Running into financial problems soon after receiving a bankruptcy discharge is more common than one would imagine. Often debtors file Chapter 7 bankruptcy and reaffirm debts such as a mortgage or car payment; but are unfortunately unable to continue payments shortly thereafter. A common scenario is that a debtor will reaffirm a car payment and within a few years face repossession because of lack of payment. This debtor won’t be able to file another Chapter 7 bankruptcy for eight years nor can he/she file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy until four years after filing his/her Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
This is why debtors need to be very careful about reaffirming debt during Chapter 7 bankruptcy because that debt basically becomes non-dischargeable. Because of this it’s important to think through the long-term implications of reaffirming debt. Will you have enough income to repay all of this debt? Ideally, debtors filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy should emerge with no debt or installment obligations; but of course this often is not possible, especially for debtors with homes.
If a debtor has run into financial trouble four or more years after filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy he/she may be able to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to repay the new debt in a payment plan; but he/she will have no access to a discharge before that time. If you have previously filed bankruptcy and are in trouble again, please speak with a Dallas bankruptcy attorney about your options.