File A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
When you file a Chapter 13 you can pretty much voluntarily dismiss your case at any time. Even an involuntary dismissal of your Chapter 13 will not inhibit your ability to subsequently file a Chapter 7 or another Chapter 13 because a ‘discharge’ had not been entered in the dismissed case. Learn more about bankruptcy at http://mikesthoughts.drupalgardens.com/content/obtaining-bankruptcy-attorney and http://ceicom.org/?p=134.
You could possibly modify your existing Chapter 13 Plan or even convert your Chapter 13 to a Chapter 7. All of these are options you generally have available should you: be unable to continue with the Chapter 13 Plan; find yourself facing additional financial problems such as: a major medical expenses; loss of employment or if you simply choose not to go forward. This also allows you to add any new debt to your existing financial situation and seek the best new solution available to you at that time.
These options are not available after filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Generally it’s very difficult to voluntarily discontinue the bankruptcy process when it begins as a Chapter 7 filing. Had you chosen to file a Chapter 7 rather than the Chapter 13 and some subsequent event occurred which brought-on additional financial problems, it would be highly unlikely you’d have any of these alternatives or solutions available to you. A voluntary dismissal of a Chapter 13 is rarely challenged while the voluntary dismissal of a Chapter 7 is rarely allowed.
Even if the Chapter 13 Plan is completed and you receive your Discharge Order, a subsequent Chapter 7 filing is available within 6 years of the original Chapter 13 filing date. That’s 3 to 5 years ago since the Chapter 13 Composition Plans repayment period is at least 3 years and usually 5 years. Therefore you’d be eligible as soon as 1 to 3 years after completing your Chapter 13 Plan and receiving your Chapter 13 discharge.
If you had instead filed a Chapter 7 rather than a Chapter 13 you’d be prohibited from filing another Chapter 7 for 8 years from the date you filed your first Chapter 7.
WHEN TO CHOOSE CHAPTER 7
Chapter 7 is the Simplest, Easiest, Least expensive and Fastest (SELF) way to discharge non-priority unsecured debt. That doesn’t mean it’s available and it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best choice. If it is available it may well be your first and your best choice, particularly if or when:
A. Your debts are ‘mostly non-priority unsecured creditors’ (credit cards, personal/signature unsecured loans, medical obligations or any deficiency balances on returned goods),
B. The amount you owe to your ‘non-priority unsecured creditors is significant enough’ to warrant filing bankruptcy,
C. You have little or nothing in the way of ‘Non-Exempt’ assets, (S7) and (W197)
D. You have little or nothing in the way of ‘Non-Dischargeable’ debt, (W195)
E. You have little or nothing in the way of ‘Preferences’ that will need to be resolved, (W229)
F. You have little or nothing in the way of ‘Avoidable Transfers’ that will need to be resolved, (W9)
G. You’re basically ‘current with any secured creditors’ (including real estate mortgages) with whom you wish to retain the security.
H. You can afford to continue making the monthly payments to the secured creditors you wish to retain the security.
I. You can afford to satisfy the creditor(s) of any co-signed debt(s) you owe which you choose to pay in order to protect the co-signer, and
J. You can afford the payment requirement of any secured obligations remaining after the Chapter 7 discharge including any of the non-dischargeable debts in “D“ above, such as priority income taxes owed or delinquent domestic support obligations.