Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “What are my alternatives to bankruptcy?”
Filing for bankruptcy protection can be a tremendous relief for many people. Bankruptcy protection can stop the harassing phone calls and give you peace of mind. It also gives you hope of moving forward with a clean slate and a way to put a crushing debt burden behind you. Though this works well for many people, there are plenty of others who may not benefit from bankruptcy protection or may not be able to take advantage of bankruptcy protection given time restrictions. To learn more about instances where it may make sense not to file for bankruptcy, keep reading.
Though we’ve mentioned before that a person can file for bankruptcy more than once, there are restrictions on when subsequent filings can take place. If you’ve filed for a Chapter 7 and received a discharge, you’ll need to wait another eight years from your date of filing before you can file again. If you filed for a Chapter 7 and received a discharge and are now filing for a Chapter 13, you need to wait at least 4 years from the date of filing to do it again. If you filed for a Chapter 13 and are trying for another Chapter 13, you need to wait at least 2 years from the filing date. Finally, if you filed for a Chapter 13 and received a discharge and are now filing for a Chapter 7, then you’ll need to wait six years from the filing date, though these limits can be waived if, for instance, you repaid all your unsecured debts under the previous Chapter 13.
You owe too recently
Though many people don’t realize it, bankruptcy laws have restrictions on how recently a person can accumulate debt and have that debt discharged in a bankruptcy. The rules are designed to prevent a person from racking up huge amounts of debt or going on a wild spending spree and then filing for bankruptcy soon thereafter. An example of one of these rules says that a person cannot discharge credit card purchases for luxury items that were made within 90 days of filing for bankruptcy if the total of those charges exceeds $650. Any charges made to credit cards within this 90-day window can be viewed as fraudulent if the person had no intention of paying these charges. If that’s true, then the debts will not be discharged as part of a bankruptcy filing.
You owe too little
If you’ve been struggling with debt, especially with aggressive debt collection phone calls, you may find it hard to believe that you could have too little debt to file for bankruptcy. Though what qualifies as too little to bother filing is entirely relative, you should be sure that the debt you have is truly large enough to be worth the expense of filing for bankruptcy. It may be that your best bet is to first call and try negotiating with creditors individually, to see if some could write off debts or agree to more lenient repayment terms, rather than jump straight to filing.
If you are contemplating bankruptcy in the Charlotte area, please call the skilled lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC find additional resources here. As professionals who are experienced at handling all kinds of bankruptcy matters, our attorneys will provide you with legally sound advice for your particular situation.
About the Author
Kyle Frost joined Arnold & Smith, PLLC in 2013 where he focuses his practice on all aspects of civil litigation and bankruptcy, including: Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 13, home loan modifications and landlord-tenant issues.
Born and raised in upstate New York, Mr. Frost attended the University at Albany on a Presidential Scholarship, graduating magna cum laude with a double major in Political Science and Sociology. He went on to attended Wake Forest University School of Law in Winston Salem, North Carolina.
Following college, Mr. Frost spent over a year teaching English in South Korea. He worked in a private school in Seoul developing curriculum, English programs, and educating both children and adults that were interested in learning a new language.
In his spare time, Mr. Frost enjoys homebrewing, fishing, and travelling.
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