Understanding Bankruptcy Eligibility: Do you qualify for bankruptcy?
As Americans struggled with a hostile job market, a deflated housing market, and one of the worst economic declines in U.S. history, the amount of consumers filing bankruptcy increased dramatically. As a result, new legislative acts were passed to tighten the eligibility requirements needed to file any Chapter of the Bankruptcy Code. These policies, passed as part of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA) introduced new qualifying criteria. Some of the most important of these include (1) a Waiting Period and (2) Credit Counseling. Read more to find out who is eligible and if you qualify for bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy Waiting Periods
Any consumer who has previously filed bankruptcy and received a discharge of their debts will be prevented from obtaining another discharge until a certain waiting period has elapsed. Are you wondering, “How long until I can file bankruptcy again“? Depending on the Chapter you used in your previous bankruptcy, waiting periods will be either two, four, six, or eight years.
If you received a discharge under Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and wish to file a new Chapter 13 case, you must wait two years.
If your previous bankruptcy and discharge was a Chapter 7 case and you wish to file a new Chapter 13 case, your waiting period will be four years.
If your prior bankruptcy was filed under Chapter 13 and your new bankruptcy will be filed under Chapter 7, then you your wait six years.
A prior Chapter 7 case before filing a new Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case will require a waiting period of eight years.
If you have previously filed a bankruptcy case and are still unsure as to whether you may be eligible to file a new one, my firm can assist you in helping you understand the waiting periods that may apply to your situation.
In addition to the waiting period, all consumers who wish to file bankruptcy must complex an authorized credit counseling program within 180 days prior to filing bankruptcy.
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The Means Test
Apart from these new qualifying criteria, consumers will be required to submit their financial information to the bankruptcy court for an evaluation. Known as the means test, this evaluation will further determine which chapter of bankruptcy they will be eligible to file under. If you have any concerns about whether you qualify for bankruptcy, I encourage you to bring your case to the attention of my firm. Together, we can evaluate your financial situation and explore your debt relief options.