Can I File Bankruptcy Twice?
There are rules and limitations to filing bankruptcy more than once, but it is entirely possible to do so. Depending on the details of the past declaration, you may have to wait to file again to be in compliance with the time limits set by your circumstances. You can file bankruptcy at any time if you did not obtain a discharge of debts from the previous case, otherwise it’s advisable to wait until the time limit is up before filing again. If you are unable to make it through the waiting period, you will not be able to file for a full discharge. In short, the following time guidelines only apply to you if you had your previous debts discharged in bankruptcy.
After a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Discharge
You have to wait a total of 8 years from a prior Chapter 7 filing if you received a discharge of your debts. If circumstances prevent waiting the entire time then you will be liable for all debts this time around. There is the option of filing Chapter 13 after a total of 4 years have passed if you’re relying on a discharge to erase your debts. As with the other bankruptcy declaration, if you try to file before the time limit has passed then you’ll find yourself liable for any valid debts.
After a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Discharge
The rules are a little different in this scenario because the amount you paid in the last filing will influence your ability to obtain a full discharge if you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy earlier than the time limit of 6 years. If you paid at least 70% of the amount owed the last time you declared, you can file early and still get the debts dismissed. Otherwise, the exception does not apply and you’ll have to take responsibility. Only 2 years must pass if you’re going to file Chapter 13 again with the intention of dismissing liability for debts.
Keep in mind that even though you could potentially file multiple times, bankruptcy should be used as a last resort rather than a method of excusing debt every few years. If you’ve been faced with declaring more than once, it is advisable to seek debt counseling to prevent putting yourself in such a dire financial situation again. For more information please fill out our contact form or call 1-866-964-6529.