Sometimes financial difficulties can continue after filing for bankruptcy, leaving many wondering if they can file for bankruptcy a second or third time to tackle lingering issues. The answer is technically yes, an individual can file for bankruptcy again, but whether debts will be discharged in a repeat filing depends on the timing and whether an individual files the same type of bankruptcy.
If an individual files under Chapter 7, they will need to wait 8 years after filing to seek another discharge of debt, whereas a Chapter 13 requires a two year period after filing to obtain another discharge. If an individual files a Chapter 7 and later wishes to seek a discharge under Chapter 13, they must wait four years. If they file under Chapter 13, they must wait six years to seek a discharge under Chapter 7, with a few exceptions.
If no discharge was granted in a bankruptcy case, the individual may file a second bankruptcy at any time, although there may be a waiting period imposed if the first case was dismissed (often on a technicality such as failure to appear in court or not following court orders). If a discharge was denied in the first case, it is not likely that an individual will get a discharge if they file a second time.
Repeat Filings and Automatic Stays
If a case is dismissed within the last year, an automatic stay may expire 30 days after filing a new case. If there are more than one cases dismissed in the last year, an automatic stay may not be granted at all. An automatic stay is a fundamental protection against collection activities, prohibiting creditors and collection agencies from contacting an individual or filing suit to collect a debt that may result in the garnishment of wages or the seizure of assets, so Is wise to time a second filing considering the automatic stay.
There are times when an individual will file for bankruptcy again simply to extend the time they have to pay off the debt. Repeat Chapter 13 filings can spread payments across an extended timeline; filing Chapter 13 after a Chapter 7 can help individuals with an affordable repayment plan for debt that is not discharged under Chapter 7.
Contact an Experienced Bankruptcy Lawyer for Help
It is important to discuss bankruptcy strategies with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer, who can advise you on the feasibility and potential outcome of filing bankruptcy again. Contact Peoria bankruptcy lawyer Charles E. Covey for immediate assistance today at 309-674-8125.