Can you file for bankruptcy more than once?

On Behalf of | Jul 16, 2020 | Bankruptcy

Many people who file bankruptcy only need to do so once to discharge or repay their debts. Yet, yours may have continued mounting after your first bankruptcy. You may fear that you cannot file a second time. But you can do so, depending on the date of your previous bankruptcy filing.

Filing after Chapter 7 bankruptcy

You may have filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy once and you may need to again if you have accumulated further debts you cannot repay. To do so, you must wait eight years from the date of your previous filing. Yet, you may have liquidated your unsecured debts through Chapter 7 if your total debt would have prevented you from qualifying for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Or, you may want to repay your secured debts through Chapter 13 to protect your exempted property. In either case, you can file Chapter 13 bankruptcy right after your Chapter 7 discharge, though you must wait four years for your second discharge. This arrangement is known as Chapter 20 bankruptcy, which is not a unique legal form of bankruptcy. But its structure gives you more time to manage your debt load. And it can help you keep your home and vehicle, among other assets.

Filing after Chapter 13 bankruptcy

If you filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy before, you can pursue a second case as soon as two years after the original filing date. Yet, unlike your past debts, you may find yourself unable to repay your current debts. If you need to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy after your initial Chapter 13 case, you must wait six years to do so. But you can file sooner if you satisfied all your unsecured creditors through your repayment plan. This provision also applies if you repaid 70% or more of your claims, so long as you tried covering the rest to the best of your ability.

Filing multiple bankruptcies may seem like an unappealing way to manage your debt. Yet, doing so could provide you immediate relief and give you another chance at rebuilding your finances. An attorney with bankruptcy law experience can help you understand whether filing again is a sound option.


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