Skip to main content

I filed bankruptcy chapter 7 four years ago. We are in debt again due to unemployment, can I file chapter 13?

Murrieta, CA |

I filed bankruptcy chapter 7 four years ago. We are in debt again due to unemployment, can I file chapter 13? How will I know if I qualify for chapter 13? Can civil judgements against me from money owed to creditors and landlords be included in the chapter 13?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 5


If it has been more than 4 years since the filing date of your Chapter 7 case, you are eligible for a discharge in a Chapter 13 case. You would make payments on your debts for a 3-5 year period and whatever is left over would be forgiven.

Civil judgments can be dealt with in a Chapter 13. You should schedule a consultation with a local bankruptcy attorney to discuss if you qualify for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

First, the firm is a debt relief agency according to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. We help people file for bankruptcy. We also do other stuff and we do it well, but Congress wants me to post this notice. Second, nothing on this site is legal advice. You are not my client unless you enter into a written agreement signed by you and me.


Yes, you can file a Chapter 13 case and receive a discharge in that Chapter 13 so long as at least 4 years have passed since you filed the Chapter 7 case in which you received a discharge. (FYI, you can file a Chapter 13 immediately after receiving a discharge in either a Chapter 7 or 13 case, but to receive a discharge in the new Chapter 13, at least 4 years need to have passed after filing a Chapter 7, or at least 2 years after a Chapter 13).

Knowing whether you're qualified and whether you can create a repayment plan that the court will confirm is a complex process, and you should visit with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to go over your options.

I agree with my Mr. Starrett. The civil judgments can be handled in a Chapter 13.

Brian C. Fenn <b><a href="">FENN LAW FIRM</a></b> 29222 Rancho Viejo Rd. Ste. 102 San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675 Tel/Fax: (800) 994-9079


My colleagues are correct -- you may well be able to get a discharge in Chapter 13. And speaking to counsel is the right move as well, because 13s are MUCH more complicated that 7s, and the requirements are more involved both in terms of being eligible (which involves how much you owe in unsecured and secured debts) as well as -- and this may be a potential problem based upon whether you are working now or not -- your income. Chapter 13s are a "wage earner's" chapter, so make certain you are employed again before you seek relief in 13.

Good luck!


You can qualify to file chapter 13 if you can show that you have enough money left over in your budget to make payments under a Plan you propose and the court approves. How much will the payment be? The devil is always in the details, but the payment amount will almost always be more than you want to pay. Most types of debts including the ones you mentioned can be eliminated in Chapter 13 unless they are connected to family support or a criminal type action, such as a drunk driving accident. Chapter 13 is never an easy or fun experience, so get yourself a qualified lawyer to represent you. Hope this perspective helps!


Yes. You can file a Chapter 13 and if your filing date is more than 4 years after the filing date of the Chapter 7 case in which you obtained your discharge than you are entitled to a discharge in the Chapter 13. The only problem with filing a Chapter 13 is that you would have to have at least $100 of disposeable income a month to support a plan payment. If you do not have disposeable income to support a plan payment then you do not qualify for Chapter 13. To know if you qualify for Chapter 13 add up all of your income from all sources, subtract your regularly incurred montly expenses if you have at least $100 left over you qualify. Civil Judgements can be included along with what you owe to the landords. Bankruptcy is an all or nothing proposition you have to list everything you own and everyone you owe money to.