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When Can I File Bankruptcy Again if I Filed in the Past?

Posted By Allmand Law Firm, PLLC || 10-Mar-2017

Bankruptcy is a powerful legal tool that has helped many unfortunate debtors emerge from seemingly insurmountable debt. Because bankruptcy can be an immensely advantageous tool to those experiencing financial difficulties, some consumers tend to think that once you file bankruptcy, you can’t file again. This simply isn’t true.

While every case is different, the U.S. bankruptcy code does permit people who have filed for bankruptcy in the past to file a new case. However, there are time restrictions in place to ensure consumers don’t abuse the benefits of bankruptcy. The good news, however, is that it can be an option if you are in need, and our Dallas bankruptcy attorneys at Allmand Law Firm, PLLC can help you better understand if you are eligible to file a new case during a free consultation and explore all of your available options.

To help you better understand federal laws regarding time restrictions on bankruptcy filings, we have put together the following information based on the Chapter of bankruptcy you filed under:

  • Chapter 7 bankruptcy – If you filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the past, which allows qualifying debt to be wiped away or discharged, you will have to wait 8 years before you can file under the same chapter again. This may vary if you filed but were not granted a discharge. If you filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in the past, you may qualify to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in six years.
  • Chapter 13 bankruptcy – 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 for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the past but want to file under Chapter 13 with your new case, you can file after 4 years after getting debt discharged.

In some cases, the timeline of 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.

Bankruptcy does indeed have its advantages, but even people who have gone through the process before may find themselves back in financial trouble. By bringing your situation to the attention of our legal team and Board Certified Bankruptcy Specialist Reed Allmand, you can learn more about filing a new case, as well as other debt relief options that may provide you with the help you need outside of a bankruptcy filing.

To learn more about what our firm can do to help you on the path toward financial freedom, contact us today for a FREE financial empowerment session!

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