Money problems can happen at any time. Maybe you filed for bankruptcy a long time ago when you were in your early 20s. Now that you’re in your 50s, laid off, and close to retirement, you may be considering bankruptcy once again.
Can you file for bankruptcy a second time? Are there limits to how many times you can file?
Technically, no, there are no limits to how many bankruptcies you can have. You can have two or 10. But there is a waiting period between bankruptcies so that people don’t abuse the system. The amount of time you must wait depends on the previous bankruptcy and the type of bankruptcy you plan on doing next. You can switch between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies.
When Should I Consider Filing?
Many people file for bankruptcy because it offers many protections. Bankruptcy wipes out debts and can help prevent wage garnishment. It can help you if you are facing foreclosure. It can also keep debtors from harassing you.
What are the limitations?
Here is a look at the waiting periods involved. Keep in mind that the waiting periods begin on the date you file for bankruptcy, not when the debts are discharged.
Chapter 7 to Chapter 7
Chapter 7 bankruptcy provides the quickest form of debt relief. No bankruptcy discharge is required, so if you want to do another Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the law makes you wait eight years. This is the longest time between filings.
Chapter 13 to Chapter 13
If you want to wait the shortest amount of time, opt for Chapter 13 bankruptcies. You can file for another one after two years, even though the minimum repayment plan is three years. Many people will do back-to-back Chapter 13 filings to keep tax debts under control. This is because tax debts cannot be discharged.
Chapter 7 to Chapter 13
If you want to go from Chapter 7 to Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will need to wait four years. Many people go from Chapter 7 to Chapter 13 to help pay down debts that were not discharged with Chapter 7.
Chapter 13 to Chapter 7
If you want to go the other way, from Chapter 13 to Chapter 7, you will have to wait a little longer. Instead of four years, you will have to wait six years. However, you can waive this waiting period if you paid back all of your unsecured debt in your previous Chapter 13 plan. Since a Chapter 13 repayment plan can take three to five years to complete, it is possible to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy one to three years after a Chapter 13 discharge.
Contact Us Today
You can file for bankruptcy multiple times. However, you will have to wait a certain amount of time. You cannot abuse the system and file one case after another.
Considering a second or subsequent bankruptcy? Are you eligible? Get your questions answered by the knowledgeable team at The Law Offices of Adam M. Freiman. We can help you navigate the complexities of bankruptcy. Schedule a consultation to learn more. Call (410) 486-3500 or fill out the online form.