Can I file a ch 13 while still in a ch 13. If not, how long do i have to wait until I can file another ch 13.
1 Answer from Attorneys
You cannot file more than one chapter 13 at a time; but, depending on what exactly is prompting your question, there are a number of alternatives that might be appropriate (Please note that I really do not have enough information from your question to tell you which option would be most beneficial).
One option might be to modify your current plan. You might do something like this when you have a new debt that has popped up that is causing problems. It may not provide a discharge of that new debt, but it would provide a controlled way to pay it off.
Another option would be to convert your case to another bankruptcy chapter, most common would be to convert to a chapter 7. This would provide you a way to end your case and get your bankruptcy discharge if the reasons for the chapter 13 bankruptcy are no longer present (i.e. you were behind on a car, so you filed Ch 13, now you have gotten rid of the car, so no more need for Ch 13).
A third option, and perhaps the one you are really looking for, is to dismiss your case and refile a new one. Since you have not received a discharge yet, you are usually uninhibited in refiling a new case; however, in some limited cases you can be prohibited from filing filing another chapter 13 bankruptcy for 180 days. See 11 U.S.C. § 109(g).
Another issue is that, even if you are allowed to refile, under 11 U.S.C. § 362(c)(3)-(4) if you had a case that was pending in the last year immediately proceeding the filing of your new case, then the automatic stay (which is what protects you from creditors during the life of you chapter 13 bankruptcy) only lasts for 30 days. Obviously, this would be a problem in most cases.
However, as long as your reasons dismissing and refiling are not fraudulent, in bad faith, or otherwise dubious, then you should be able to file a motion with the Court asking them to extend the automatic stay, and they are likely to do so if your reasons for the dismissal and refiling are good.
If you would like to discuss the specifics of your situation in more detail, please do not hesitate to contact me at (785) 274-9040.
MOST IMPORTANT PART: As common sense would suggest, I have only glazed over some very complex and technical legal issues. And I did so in response to a question that was less than 30 words long. So, while I hope this information is helpful to you, it should not be relied upon by itself. You REALLY need to speak with an attorney who is experienced and skilled in bankruptcy law. There are too many traps for you to fall into through this process for you to try to do it on your own. This is not the right time to be a do-it-yourselfer. As such, this is not legal advice and does not create an attorney client relationship or any of its duties or responsibilities.
Related Questions & Answers
I am filing bankruptcy with no attorney help. I had bought a vehicle with a loan... Asked 5/09/14, 1:46 pm in United States Kansas Bankruptcy Law
My current mortgage is 3 months late. I have tried on several occasions to make... Asked 5/01/14, 12:42 pm in United States Kansas Bankruptcy Law
I filed bankruptcy in 2000 and I did not reaffirm my loan on my house which I was... Asked 12/16/13, 8:49 am in United States Kansas Bankruptcy Law
My brother borrowed a large sum of money from me 4 years ago. After months of... Asked 11/15/13, 5:24 pm in United States Kansas Bankruptcy Law