In the past few months I’ve been getting quite a few phone calls from former clients. The story line is the same: Because of the dire economic conditions they need to consider filing bankruptcy again. “Remember me? Can I file bankruptcy again?” they ask. Or “How soon can I file bankruptcy again?”
I understand that going through a second bankruptcy is a very unpleasant experience. However, you need to be fully informed on all your options if you’re struggling with debt.
There are no limits on how often you can file for bankruptcy. Frankly, you could file a bankruptcy every couple years if you wanted. The bankruptcy code limits you as to how often you can receive a receive a discharge in bankruptcy. So if you expect to receive a second discharge, you’ll need to wait the proper amount of time before filing again.
The time period is measured from filing date to filing date. Yeah, I know we’re talking about discharges. But the time periods are NOT measured from the date of discharge of the previous bankruptcy to the date of filing of the current bankruptcy. Don’t make this mistake. Many people blow it on this technicality.
The number of year you have to wait depends on whether your prior bankruptcy was a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. It also depends on what chapter of bankruptcy you want to file this time. Take a look at the bankruptcy rules:
- If your previous bankruptcy was a Chapter 7, it will be 8 years before you can receive a second Chapter 7 discharge. You’ll have to wait 4 years if your second filing will be for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
- If your previously filed a Chapter 13, it will be 2 years before you can get a second Chapter 13 discharge. You’ll have to wait 6 years if your second filing will be for a chapter 13 bankruptcy.
One last word of practical advice. If you’re in desperate circumstances and the time for filing a second Chapter 7 bankruptcy hasn’t passed, is there anything you can do? Yes, you should speak with a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney about filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy for the present. When the period for filing a second Chapter 7 bankruptcy arrives, you could consider dismissing the Chapter 13 and filing a new Chapter 7.
I’ll bet you have some questions. You can contact me by phone at 760-241-3215. Or contact me by completing the Contact Stephen Brittain form on the upper right side of this page.
Talk with me. I’ll treat you like a friend.