During these troubled economic times in both Oregon and Washington, we are seeing more and more people being forced into bankruptcy for the second or third time of their lives. Unfortunately, the new bankruptcy laws place some fairly severe limitations on a debtor’s ability to refile.
The bankruptcy court will deny a discharge in a later chapter 7 case if the debtor received a discharge under chapter 7 in a case filed within eight years before the second petition is filed. The court will also deny a chapter 7 discharge if the debtor previously received a discharge in a chapter 13 case filed within six years before the date of the filing of the second case unless (1) the debtor paid all “allowed unsecured” claims in the earlier case in full, or (2) the debtor made payments under the plan in the earlier case totaling at least 70 percent of the allowed unsecured claims and the debtor’s plan was proposed in good faith and the payments represented the debtor’s best effort. Moreover, a debtor is ineligible for discharge under chapter 13 if he or she received a prior discharge in a chapter 7 case filed four years before the current case or in a chapter 13 case filed two years before the current case.