Individuals in North Carolina and throughout the country may be able to file for bankruptcy to reorganize or eliminate their debts. Generally speaking, a person can file for bankruptcy multiple times to get out of a financial crisis. However, those who wish to file bankruptcy a second time may need to wait at least 12 months after their first cases were discharged before they can do so.
Of course, whether a person is allowed to file for bankruptcy multiple times over a period of 12 months depends on why they are filing. For instance, if a previous Chapter 13 case was dismissed without a discharge, it may be possible to file another case right away. If a case was dismissed because of an inability to make plan payments, it may be possible to ask for a hardship discharge.
It is important to note that an automatic stay may not go into effect if a person files for Chapter 13 protection soon after his or her case has been dismissed. If it does go into effect, it will typically only remain in place for 30 days. A debtor may ask the judge overseeing the case to put a new stay in place or to keep the current stay in place for longer than 30 days.
Filing for personal bankruptcy protection may allow a person to eliminate or reduce credit card, medical or other types of debts. It may also allow a person to put an end to creditor phone calls or other collection letters. If a stay is granted, creditors may be barred from taking other actions such as garnishing wages or foreclosing on a home. A legal representative may be able to help a debtor learn more about the potential benefits of filing for bankruptcy.