If you have previously filed for bankruptcy but need to file again, the ability to do so depends on if you’re filing the same type of bankruptcy as you did the last time. Different rules apply. This will also determine when you can file the next bankruptcy. The majority of people, roughly 80 percent, who file for bankruptcy earn below the median income in their state. Serial bankruptcies can raise some red flags for those filing so research your situation first in order to arm yourself with the appropriate information at the right time.
How the Type of Bankruptcy Affects Ability to File Again: Same
If you discharged your debt under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there is an eight-year time limit for filing a second Chapter 7 bankruptcy. But if it was a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, there is a two-year time limit to file another Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
However, despite the two-year time limitation for Chapter 13, if you decide to file a second time within two to six years of the first one, the court can reject it. When this happens, it might be possible to switch to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. But then new rules would apply.
How the Type of Bankruptcy Affects Ability to File Again: Different
If you previously filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy and now want to file under Chapter 7, you must wait six years. There are exceptions to this, however. One is you paid at least 70 percent of your debt when you filed the Chapter 13. The other is that you paid all unsecured creditors in full.
If you last filed for Chapter 7 and now want to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, there is a four-year waiting period. However, if you file for Chapter 13 (and your plan wasn’t confirmed) within four to eight years after Chapter 7, the court can reject it.
How a Discharge Impacts Ability to File a Second Bankruptcy
If you’re considering filing again, the main factor in your ability to do so and when is whether or not you discharged your debt. If you did not discharge your debt, you can file a second bankruptcy at any time. However, any debt that was included in the first case might not be allowed in the second.
Of course, there may be other circumstances that affect your ability to file. For instance, if you did not show up to court when you filed the first bankruptcy may present complications. The court may dismiss the bankruptcy in this case and you may face a waiting period to file again.
Because of the various complex issues that can surround filing for bankruptcy a second time, it’s best to consult with an attorney. It’s not just a matter of time constraints, other options could be available. The only way to know what is truly best for your financial situation is to secure legal representation.
Contact an attorney in the Plano area at Warren & Migliaccio. Call us at 888-584-9614 or fill out our contact form to set up your free initial consultation.