Filing for Bankruptcy a Second Time

Bankruptcy isn’t a magical solution to all of your financial problems. In fact, someone continuing to struggle under the weight of their debts or falling on hardship once again due to a string of bad luck is more likely than you might think. This sometimes brings up the question of being able to file for bankruptcy in order to seek relief again. Let’s take a closer look at this question and learn more about additional hurdles or obstacles that may be in your way the second time around.


First and foremost, there is no restriction on how long you must wait before you may file for bankruptcy again. If you wanted to, you could finish the bankruptcy process one day and immediately start over the following morning. What does have a mandatory wait period is your eligibility to have your debts discharged. What this means is that if you file for bankruptcy, any subsequent filings before this wait period has completed make you ineligible to have your debts wiped out.

What Chapter?

Which chapter you choose to file the second time also influences your wait time. If you choose to file the same chapter as you did the first time, you’ll have to wait eight years in order to file a subsequent Chapter 7 case with discharge eligibility and two years for a subsequent Chapter 13 filing. It is important to remember that the time period is measured from the filing date of your bankruptcy, not the discharge date.

If you choose to file a different chapter, things get even more complex. If you choose to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy after Chapter 13, you’ll need to wait six years unless you have either paid your creditors off or have at least paid a certain amount. Remember, most Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings take either 3 or 5 years to complete. If your Chapter 13 bankruptcy lasted 5 years you would only have to wait 1 year in order to be able to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and receive a discharge. If you choose to file a Chapter 13 after Chapter 7, you’ll have to wait four years before you become eligible for a discharge.

Why File a Second Time?

In some instances, filing for bankruptcy a second time can actually benefit you, notably by granting you additional time to pay off debts that couldn’t be discharged. For example, sometimes people file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy immediately after Chapter 7 in order to give themselves up to five extra years to pay off their debts. This could be the difference you need in order to finally get out of debt, especially if you couldn’t work out a reasonable payment plan.

Another option is you may choose to file a second bankruptcy because you didn’t receive a discharge in the first instance. For example, if the court dismissed your first bankruptcy case for any reason or denied the discharge, you may be able to file a second time to have your debts discharged (however, you may lose out on your automatic stay).

Get help with your bankruptcy filing from a Brevard County bankruptcy attorney. Call The Buchalter Law Group now at (321) 320-6088 to request a case evaluation.

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