Although the vast majority of my clients file only one bankruptcy in their lives, sometimes lighting strikes twice and people find themselves with overwhelming financial pressures again years after a previous bankruptcy. If a previous bankruptcy case has been filed in Michigan or any other state in the country, and you received a court ordered Discharge of your debt, a careful analysis must be done prior to filing to make sure you are eligible for another discharge. In the rare instance in which your prior case was dismissed or closed for other reason without a discharge, you generally will be able to file another case right away.
If you filed a prior Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
If you filed a prior Chapter 7 and received a bankruptcy discharge the bankruptcy code requires you to wait 8 years from the date you filed the first case before filing another Chapter 7. You only need to wait 4 years from the date of the prior Chapter 7 to be eligible for a discharge in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. Sometimes my clients file a Chapter 13 less than 4 years after a prior Chapter 7 discharge for reasons other than to obtain another bankruptcy discharge. Because Chapter 13 allows for a court supervised repayment plan or reorganization in which mortgage creditors, secured car lenders and taxing authorities like the IRS can be paid in an orderly fashion, many clients find it advantageous to file a Chapter 13 not long after a Chapter 7 discharge has been granted, despite the fact that no discharge order will be issued by the bankruptcy judge.
If you filed a prior Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
If you have been granted a Discharge in a prior Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, the law requires you to wait 6 years from the date you filed the prior case before you can file a Chapter 7. The law does allow a subsequent Chapter 7 to be filed within less than 6 years if in your prior Chapter 13, you paid at least 70% to your unsecured creditors. If you wish to file another Chapter 13 after a prior 13, you must wait 2 years from the date of the filing of the first case to be eligible for another Chapter 13 discharge.
The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act which took effect in October 2005 has complex rules related to filing Bankruptcy. To help you sort things out and see if filing personal bankruptcy in Michigan can help you, feel free to call my office or email me. I am a Board Certified Attorney in Consumer Bankruptcy and am always willing to give free consultations.