Through no fault of their own, some individuals will be in a position where they need to file bankruptcy for a second or third time. Whether it be medical bills, credit cards, or loss of employment, bankruptcy provides debtors an opportunity for a second or third fresh start. A person’s eligibility to file bankruptcy a second or third time depends on what chapter of bankruptcy they originally filed and what chapter they are going to file for the second or third time.
How Many Times Can You File For Bankruptcy?
There is no limit to the number of times that you can file for bankruptcy. However, there are rules and regulations for how often you can file for bankruptcy. The below chart will provide the current waiting periods between filing bankruptcy.
Chapter 13 -----> Chapter 13 = 2 years from petition to petition.
Chapter 7 -----> Chapter 13 = 4 years from petition to petition.
Chapter 13 -----> Chapter 7 = 6 years from petition to petition.
Chapter 7 ------> Chapter 7 = 8 years from petition to petition.
The easiest way to remember the time frame is with a little jingle....“two, four, six, eight, how long do I have to wait”? By using the above chart, if your first bankruptcy was a Chapter 13 and you are wanting to file another Chapter 13 the waiting period is only two years. Next, if your first bankruptcy was a Chapter 7 and you are wanting to file a Chapter 13, then the waiting period is 4 years. As you can probably guess by now if your first bankruptcy was a Chapter 13 and you are wanting to file a Chapter 7 then you must wait 6 years. Lastly, the longest waiting period lies between filing two separate Chapter 7 bankruptcies. Those wishing to do so must wait for a total of 8 years between the filing of the first and second bankruptcy.
What Dates Are Important When Calculating The Waiting Periods Between Filing Bankruptcies?
Sometimes it is easy to get confused with what date should be used when calculating the waiting period. Does it go off of the filing date on when I first filed the bankruptcy? Or how about the discharge date? Or is it the day that you first met with an attorney? The only date that is important for purposes of calculating the waiting period between bankruptcies is the petition date. This is the date when the bankruptcy was first submitted to the Bankruptcy Court. The petition date is the day that you first filed your bankruptcy and not the day when you received your discharge from your first bankruptcy. This means that if you filed your first bankruptcy on January 1, 2020, and received your discharge on April 1, 2020, the waiting period between the bankruptcies would start on January 1, 2020.
There are several different factors that will play into an individual's eligibility to file bankruptcy a second or third time and every person’s case is unique and different. Although this chart gives a good example of the time frames needed between filing bankruptcy there are several topics that were not included and require the help of a licensed attorney. We recommend you speak with a licensed attorney to get a customized plan of action. For more information take a look at an article from Lendingtree.
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