I’ve Filed for Bankruptcy Once – Should I Do it Again?Wednesday, September 26th, 2018, 12:08 am
Bankruptcy is a chance for you to get your finances in order and, if all goes as intended, emerge in a stronger place than you were. But for some people, life doesn’t make it easy. You may find yourself dealing with unexpectedly losing your job, large amounts of medical bills, or even losing a very costly lawsuit. If you’ve already filed for bankruptcy once, you know what it will do to your credit. Should you do it again?
Know the Restrictions
There are laws in place that prevent people from filing bankruptcy over and over again within a short period of time. You can file bankruptcy again, but you need to make certain that enough time has passed that the court will listen to your plea instead of automatically dismissing the case. There are a number of factors that determine the length of time:
- What type of bankruptcy you used.
- What type of bankruptcy you plan on using this time.
- If your previous bankruptcy case was discharged or dismissed.
- When you filed the last bankruptcy.
It’s also very important that you were not behind on payments for your last bankruptcy case. If you were, the case may be dismissed with prejudice. In that case, you may be prohibited from filing again for a longer period or even permanently banned from filing for bankruptcy ever again.
The Discharge Period Spans Years
The wait time to have a previous bankruptcy discharged depends on the previous type used and the current type you plan on filing:
- If you filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy and plan to file Chapter 7 again, you must wait at least eight years before doing so.
- Filing Chapter 13 and then planning to use Chapter 13 again requires you to wait at least two years.
- Filing for Chapter 7 and then later filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires a four-year wait.
- Finally, going from a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy requires you to wait for six years or until you’ve either paid back all the debt you owned. If you’ve paid back at least 70% of the unsecured debt and can show you’ve made a true effort to do so, the court may also grant your Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Again, these are simply the standard wait periods. The court may extend these periods if you file bankruptcy too often. If you’d like to learn more about how filing bankruptcy a second time works or will affect you, please contact Michael F. Kanzer & Associates and talk to one of our experienced attorneys.