Last year, one million people filed for bankruptcy, with 2010 on tap to top even that staggering figure. So what’s behind the big bankruptcy bump? A continuing housing crisis, higher health care costs, and unemployment hovering the double-digits. As a result, many people who have already filed in the past may be facing another round of tough financial times, and considering a second-time bankruptcy. But what considerations are there for someone considering a double-dip in the bankruptcy pool?
Well, under current bankruptcy rules, certain conditions apply for a second bankruptcy. In North Carolina, as is the case in all other states, you must wait 8 years between filing a Chapter 7 case and filing another Chapter 7 case; you must wait six years between a Chapter 13 and a Chapter 7, four years between a Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13, and two years between subsequent Chapter 13 filings.
Given these limitations, here are five quick tips to consider when contemplating a second bankruptcy filing.
In this era of economic strife, many feel they have nowhere to turn but for the benefits of bankruptcy. A sudden medical expense or lay-off can leave you feeling financially destitute. A lot can happen in the years between bankruptcies. In these cases, multiple bankruptcy filings may feel like the only option. Be thoughtful about a second shot at bankruptcy. Be honest with yourself about whether or not this option is best. And, most importantly, don’t be afraid to use the helping hand that bankruptcy can provide—once or twice— if your home, health, or ultimate happiness are otherwise at risk.
When you take a cold, hard look at your current debt, is it greater or less than the debts that prompted your first filing? What type of debt is it? Is your debt secured or unsecured? The answers to these questions can determine whether you need bankruptcy (i.e., less debt, more income); the particular bankruptcy that can help you most (e.g., Chapter 13 or 7); or whether bankruptcy can help at all (i.e., consumer debt vs. student loans).
Seek Financial Assistance
Considering multiple bankruptcies may signify a larger problem with spending, accumulating unnecessary debt, or other self-destructive traits. Just like you would seek a doctor for a continuing health problem, repeat brushes with insolvency may be a sure sign that you need the help of a financial advisor. Often, a low cost assessment can provide priceless insight into the persistent problems causing your financial failures.
Stop the Cycle of Spending
In most cases, Americans filing for bankruptcy today are merely the victims of the unexpected: layoffs, sudden injury or illness, or the fine print of consumer credit. That’s why, the second time around, it’s always important to look beyond the catastrophic event and to potential budgetary behaviors that may be contributing to the systemic problem. In short, curtail any spending habits that might have led you back to this financial place; shore up any spending on luxuries and non-essentials; and finally, and most importantly, because new bankruptcy laws can limit a third try, make this bankruptcy your last.
Get Good Legal Advice
If you’re considering another bankruptcy it’s time to turn to someone who’s got your back when you’re in the process of bouncing back a second time. That “someone” is inevitably a qualified bankruptcy attorney who can help you to conquer your another round of creditors and face your most recent financial fears, yielding the right kinds of support, information and insights—at a low cost— for a viable and secure future beyond the bankruptcy. The bankruptcy experts at the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt offer a totally FREE debt consultation and now, more than ever, it’s time to take them up on their offer. Just call toll free to 1-888-234-4181, or during the off hours, you can make your own appointment right online at www.billsbills.com. Simply click on the yellow “FREE Consultation Now” button.