File Bankruptcy

Had a previous bankruptcy? Are you not sure if you can file bankruptcy again? You can file for bankruptcy protection as many times as you want, but there are certain time limits between filings.

In some cases, you could file for debt relief but not get it. Based on the Chapter you file, the U.S. Bankruptcy code determines the time limits. The clock begins on the date you file the previous bankruptcy case. It does not start from the date of your bankruptcy discharge or stay. These time limits are only applicable to bankruptcies in which you have been granted a discharge of debts.

Chapter to Chapter 

Wait time between Bankruptcy Filings

Chapter 7 to another Chapter 7 bankruptcy:8 years
Chapter 7 is now filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy:4 years
Chapter 13 is now filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy:  6 years or payment in full under Chapter 13 repayment plan
Chapter 13 to Chapter 13 bankruptcy:2 years

Wait times are necessary to prevent abuse of the system as well as high credit card debts that cannot be repaid. Between filings, you are expected to do your best to repay bankruptcy.

Can You Switch Bankruptcy Chapters?

The type of bankruptcy you file will change your repayment plan, the number of unsecured debts you owe, and the amount of time the best options to reduce your debt. While an attorney cannot change the filing deadlines, they can help you determine if switching to Chapter is a good idea. You can also get help from them to prepare for filing as soon as possible.

These strategies can be applied to your second bankruptcy filing.

  • You can switch from Chapter 7 to Chapter 13. If you have paid off your unsecured debts in Chapter 7, you may file a chapter 13 bankruptcy for a repayment plan. This will allow you to pay off any tax debts or other debts you did not pay during Chapter 7.
  • You can waive the six-year wait period if you repay 100% of your unsecured debts to creditors. Sometimes, 70% of the unsecured debt can be paid back. To file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the first bankruptcy case must be filed in good faith.
  • Repetition of Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings: There are some people who may need to file Chapter 13 again in order to repay student loans or tax debts. These debts can’t be discharged so they must be paid in full.

Multiple Bankruptcies In Your Credit Report

In some cases, you may need to think about a court date between filing multiple bankruptcies. In some cases, the automatic stay can expire prior to your next bankruptcy discharge. It is important to ensure that the discharge occurs before the automatic stay expires.

You might see language in your credit report such as:

  • Bankruptcy Chapter 13: discharged
    Filing date: 01/01/2011
    Status date: 01/01/2014
  • Bankruptcy Chapter 13: discharged
    Filing date: 01/01/2013
    Status date: 01/01/2014

Having multiple bankruptcies on your credit history usually means you will have a harder time finding lenders and low-interest rates, and you will have a low credit score for more than a year. When you file bankruptcy, you get a fresh start to rebuild your credit, not start from scratch.

Double Filing: The Cons

You cannot legally have another discharge of debt if you file too quickly. A judge may also find that you filed ” in poor faith” again. They will end your automatic stay. Creditors might be able to call again and demand repayment unless you provide convincing evidence that your case was filed in good faith.

Double Filing: The Pros 

Getting a Chapter 7 discharge and immediately filing for Chapter 13 will give you more time to pay back debts that cannot be discharged, such as child support or spousal support. If you need to take longer to repay your debts, you might consider filing for a second Chapter 13 earlier. Although it will not eliminate any debt, this will add five more years to your bankruptcy repayment plan. This will buy you more time instead of having wage garnishment applied to your paychecks. You might be eligible for a discharge if you have not received one during your first bankruptcy filing. Double filing is something you should consider. A bankruptcy lawyer can help you get the right advice. There are many factors that could cause a court in Bad Faith to declare you have filed again.

File For Bankruptcy Today

Filing for bankruptcy is complicated. It all depends on your particular situation. Your local bankruptcy lawyer will help you understand your situation and recommend the best way to move forward. There are many ways to make a new start. There are many options to help you rebuild your credit, get a second discharge or improve your financial position.

Contact Bruner Wright P.A.

Bruner Wright is the top-rated experienced bankruptcy lawyer in South Georgia and the Florida Panhandle. Our team has more than 30 years of experience helping people file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Chapter 12 bankruptcy. Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Our practice has been very successful in helping people discharge their debts. We offer a personal service that is comprehensive and thorough in all aspects of our industry. We are responsive to the needs of our clients.

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Contact us today to schedule a consultation to find out if bankruptcy is the best option. A member of our team will review your case to help you make the right choice. We are focused on consumer bankruptcy. We want you to achieve financial stability.