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Brent Blanchard
Brent Blanchard, Bankruptcy Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 1975
Experience:  Twelve years experience in all aspects of debtor & creditor BK.
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I filed for chapter 7 in 2010, and am still having some personal

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I filed for chapter 7 in 2010, and am still having some personal finance issues due to the fact that I was unable to find work for almost a year. I went on public assistance and then found some contract work for 6 months, then the contract ended. I have some debts on my credit report, one from a bank that says I owe them for an over draft, even though I did not sign up for overdraft protection and sent a letter showing I had funds available and one from my past homeowners association that sent it to collections. There is also a small lien for state taxes that my ex wife owed and ended up on my report. I would like to know if I could now file for chapter 13 to try and settle these debts for less as my income and savings are low and heading lower if I don't land a job... as in unemployment I am signing up for... I have a car payment as well but need the car. I was also hit by a drunk driver a couple of weeks ago and may have some medical bills if the guy who hit me doesn't have insurance.

So my question is can I file for chapter 13 after a chapter 7?
Thank you for your question. Sorry to hear about the setbacks since your 2010 Chapter 7 filing.

Your question hints that you are aware that there is no years-long time limit between filing a Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13 case (nor, for that matter, for filing successive Chapter 13 cases at least if more than six months apart and the earlier one is dismissed).

A Chapter 13 case also requires some income to provide money for the "Plan"--a maximum 5-year period of payments of all "disposable income" above some set budget of allowable expenses. Those Plan Payments go to a Chapter 13 Trustee who distributes the funds pro-rata among the creditors. At the end of the Plan, IF there are any debts remaining unpaid, most other than child/spousal support, drunk/drugged driving damages debts, and a few other things, they get discharged.

But if the Plan results in 100% payoff of all debts plus the Ch 13 Trustee's commissions, the "re-organization" under Chapter 13 is just that, and won't result in any debts being paid for less than their full value.

And if there is not enough income for the creditors to get more under the Chapter 13 Plan than they would if the Debtor filed for Chapter 7 and liquidated any non-exempt assets, then it cannot be approved under the BK Code. Those proposed Plans are legally not "feasible".

So, yes, one can file Chapter 13 for new, post-Chapter 7 debts at just about any time. But we cannot predict what effect that would have on the debts without knowing the income level available for Plan payments (which requires running some numbers), the debts to be re-organized (and the most reliable way to do that is to run the numbers through some BK paperwork preparation software), and all the assets that would become property of the Bankruptcy Estate.

But to sort that out at that level requires personal legal representation, which we do not do here, per the Terms of Service.

Thank you.

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