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How Much Time Has to Pass Before You Can File for Bankruptcy Again?

If you’ve found yourself climbing out of the bankruptcy hole only to end back up there a short time later, you’re not alone. Many people have difficulty even after the fresh start that a bankruptcy proceeding can provide. You’re allowed multiple bankruptcy filings in Montgomery County, TX, but there are requirements as to how many years must pass between them—and the potential consequences may not be worth it in the end.

If you’re considering initiating a subsequent bankruptcy proceeding, talk to a qualified attorney as soon as possible. They can walk you through the possibilities for your specific situation, and advise you as to the best course of action.

Filing under the same chapter

If you’re filing a second Chapter 7 bankruptcy claim, you’ll need to wait eight years after the first filing date, whereas if you’re proceeding under Chapter 13, you’ll have to wait two years after the first filing.

Filing under a different chapter

If you’re filing for Chapter 7 after Chapter 13, you’ll need to wait four years after the initial Chapter 13 filing date. However, if you’re filing for Chapter 13 after Chapter 7, you’ll have to wait six years from the initial filing—unless you paid at least 70 percent of your claims, or paid your unsecured creditors in full. That is assuming you can prove that your plan was in good faith and you made your “best effort” to not let it happen again.

Other considerations

You’ll also need to take a couple other factors into account:

  • Credit report: Your credit report has nothing to do with the filing, but for reference, a Chapter 7 notation lasts 10 years from the date of filing, while Chapter 13 lasts seven years. Therefore, you’ll just be adding additional time when you refile.
  • Dismissals don’t prevent refiling: If your initial filing was dismissed, whether it was because your financial situation improved or for another reason, this will not affect your ability to refile.

Although bankruptcy certainly isn’t an easy way out of debt, the courts and lawmakers understand that sometimes things are out of our control. That’s why you’re allowed to file as many times as you need, given that you’re proceeding in good faith. Since bankruptcy comes with significant financial implications, it’s always wise to talk to an attorney before making decisions that will impact your future so heavily.

Consult with an attorney about multiple bankruptcy filings in Montgomery County, TX

When you need to file for bankruptcy, you need an attorney who can protect your assets and help get you back on your feet. James R. Jones, Attorney at Law has been practicing bankruptcy law since 1993, and is licensed to appear in state court as well as the United States District and Bankruptcy Courts in the Southern District of Texas and the United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. Trust our team to handle your bankruptcy proceedings with compassion and skill—reach out to us today for a 30-minute consultation.

James R. Jones, Attorney at Law.
James Jones, Esq.

Mr. Jones’ practice concentrates on business and consumer Chapter 7 bankruptcy
and he has been an attorney of record in several hundred such cases.