In order to get a discharge in bankruptcy, sufficient time must pass between the filing of two separate bankruptcy cases. So if a bankruptcy case is filed too soon, a discharge may not take place. While there is nothing to stop a debtor from filing bankruptcy too soon, it would be a waste of time and money to do so.

The time frames between discharge eligibility are as follows:

8 years between 7s. -727(a)(8)

2 years between 13s. -1328(f)(2)

4 years between an initial 7 and subsequent 13 -1328(f)(1)

6 years between an initial 13 and subsequent 7 (if under 70% plan) -727(a)(9)

A second filing might be beneficial in some circumstances, even if the debtor cannot get a discharge. This is generally true when a debtor first files a Chapter 7 and gets a discharge of all of his or her debts. Then the debtor files a Chapter 13 to repay a mortgage deficiency, pay back taxes or pay off a car. Even student loans can be paid in a Chapter 13.

The key is if the debtor received a discharge in the first case, the debtor cannot receive a discharge in a subsequent case unless the time frames above are honored. If however, the prior case was dismissed; in most cases a subsequent filing can receive a discharge. If you are in Orange County, Los Angeles County or Riverside, please feel free to call for a consultation so that I can answer your questions.