Know When a Bankruptcy Can Be Filed in Succession
In the financial world, unexpected events might make bankruptcy something to consider. For people in Sunset Hills, MO, a common question is: “How often can I file bankruptcy?” This critical question needs not just understanding but also the help of an experienced attorney.
Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know about how often you can file bankruptcy:
- You can file for bankruptcy as many times as you need to, but there is usually a waiting period between filings.
- In Missouri, the frequency of filing for bankruptcy depends on the type previously filed. Chapter 7 can be filed again after eight years, while Chapter 13 allows for filing every two years.
- Bankruptcy is a financial tool that offers individuals and businesses a chance for a fresh start when burdened by excessive debt.
- Two main types of bankruptcy are Chapter 7 (liquidation bankruptcy) and Chapter 13 (reorganization).
- Chapter 7 involves selling certain assets to pay off debts and is typically quicker, while Chapter 13 allows for structured repayment plans over several years.
- Filing for bankruptcy can provide relief from overwhelming debt, protect important properties from being sold, and offer a new financial beginning.
- The bankruptcy filing process involves assessing eligibility, completing credit counseling, gathering financial documentation, choosing the appropriate chapter, filing bankruptcy forms, attending a meeting of creditors, taking a financial management course, and receiving a discharge of certain debts.
Doyel Law, located in Sunset Hills, MO, is here to help explain this complicated topic and provide the support you need. Our team of knowledgeable lawyers is ready to assist you in handling your bankruptcy throughout.
What is Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is a financial tool that gives people and businesses a chance for a new beginning when dealing with too much debt. But it is not a decision to make lightly, and knowing the rules is crucial.
How often can I file bankruptcy? The answer depends on the bankruptcy type you filed before and your specific situation. There are two main types: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also known as liquidation bankruptcy, is a way for people and businesses to get a fresh start by eliminating certain debts. In this process, a trustee is appointed to sell or liquidate some unprotected assets, using the money to pay off creditors. But not everything you own is up for sale—some things are protected depending on where you live.
The whole process is usually pretty quick, taking just a few months. Once done, debts that qualify are removed, and you are not legally required to pay them anymore. However, not all debts can be wiped away, like child support, alimony, and certain taxes. Chapter 7 can help with excessive debt, but considering how it might affect you and your eligibility is essential.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 bankruptcy, also called reorganization or the wage earner’s plan, is a legal way for individuals to make a structured plan to pay off their debts. Unlike Chapter 7, it does not involve selling your properties. Instead, if you have a regular income, you suggest a plan to pay back what you owe over three to five years. The court agrees if your plan follows the rules. This type of bankruptcy benefits people worried about losing their home or vehicle/s, as it helps catch up on missed mortgage payments.
Chapter 13 gives a more flexible way to handle debt as long as you are eligible. You can keep valuable things while slowly paying back what you owe. After you finish the payment plan, any remaining eligible debts are usually cleared. It is a helpful option for those with a regular income facing financial challenges.
How Often Can I File for Bankruptcy in Missouri?
In Missouri, You can file for bankruptcy as many times as you need to, but there is usually a waiting period between filings. If it was Chapter 7, where you sell stuff to pay debts, you can do it again after eight years. But if you have done Chapter 7 before, you must wait eight years to file again.
But if you went with Chapter 13 before, which is about reorganizing and repaying debts, you get more flexibility. You can file for Chapter 13 every two years. This shorter waiting time can be good if you deal with money problems more often.
Why Do I Need to File For Bankruptcy?
Filing for bankruptcy is a financial strategy when your debts feel too heavy. The main benefits are that it might clear your debts, lifting a hefty financial weight off your shoulders. As soon as you file, an “automatic stay” happens, stopping things like losing your home or having your wages taken away, providing quick relief. There are rules in bankruptcy laws that protect important properties you own from being sold.
If you choose Chapter 13, you get a plan to pay back what you owe while keeping your things. It might even remove certain debts on your house. Going through bankruptcy is like getting a new start. You can work on your credit again without worrying about bothersome creditors. It is a way to stop feeling pressured and get peace of mind.
What is the Filing Process for Bankruptcy?
Filing for bankruptcy in Missouri might seem tricky, but knowing the steps is necessary for those dealing with money problems. Whether you are thinking about Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, our guide below will give you a clear path for a fresh financial start:
Assess Your Eligibility
Before you start, figure out if you qualify for bankruptcy. Your income, debts, and the type of bankruptcy you want matter. Missouri has specific requirements for Chapter 7.
For example, in Chapter 7, you must have a minimum of a Voluntary Petition, a Statement of Social Security Number (B 121), and the filing fee, installment form, or filing fee waiver.
Credit Counseling Requirement
Before you file, you must get credit counseling from an approved agency. It helps you look at other options and understand what happens when you file. You can often do this online or over the phone.
Gather Financial Documentation
The most crucial part of filing is having all your money details in order. Collect things like income papers, tax returns, a list of what you own, and a detailed list of what you owe. Having everything right is essential for filling out the bankruptcy forms correctly.
Choose the Right Chapter
Most people in Missouri choose either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Chapter 7 sells some of your items and properties to pay debts, while Chapter 13 reorganizes and repays debts over time.
Complete Bankruptcy Forms
Filling out the bankruptcy forms is detailed and needs careful attention. They cover everything about your money, like income, expenses, what you own, and what you owe. Making sure the details are accurate is super important.
File Your Petition
Once you are done with the forms, file them with the Missouri bankruptcy court. You can visit the Eastern and Western Missouri Bankruptcy Court. You must also give them your money statements and other needed documents. There is a fee, but you can ask for it to be waived if you are struggling financially.
An automatic stay starts as soon as you file. It stops things like losing your home or having your wages taken away, giving you quick relief and time to focus on the bankruptcy process.
Attend the Meeting of Creditors
About 20 to 40 days later, there is a meeting with creditors or the 341 meeting. The bankruptcy trustee and creditors may ask questions about your money. If you have a lawyer, they will help guide you through it.
Financial Management Course
You must take a financial management course before you finish. It is like credit counseling but focused on managing money better. It helps you understand how to avoid future money troubles.
Receive Your Discharge
After successfully going through the whole process, you get a discharge. That means certain debts are wiped away legally. Chapter 7 does this relatively quickly, while Chapter 13 involves a repayment plan before the discharge.
Call Our Bankruptcy Lawyers Today!
To answer the question, “How often can I file bankruptcy?”—it depends on the type and what the law says. Filing for bankruptcy is not a failure; it’s a smart move to get control of your finances again.
Just meeting the rules does not guarantee success. Each case is different since the court looks at your income, expenses, and debts. That’s where getting assistance from our experienced bankruptcy lawyer helps a lot.
At Doyel Law, we get that making these decisions is tough. We are here for the Sunset Hills, MO, community, offering caring and personalized legal support during challenging times. Our firm has other services, such as estate planning, family law, wage garnishment, stopping repossession and foreclosure.