Frequently Asked Questions


Can I file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy a second time?

A debtor may not file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if the debtor previously received a discharge in a Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 case filed within eight years.

A debtor may not file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if the debtor previously received a discharge in a Chapter 12 or Chapter 13 filed within six years, unless the debtor either paid all the allowed unsecured claims in the earlier case or the debtor made payments under the earlier repayment plan totaling 70 percent of the allowed unsecured claims and the plan was proposed in good faith.

Can I file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy a second time?

A debtor may not file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy if the debtor received a prior discharge in a Chapter 7, 11, or 12 case filed within four years.

A debtor may not file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy if the debtor received a prior discharge in a Chapter 13 case filed within two years.

How do I find an Attorney?

Debtors are strongly encouraged to obtain the services of competent legal counsel. Contact the Idaho State Bar Lawyer Referral Service (208-334-4500, for the name of an attorney in your area who will provide an initial half hour consultation for no more than $35. 


What can I do if a creditor attempts to collect a discharged debt after the case is concluded?

If a creditor attempts collection efforts on a discharged debt, the debtor can file a motion with the court, reporting the action and asking that the case be reopened to address the matter. The bankruptcy court will often do so to ensure that the discharge is not violated. The discharge constitutes a permanent statutory injunction prohibiting creditors from taking any action, including the filing of a lawsuit, designed to collect a discharged debt. A creditor can be sanctioned by the court for violating the discharge injunction. The normal sanction for violating the discharge injunction is civil contempt, which is often punishable by a fine.

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Can I Lose My home?

Homeowners who are having trouble or have fallen behind in making their mortgage payments may have options that would allow them to avoid foreclosure and bankruptcy. For more information regarding foreclosure, please visit the U.S. Court’s website at http://www.uscourts. gov/FederalCourts/Bankruptcy/BankruptcyResources/Foreclosure.aspx.

Beware of offers made once your house is in foreclosure—there are a number of fraudulent schemes specifically directed at individuals facing foreclosure. The Idaho Attorney General’s Office has created a manual to help you prevent fraud from occurring. This manual can be viewed at http://www.ag.idaho.gov/publications/consumer/ForeclosurePreventionandScams.pdf. If you feel suspicious about a proposal, such as one that requires the transfer of your property to a third party in order to avoid foreclosure, please submit a complaint form with the Idaho Attorney General’s Office. The complaint form can be accessed at http://www.ag.idaho.gov/ consumer  Protection/forms/ ComplaintFormInformation.html.

Is bankruptcy right for me?


Sometimes it is best to postpone filing for bankruptcy. For instance, if you think you will incur significant debts in the near future, it might make sense to wait to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Although your current debts will be discharged in your bankruptcy, debts incurred after you file for bankruptcy will not be. Because you cannot file for bankruptcy for eight years after the filing date in a previous Chapter 7 discharge, you will be on the hook for those debts for a long time. Other factors, such as your mortgage and income, may also help you understand when to file for bankruptcy.

It is very important that a bankruptcy case be filed and handled correctly. Bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal consequences. Hiring an attorney is strongly recommended.

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