last six months of income, you might not qualify now for Chapter 7 but could later.
Gather your financial documents, paycheck stubs, bills, and any collection notices then come to the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt to discuss your options. Read reviews from clients then call +1-919-646-2654 to set a free Wilmington bankruptcy consultation at one of our locations in Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville, Wilson, Greensboro, Garner or Wilmington.