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St Louis Bankruptcy: If I Start Off In A Chapter 13, Can I Ever Switch To A Chapter 7?

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Yes, you can. But there is really one (very specific) scenario in which you can take advantage of something like this. And it depends on two main factors (described below).

If you start of by filing a St Louis Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the court does allow you to convert the case to a Chapter 7 at some point in the future. However, a few specific rules apply. To begin with, the federal rules state that if you have previously filed a Ch7, then you have to wait a full eight (8) years until you are eligible to file another one.

Assuming that you can jump that hurdle, then the next question is this: even though you filed a Ch13, did you at the time of filing qualify for a St. Louis Chapter 7 bankruptcy? In other words, could you have filed a Ch7 at the time you entered into the Ch13?

If you could have in fact filed a Missouri Chapter 7, then there is a very good likelihood that you will be able to convert your existing Chapter 13. This is because you were probably below the median income level for your household size. For example, if you were a household of three (3) on the date you filed your Ch13 (for example, yourself, your spouse, and a child), and your total household income was $50,000, then you were below the median income level. This means that you could have done a Ch7 (but for whatever strategic reasons, you chose a Ch13 instead).

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In the above example, you would be able to convert your Chapter 13 to a Chapter 7. But if on the date you filed your Ch13 you were above the median income, then you will not be able to convert. So what if during your Ch13, your income reduces significantly (and now you are in fact below the median)? In that sort of situation, probably the best option would be to voluntarily dismiss yourself out of the existing 13, and then file a new 7.

Either way, the best way to figure out what your rights and options are is to speak with an experienced St. Louis bankruptcy lawyer!! He or she can give you a clear idea of what your available options might be, and answer all of your questions.

The affordable St. Louis bankruptcy attorneys at Brinkman & Alter, LLC have been saving and protecting people’s assets for years. Our goal is to make sure that you keep the assets and property you want, discharge the debts that you want to get rid of, and do it all at an affordable cost to you. All phone conversations and office consultations are free of charge.

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