In an ideal world, a person declaring bankruptcy would have an opportunity to clean up their financial life and never look back. Once the challenge of filing is over, things get back on track and there are no more financial issues from that point forward.
Unfortunately, in the real world, bankruptcy does not automatically guarantee you years of financial perfection. No matter how hard you work and what you do, you could run into serious financial struggles in the future. This is why so many people consider filing for bankruptcy a second time following their initial filing. Is this possible? What do you need to know about filing for bankruptcy more than once?
Is it possible to file for bankruptcy again?
Officially, you can file for bankruptcy more than once. There is no federal law stating a person cannot file a second time, but there are limits as to how often a court can grant a discharge of debt.
In most cases, a person seeking a second bankruptcy must wait a set period of time before filing. The type of bankruptcy determines exactly how long a person must wait. For instance, those filing for successive Chapter 7 bankruptcies must wait at least eight years. Successive Chapter 13 cases must be separated by at least six years. If you choose to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy after your Chapter 7 filing, you must wait at least six years between the two. And if you are filing Chapter 13 and then 7, you must wait at least four years.
There are exceptions to these time limits. For instance if certain debts were not discharged during the first filing, you might only need to wait 180 days between cases. In this instance, the debt must not have been included in the first case. If a debt was included in the first case, filing a second bankruptcy is not always the best option.
Filing for bankruptcy is a complicated process that is easier to manage if you have the support of an attorney. This is especially true if you are considering a second filing. There are limitations and laws governing what you can and cannot do when filing for bankruptcy more than once.
If you are considering bankruptcy or you would like to know more about filing for bankruptcy a second time, contact the Law Offices of Brian R. Lewis.