Already Filed Bankruptcy and Need to File Again?
Bankruptcy has helped many debtors resolve their financial problems but some consumers tend to think that once you file bankruptcy you can't file again. The federal government has time restrictions in place to keep consumers from abusing benefits but the good news is you can file bankruptcy again but the time limits between filings vary depending on the chapter previously filed.
If you filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy , which allows qualifying debt to be wiped away or discharged, you'll have to wait 8 years before you can file the same chapter again. This may vary if you filed but was not granted a discharge. If you filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in the past, you may qualify to file a Chapter 7 in six years.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy restructures debt through a repayment plan for up to 5 years and you may be eligible to file Chapter 13 again after 2 years of getting a discharge from the previous payment plan. If you filed Chapter 7 in the past but want to file Chapter 13, you can file after 4 years after getting debt discharged.
In some cases, the timeline to when you can file again may vary depending on the dismissal of your previous bankruptcy. Some cases get dismissed before debt is discharged which can happen for a number of reasons such as failing to appear in court, incomplete paperwork or defaulting on a Chapter 13 payment arrangement. If your case was dismissed for such reasons you may only have to wait 6 months to begin the process again. Consult with a qualified bankruptcy attorney with questions or concerns.