How long must you wait before filing bankruptcy again?

Are you feeling overwhelmed by debt…again? If you know you need to file for bankruptcy but already have one on your record, you are not alone. There are millionaires in this country who have filed multiple times. While there certainly are cases when the individual is irresponsible, for many people, a sudden, unexpected setback like losing a job or suffering high medical expenses can become a devastating financial burden, no matter how carefully they live.

If you are considering filing again, you are not alone

According to Investipedia, the list of celebrities and historical figures who have filed multiple times is quite prestigious.

  • President Donald Trump: He has filed for bankruptcy protection for one of his business entities on for occasions, the most recent in 2009.
  • President Abraham Lincoln: Before entering politics, he filed twice.
  • President Thomas Jefferson: The number of bankruptcies Thomas Jefferson filed before and after his political career is unclear, but historians say that it was most certainly several times.
  • Oh, and Presidents Grant and McKinley also filed once each.

Entertainers, too

In the entertainment world, the entertainer Sinbad filed in 2009 and then again in 2013. Walt Disney filed early in his career in 1920, then nearly had to file again years later, but was saved by the financial success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Before talk show icon Larry King amassed millions of dollars on national television, he broke into the business as a small town radio host, filing bankruptcy on two occasions.

Bankruptcy isnt about shame, its about a second chance

We’re not trying to make the point that these wealthy celebrities should be ashamed of themselves. What we’re saying is that our laws are set up to give people a second chance. If you have lived and spent responsibly since you filed, you have the right to seek Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 again.

So how long do you have to wait before filing again?

There are generally no restrictions on the number of times an individual (or family) may file for bankruptcy, unless the court orders you to stop. However, the number of years you must wait between filing varies with your circumstances. For example, if your previous bankruptcy was a Chapter 7 (debt elimination) you will need to wait eight years before filing another Ch. 7. However, the wait is reduced to four years if you wish to file Chapter 13 to restructure your debts.

If your first bankruptcy was a Chapter 13, you will have to wait six years before you can file under Chapter 7, but only two years if you wish to file under Chapter 13 again.

Don’t let debt beat you down. Talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney at our firm. We’ll answer your questions about filing a second (or even third) time and we’ll guide you through the process.

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