Is It Possible To File For Bankruptcy More Than Once?
Can a debtor file for bankruptcy more than once? Many bankruptcy misconceptions exist, and one of the common myths about bankruptcy is that you can only file for bankruptcy once, or that you can only file for a particular type of bankruptcy once in your lifetime. If you have filed for bankruptcy in the past, there are many different reasons that it may be necessary to consider bankruptcy a second time. For example, you might have experienced a serious medical issue that has resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical debt that you are unable to repay, or you might have experienced a significant financial change of circumstances in your life. To be clear, it is in fact possible to file for bankruptcy more than once, but it will be important to understand the requirements and your eligibility to do so. Our West Palm Beach bankruptcy attorneys can provide you with information about subsequent bankruptcy filings.
Eligibility Factors for Filing for Bankruptcy a Second Time
If you are planning to file for bankruptcy a second time, there are a variety of factors that can affect your eligibility to do so under U.S. bankruptcy law, including the following:
- Whether you first bankruptcy case was dismissed or resulted in a discharge;
- Type of bankruptcy you filed for the first time (e.g., Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 bankruptcy);
- When you filed for bankruptcy most recently; and
- Type of bankruptcy you are planning to file for a second or subsequent time.
Can I File for Bankruptcy Again?
Given those factors, we want to give you more information that can help you to determine whether you may be eligible to file for bankruptcy again. If your original (or most recent) bankruptcy filing did not end with a discharge, you likely had your case dismissed. In this situation, you may be eligible to immediately file for bankruptcy again. However, it is important to seek advice from a bankruptcy lawyer in West Palm Beach since certain reasons for bankruptcy dismissals can affect your ability to file again.
If you received a discharge, then the waiting period will depend upon the type of bankruptcy you filed and the filing date. If you filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and received a discharge, you will need to wait eight years from the day you filed to file for Chapter 7 again. If you filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and want to file for Chapter 13 again, the waiting period is two years. To file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy following a previous Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will need to wait four years, and six years to file for Chapter 13 following a Chapter 7 discharge.
Seek Advice from a West Palm Beach Bankruptcy Attorney
While most debtors who file for bankruptcy hope that their bankruptcy case will be a one-time occurrence and that they will be able to get back on track with their finances, there are a wide variety of reasons that a person might need to file for bankruptcy more than once, from unexpected medical bills to a job loss that is financially devastating. To learn more about the possibility of a subsequent bankruptcy filing, you should get in touch with an experienced West Palm Beach bankruptcy lawyer at our firm. Contact Kelley, Fulton & Kaplan today for more information.