Podcast #12: Length Between Filing – Historic Changes In Chapter 7


While the information given in this podcast is instructional, it is not intended to be taken as legal advice for your particular legal or financial situation. The recommendations that we give to one person may not be appropriate to your particular situation. The information contained in these podcasts is also not intended to replace the advice that you would receive from an actual consultation with a competent legal professional practicing in the area of consumer bankruptcy law.


Welcome to morsebankruptcy.com, the podcast, I’m Todd Morse, the owner of Morse Law. On this podcast we intend to take different bankruptcy issues from different sources and discuss them for a bit. This one in particular comes from our contact form on our website it is where visitors to our website generally are asking their first questions regarding bankruptcy and how it applies to their situation.

Viewer Question

This visitor writes, just a quick question before I come in. I filed a chapter 7 in 2005 and I’m looking to, well what it really means is, I’m looking to file again. Is it 8 years to the day before I can file again?

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Well, the answer is yes. You do have to put 8 years in between your chapter 7 filings and if for some reason you had filed chapter 7 but you are now looking to file chapter 13, you would have to put 4 years in between those filings to be able to receive a discharge at the end of 13.

This is actually something that is coming up quite a bit in our practice these days. Those of us who were around will remember that October 17th of 2005 was when back CPA or everyone calls it the new bankruptcy code went into effect. Now, it is pretty rare that our little niche of the wall, bankruptcy law, gets much noticed quite frankly. But that whole year, 2005, we were one of Tom Brokaw’s favorite topics as we were on the evening news every other night it seemed. Where they were touting that bankruptcy would never be what it was before. That chapter 7’s were a thing of the past and so anybody who thought they might have any reason to file bankruptcy in a next several years rushed in to file a chapter 7 in 2005. Frankly it was a madhouse.

But you know while those people probably didn’t need to file and as we have seen chapter 7 is still alive and well some 7 years later. In fact I read a study just the other week that was saying that this new law that was suppose to make people file chapter 13 instead of filing chapter 7, what they have found when they went back and did the statistic on it was that it made about 3 in 1000 people file chapter 13 instead of chapter . So not as it was threatened as it would be and not maybe even as it was intend to be.

Chapter 7 is still alive and well but as this person correctly asks, do you have to put 8 years in between and the answer is ‘yes’ you do have to put 8 years in between them. And now we are just kind of getting to that point in history where a lot of the folks who filed in 2005 who maybe, quite frankly, didn’t need to file in 2005, are just finding now that over 8 years something really truly has happened in their life They need to file and they are hitting up against this 8 years bar.

But you know you if you can’t file a chapter 7, if your income would have otherwise qualified you to file a chapter 7 which you can still do is to file a chapter 13 and if your income is low enough to file a chapter 7 in a first place a lot of the time you can structure your 13 in such a way that it provides you with essentially the same relief as a chapter 7 filing would have filed or if you are in a situation where you are facing a wage garnishment or some type of garnishment it certainly preferable to that.

But to the answer the initial question yes it is 8 years in between chapter 7 filings but you still have the option if it less than 8 years to file a chapter 13 instead of chapter 7 pretty sure question but takes us down memory lane and for that reason it is a good question.


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