May 9, 2016

Repeat Filing – Can You Really File Bankruptcy More than Once?

Bankruptcy can solve many different financial problems as it allows you to wipe much of your debt out and start over with a relatively clean slate. Following a bankruptcy, many people go on to succeed financially and retain control of a realistic budget.

However, in some situations, an unexpected event can result in difficulty paying bills and expenses, even after a prior bankruptcy. Illnesses, injuries, lawsuits, and business failures can all be out of your control and leave you, once again, struggling to pay your debts.

In such cases, many people ask whether filing a second bankruptcy is allowed and whether it is the right decision.

Many people can be eligible to file for personal bankruptcy multiple times, however, not without meeting certain requirements. Perhaps most importantly, the U.S. Bankruptcy Code specifies a waiting period that must elapse before you can successfully file for bankruptcy again.

The waiting period varies depending on the type of bankruptcy you filed first and the type of bankruptcy you intend to file second. The following are some examples of how long you must wait following an initial bankruptcy discharge:

1st Bankruptcy2nd BankruptcyWaiting Period
Chapter 7Chapter 78 years
Chapter 7Chapter 134 years
Chapter 13Chapter 76 years
Chapter 13Chapter 132 years

Waiting times are generally shorter if you plan to file under Chapter 13 because this type of bankruptcy requires a three to five-year payment plan before receiving a discharge.

If you file for bankruptcy before the waiting period is over, the court will not grant you a discharge and you will have to pay all of the debts that were put on hold due to an automatic stay or Chapter 13 payment plan.

To ensure you have a successful result in your second bankruptcy, you should seek the guidance of an experienced bankruptcy attorney prior to filing your petition. There may also be certain exceptions to the waiting period that your attorney can identify.

Call for a Consultation with an Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney Today

The best way to determine whether bankruptcy is right for you is to discuss your situation with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer who can advise you of your debt relief options. The Law Office of Michael Alan Siddons helps individuals and families in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland overcome their financial struggles through bankruptcy filings or other types of legal solutions. If you need assistance with a bankruptcy, please call our office at (610) 255-7500 for a consultation.