How Often Can I File for Bankruptcy?

Our Washington DC and Maryland Bankruptcy Lawyer Can Guide You Through the Bankruptcy Process

Debt crises can strike at any time. Even if you already worked through your debt by filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, emergencies and other difficult financial situations may require you to file for bankruptcy again. Although those with overwhelming debt may not want to file a second bankruptcy, sometimes this may be the best solution.

Federal and state laws limit the ability of individuals with debt to file for bankruptcy multiple times. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy again, it is important that you are aware of the regulations and restrictions concerning multiple bankruptcies.

How Long Do I Need to Wait to File for Bankruptcy Again?

Bankruptcy law does not require any minimum time limit before you can file for another bankruptcy. Unless the bankruptcy court rules otherwise, you can file for another bankruptcy any time after a previous bankruptcy ends or is terminated.

Unfortunately, the law is not that simple. While you can file for another bankruptcy whenever you deem necessary, if you file too soon after your previous bankruptcy, you will be unable to discharge debts. This eliminates much of the benefit gained from filing bankruptcy, and in many situations, this can make filing for bankruptcy a second time not worth the trouble. The limitations on discharges in consecutive bankruptcies include the following:

  • If you previously filed for Chapter 7 and received a discharge, you cannot receive another discharge from filing another Chapter 7 bankruptcy case within eight years of the first filing.
  • If you previously filed for Chapter 13 and received a discharge, you must wait two years from the date that you filed your first Chapter 13 case to receive another discharge in a new filing.
  • If you filed for Chapter 7 and now plan to file a Chapter 13, you cannot receive a discharge in a later Chapter 13 bankruptcy case within four years of the date you filed your previous bankruptcy.
  • If you filed for Chapter 13 and now plan to file a Chapter 7, in most cases you must wait at least six years from the date you filed your Chapter 13 petition to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you paid your creditors in full in your Chapter 13 case, or if you paid at least 70 percent of claims and proposed the bankruptcy payment plan in good faith, the bankruptcy court may consider you to have made your best effort to repay the debt. This could allow you to be exempted from the six-year wait.

Some debt circumstances can become more complicated, especially if you attempt to file a Chapter 13 and the bankruptcy court does not confirm your bankruptcy payment plan. Talk with a bankruptcy lawyer to find out if you can discharge your debt and for assistance determining if another bankruptcy filing is right for you.

Need to Talk to a Bankruptcy Attorney in Washington DC or Maryland?

Are you facing mountains of debt? Maryland and Washington DC bankruptcy attorney Kevin D. Judd can help put your debt worries behind you, even if you have previously filed for bankruptcy. Call our office today for free attorney advice that will set you on the path to financial freedom.



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