Can I File For Bankruptcy More Than Once?
There are no restrictions on how many bankruptcy cases you can file for unless a court orders you otherwise. However, if your debts were discharged in a previous case of bankruptcy, then you will have to wait a period of time before you are allowed to file again. This depends on a few factors:
- What kind of bankruptcy you’ve filed for before and what you would like to file for currently.
- If your bankruptcy was dismissed, dismissed with prejudice, or discharged
- When your previous case was filed.
Discharges Have Limitations
Time restrictions exist on eligibility for debt discharges. They generally depend on whether you have filed for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 discharges before, and which type of bankruptcy discharge you would like to file for currently.
-If you have already received a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge, you must wait eight years from the date of the previous filing before you can file again and receive another discharge.
-You cannot receive a discharge in a Chapter 13 case unless you file two years after your previous Chapter 13 case. It usually takes around three to five years to complete a repayment plan outlined in Chapter 13, so you may be able to file for another discharge immediately after your initial case closes.
-If you received a discharge first for a Chapter 7 filing, you can file for a Chapter 13 at least four years after the filing date of your previous Chapter 7 case. This can help you pay off debts of the highest urgency level like car payments or mortgages. The process of filing for a Chapter 13 after a Chapter 7 is also referred to as Chapter 20 bankruptcy.
-You must wait at least six years after the filing date from a Chapter 13 case before you file for Chapter 7.
-This rule does not apply if you paid back all of your unsecured debts or 70% of the debts and your plan for restructuring your debt was presented as your best effort.
An automatic stay is put in place to protect you from creditors trying to collect during your bankruptcy process. If your initial bankruptcy was dismissed and you filed a case subsequently within a year, then the automatic stay lasts only 30 days. There is no automatic stay if you had two or more dismissals within a year of the current bankruptcy case.
If you want to extend your automatic stay in your current case, then you may have to file a motion to do so if you file more than one case in a year.
Can I File For Bankruptcy More Than Once? Contact Us Today
Multiple filings can leave you confused and susceptible to creditors. Hiring a professional to help you between filings will be a major benefit for you. If you have further questions regarding rules of filing for bankruptcy, consult a bankruptcy lawyer in Arlington, TX.
At Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, we know that filing for bankruptcy can be a tough decision. We want to help you understand all of your options so you can decide if it’s the right choice for you. Contact us today by phone or online.