Can You File Bankruptcy More Than Once?

You’ve filed for bankruptcy before. Now, due to debts that weren’t resolved in your first case or new debts you’ve acquired since, you’re thinking about filing for bankruptcy again. Can you file bankruptcy twice?

The answer is yes! 

Filing for bankruptcy twice is not uncommon. There are many times when filing for bankruptcy is the best—if not the only—solution to improve one’s financial situation. 

Filing for Bankruptcy Twice

You can file for bankruptcy multiple times in your lifetime. There are no limits to the number of times you can file. However, there are mandatory waiting periods for the time between bankruptcy filings. You will have to wait years before you can file a second time, starting from the filing date of your original case.

How Soon Can You File Bankruptcy Again?

You filed a few years ago. How many years before you can file bankruptcy again? It depends on what type of bankruptcy you filed originally and what chapter of bankruptcy you plan to file now.

How Often Can You File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidates assets to pay off debts, including credit card and medical bills. Though Chapter 7 wipes away unsecured debts, you may have to sell nonexempt property to pay your creditors in the process. To quality for Chapter 7, you must meet a low income requirement. 

  • You filed Chapter 7 and are filing Chapter 7 again. For those filing Chapter 7 successively, you must wait to file again until eight years have passed from the date of the first filing.
  • You filed Chapter 13 and are now filing Chapter 7. Repayment plans usually take two to five years under Chapter 13. What if you need to file bankruptcy again? If you want to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after a Chapter 13 case, you will have to wait six years unless you have paid your unsecured debts in full or have paid off 70% of the claims on your repayment plan. In that case, you will be able to file Chapter 7 sooner.

How Often Can You File Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to pay back a portion of your debt through a repayment plan, so you can keep your property. Repayment plans are typically drawn out over two to five years. You’ll need to show you have enough income to make payments.

Filing Chapter 13 can allow you to file sooner if you meet certain stipulations.

  • You filed Chapter 13 and are filing Chapter 13 again. How soon can you file Chapter 13 after Chapter 13? If you’re hoping to file successively, you must wait two years between bankruptcy filings. The clock starts from the date of your first filing.
  • You filed Chapter 7 and are now filing Chapter 13. Going from Chapter 7 to Chapter 13 can help you repay remaining debts that Chapter 7 didn’t wipe away. You can file four years from the date of your Chapter 7 filing. Due to Chapter 7’s low income requirements, you may have to convince the court that you now have enough income for a repayment plan through Chapter 13.

What If Your Case Is Dismissed?

Your previous case was dismissed. Good news! Bankruptcy dismissals don’t stop you from filing again, though you may be asked to wait 180 days before doing so.

Cases can be dismissed if you no longer need to file because of an improvement in your financial situation or if you intentionally do not follow court orders. Courts can dismiss your case and keep you from filing again if you fail to follow instructions or are filing multiple orders to delay creditors. 

Getting more than two dismissals within one year means you won’t be granted an automatic stay if you try to file again. You could still request one from the court. 

Should You File for Bankruptcy Again?

Evaluating why you want to file again can help you decide when to file and which chapter to file. 

Sometimes all you need is a clean slate. Filing for Chapter 7 can forgive certain debts. Is time not on your side? You may owe taxes that weren’t forgiven in your previous bankruptcy or you may be behind on child support. If you just need more time to pay off your debt, filing for Chapter 13 can be beneficial. 

If you’re facing overwhelming, insurmountable debt, then bankruptcy is something you should consider—even if you’ve filed before. 

Are you ready to file bankruptcy again? Want to know if you’re eligible? 

Contact Reynolds & Gold. We can help you file for bankruptcy a second time.

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