Many clients ask us whether they can file a second, or a third bankruptcy. The answer is based upon various sections of the Bankruptcy Code.
A Chapter 7 Debtor is entitled to a Chapter 7 Discharge once every eight (8) years. A Chapter 13 Debtor is not entitled to a Chapter 13 Discharge if he/she received a Chapter 13 discharge in a Chapter 13 case within the preceding two (2) year period. A Chapter 13 Debtor can not receive a discharge if he/she received a discharge in a case filed under Chapter 7, 11, or 12 within the preceding four (4) year period. However, Chapter 13 can be used to reinstate a mortgage even if these time periods are not satisfied, and a discharge can not be granted.
More complicated rules govern the duration of the automatic stay in the event of multiple filings. For instance, if a debtor files a Chapter 13 case within one (1) year of the dismissal of a prior case, the automatic stay terminates thirty (30) days after the filing of the later case, unless the debtor proves that the filing of the later case is in good faith as to the creditors. This office recently represented a creditor in a multiple filing situation. The bankruptcy judge refused to extend the stay as to all mortgage lenders. As to the unsecured creditors, the judge provisionally extended the stay conditioned upon confirmation of the Chapter 13 Plan the first time up.
The Law Offices Of Todd S. Frankenthal represents debtors and creditors in the United States Bankruptcy Court For The Southern District Of Florida. This district includes several counties, including Broward County, Miami-Dade County, Palm Beach County, Martin County, and St. Lucie County. We have offices in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, and West Palm Beach.