Can You File For Bankruptcy Twice?
Financial struggles do not happen just once in a lifetime. There are circumstances where someone may find themselves struggling with overwhelming financial debt after already filing for bankruptcy at an earlier point in their lives. If you have already filed for bankruptcy once in your life, you may be wondering if you can file for bankruptcy again. The short answer is yes, you may be able to file for bankruptcy again, but only under certain circumstances.
Factors Regarding Filing For Bankruptcy Twice
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy again, there are several factors that will determine what type of bankruptcy you will be able to file, and when you may be able to file again.
- What the type of bankruptcy you previously filed, and the type of bankruptcy you wish to file now
- When you filed the first bankruptcy
- The result of your first bankruptcy: discharged, dismissed, or dismissed with prejudice.
Time Limits For Filing for Bankruptcy Twice
One of the most important determining factors regarding whether or not you will be able to file for bankruptcy twice is what type of bankruptcy has been filed, and what type you want to file the second time.
- Chapter 7 to Chapter 7 – If you want to file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy a second time, you must wait 8 years between filings.
- Chapter 7 to Chapter 13 – If you want to file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy after a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must wait 4 years between filings.
- Chapter 13 to Chapter 13 – If you want to file for a second Chapter 13 bankruptcy after filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must wait 2 years. However, most Chapter 13 bankruptcies take three to five years to complete, so you may be able to file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy immediately after your first one is completed.
- Chapter 13 to Chapter 7 – If you want to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must wait 6 years between filings. However, there are some exceptions to this rule, including if you paid off all of your debts completely in the first Chapter 13 filing, or if you paid off 70% of all of your unsecured debts and your reorganization plan was done in good faith.
Bankruptcy Case Dismissed With Prejudice
If your bankruptcy case was dismissed by a court based on prejudice, you will face additional challenges and restrictions when attempting to file for bankruptcy again. Some common causes of a bankruptcy case being dismissed with prejudice include disobeying court orders, hiding assets, delaying creditors or dismissing a bankruptcy after a creditor motioned for relief from an automatic stay. In some egregious cases, if your case was dismissed with prejudice you may be barred from ever being able to file for bankruptcy again.
Reach Out to Us Today
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy a second time, you may face complex legal challenges, especially if your case was previously dismissed on prejudice. Contact our experienced West Palm Beach bankruptcy attorneys today at Kelley Fulton Kaplan & Eller at 561-264-6850 for a consultation.