Am I Eligible to File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Again? – Jan

“Dear Steve,

We are a Texas family of 4 with approximately $40,000 plus in credit card debt. We had a chapter 7 bankruptcy discharged in Dec. 2002. We have steady jobs making around $68000 per year combined. We have a $600 mortage with 20 years left to pay. Two high school children with college in the near future. We owe on 2 vehicles. Our reason for so much debt is partly irresponsibility on our part and health issues and down right bad luck. We are meeting the minimum payments by charging up every bit of available credit. We are almost maxed out on all cards, we can’t keep up the minimums if we have no available credit to make ends meet.

Would a second bankruptcy be discharged in our case or are we even in a position to attempt it?


Dear Jan,

Here is the “official” word from the U.S. Courts about your eligibility to file bankruptcy again. It looks like you’d be eligible to file a Chapter 7 latter this year but eligible for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy right now. Click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney and talk to them about specifics.

The court will deny a discharge in a later chapter 7 case if the debtor received a discharge under chapter 7 or chapter 11 in a case filed within eight years before the second petition is filed. The court will also deny a chapter 7 discharge if the debtor previously received a discharge in a chapter 12 or chapter 13 case filed within six years before the date of the filing of the second case unless (1) the debtor paid all “allowed unsecured” claims in the earlier case in full, or (2) the debtor made payments under the plan in the earlier case totaling at least 70 percent of the allowed unsecured claims and the debtor’s plan was proposed in good faith and the payments represented the debtor’s best effort. A debtor is ineligible for discharge under chapter 13 if he or she received a prior discharge in a chapter 7, 11, or 12 case filed four years before the current case or in a chapter 13 case filed two years before the current case. – Source

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Steve Rhode

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