The general rule is that one is eligible for another Chapter 7 discharge of one’s debt eight (8) years from the date the prior case was filed. If one obtained a discharge under Chapter 13, one may file another Chapter 13 case four (4) years after the date the prior case was filed. If you are not eligible for another bankruptcy discharge, that does not necessarily mean you cannot get any relief. One may file for relief under Chapter 13 any number of times regardless of a prior discharge, as long as the filing is not abusive and the Plan is proposed in good faith. Thus, if you are behind with your mortgage or car payments, or struggling to pay credit cards and other debts and the creditors are demanding higher monthly payments than you can afford, while you may not be eligible for another ‘discharge’ of your debt, you may still get relief by being able to spread your payments out over three (3) to five (5) years, as long as your Plan is viable. Any of that debt that is not paid off through the Plan will not be wiped out (discharged) so you will still have to pay any balance after the bankruptcy period ends. However, at least you will have had up to five years of manageable payments without creditors harassing you on the phone, taking you to court and garnishing your pay or attacking your bank accounts.
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