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How Often Can I File for Bankruptcy in St. Charles, Missouri?

bankruptcy types

Top bankruptcy lawyers in Missouri

There are a vast number of reasons why an individual or a business might find themselves in financial trouble. Being unable to pay bills, looking at mountains of credit card debt, or facing realities like foreclosure or wage garnishment can all be scary and stressful situations to find yourself in. At Westbrook Law Group, we are the Missouri personal bankruptcy lawyers you can trust. Attorney Brent Westbrook has years of experience as a trusted financial lawyer and has helped thousands of people get back on their feet through means of filing for bankruptcy. With offices in St. Charles and Troy, when you choose Westbrook Law Group for help with debt, you can rest assured that you’ll always have a Missouri bankruptcy attorney near you.

Why do I need a bankruptcy attorney in St. Charles, Missouri?

If you are struggling financially, you might need to file for bankruptcy. When all other avenues have failed, bankruptcy is the last resort for people to get a fresh start. 

St. Charles bankruptcy attorneys can help you out of this situation. They will evaluate your situation, and then they will help you navigate the process of bankruptcy. You will need to start by determining if it is really the right move for you. 

Then, the attorney will help you fill out the paperwork and go to court with you to represent your interests. While nobody wants to go through this process, you can feel confident that with a good lawyer on your side, you will land on your feet after this.

Call today for a Free Consultation

When you’re in debt, it’s difficult to focus on anything else. But there are steps that you can take to get out of debt – even if your credit is damaged or your income has been cut off completely! Call our St. Charles bankruptcy attorneys at Westbrook Law Group to find out how to escape the shackles of debt and get relief in Missouri.

How many times can I file for bankruptcy?

How Often Can You File BankruptcyYou may file for bankruptcy protection as many times as necessary during your lifetime. There is no limit on the number of times you may file, however there are time limits between each filing.

In some instances, you may apply for bankruptcy but receive no debt discharge, so you must exercise caution.

Depending on the Chapter you file under, the U.S. Bankruptcy Code establishes the deadlines. The clock begins when you filed your prior bankruptcy petition (not the date of the bankruptcy discharge or bankruptcy stay). These time limits apply exclusively to bankruptcies in which a debt discharge was granted.

Options for Chapter to Chapter

Wait Time Between Bankruptcy Filings

  • Chapter 7 bankruptcy to Chapter 7 bankruptcy              8 years
  • Chapter 7 filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy at present    4 years
  • Chapter 13 filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy now                   6 years 
  • Chapter 13 to a second Chapter 13 filing                       2 years

The wait durations assist avoid credit card debt that cannot be repaid and system misuse. Between filings, you are supposed to make every attempt to pay off your bankruptcy.

Can a bankruptcy attorney expedite my bankruptcy filing?

A bankruptcy attorney cannot help you circumvent the time constraints. Still, they may be able to assist you in filing a different type of bankruptcy than the one you previously filed and confirm the earliest possible filing date for your second case. This is particularly true if you filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy but were not discharged. Only a bankruptcy attorney can provide you with legal advice regarding the timing of your second bankruptcy filing. They can also assist you in obtaining a court order to prevent your automatic stay from expiring before your release is granted.

Categories of Missouri Bankruptcy

There are two basic categories of consumer bankruptcy in Missouri: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 bankruptcy, often known as the liquidation or straight bankruptcy, is the simplest and shortest form of bankruptcy. In this sort of bankruptcy, the court releases your debt after a court-appointed trustee determines whether he or she can take and sell some of your property to satisfy certain creditors.You are allowed to seek court approval for a 3- to 5-year debt payback plan under Chapter 13. A significant prerequisite is having a source of money. Businesses may be able to file for Chapter 11, which is similar to Chapter 13 in that the business and its creditors enter into a repayment agreement, but Chapter 11 filings are typically much more complicated than Chapter 13 filings. Additionally, a family farmer or fisherman may file Chapter 12 bankruptcy, similar to Chapter 13.Noting that your property can be exempt or non-exempt is essential. Exempt property is the property you can keep after bankruptcy, while the non-exempt property is stuff you cannot keep. Although the list of exempt property changes frequently, it typically includes your home, clothing, furniture, and vehicle (not more than one car, however). The non-exempt property includes a second residence, stocks, additional vehicles, and investments. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the trustee will only seize and sell non-exempt property.

Missouri Bankruptcy Exemptions

Regardless of the form of bankruptcy you file, you will be required to learn about Missouri’s bankruptcy exemptions. An exemption allows you to shield a specific asset from creditors, such as your home or vehicle. In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, exempt assets will not be liquidated to repay creditors. In Chapter 13, exempt property will not be factored into your repayment plan.

Missouri has formed its own exemptions list, opting out of the federal list. We examine some of its most important bankruptcy exemptions below.

Your Residence,

Numerous individuals contemplating filing for bankruptcy in Missouri, hesitate out of fear of losing their home. The homestead exemption, however, permits you to exclude up to $15,000 in home equity or $5,000 in mobile home equity from taxation.

Your Automobile

Similarly, you can exempt a portion of your vehicle’s equity under Missouri’s bankruptcy regulations. In this situation, you may exclude up to $3,000 in expenses.

Your Uniqueness

This exemption is known as a “wildcard” since it can be used for almost anything. You can exclude up to $600 of the value of a collection of rare coins or a family heirloom. In addition, you can deduct around $350 per child, and if you are the head of your home, you can deduct an additional amount of about $1,250.

The Missouri Means Test for Bankruptcies

If you intend to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Missouri, you will need to pass the means test. This test ensures you do not earn too much to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.This test compares your yearly income (your gross income from the six months preceding your bankruptcy, multiplied by two) to the median income to determine your eligibility. For instance, if you are a member of a four-person household filing bankruptcy after May 1, 2021, your yearly income cannot exceed $90,521. These numbers vary as the median income changes, so consult your Missouri bankruptcy attorney regarding the current means test rules.If your income is higher than the median income for households of your size, you have failed the means test and are ineligible to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Missouri. However, there is a loophole that could allow you to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you cannot afford a Chapter 13 repayment plan after subtracting your monthly costs from your gross monthly income, you may still qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Call Our St. Charles Bankruptcy Attorneys now!

There is no reason to lay awake at night tossing and turning, wondering how you are going to carry on under burdensome debt obligations. Contact our Troy or St Charles bankruptcy lawyer’s offices today for a free confidential financial evaluation. To help our clients rebuild credit after bankruptcy, we offer 720 Credit Score‘s credit program to all our clients free of charge!

Still not convinced? Read through our client testimonials or our reviews on Google to see how our top-notch financial lawyers helped residents of Missouri get out of debt. You can also learn more by reading our blog, bankruptcy FAQs, and other resources. Learn how to maintain your financial freedom after getting out of debt by creating a budget in 6 easy steps. And we serve people throughout Missouri, including Lincoln County, Cole County, and Boone County.

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