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I'm Currently in Chapter 13 but want to convert to a 7 before I get married but I previously filed and received a discharge.

Hampton, VA |

I filed a chapter 7 in July 2005 with my now ex-husband and received my discharge in November 2005. I just had my chapter 13 plan confirmed not too long ago but I want my business concluded before my marriage in September. The 8 year waiting period is between filings, not discharges correct? What they consider is my situation at the time of filing, not at the time of discharge correct? Because if I convert in July and get married in September will that kick out my case? I don't want this hanging over our heads when we are starting our lives together. From what I've read once my case is filed it's done, the 3-4 months is just administrative stuff. What happens to my lawyers fees that he put in the payment plan? Are those discharged with the 7?

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Attorney answers 4


First, you are not eligible to receive a Chapter 7 discharge at this time. Converting would not help you with your goals. You may consider having this case dismissed, and then paying and filing a new bankruptcy (Chapter 7) in or after July 2013.

Second, you have concerns about attorney fees, and the very real prospect of paying your lawyer more money for a potential Chapter 7. Realize that Chapter 13 cases are time-consuming and labor-intensive for attorneys. Any fees you agreed to pay your lawyer through the plan are most likely due to go to the attorney. In many cases, the trustee will pay the attorney for their work, even in dismissed cases. You should be happy about this.

Third, just because you want to convert or otherwise be in Chapter 7 does not mean you get to be there. Remember why you filed back in 2005: the law was changing to make higher-income folks go to Chapter 13 because of that means test. The means test is very much alive, and doing a great job of filtering people out of Chapter 7 who have the ability to repay some or all of their debt. Your attorney can help you determine whether you'd even be eligible to be in Chapter 7.

Finally, because you have an attorney, you really should sit down and strategize with them about how to proceed. That is why they're there. Good luck to you and your upcoming marriage.

This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and I. I am not your attorney unless we both sign a written contract that describes our relationship and terms of the representation. Any information provided to you here is not a substitute for the advice you need to pursue any legal matter. I advise you to retain the services of a local attorney before taking any legal action in this matter.



I filed in 2005 because my husband had no health care and racked up $200k in debt after a motor cycle crash. My income is below the median so I'm good with the means test. Furthermore, I realize I can't convert now. I will stay in my Chapter 13 until July if I can convert then which it sounds like I could.

Hale Andrew Antico

Hale Andrew Antico


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I don't believe you will be entitled to a discharge in the case if it converts to Chapter 7. It is measured between filing dates. In some districts they give you the ability of paying off your plan early as long as the funds are not coming from your disposable income. That means you would get the money from a relative/friend or maybe tap an exempt source (401(k) or IRA). Depending upon your district, the amount needed to fully pay your plan off and your resources, that is the only thing that I think you could do to conclude your existing case. Before just sending in a payoff you should always consult your lawyer to determine your district's local procedures.

By responding to your question I do not intend to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions or an attorney-client relationship. My response is intended to be only my educated opinion and it should not be relied upon as legal advice. My response is based upon the facts provided and to the extent additional or different facts exist, my response might be different. I am an attorney is licensed to practice law only in Florida. To the extent that I am responding to a question posed by an individual in a different state, my response is being given to generally respond and the questioner is ALWAYS advised to consult a local attorney for a more specific and definitive answer to the question posed.


You cannot convert your Chapter 13 to Chapter 7 because at the time of filing your 13, you were not eligible for Chapter 7. If you try to convert your case, you will be denied a discharge.

Advice on this forum is for informational purposes only and should never be mistaken as a substitute for legal advice. If you are in need of legal advice, you should consult local legal counsel.



According to the guidelines on the US Bankruptcy court's website, I am eligible to convert my Ch 13 case as soon as I would have been eligible to file a 7. If I previously filed a Ch 7 on 7/2005 and given that the period of eight years refers to filings and not discharges then I would be eligible to convert my case on 7/2013.


You must wait until 8 years between filings. From the facts presented, you will be able to re-file in to a new Chapter 7 in July of next year. It is 8 years from filing date to filing date.

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