How many times can a person file bankruptcy

Use the Means Test in Chapter 13 and 7 Bankruptcy for a Personal Advantage:

You may use most of the same powerful tactics used by by banks, Fortune 500, Wall Street insiders and city governments. These sophisticated bankruptcy tools are available to anyone who truly wants to live debt free. You may use bankruptcy Chapter 7 or bankruptcy Chapter 13. You may use one or or more of many other options. Once you know what to do, fast, safe and profitable results are easily within your grasp.

How many times can a person file bankruptcy

My name is Dave Clark and I want you to know that your current financial situation is merely a starting point. You should not dread the Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy means test. In fact, you can use this tool for a decisive advantage.

My 2014 Bankruptcy Strategies Manual will show you exactly how you too can beat the means test and wipe out your debts.

You have an amazing variety of options provided by law. You have easy alternatives for cutting credit card payments in half without filing bankruptcy. You have extremely powerful and unquestionable rights provided by the US Bankruptcy Code that no creditor can deny.

You may be able to stop making credit card payments today. You could wipe out all debts in less than four months with personal bankruptcy and keep everything you own.

Use your options wisely. Consequences follow. I want you to know how to win with little risk and great rewards. I want you to know how, when and why you may choose to change the results of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy means test. These same techniques are equally advantageous if choosing Chapter 13.

I invite you to consider a proven over-arching strategy to resolve financial problems. You may or may not be best served by filing personal bankruptcy. I believe everyone should seek and demand a beautiful solution that protects you, your family and the ones you love.

This solution will insure that your financial security remains in tact and net worth increases steadily.

It's okay to be excited about wiping out all of your debts. Your ultimate solution will guarantee your future investments grow for years to come beyond the reach of almost all creditors.

What You Can Do Now

  • Compare all options before making decisions: Choose among almost unlimited options both with and without filing personal bankruptcy. Discover which options work best for you -- down to the last penny -- using worksheets and instructions. Once you know all long-term costs and benefits, your best option will leap out at you.
  • Use the means test for personal advantage: This test determines if you qualify for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. If you earned too much in the past, you cannot file Chapter 7 today even if you are unemployed. Without a regular income or sufficient income, you cannot file Chapter 13. However, there are solutions.
  • Take the Means Test at home, for free, and get spectacular results.
  • Use proper timing: You can file personal bankruptcy too quickly or too slowly which will needlessly cost you exempt property.
  • Get maximum results in record time, without wasting time or money.
  • Use attorney fee caps effectively: Find out how to interview, select and manage attorneys for the best results. Not all attorneys are equally matched. Not all attorneys charge the same rates. Find out how to manage attorney fees easily while receiving excellent representation.
  • Prepare for personal bankruptcy: All transactions before personal bankruptcy are suspect. Find out how to use your available funds safely to keep all property owned, eliminate priority debts, and maximize the discharge of all debts.
  • Know in advance how much you will save: Calculate how much you will spend, how much you will save, and your probable net worth in five years.
  • Avoid personal bankruptcy: You must understand the benefits and burdens associated with all alternatives to make a rational decision. Finding your best option will be easy.
  • Know what to do while a bankruptcy case is pending: Jump-start life after bankruptcy and wealth building plans.
  • Ultimately, wipe out all debts and keep all property you own: Stop the nonsense. Protect your future. Begin rebuilding financial strength and security within months.
  • Avoid all of the hassels that most people face when filing.

With a little help, you can claim your rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and perhaps avoid personal bankruptcy altogether. However, if you do file, demand the greatest benefits possible. If you pay the price, you deserve the benefits.

My net worth jumped from -$85,000 to +$38,000 in four months using personal bankruptcy and my debt payments dropped to nothing.

I didn't know I could file both chapters, but Chapter 13 personal bankruptcy helped me pay off back taxes then I discharged remaining debts, all in less than a year.

Thanks Dave, your personal bankruptcy strategies saved me more than $19,000. Your worksheets and instructions were great.

By paying some of my bills the right way and ignoring others, I avoided Chapter 13 and discharged $42,498 in debt in less than 5 months. My total attorney fees were less than $800.

Using Dave Clark's personal bankruptcy strategies, I saved more than $50,000 in wasted payments everyone else told me I had to make.

Don't let anyone tell you that you have to file Chapter 13. You have options! You better check out all of your options first.

My IRS problems were killing me, but in only 14 months, all of my taxes are paid and I have more than $36,500 in savings with no debts.

Should You Listen?

Practicing law is not a science even though applying black-letter law. There is always a little room to maneuver when appearing in court, differences in attorney abilities, and small biases and preferences that influence each judge's rulings.

Add a high level of experience over 25 years, and these opportunities become highly profitable and predictable. When you know an outcome in advance, you are not gambling, you are an expert with a decisive advantage. Experience is the key to exploiting these advantages.

You too could probably go to law school and practice law for 25 years. At this point, after representing over 10,000 clients, you too would know with a high degree of certainty what, when, and how to claim maximum advantages using both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

I graduated with a B.S. degree in Economics and a minor in Finance. I worked as bank examiner for several years before going to law school. Once graduating law school with honors in 1984, I accepted a job as an associate in large metropolitan law firm and represented some of the wealthiest corporations in the U.S. and throughout the world. However, after seven years, a growing sense of disappointment haunted me daily.

I knew the attorneys representing large banks and corporations. I was one of them and knew intimately their level of expertise and tactics.

I escaped and immediately fell in love. I found my true calling: Practicing law with a true hand. I opened my firm and worked desperately to represent all people equally. I committed to practice law as if everything I did appeared on the front page of newspapers nationwide. This changed my life dramatically.

I grew as a person and embraced an indisputable truth: People's lives matter much more than paper.

My love for the law and this same purpose still drive me. I smile often. I remain more committed than ever before. I want to share the secret of financial freedom and the realization of my dream with you.

Compare Your Personal Options

Every person coping with a financial problem has extraordinary options. Powerful options. Your options are almost unlimited. The best results do require a solution designed with the end game in mind. You may want to compromise your personal options in one area to maximize another to achieve the best overall outcome. With one over-arching strategy supported by many complementary tactics, your best results can be virtually guaranteed.

The best way to see your potential end result, in advance, is to use a common measure. You may even want to combine the most profitable benefits and advantages of the following alternatives:

  • Consumer Credit Counseling - the free course required as a condition of filing bankruptcy (certificate of completion required). They will try to create a monthly budget that pays all of your debts and bills
  • Debt Management Plans - a low cost service for renegotiating interest rates and penalties owed on unsecured debts
  • Debt Settlement Plans - a more aggressive service for settling unsecured debts for a percentage of the principal due, with payment spread out over several years
  • Debt Consolidation Loans - new loans requiring new approval to combine debts (Many dangers here)
  • Home Equity Loans - new loans using your home as collateral to pay off other debts (Many great dangers here)
  • Personal Chapter 7 Bankruptcy - the complete discharge of most debts without payment of any kind
  • Personal Chapter 13 Bankruptcy - the discharge of debts after making partial payments over three to five years
  • Personal Chapter 11 Bankruptcy - both discharge and reorganization of debts in a plan of five years or more
  • Private Debt Negotiation - The individual settlement of debts yourself or with the assistance of an attorney
  • Litigation of Select Debts - Invalidating or settling debts through the civil legal system (without filing bankruptcy), with rights of discovery, deposition and jury trial to resolve disputes

In the personal bankruptcy strategies manual, you will discover the advantages and disadvantages of each of these alternatives. In some cases, using four or five of these alternatives creatively will maximize your end result. You will also find the included worksheets and instructions are intentionally designed to help you find your ultimate solution.

You will see, in dollars and cents, how each of these alternatives can help. You should complete worksheets in the privacy of your home to discover your best option. You will know, with a high degree of certainty, how much you will potentially save using each option. No more guessing. No more excuses. You will know how each option will change your life.

You will create a side-by-side comparison of your expected results over five years. This should be your common measure when comparing your costs, benefits, advantages and disadvantages. A five year period equalizes differences in possible options and is essential. Once you know what to do (using included instructions and examples), completing the worksheets is easy by design.

There is no reason why most people cannot use all of these alternatives as they see fit. We are all free to combine options and alternatives to design a profitable solution.

Timing Is Critical

Simply knowing that you have alternatives is not enough. You must use your options at the proper time and in the proper sequence. Unfortunately, many people procrastinate with the best intentions. However, as time slips away, many good people with high hopes lose the ability to keep all of their exempt assets and discharge all debts.

Start early. A few weeks or a few months following these tips will change your personal results with striking improvement.

The best time to compare your personal options is when you first have problems paying your monthly bills. At this point, you may be able to avoid personal bankruptcy altogether, but also maintain all bankruptcy rights and benefits if filing bankruptcy later becomes necessary. Safe play. Highly profitable. You keep all property and assets yet remain in control.

If creditors and collection agents are calling, you have less time to plan and fewer options. If you are facing a notice of foreclosure, eviction or repossession, your options are needlessly limited. However, you still have many powerful and highly valuable options.

Success using an optimized bankruptcy strategy is not an accident. Success requires planning in all situations. Look before you leap in desperation because of the chapter difference. You should always know the details of any deal before you accept.

You must have time to discover what you want, what makes the most sense for you, and have time to act. Then, your personal solution will unfold with uncanny precision and a full bankruptcy discharge will be quick and easy. Thoughtful planning is true power.

Think of this as a game. First, you have an idea and decide on a plan. Then line up the dominoes. Then file bankruptcy. Then with the slightest flick of a finger, everything falls in place, at the proper time, in the proper sequence, with automatic precision. Your competition will be dumbfounded. No problems. You were first to act. You win.

Great Results Are Easy When You Know What to Do

You do not need an attorney to compare options. You do not need a financial analyst to recognize a good deal. However, you must spend a little quality time organizing your personal financial records. Guessing will not work. You must evaluate your records thoroughly and accurately to determine your best options (and availability) to discover your best options today. Then, if or when you are ready, discuss your plans and options with a local attorney.

The problem you must avoid: Too many people wait until it is almost too late. These people may eventually discuss their situation with an attorney. However, showing up unprepared is always disappointing. An attorney will then spend an hour or more describing limited options and basic information needed to calculate the Chapter 7 bankruptcy means test. The means test determines if you are qualified for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or must file Chapter 13. Without your records in order, it would take several hours to calculate your Chapter 7 bankruptcy means test accurately. What a waste.

At this point, you would be stuck with general information and still not know your options. The result? You wasted your time and an attorney will not provide another free initial consultation. You might decide to retain an attorney anyway and hope for the best, without really knowing what to expect. You may be shocked by your options and results.

There is a far better way to calculate your Chapter 7 bankruptcy means test results. You may complete the calculation quickly, accurately, without charge, in the privacy of your home. The worksheets include instructions, examples and tips for optimizing results. Yu will discover how to manipulate results. You will know what, why, when and how to change results in your favor in strict compliance with the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. This manual means test calculator is far better than any generic online tool. Those tools are not accurate or reliable. These manual worksheets are accurate to the penny reveal your best options with a high degree of precision.

You will also find an attorney interview questionnaire designed to reveal which attorneys are qualified, willing and able to maximize your personal results. These are "must9quot; questions anytime you interview an attorney.

If you are prepared and have your means test results in hand, you take the lead. You confidently explain what you want and how you will keep all property you own. At this point, you will be well on your way to collect the greatest benefits possible. You will also know quickly which attorneys to avoid. The best attorneys will welcome your preparation and gladly discharge all of your debts in less than four months.

You must know the proper questions to ask. You will save a tremendous amount of time and heartache by asking better questions and requiring better answers.

Use This Powerful System

Claiming Maximum Benefits Under Chapter 7 and Chapter 13

Bankruptcy Strategies, Claiming Maximum Benefits Under Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 is a 235 page success manual in a downloadable E-book format. It is designed to first compare options, determine qualification for various alternatives including Chapters 7, 11 and 13, and explain options when filing bankruptcy.

This manual also contains extensive suggestions and examples designed to maximize personal financial recoveries, increase monthly cash flows immediately, and build long-term savings and investments using cost vs. risk vs. reward analysis.

The manual relies on worksheets, instructions and examples to simplify all topics. To the greatest extent possible, legal terminology is minimized and topics are discussed in a conversational style. The goal is clarity and full understanding.

The manual never assumes everyone should file bankruptcy, but instead assumes everyone should consider all personal options, including bankruptcy, when preparing monthly budgets and financial strategies. Your personal financial success is the ultimate goal.

In addition, the manual contains proprietary strategies, tactics and techniques -- developed over the last 25 years -- that are simply not available anywhere else.

The list below contains but a small sample of what you will find within the manual:

  • How to prepare a monthly budget correctly (worksheets and instructions included)
  • What to expect from free consumer credit counseling services. Discover why these services are free, how they can be beneficial, what to avoid, plus limitations of services provided
  • Why affiliated debt management plans are so cheap to setup but can cost so much over the long term. Learn what to look for and avoid
  • How and when to use debt settlement plans to avoid bankruptcy. Learn why the setup cost is greater, how payment reductions run deeper, and when the setup cost can be deferred into the plan
  • Why some debt consolidation loans reduce payments yet increase costs. Learn when and how to use loans effectively
  • The best use for home equity loans and when they should never be considered
  • How to compare the benefits of Chapter 7 to Chapter 13 accurately
  • When to consider free bankruptcy layers, free bankruptcy filings and pitfalls along the way
  • Why and when to consider retaining an attorney for private debt negotiations and/or litigation
  • How to maximize benefits using multiple debt relief tactics
  • How to combine debt relief alternatives effectively without compromising bankruptcy rights
  • Comparison worksheets and instructions, including how to calculate real costs and benefits accurately over five years for all debt relief options

  • How long does bankruptcy last? It depends on you. You can finish in less than four months, if you know how. Find out who may file personal Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Discover what you can do to make sure you personally qualify.
  • Discover what assets are at risk in personal bankruptcy and how to prevent seizures
  • How to protect assets safely before filing personal bankruptcy
  • Should you file bankruptcy for free? Can you file bankruptcy for free and still receive high-quality representation?
  • How to maximize exempt assets and keep all property owned, even with a free bankruptcy filing
  • How to avoid prohibited financial transactions that will always get you in trouble
  • Foreclosure vs. bankruptcy, what's the difference? Plenty, You will learn how to prevent foreclosure, keep property and eliminate debts
  • Gray area financial transaction that could get you in trouble if not completed correctly
  • How to guarantee a full and final discharge of debts without payment of any kind. Can personal bankruptcy eliminate past judgements? Find out how to discharge judgments with few restrictions
  • The best and worst debt payments to make before filing bankruptcy and how they affect your end results
  • Find out what is and is not disclosed in the personal bankruptcy estate (looked at closely by trustees and the courts)
  • How retirement plans are treated in bankruptcy and why they can be the best investment you will ever own
  • How to protect your homestead and keep it in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 when payments are past due. Can bankruptcy stop foreclosure? Find out how
  • What a fully owned corporation can and can’t do for you when filing personal bankruptcy
  • How the courts deal with wealth protection plans. Find out what you can and cannot do to protect non-exempt assets
  • Why limited liability partnerships and companies still provide effective asset protection from the reach of creditors
  • Find out how far back trustees and courts look back at financial transactions in personal bankruptcy
  • How the courts and the IRS deal with offshore accounts
  • The ability of trust funds to protect assets in personal bankruptcy
  • How to plan for the best results, keep all assets, retain all income, and eliminate all debts
  • How often can you file personal bankruptcy? Get the facts
  • How to use free bankruptcy lawyers effectively.
  • Tips if you file bankruptcy yourself and must appear at a hearing.
  • How to file for bankruptcy for free using a top attorney.
  • How to influence the results of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy means test.
  • The best ways to influence the means test for bankruptcy.
  • Things to avoid when taking the Chapter 7 means test.
  • How long does bankruptcy lasts and how to shorten your time in court significantly.
  • How use a means test calculator effectively.
  • How to exploit Chapter 13 differences in your favor.
  • How bankruptcy can stop foreclosure immediately without payment of any kind.
  • Use bankruptcy to eliminate judgements for taxes.
  • The proper way to fill in free forms for filing bankruptcy and avoid problems later.
  • How to for bankruptcy a second time and wipe out all debts.
  • When when not to use a top bankruptcy attorney.
  • How to find a top pro bono bankruptcy attorney who will accept your case.
  • How to receive free legal advice from top bankruptcy attorneys.

  • When to convert from Chapter 13 to Chapter 7 and receive a full discharge
  • When to convert Chapter 7 to Chapter 13 and devastate creditors
  • Why filing Chapter 13 may be your best option when filing
  • How to avoid dismissal of a case and why so many people fail
  • Find out what really happens when you file bankruptcy and the depth of record searches
  • How to work with attorneys effectively, how to testify, and what you should and shouldn't say
  • What an automatic stay can and can’t do in personal bankruptcy, plus why it is so powerful
  • How to invalidate liens, priorities, claims and prior payments for personal profit
  • How to use the cram-down procedure to invalidate liens on vehicles in Chapter 13, plus how to release liens and keep vehicles in Chapter 7
  • Why doing nothing can trigger an imputed income trap, create phantom income, and result in make-believe tax liability that will be enforced by the IRS
  • How private debt negotiations before personal bankruptcy can pay handsome dividends in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 (describing the most successful tactics)
  • Find out how your income will be affected (how much you keep) after filing personal bankruptcy in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13
  • Rules that apply to new loans while bankruptcy cases are pending, what property you can buy and what property you can sell
  • Full explanation, worksheets and instructions for the means test calculation
  • What the means test does, how it is used, and why test results constantly change
  • How and when to calculate the means test for maximum advantage (with instructions, examples and tips)
  • How to pick the best filing date for all bankruptcy chapters
  • How to keep collateral in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 when payments are past due
  • The way priority debts (including past due child support and back taxes) are repaid in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13
  • How to keep your home when facing foreclosure
  • How to keep your vehicle when facing repossession
  • How to keep credit card charge privileges when filing bankruptcy
  • Why your discharge may be denied, actions that can result in dismissal, and debts that can never be discharged
  • Debts that might not be discharged unless handled correctly, plus options if your attorney makes a mistake
  • When and how a discharge becomes effective, and the reasons why a discharge can be revoked
  • When to convert from one chapter to another to claim maximum benefits under both chapters

  • Are free bankruptcy lawyers any good? Do you have any tips for using free lawyers?
  • Can you file bankruptcy yourself and receive a full discharge?
  • Can I file for bankruptcy for free and still receive full benefits?
  • Why is the Chapter 7 bankruptcy means test so important?
  • Is the means test for bankruptcy mandatory?
  • Can the chapter 7 means test change month to month? Discover how the legally change the chapter 7 means test with just a little time to plan
  • How long does bankruptcy last in a typical Chapter 7 case?
  • What is the best means test calculator? Should you trust a free means test calculator online?
  • Do bankruptcy Chapter 13 differences really matter?
  • Can bankruptcy stop foreclosure and save my home if I can’t make payments?
  • Does bankruptcy eliminate judgements for nonpayment of student loans?
  • Are free forms for filing bankruptcy acceptable to the court?
  • Can I file for Chapter 7 a second time and wipe out all debts again?
  • Is it worth the money to retain a top bankruptcy attorney?
  • Will a pro bono bankruptcy attorney do a good job?
  • Is a bankruptcy free consultation valuable? How many bankruptcy free consultations should I request?
  • Can I talk to top bankruptcy lawyers free of cost an obligation?

  • Why and how filing bankruptcy can improve your credit score
  • How to rebuild your credit score quickly after bankruptcy using time tested techniques
  • Timing the sale of assets, new loans and credit after filing bankruptcy
  • What you can do if you omit a creditor when filing bankruptcy
  • How to use credit cards for profit, without being screwed
  • How and when to start saving after filing bankruptcy
  • Why total income is not as important as disposable income
  • How to get a new vehicle loan
  • How to get a new home loan
  • How discharge effects job applications, and what you can do about it
  • When and how to implement an investment strategy after filing bankruptcy
  • How to clean up your credit report and remove errors

These topics are all covered plus many more. The manual relies on an extensive use of examples. Personal bankruptcy strategies are discussed to help each reader discover their best options, how to combine available options, and how to use a local attorney effectively to claim all benefits.

The manual is designed so that we work as a team. You will determine your best personal options and why some are much more valuable than others. The worksheets, instructions and examples help show you the way. Ultimately, you must decide if finding out the true value of your options is worth your time and effort.

Example: If you use the official means test form, you may be forced into Chapter 13. If you use my means test form and pay attention to suggestions and examples based on refinements in case law, you may reduce your disposable income by $350 a month and qualify for Chapter 7. Over 60 months, you will save $21,000 in unnecessary cash payments. Is an extra $21,000 in cash worth a few hours of your time today? You will avoid five years of court supervision living on a court-mandated budget in personal bankruptcy. You could be debt free in less than four months.

With the benefit of interviewing many thousands of clients, the manual is designed as a means for each person to ask better questions, at the right time, and offer solutions to the greatest challenges faced when filing personal bankruptcy.

Once you run through the manual and complete your personal worksheets, you will know what options are available, how much they cost, and how much they are worth to you. Your best option will be clear. You will also be prepared to file personal bankruptcy almost immediately if necessary. You can do this from the privacy of your own home. Keep your options open.

My number-one priority is to maximize your personal benefits and financial security using all legal means. You may find bankruptcy is not your best choice. Yet, if bankruptcy is your best choice, you also deserve full disclosure and should understand how benefits multiply many times over when exercising options correctly and using your right of conversion effectively.

To file personal bankruptcy profitably, you should eventually retain a local attorney. Your future attorney's job is to file a case and get you a good deal. My job is to offer observations regarding the best results obtained over many years by highly motivated debtors who achieved extraordinary success by filing bankruptcy. With time to plan, this is easy.

Sadly, many people find attorneys who are simply lazy or disinterested and do not explain these options fully. Even worse, when time is short, the best attorney in the country can not change your financial history. However, once you are prepared, made good decisions over the last six months, and ask the right questions, at the right time, with confidence, any attorney you retain must provide you with full and responsive answers. You have power.

All attorneys must answer specific questions fully and accurately, otherwise they commit malpractice. The manual teaches how to put an attorney in a box. You will be able to pull strings and make attorneys dance like puppets. The key is asking the right questions at the right time when your financial records reflect good planning.

Not Available from Any Other Source

Also included in my personal bankruptcy strategies manual you will find:

  • Bonus #1 - Top 10 ways to thrive immediately after bankruptcy - jump-start your savings, quickly rebuild credit scores, and insure your success with these time-proven tactics.
  • Bonus #2 - Winning strategies for negotiating debt settlement yourself - Find out how easy you can negotiate small credit card payment reductions. Discover how the pros routinely settle debts for less than 50 cents on the dollar and slash interest rates for a two to three year payout.
  • Bonus #3 - How to stop unethical collection agents and practices - Put an end to annoying collection calls and nasty letters, forever. If you document unethical behavior and can prove it in admissible form, you have a one- year statute of limitations to collect damages from debt collectors.

If you were to retain an attorney to explain all of the information contained in my bankruptcy strategies manual, you would easily spend more than $5,000 and probably much more, plus spend weeks discussing options. You can discover this information for yourself in the privacy of your own home.

All content is cleansed of legal jargon to the extent possible. All information is provided in a format that is easy to understand.

Order Now and You'll Also Receive:

The Power to Change Qualification for Chapter 7

Change Chapter 13 Plan Payments

Your means test results must be provided to the court in every case filed under Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, calculated as of the day you file. This test is based on an official formula that determines your Monthly Disposable Income. And no, the result is not what most people think about when deducting necessary living expenses from their total income. The formula contains a few requirements that are simply bizarre.

Be aware, results change monthly. Qualification for personal Chapter 7 can change quickly. The amount of potential Chapter 13 plan payments can increase alarmingly if you waste your deductions by paying unnecessary debts. An attorney could charge you $400 or more each time you calculate the means test result before you file.

By trying to pay debts one more month, you can screw yourself for five years.

As part of the personal bankruptcy strategies manual, the worksheets, instructions, examples and tips show you how o optimize personal bankruptcy. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 means tests are explained. Once you understand the test, you will be able to calculate the result easily anytime you wish with optimized forms.

You can now monitor your personal progress constantly. You will see how easily results can change, why, and what you can do about it. You will save a few hundred dollars a month, and perhaps avoid Chapter 13 altogether. If you pay attention carefully, you will save thousands of dollars in wasted Chapter 13 payments and be debt free in a few months.

You can calculate the means test result in privacy of your home -- without paying an attorney. You will see how easily small changes create significant swings in test results.

You have the power to change results legally, ethically, and in compliance with the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The test result is based, in part, on how you spent your income over the last full six months. These choices include which debts you paid, which debts you choose to let slip past due, and the way you incurred expenses.

You deserve full disclosure. Your decisions each month matter. You now have the ability to know how the means test affects your personal future and plan accordingly.

This ability alone could determine if you qualify to file Chapter 7, keep all income, and discharge all debts in as little as four months, or if you could be forced into Chapter 13 after filing and must pay all of your Monthly Disposable Income to the court for five years.

Given enough time, and by taking the means test at home, you could easily save $20,000 to $40,000 when filing bankruptcy.

Misinformation about personal bankruptcy has grown rapidly throughout the years. In many cases, banks try to scare borrowers with even the thought of personal bankruptcy. Debt collectors routinely use harassment, intimidation and threats. In many cases, threats are based on information that is simply not true. Their actions dance on the ragged edge of legal compliance, and in many situations, actions go far beyond legal limits.

I have also seen a thousand smiling faces. The cards and letters I received throughout the years from my personal clients are priceless to me. I've seen a constant stream of people regain their confidence, find new jobs, begin saving, and build investment portfolios. I've watched their financial security return and grow with amazing success. These people are my heroes. They made tough decisions when time was short and choose to protect themselves, their families and their futures.

You have many powerful and valuable rights provided by the U.S. Constitution and the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. No bank may take them away. All U.S. citizens and residents can claim these rights.

You cannot sit back passively and expect to receive the full benefit of your rights under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. You must take action. You must take decisive action to assert personal bankruptcy rights. Knowledge is power, but only if you use it.

The Trick Is Not What You Do, But When

The means test uses your personal expenses for the last full six months. Results change each month depending on the debts you choose to pay and those you choose to ignore. By ignoring certain debts and optimizing expenses that qualify for means test deductions, you can purposefully improve your personal test results. Learn how to manipulate the test with small changes in your lifestyle. Ignore a few debts and spend more in some areas. You will be amazed by test result changes. You can create these changes for yourself legally and safely if you understand how.

Do You See Where We Are Going?

Walk with me for a mile or two, together we are preparing you for personal financial success. We are beginning to create a rock-solid strategy for eliminating crushing debts and building financial security. We will make this process as easy as possible, but not easier. Within my personal bankruptcy strategies manual, you will discover how to:

  • Calculate true financial condition today
  • Compare the practical value of all options available to you
  • Evaluate each option using a common measure to find your best options
  • Plan strategies and tactics
  • Keep the money you earn
  • Keep the property you own
  • Eliminate all of your debts
  • Build savings and investment accounts
  • Enjoy life-long financial security

The personal bankruptcy strategies manual was specifically designed to help you combine many complementary tactics. Our purpose is to discover your best path to maximum financial success and security using a five year over-view of realistic results.

In five years, you should look back enjoying the highest level of financial success you have ever achieved. At this point, you will realize that all small steps and inconveniences along the way are forgotten easily.

Be proud of yourself for having the gumption to take charge of your life. Do not fall prey to misinformation, but instead, commit to make all financial choices based on knowledge, probability, and a proven strategy. The quality of your decisions today should pay benefits for the rest of your life.


How many times can a person file bankruptcy

I want you to be fully satisfied when purchasing my product. Keep my manual for 60 days, review it and work through the worksheets.

If you're not thrilled with the information provided, simply write me a note and tell me why. I will refund your entire purchase price promptly, courteously and professionally. No questions or reason required.

I am confident you will find my product informative, insightful and profitable. I have found hopes that I will receive a note from you telling me about your personal success.

NOTE: Bankruptcy Strategies, Claiming Maximum Benefits Under Chapter 7 and 13 is a downloadable e-book. No physical products will be shipped. After you order, you will get instant access to download the e-book, all included worksheets and instructions, and all bonus reports. The e-book is provided in Adobe Acrobat PDF format that can be viewed on Mac or PC.

Bankruptcy Basics: How to File for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13

How many times can a person file bankruptcy

Bankruptcy lets you get your overwhelming debt forgiven or restructured under the protection of a federal court.

Consumers have two main options:

  • Chapter 7 (liquidation): The quickest, simplest and most common type. Most unsecured debts, such as credit cards, medical debt and personal loans, are discharged, or forgiven. You may have to give up some assets, like an expensive car or jewelry, but the vast majority of filers do not.
  • Chapter 13 (reorganization): You repay some or all of your debt under a court-approved plan. Debts must be under a certain level, and you must have enough income to repay them over three to five years.

Bankruptcy isn’t easy or cheap, and it likely will crimp your access to new credit for seven to 10 years. But it may be the best way to salvage your finances.

Here’s a look at what bankruptcy is, whether it’s right for you, how to file, and what to watch out for along the way.

Bankruptcy has some stigma and misconceptions surrounding it, and it’s not easy or cheap — but this debt relief tool might be your best bet for a better financial future.

You and your attorney will work to prove your eligibility for a debt discharge or reorganization to a bankruptcy trustee, who administers the proceedings.

Bankruptcy will leave a serious mark on your credit reports, and you’ll likely find it harder to borrow money for years to come. Even so, you’ll probably see your credit scores start to recover once you take this step to resolve your debts.

“Bankruptcy gives you a chance for a fresh start,” says Dan LaBert, executive director of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. “It’s not political; it could happen to anyone. I think when people feel that overwhelming pressure from financial stress — and they’re seeing that pressure stretch out and impact those around them — bankruptcy is a very legitimate option for them.”

Bankruptcy may be your best solution if:

  • Your debts total more than half your annual income.
  • It would take five years or more to pay off your debt, even if you took extreme measures.
  • Your debt interferes with other aspects your life, such as your relationships or your ability to sleep.

Other debt relief options are available, such as a debt management plan through a credit counseling agency. Think through your circumstances and goals and take advantage of the free initial advice that credit counselors and many bankruptcy attorneys offer before deciding on a particular path.

“Bankruptcy is not a panacea for every situation, and I think that if you’re contemplating doing it, you should have a frank conversation with an attorney,” says California bankruptcy attorney Matthew Olson. “There’s the downside of the hit on your credit report, but frequently that will be outweighed by relief of stress and getting this problem solved and letting you move forward with your finances.”

Bankruptcy is complicated. Although it can be tempting to hire a petition preparer to fill out paperwork and try to do the rest on your own, skipping a step or improperly filling out a form can lead to your case being thrown out or not having certain debts dismissed. That’s why finding the right bankruptcy attorney is important. In general, look for these three things when vetting potential attorneys:

  • Depth of knowledge.
  • Charges in line with the complexity of your case.
  • Confidence you can develop a good professional relationship.

“Working in bankruptcy requires a specialization,” says California bankruptcy attorney Cathy Moran. “You want someone who does enough of this kind of work to have some depth of knowledge. This is not a field for dabblers or generalists.”

Attorney fees vary greatly by location, attorney and complexity of the case. But Moran warns that bottom-of-the-barrel prices might leave you shortchanged.

“I think it’s almost inevitable that the people who are the cheapest are trouble,” Moran says. “They can’t afford to spend any time on your case, and if they think they can stay in business charging $700 for a bankruptcy, they haven’t done it very long to know that at that rate the lawyer is either making $3.25 an hour or the client is getting shorted.”

Many companies promise quick fixes for your financial problems but can’t actually help resolve your debt. Watch out for any that:

  • Ask you to pay a fee before receiving any services.
  • Promise to wipe out your debt without you having to declare bankruptcy or pay a fee.
  • Tell you to make your debt payments to their company rather than your creditors, without your creditors’ explicit consent.
  • Tell you to stop communicating with your creditors or say you need professional help to contact them.
  • Promise to magically repair your credit.
  • Tell you you’re eligible for a government program to help relieve your debt; only the government agency in question can determine your eligibility.

Choosing between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 will likely come down to your eligibility, your priorities and the value of assets that could be seized in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Each state lets you exempt a certain amount of value for certain assets; a house and car are the main ones people worry about.

Here’s how Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 work and which might be right for your situation.

• Cannot have filed for Chapter 7 in the past eight years or Chapter 13 in the past six.

• Unsecured debt cannot exceed $394,725. Secured debt cannot exceed $1,184,200.

• Must be current on tax filings.

• Cannot have filed for Chapter 13 in the past two years or Chapter 7 in the past four years.

An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you determine which is best for your situation, but in general:

  • Your problem debts are ones that can be discharged, or forgiven, by Chapter 7, such as medical bills or credit card debt.
  • You don’t have many assets. Many Chapter 7 filers have modest cars and not much income. If the value of your possessions falls within the exemption limits, you don’t have to worry about your assets being seized.
  • You don’t think you’d be able to pay off your debts over three to five years.
  • You want to keep certain assets and/or you’re behind on your mortgage or car payments and want to make them up over time.
  • Most of your debts are student loans, child support or other debts that either can’t or are highly unlikely to be discharged under Chapter 7.
  • You have nonexempt assets that you want to keep, such as a nicer car or valuable jewelry.
  • You have a co-signer on an indebted account. With Chapter 7, creditors are free to go after your co-signer even though you’re protected. If you file Chapter 13, you can arrange to pay off the co-signed debt in your repayment plan, protecting your co-signer.

Chapter 11 is a less common form of consumer bankruptcy; it’s typically for those with debts greater than about $2 million.

Your attorney will handle most of the paperwork. Your part is providing complete information on your income, expenses and debts. Here’s a general outline of what to expect:

By the time you’ve decided to file for bankruptcy, your financial situation — from your balance sheets to your credit score — is likely in ruins. But things will begin to get better once your debts are discharged or reorganized.

You can begin to focus on rebuilding your finances. Building a budget and applying for a secured credit card are good first steps.

Although a bankruptcy will linger on your credit reports for years, you can minimize its effect by working to restore your credit and take control of your finances.

Sean Pyles is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: [email protected]

This article was updated July 27, 2016. It was originally published Aug. 2, 2013.

How many times can a person file bankruptcy

It’s a classic catch-22: You’re in rough financial shape and need to file for bankruptcy. But between filing fees and the cost of hiring the right bankruptcy attorney, you could end up paying hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars to do so.

Here’s what bankruptcy costs — and how to pay for it.

You’ll face two expenses: the court filing fees to handle your case, and attorney fees for the bankruptcy lawyer who files your petition, helps you through the means test and represents you in court.

There are several types of bankruptcy. The most common for consumers are Chapter 7 bankruptcy, where most all of your debts will be forgiven; and Chapter 13, which reorganizes your debts into a repayment plan.

*Attorney fees vary greatly; these are approximate ranges.

Filing fees are the same nationwide, but attorney fees vary based on your location, the complexity of your case and the attorney. In general, they’ll be lower if you live in a rural area or have a simple case. A complex bankruptcy case in Manhattan, however, will likely cost several thousand dollars.

If you’re filing for Chapter 13, your court will review your attorney fees unless they fall below the so-called “no-look” level that’s recognized as reasonable. This level varies from one district to another, so check with your local court before hiring an attorney.

Filing Chapter 13 means you have the financial footing to structure a repayment plan for your debts — including your attorney fees — after you’ve filed.

But if you’re in enough financial distress that you need to file Chapter 7, you’ll likely need to pay your attorney before he or she files your case. If you can’t afford these costs, you can:

  • Raise the money.
  • Work out a payment plan pre-filing.
  • Go pro bono, which means finding an attorney who will take your case free of charge.

The first option takes creativity and hard work. The others require you to prove financial need, so gather proof of your income and expenses, as well as your tax statements, before meeting with any legal counsel.

A few simple steps can help you free up or find money for your bankruptcy.

First: Minimize your outgoing cash. “If you’re still paying your credit cards, stop paying them,” New Jersey bankruptcy attorney John Hargrave says. “You’re just throwing that money away if you’re going to file . Save that money and put it toward your bankruptcy.”

Unsecured debts, such as credit card bills, are wiped out through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, so it makes little sense to keep paying them if you’re certain about using this debt relief option .

Next, try to earn some additional income . Selling old electronics or taking on a part-time job are two ways to earn some fast cash.

If you’ve already pawned your flat screen and started a dog walking service but still don’t have enough to cover your bankruptcy, try asking family and friends for help. You can also tap into a 401(k) or IRA if you have one. That’s truly a last resort, though, as it could jeopardize your ability to afford retirement.

You might be able to spread out the costs of your attorney and filing fees.

The first step is finding the right attorney . In this case, that means one who has expertise, is a good communicator and charges a fair price — and is willing to receive payment over time. Ask any lawyer you’re considering about the possibility during your initial meeting.

Payment plans vary; some lawyers allow you to spread payments over six months, others three months. Most will want full payment before filing your case. Because Chapter 7 bankruptcy wipes out most of your debts, you wouldn’t be legally obligated to pay your attorney any outstanding fees after filing. That’s just not a sustainable business plan.

But you can still get some benefit, even while you’re making the payments, Hargrave says. Once you officially hire a lawyer, he or she can take calls from creditors on your behalf. When you discuss setting up a payment plan, ask how much of the fee you must pay before the lawyer will begin taking calls.

“When people hire a bankruptcy lawyer, they know the fear of going to the mailbox, the fear of what phone call is going to come next — that evaporates when you hire an attorney,” Hargrave says. “That’s a huge benefit for people.”

Later, your attorney can work with the court to set up a payment plan for your bankruptcy filing fee. The $335 fee can be split into as many as four payments.

You might qualify for free legal services or waived fees if your income is less than 150% of the poverty line for your family size and you’re unable to afford a payment plan.

There are a few ways to find a pro bono attorney. First, ask your local bankruptcy court for information about free legal clinics and local free legal aid resources. If you meet their guidelines, these organizations might be able to offer some help or connect you with pro bono bankruptcy attorneys. But be prepared: Legal aid organizations are often underfunded and overworked. Still, getting on the list with one is a good starting point while pursuing other options.

The American Bankruptcy Institute’s bankruptcy attorney directory can also point you toward pro bono help in your area.

You can also reach out to your state’s bar association. Some firms require attorneys to make pro bono work 10% to 15% of their caseloads. Just don’t pick an attorney simply because he or she is free.

You might feel a little odd asking for free legal representation, but Jim Carman, communications director at the American Bankruptcy Institute, says bankruptcy lawyers are accustomed to the requests.

“They understand that people aren’t coming to them lightly, and they’re going to understand that there’s a certain tightness in the wallet,” Carman says. “If people are in that kind of extreme situation, they really need to seek out a pro bono attorney.”

Lastly, you can hire a petition preparer instead of an attorney if you’re in a hurry to file your bankruptcy. He or she will help you fill out your paperwork for an hourly fee that can be as low as $70. Know that a petition preparer can’t give you the legal advice that an attorney can provide, but this is an option if you just want to file in order to trigger the “automatic stay” that halts collection efforts.

If you’re thinking of filing on your own, without any legal assistance, Hargrave advises one thing: Don’t.

“There’s a jeopardy in doing a bankruptcy by yourself,” he says. “Even if you’re a well-educated, articulate person, the law still has a lot of jargon and technical stuff that you, without assistance of a lawyer, could screw up.”

Making a mistake on your paperwork can lead the court to throw out your case, wasting the effort and money you’ve put into it.

Bankruptcy is confusing enough , and worrying about how you’ll pay for it makes it even worse. If you’re struggling to pay your filing and attorney fees, these options can help you get on track toward getting your debts forgiven.

From there, you can start to rebuild your credit , work out a budget and hopefully, someday, live debt-free.

Sean Pyles is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: [email protected]

How many times can a person file bankruptcy

Your bankruptcy attorney will serve as your advocate and guide through what is a sometimes confusing process. Taking the time to contact a few lawyers and knowing what to look for can set you on the path toward successfully filing for bankruptcy.

When hiring an attorney to help you file your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, look for expertise, a fair price and a communication style you’re comfortable with.

Several online directories promise to help with finding a bankruptcy lawyer in your area. Be aware, however, that many of these directories simply list attorneys in exchange for a fee and don’t offer a guarantee of quality. Bring a discerning eye to any listing you consult.

Start with these two resources:

The ABA site lists lawyers and firms that meets its standards for lawyer referral, and you can sift through the results for attorneys that specialize in bankruptcy. You can also check your state’s bar association for local resources.

The NACBA directory lists bankruptcy attorneys exclusively. The organization is dedicated to helping consumers going through bankruptcy and attorneys who specialize in this area. However, NACBA’s membership criteria are fairly generous, so membership does not necessarily equal quality or experience.

In addition to these directories, ask friends and colleagues for recommendations if you feel comfortable doing so.

Contact a few attorneys who seem qualified and arrange a consultation with each one. Some attorneys offer free meetings, and others will charge a fee of around $35 for this initial conference. Don’t assume no charge means lesser qualifications; starting with free meetings can help you get comfortable interviewing lawyers and may lead you to the one you choose.

At all of the meetings, aim to find out three things:

  • Does the attorney have the expertise to help you?
  • Are the fees are appropriate?
  • Would you feel comfortable working with this person?

Successfully navigating the bankruptcy code requires a deep knowledge of this area of law and the experience to know how to use it. A misfiled form or missed deadline could result in your case being thrown out. That’s why finding a specialist is important.

“Going with an attorney who is not specialized in bankruptcy can be very dangerous because they might not understand how to interpret this complicated area of the law,” says Dan LaBert, executive director of the NACBA. “You wouldn’t go to a dermatologist if you had a heart problem.”

Ask the lawyers you contact what specialized training or background they have. Those who have bankruptcy certification from the American Board of Certification have proven they know their way around the bankruptcy code better than your average attorney. An affiliation with NACBA is also a sign that an attorney is committed to advocating for people going through bankruptcy.

Ask the attorneys you meet with how many Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies they’ve handled. And know that a good bankruptcy lawyer will also discuss alternatives to bankruptcy, such as credit counseling, with clients.

There is no “right” amount a bankruptcy attorney should charge, although generally a Chapter 13 filing will cost more than a Chapter 7. Fees vary from case to case and from one state to another.

You can expect to pay between $500 and $3,500 for a Chapter 7 and between $1,500 and $6,000 for a Chapter 13, LaBert says. The more complicated the case, the more expensive it’s likely to be. Ask about the attorney’s fee structure during your first conversation and make sure you understand what services are included.

California bankruptcy attorney Cathy Moran says the most important thing is making sure you’re getting your money’s worth for your specific situation. “You need to know what’s at stake for you when you pick a bankruptcy lawyer,” Moran says. “If you have very few assets and there’s not much to lose, then you can choose a Smart Car or Ford Escort. But if you’ve got a home with equity or a fight with somebody nasty, you need an Audi or a Lexus — you need some horsepower.”

Before you hire any attorney, ask yourself if you feel comfortable being open with him or her.

“I think that the quality of the communication is important because if you don’t, as the client, feel comfortable … disclosing what you’re worried about, if you keep secrets, it will be a deal killer for your case,” Moran says. Without having all of your information, Moran says, she would “have no way of knowing if my and your assessment of the situation is right.”

You and your bankruptcy attorney have a serious job ahead: working to make sure you can get the best deal for your situation. That’s going to involve hard conversations, and a dedication to open communication will help.

“It really does come down to having a compatible personality with the attorney,” LaBert says. “Your attorney is not going to be your buddy or your pal. They’re going to give you hard advice, and it will often relate to your spending habits. But ultimately the attorney has to make a welcoming environment for the client.”

Be wary of “bankruptcy mills,” or law firms that handle so many bankruptcy cases that they can’t give yours the time and attention it deserves. If in your first meeting you aren’t able to work one on one with the attorney to air your concerns and talk through your case, you might want to go elsewhere.

Keep these qualities in mind throughout your search and take your time.

Although it takes work to find the right lawyer, don’t be tempted to go without one. “I always say ‘pro se, no way’ for bankruptcy,” LaBert says, referring to the legal term for representing yourself.

Both he and Moran agree that if bankruptcy law is too complicated for a dabbling attorney, it’s too complicated for average people to tackle on their own — or at least too complicated to do so successfully.

Finding the right attorney for your situation will allow you to execute this debt relief option successfully, freeing you to focus on restoring your credit and living debt free.

Sean Pyles is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: [email protected]

How many times can a person file bankruptcy

Declaring Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is no small decision, but it may be your best debt relief option if you see no clear route to paying off what you owe within five years.

Bankruptcy is a long and sometimes confusing process; just filing can take months to complete. The federal government requires two sessions of credit counseling: pre-filing counseling to kick off the process and pre-discharge counseling before your debts are forgiven. These sessions will help you understand how bankruptcy works, its lasting effects and how to avoid financial risk in the future.

The counseling sessions don’t take long to complete, and they can be the most painless part of filing for bankruptcy. Here’s what to expect.

After finding the right attorney for your situation, pre-filing bankruptcy counseling is your first step toward getting the gears of the process turning. If you don’t go through pre-filing counseling before submitting your case to the court, it will be thrown out.

In addition to being an educational course to help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of going through bankruptcy, pre-filing counseling also presents alternatives such as debt management to help you determine whether bankruptcy is the best way to resolve your debt.

“We show consumers local resources they may not know are available,” says Joji Varghese, a credit counselor with Clearpoint Credit Counseling Solutions. “There are alternatives for them to get out of debt on their own. Many can learn how to cut their expenses and save a little bit to pay off their debts without filing for bankruptcy.”

Bankruptcy attorney Lawrence Szabo calls that unlikely, however: “In theory, it’s designed to see if maybe an alternative to bankruptcy could be considered, but that very rarely happens.”

When you finish the pre-filing session, you will receive a certificate of completion valid for 180 days. You’ll need that certificate if you do decide to file for bankruptcy.

Pre-discharge counseling, the last step before the court finalizes your bankruptcy and discharges your debts, offers valuable financial education to help you manage your finances in the future.

“It’s focused on income, expenses and strategies for how to help you save money,” Szabo says. “I’ve had a few of my clients over the years say they actually found it quite helpful.”

This class covers much of the same ground as the pre-filing session but with a focus on increasing your financial literacy. You’ll cover topics such as understanding your credit scores, managing a budget and avoiding financial risk.

“If a person is serious about getting out of debt, the pre-discharge course can give them information and tools to avoid getting into the same situation again,” Varghese says.

As with pre-filing counseling, you’ll receive a certificate upon completion. You’ll need to have that certificate before the court will discharge your debts.

Pre-filing counseling and pre-discharge education are available only from nonprofit credit counseling agencies approved by the Department of Justice.

Look through the approved agencies and talk with a few credit counselors to find one you feel comfortable with. (Keep in mind you can switch to a different agency for the second session if you like.)

Don’t worry if you don’t find an approved agency near you; most pre-filing and pre-discharge sessions take place over the phone or online. Some agencies, like Clearpoint, do pre-discharge sessions only online.

Before going into either session, gather documents that outline your income, expenses and debt to expedite the process. Expect each session to take between 90 minutes and two hours.

The average cost for pre-filing and pre-discharge courses is $25 to $50 each, depending on where and how you do the counseling.

Most of the bigger credit counseling agencies, such as ClearPoint and Money Management International, charge a flat rate of $50 per session. But some states cap the fee for pre-filing counseling at $20, and some agencies offer lower fees for online sessions. For instance, InCharge Bankruptcy Counseling charges $25 for pre-filing counseling online and $15 for its online pre-discharge course.

Many credit counseling agencies will waive the fees if they determine you can’t pay given your household budget. Be sure to get any fees in writing before starting a pre-filing or pre-discharge session.

These counseling sessions are just two steps on the journey of eliminating debt through bankruptcy. It’s not an easy or quick fix: Chapter 7 takes three to six months, and Chapter 13 takes three to five years.

If you use the tools provided in the counseling sessions, however, you can begin to erase its effects on your credit upon completing your bankruptcy.

“After you take the second course and your bankruptcy is discharged, you can start rebuilding your credit,” NerdWallet columnist and financial advisor Liz Weston says. “The first step is to save up a little cash for an emergency fund, and then look into credit builder loans and secured cards.”

“If you manage these accounts responsibly, you should start to see your credit scores improving within a year or two,” Weston says. “The bankruptcy will continue to affect those scores for 10 years, but many people can get their scores up to ‘good’ levels within three to five years.”

Sean Pyles is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: [email protected]

We believe that everyone should be able to tackle financial decisions with confidence. That’s why our helpful tools, researched advice and expert recommendations are totally free.

So how do we make money? We receive compensation from our partners. But, the results of our tools (like our credit card comparison tool) and editorial reviews are based on quantitative and qualitative assessments of product features — nothing else.

Our award-winning editorial staff is serious about following our editorial guidelines to ensure editorial integrity. While compensation may influence the products we review and write about, the order in which categories appear in “best of” articles, whether products appear on our site and where they’re placed, it doesn’t affect the analysis and opinions of our writers. While we try to feature as many product offers on our site as we can maintain (1,200+ credit cards and financial products!), we recognize that our site does not feature every company or financial product available on the market.

We’re serious about matching you with the financial products that fit you best. We’re on your side, even if it means we don’t make a cent.

We believe that everyone should be able to tackle financial decisions with confidence. That’s why our helpful tools, researched advice and expert recommendations are totally free.

So how do we make money? We receive compensation from our partners. But, the results of our tools (like our credit card comparison tool) and editorial reviews are based on quantitative and qualitative assessments of product features — nothing else.

Our award-winning editorial staff is serious about following our editorial guidelines to ensure editorial integrity. While compensation may influence the products we review and write about, the order in which categories appear in “best of” articles, whether products appear on our site and where they’re placed, it doesn’t affect the analysis and opinions of our writers. While we try to feature as many product offers on our site as we can maintain (1,200+ credit cards and financial products!), we recognize that our site does not feature every company or financial product available on the market.

We’re serious about matching you with the financial products that fit you best. We’re on your side, even if it means we don’t make a cent.

How many times can a person file bankruptcy

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy gives you the relief of a clean financial slate — but also the worry that you’ll never have decent credit again.

If you were eligible to file Chapter 7, chances are your credit was in tatters. But that’s different from the common misconception that bankruptcy ruins your financial future forever.

The truth is you can begin to restore your credit right away.

I pay off this much debt:

How many times can a person file bankruptcy

Although a bankruptcy will remain on your credit reports for 10 years, its impact will fade with time. You can help the process by offsetting the negative information on your credit report with something more positive.

At this point, lenders would like to see that you have enough income to pay your current obligations, and have a little left over. A lighter debt burden makes you a more attractive borrower.

Also, lenders won’t have to worry that you’ll file for bankruptcy to get rid of any new debt; you won’t be able to receive another discharge of your debts for eight years.

Here’s your first order of business: Create a budget to help you stay on top of your finances. The pre-discharge credit counseling you went through before finishing your bankruptcy should have provided information on budgeting, but if not, don’t hesitate to seek help from a credit counseling agency . All nonprofit credit counseling agencies offer free basic consumer help on topics such as budgeting .

Next, begin building an emergency fund . Research by the Urban Institute shows that having as little as $250 in savings for an unexpected expense can protect families from resorting to payday loans or running up credit cards, which can start a new debt spiral.

You might think you’re a pariah in the eyes of lenders and credit card issuers, but that’s not quite true. You’ll have to prove yourself, of course, but it can be done.

Although your goal — building a good credit score — is the same as that of someone starting from scratch, your situation is a little different. Your problem isn’t that creditors don’t know anything about you, but rather that they know a lot.

First, assess your situation. You can do that by checking your free annual credit reports. Your credit scores are calculated using information in your credit reports, so any inaccurate negative information can make it even harder for you to dig out of debt. If you find errors, dispute them and get them corrected.

Of course, there will be negative information that is accurate. Your reports will show your bankruptcy for 10 years. Also, late payments and debts that go to collection remain on the reports until seven years after the delinquencies. A Chapter 7 filing wipes out debts, but it doesn’t wipe your credit reports clean.

Second, check your credit score. There are several ways to get a free credit score, from personal finance websites like NerdWallet and some credit card issuers. It’s smart to track your credit score month to month, and it’s crucial to look at the same score each time — otherwise, you’ll get a not-useful apples-to-oranges comparison. Pick one type of score to track and stick with it.

Cleaning up your credit reports and knowing which credit score will be seen by lenders helps you know which credit products to apply for.

Your pre-bankruptcy payment history will make you look like an extremely risky borrower to lenders. You can fix that problem by providing extra assurances that they won’t lose money by lending to you. Here are four ways to improve your financial profile. That will help you get credit and work on restoring your score:

Secured loan: This comes in two varieties, and most often is offered by credit unions or community banks. One kind of secured loan involves borrowing against money you already have on deposit. You won’t be able to access that money while you’re paying off your loan. The other kind can be made without cash upfront, though the money loaned to you is placed in a savings account and released to you only after you have made the necessary payments. In return, the financial institution agrees to send a report about your payment history to the credit bureaus.

Secured credit card: This kind of card is backed by a deposit you pay, and the credit limit typically is the amount you have on deposit. A secured card often has annual fees and may carry high interest rates, but you shouldn’t need it for the long term. It can be used to mend your credit until you become eligible for a better, unsecured card.

Be aware that you can be rejected for a secured card. Read the requirements carefully; you’ll want to be almost certain you can get approved before you apply for one, because each credit inquiry can cause a small, temporary drop in your score. This decline will be more than offset if you get a card, use it lightly, and pay the debt on time.

NerdWallet credit card expert Sean McQuay recommends applying for a secured card at a credit union or other local bank. “They tend to be much more lenient with credit history, and many will be happy to work with you to build your credit profile,” he said. “One big caveat, however: Before applying, make sure the bank or credit union reports credit activity to all three credit bureaus. Make sure your good credit behavior counts.”

Co-signed credit card or loan: This can help your score, but you need to have a friend or family member with good credit history who is willing to co-sign for you. It’s a big ask: A co-signer is risking his or her credit reputation for you, will be on the hook for the full amount if you don’t pay, and may face limits on personal borrowing because of the additional debt obligation. A co-signed card or loan can damage relationships if you don’t pay as agreed.

Authorized user status: If asking someone to co-sign is too much, you could instead ask to be an authorized user on that person’s credit card. But make sure the credit card will report payment activity by authorized users to the credit bureaus, or it won’t help build your score.

This route won’t lift a score by nearly as much as the other methods, because authorized users don’t have ultimate responsibility for repaying debt. (It is much more likely to help someone who has a “thin file” with little credit information in it than someone who has a file chock-full of negative information.) But this path won’t hurt, so you may want to pursue it.

Once you get a lender to extend credit, be vigilant about paying on time. Keep your credit card balances low relative to card limits — less than 30% is typically advised, but less than 10% is even better.

You’re already seeking redemption, so you can’t put yourself in a position where you’re begging for forgiveness for a late payment or struggling to keep up with mounting credit balances.

When your recent history finally shows you are a good credit risk, your vigilance in restoring your credit reputation will pay off.

This article was updated June 20, 2016. It was originally published Dec. 17, 2014.

how many times can a person file bankruptcy

How many times can a person file bankruptcy The Bankruptcy Code is a federal law so it is applies in all states although each Bankruptcy Court may apply the law differently.

You can file a Chapter 7 case every eight years. However, if you are in over your head after filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you can file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case and propose a payment (often small—although based on what you can afford). In New Jersey the Courts routinely allow the filing of the Chapter 13 four years after filing a Chapter 7; however, an argument is occasionally made that the debtor (the person filing for bankruptcy) is filing a “disguised Chapter 7”.

I have not personally heard that argument from the Chapter 13 Trustee I appear before routinely but it does come up. You should speak to a bankruptcy attorney in your state to discuss refiling.

If you are filing a Chapter 13 after having filed one previously an attorney will have to ask you a number of questions in order to determine whether you will be able to receive a discharge.

There are often reasons for people to file a Chapter 13 even if they will not receive a discharge.

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