Can I File for Bankruptcy Twice?

Can I File for Bankruptcy Twice?

February 11, 2020

If you’ve already filed for bankruptcy once in your life, it can be disheartening to find yourself in the same situation again. What’s worse is that depending on what kind of bankruptcy you’ve filed, when you filed and any special circumstances that might exist, you might be able to file again—but there are no guarantees.

If you’re trying to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy in Montgomery County, TX, call James R. Jones, Attorney at Law. We can help you navigate the cumbersome process as well as help you determine whether you’ll be eligible to file again after other bankruptcy proceedings.

Factors affecting filing for bankruptcy more than once

There are three major factors affecting multiple filings: time, whether your case was discharged, dismissed or dismissed with prejudice, and what kind of bankruptcy you filed the first time. This is because the goal behind bankruptcy is to find justice for your creditors, while not ruining your life in the process. Courts do not look kindly upon those who take measures to discharge their debts and then immediately make the same mistakes again.

Time limits

The biggest limit to filing for bankruptcy an additional time is timing:

  • Chapter 7 and Chapter 7: If you have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy (which can completely discharge your debt) before and hope to do so again, you’ll need to wait eight years in between filings.
  • Chapter 7 and Chapter 13: If you filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy but now would like to file for Chapter 13 (where you’ll pay a reduced amount over three to five years), you must wait four years between filings.
  • Chapter 13 to Chapter 13: A second Chapter 13 filing must wait two years in between filings, but keep in mind that Chapter 13 requires a three- to five-year repayment period; you might be able to file right after the conclusion of your first case.
  • Chapter 13 to Chapter 7: For the most part, you’ll need to wait six years in between filings—unless you paid 70 percent or more of your unsecured debts and you had a good-faith plan, or you have already paid off your initial Chapter 13 debts.

Other factors to consider

If your original bankruptcy case or cases were dismissed “with prejudice,” judges may prevent you from filing another suit. A case dismissed with prejudice can be the result of disobeying court orders, hiding assets or delaying creditors.

It’s crucial to consult with a bankruptcy attorney if you’re planning on filing for bankruptcy a second or subsequent time. Your attorney will be able to discuss your previous case and options for the future.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Montgomery County, TX

No matter what type of bankruptcy you’re filing, you need an experienced attorney with skills and knowledge you can rely upon. James R. Jones, Attorney at Law provides compassionate and helpful advice, no matter whether this is your first time filing for bankruptcy, or your fourth. We’re licensed to appear in all applicable state and federal courts, so you’ll get the representation you deserve. Reach out to us today to learn more.

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