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Can I File for Bankruptcy More Than Once?

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Can I File for Bankruptcy More Than Once?

Close to half a million Americans file for bankruptcy each year and about 8% of them are pursuing bankruptcy for the second time. In fact, about 16% of all bankruptcy cases involve people who have filed more than once. Filing for bankruptcy a second time is allowed, with some important limitations. So if you’re curious about a second bankruptcy, read on for more information.

Are There Restrictions on Filing for Bankruptcy a Second Time?

A second-time bankruptcy is possible. When you file again, you are subject to certain requirements and rules. The timing of your second filing matters. You can’t file at the same time as a previous bankruptcy that is still active. If a prior case is dismissed or discharged ,you can file another case subject to some restrictions.

The first thing that we need to look at is whether or not a prior case was dismissed by the Bankruptcy Court within the last year. If the answer to that question is yes, you can file a second case, but in order to keep the protection that you and your property is afforded by the automatic stay in bankruptcy, we have to file a motion to extend that protection soon after filing the new case. The bankruptcy law requires that the Court examine what happened in the previous case and why the new case will succeed. If the motion is not filed, or the Court will not extend the protection, it expires at the end of 30 days. Fortunately, the Court is generally accommodating in extending the protections of the automatic stay in most cases.

What is the Waiting Period Before I Can File Again?

If your first bankruptcy was a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and you received a discharge, you can file for the same type of bankruptcy again after a period of eight years. You could file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy immediately after a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge, but you are only discharge eligible after a four-year gap. If your first bankruptcy was a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy again after two years or for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after six years. Be sure to time these waiting periods carefully and if you have questions about them, contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney.

Does It Matter if I File for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Yes, it definitely makes a difference whether your first bankruptcy was a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy when it comes to the waiting periods for filing more than once post discharge. Contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney for help with these complicated restrictions.

How Should I Start the Process of Filing for Bankruptcy a Second Time?

If you’re ready to file for bankruptcy a second time, seek advice from a bankruptcy attorney before deciding how to move forward. Your bankruptcy attorney can advise you about which bankruptcy route to select, which exemptions may apply and other details that will ultimately give you a good financial foundation moving forward.

Sawin & Shea – Indianapolis Bankruptcy Attorneys

Filing for bankruptcy is not the end. It’s the beginning of a new financial life for you. The Indiana bankruptcy attorneys at Sawin & Shea can help you get rid of the overwhelming debt and advise you on life after bankruptcy.  We are here for you during this life-changing process. Please do not hesitate to call us today at 317-759-1483 or send an email for a free consultation. We are ready to help.

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