WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TIME REQUIREMENTS WHEN FILING FOR BANKRUPTCY MORE THAN ONCE
If you have already filed for bankruptcy once, but you now have new debts or some of your old debts did not get included, chances are you have a lot of questions. While the questions vary depending upon your situation, one consistent question is usually going to center around what do you need to know about filing for bankruptcy more than once? According to the laws specifically for bankruptcy, there are no set limits pertaining to how many times you can file. However, you must meet the requirements to wait a specific length of time between filings, depending upon what chapter of bankruptcy you initially filed.
There are two different types of bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 bankruptcies, or liquidation bankruptcies, are where you are asking the court to discharge all outstanding debts owed to creditors. Here you are petitioning for a fresh start on the financial aspect of your life. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy, or a reorganization, is where you petition the court to agree upon a plan of action. This is a promise that you are making to repay creditors and it does not discharge your debts.
The time regulations for filing are not as cut and dry as they may seem. The required time for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is typically 8 years; however, it is only 2 years for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Though there is a way to get around these time requirements — file for a different chapter.
While there are still requirements, filing a different chapter has the potential to be beneficial in helping to resolve debts. For instance, if you initially filed for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can still file for a Chapter 13. The wait for this is 4 years. This will still help resolve any other debt you may gain while waiting for the 8 year limit to reset. However, while the 2 year requirement for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy has already ended, your financial situation might warrant needing to file for a liquidation. In this case, you can file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy after you initially filed for a Chapter 13, but the wait for this is 4 years.
If no discharge was given, then you can file again immediately after being informed of case dismissal or denial. However, this second filing does not guarantee that the result will change. Whichever route you choose when filing bankruptcy, it is always highly recommended to seek the advice of an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. For any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.