If you’ve been struggling with debt for a while, finally deciding to file bankruptcy can offer some relief and hope. It’s important to be strategic with the timing of filing your case in order to maximize the benefits and decrease the risk of needing to file again. Life can be unpredictable, even with the best planning, so sometimes people do need to file bankruptcy more than once in their lifetime. Bankruptcy law does allow for this, with some restrictions and guidelines.
Exploring New Options
If life circumstances have led you to more debt and you need to file an additional bankruptcy, we’ll need to get the facts of your previous case and current situation. If you previously filed a Chapter 7 and need to file a 7 again, you’ll need to wait eight years to do so. If you filed a Chapter 7 and now want to file a 13, you’ll need to wait four years.
After your first Chapter 13, you’ll need to wait two years to file a 13 again, but we’ll need to look closer at your circumstances before moving forward. If it’s been two to six years since your first 13, the trustee has the option of not approving another 13. If they do not approve, you may be able to file a Chapter 7, as long as you’ve been keeping up with your Chapter 13 payment plan and have either paid off all of your unsecured debt or 70% of that debt if you can show you’ve been making a reasonable effort. If these conditions have not been met, you’ll need to wait six years before filing again.
Even if most of your debt can’t be included in your new Chapter 13 after a 7, this still may be a wise choice. This situation is classified as a Chapter 20 bankruptcy, and the biggest benefit is that the automatic stay will give you some time to get your finances in order. We can discuss this option to determine if the benefits outweigh the negative consequences.
A bankruptcy case can be dismissed for a variety of reasons, which can be frustrating. If this happens, you will most likely need to wait 180 days to refile, but you may be able to file again right away. We can work together on this; if your discharge was denied or your case was dismissed and nothing has changed in your situation, it’s unlikely the court will approve a new case.
Let’s Work Together
When you file bankruptcy, you expect your finances to improve and never expect that you’ll need to file again. However, unexpected things can happen, and it can be disappointing and frustrating to see your debt begin to grow again. If this happens to you, call me right away so that we can come up with a plan to get you back on track.