Can I File for Bankruptcy More than Once?

The process of filing for bankruptcy is one that many individuals see as a necessary evil. While it is not advantageous in terms of credit health, it is one way to get out from underneath seemingly insurmountable debts. Hard times can happen to anyone as the economy continues to experience dramatic upswings and plunges. If you have filed for bankruptcy in the past then you might be asking: Can I file for bankruptcy more than once?

Basic Info

The terms for filing subsequent or a second bankruptcy is subject to the different terms laid out based on the type of bankruptcy which an individual is filing. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are the two typical types filed. The time since the first filing may also play a factor in eligibility for a second filing. At this time, there is no absolute bar from filing for bankruptcy a second time. However, creditors and courts alike are aware of individuals who continually overspend and try to manipulate the system by discharging debts. If someone is believed to be a serial bankruptcy filer it is likely that they will be ineligible.

Chapter 7 Prerequisites

In terms of filing for a second case of Chapter 7 bankruptcy, individuals must undergo a specific waiting period. This type of bankruptcy consists of liquidating assets to pay off debts. The waiting period is eight years between a first and second filing. However, if they intend to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy the second time then they only have to wait four years. There may be some exceptions to the rule as there is plenty of misinformation about the right way to approach bankruptcy, it is always advised to seek legal counsel to best understand your options.

Chapter 13 Guidelines

Chapter 13 filings give individuals the opportunity to pay back debt over the course of 3 to 5 years. The average monthly payments may be relatively small, less than $200 per month. How the outcome of the hearing is handled afterwards will ultimately determine if an individual may qualify to file for bankruptcy a second time. One such guideline states that if it has been six months since a bankruptcy case has been dismissed for any reason that an individual may not qualify for a second following. In terms of this type of filing, it is most important that individuals have already taken care of the details of their previous case before attempting to file another one. There are no specific waiting times involves with filing a second chapter 13 bankruptcy otherwise.

SM Law Group Can Help

Bankruptcy can be a saving grace for many individuals who are struggling. It’s a tough decision that requires legal consultation to ensure that each individual files appropriately to meet their needs.