How Many Times Can You Claim Bankruptcy in Pennsylvania?
Financial hardship is hard to predict. You may take good care of your finances, and one bad break can turn it all upside down. For instance, there is no way to predict illness, a layoff, an accident, and other factor that can lead to financial strain. Bankruptcy often provides benefits in these types of situation. Once out of their insolvency, however, life can happen and losses can soon follow. In such a situation, you may wonder if it is possible to file for bankruptcy again. Our Pennsylvania bankruptcy attorneys at Young Marr & Associates invite you to keep reading as we discuss how many times you can claim bankruptcy in Pennsylvania.
Can I Claim More than One Bankruptcy in Pennsylvania?
Over the years, bankruptcy has proven to be a powerful tool against debt. Millions of debtors have experienced first-hand the relief and benefits bankruptcy can provide. Unfortunately, some debtors have received a discharge only to run into financial strain once again. In this situation, it is natural to ask whether bankruptcy can help them against excess debt once again. As a petitioner, nothing can stop you from filing for bankruptcy as many times as you may like. However, your filing won’t necessarily result in a discharge. While bankruptcy law and courts won’t prevent you from filing multiple times, they do deter debtors from discharging consecutive debts back-to-back.
The Bankruptcy Code has established a waiting period between your first discharge and the possibility of getting a second one. Each bankruptcy chapter has its own timetable. For instance, if you filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and obtained its corresponding discharge, you must wait eight years before filing for another Chapter 7 discharge. On the other hand, if you received a previous Chapter 13 bankruptcy discharge and you wish to file another, you may be able to file for it immediately after. However, if you want to file for a second Chapter 13 while another is pending, you must wait until two years have elapsed on your first filing.
There may be instances where a debtor received a discharge from one bankruptcy Chapter and then wishes to file under another Chapter. For example, you will need to wait some time if you obtained a Chapter 7 discharge and now want to file under Chapter 13. Generally, people filing from Chapter 7 to Chapter 13 will have to wait four years after the first filing (Chapter 7).
Debtors filing from a Chapter 13 to a Chapter 7 must also wait. Filing from Chapter 13 to Chapter 7 requires the petitioner to wait for six years between filings. However, your six-year waiting period may be waived if you paid most or all of your unsecured debt in good faith during your Chapter 13.
Can the Court Deny My Bankruptcy Claim in Pennsylvania?
Bankruptcy requires all petitioners to meet specific requirements and comply with orders as instructed by the court and the Bankruptcy Code. Failure to meet these specifications can result in a dismissal of your case. However, there are additional things that can lead to the denial of your bankruptcy. The bankruptcy courts can dismiss your case if you:
Provide false statements
One of the most essential aspects of your bankruptcy application is your information. Part of the bankruptcy process requires all petitioners to provide information related to their finances. During this process, some petitioners may feel tempted to add or withhold information in order to qualify for a discharge. This is not recommended as you’d be providing a false statement to a federal entity for a favorable outcome. We cannot stress the importance of providing accurate and truthful information enough. Providing incorrect information on a federal process can lead to severe penalties, which can be avoided by being thorough, reliable, and honest when filing your bankruptcy.
Conceal or lose assets
Some debtors may try to conceal or lose assets to avoid losing them during the liquidation process. For instance, Chapter 7 bankruptcy requires a court-appointed trustee to sell all unexempted property. This means things like your guitar, stamp collection, coin collection, and any other valuable item will be sold. To avoid this, some people may try to conceal or lose those assets. It is critical to remember that the money the trustee obtains during the liquidation process is destined to pay all your creditors. Concealing assets can also lead to problems, which can be easily avoided by disclosing all of your assets during your bankruptcy process.
Disregard a court order
As part of your bankruptcy process, you will need to follow the rules issued by the court. Whether it is for providing new information or appearing in front of a judge, you must comply with any orders instructed by the bankruptcy court. Noncompliance with a court order can hurt your case, and depending on your circumstances; it may be dismissed altogether. To avoid unnecessary issues with your case, make sure to follow every instruction and meet all the requirements set forth by the bankruptcy court.
How Can a Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Lawyer Help Me?
The bankruptcy process can be extremely overwhelming. The Bankruptcy Code can be confusing and difficult to understand. However, an experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you navigate the intricacies of bankruptcy and provide you with legal assistance through the entire process. Additionally, your bankruptcy lawyer can help you make sure you have all proper documentation, and that you are complying with the law at all times.
Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Attorneys Offering Free Consultations
If you or someone you know is facing financial problems and is about to file for bankruptcy in Pennsylvania, we can help. At Young Marr & Associates, we understand how difficult dealing with financial hardship can be. This is the reason why we dedicate all of our efforts and resources to guiding and defending our client’s rights throughout their bankruptcy process. Don’t let debt take over your life and contact our Pennsylvania bankruptcy attorneys today. To schedule a free, confidential consultation with our skilled attorneys, call our law offices at (215) 701-6519.