Trusted Bankruptcy Law Firm in White Plains, New York
Bankruptcy laws are meant to give a fresh start to consumers with large amounts of debt. The White Plains bankruptcy lawyers of Michael H. Schwartz, P.C., views bankruptcy as an opportunity for a new financial beginning. We have helped thousands of individuals and businesses completely wipe out their debt. And we did it all without losing any property our clients did not want to give up. Contact our White Plains bankruptcy law firm today.
How Often Can You File for Bankruptcy in NY?
The road to financial health can get rocky at times. Some people who file for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy may run into circumstances that lead them to file another bankruptcy – maybe just a few years or even months after the first one. The good news is that, unless a court bars you from doing so, you typically can file for bankruptcy as often as you need in New York.
However, there’s a catch. While you can file multiple bankruptcies, you will need to wait a period of time between bankruptcies until you can receive a discharge. To determine how long you must wait, you need to answer four questions:
- What prior bankruptcy did you file – Chapter 7 or Chapter 13?
- On what date did you file the prior bankruptcy?
- What was the outcome of the prior bankruptcy – discharged, dismissed, or dismissed without prejudice?
- What current bankruptcy are you filing – Chapter 7 or Chapter 13?
A prior bankruptcy can also affect whether you are eligible to receive an automatic stay and prevent the collection of your debts, including your mortgage. For this reason, run, don’t walk, to the New York bankruptcy law firm of Michael H. Schwartz, P.C. We will help you to understand the wait periods in your case and how multiple bankruptcies work in New York. Call or reach us online today.
How Much Time Until You Are Entitled to a Discharge?
The two most common types of bankruptcy cases in New York are filed under Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Chapter 7 bankruptcy can lead to a total discharge of your debt. Chapter 13 allows you to propose a plan to restructure your debt and repay creditors. Even with a Chapter 13 plan, you can still discharge most of your debt.
Barring a court order, you can file multiple Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcies. But if your debts were discharged in the prior bankruptcy, you will need to wait until you can get a discharge in the current bankruptcy case. Some people call it the “2-4-8 Rule.” Here’s how it works:
- 2 – If you received a discharge in a prior Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must wait two years from that filing date until you can get a discharge in a second Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
- 4 – If you received a discharge in a prior Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must wait four years from that filing date until you can get a discharge in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
- 8 – If you receive a discharge in a prior Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must wait eight years from that filing date until you can get a discharge in a subsequent Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Of course, there may be exceptions in your particular situation.
Bankruptcy lawyer Michael H. Schwartz can review your situation and help you to understand the wait times that apply to your case as well as any exceptions that may allow you to avoid a waiting period before you are eligible for a discharge.
What If Your Prior Bankruptcy Was Not Discharged?
The above rules deal with what happens if your bankruptcy results in discharge. If a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge dismisses your bankruptcy action with prejudice, then the judge may also restrict when you can file again. For instance, if a judge finds that you ignored court orders or tried to abuse the United States bankruptcy system, the judge may bar you from filing a subsequent bankruptcy for 180 days or longer.
When you work with Michael H. Schwartz, he will review your prior bankruptcy and determine whether you may be barred from filing again in the near future. At Michael H. Schwarz, P.C., we will take on even the toughest cases.
Can You Get an Automatic Stay for Your Bankruptcy Claim?
A bankruptcy filing can provide immediate relief. As soon as you file, an automatic stay takes effect. The stay prohibits creditors from bothering you. Collections must stop. You can also put a halt to foreclosure activities. However, if you filed a prior bankruptcy, you may not get that automatic stay while your case is active.
If the judge dismissed your bankruptcy, then you will not get the normal automatic stay for any bankruptcy that you file within one year after the date of that dismissal. Instead, you will get only a 30-day automatic stay. If you had two bankruptcies dismissed within the previous year, you would get no stay.
However, attorney Michael H. Schwartz can review your situation. If possible, he can still get you an automatic stay that will allow you to breathe a sigh of relief while working through your case.
Protect Your Assets and Your Future
Life is unpredictable. If an unexpected event such as illness or injury causes you to face financial stress, filing a second bankruptcy action in New York may be the best thing you can do to protect your assets and your future.
Our law firm is the largest filer of cases for people living in Westchester and Rockland Counties. In any given year, Michael H. Schwartz, P.C., will file 100 or more bankruptcy cases on behalf of our clients. Over the years, we have helped thousands of individuals and businesses to completely wipe out their debt.
We can help you to understand whether filing a second bankruptcy action is right for you, and we can handle every aspect of the process. Don’t wait. Contact us today and get started with a free consultation.