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Can I file for bankruptcy again?

On Behalf of | Oct 27, 2023 | Bankruptcy

Many people struggle to pay off their debts. This can happen, for example, after people can’t pay off credit cards and struggle to recover from late fees. Or, to people who suffer from an injury and face medical bills but then face unemployment because of their medical condition. Bankruptcy is a tool debtors can use to resolve their debt obligations. 

There are many bankruptcy options. One of the most common is Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This form of bankruptcy helps resolve large amounts of debt with very little consequences. Another is Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which allows people to reorganize their debt obligations for easier payments.

It’s not uncommon for people to file multiple bankruptcies in their lives. A debtor can file for bankruptcy as many times as they want, but there is a wait between successful filings. 

How long must you wait?

Several factors are considered before someone can file for bankruptcy for a second time. The main thing that’s considered is what form of bankruptcy was filed previously. Here’s how long a debtor would need to wait:

  • Chapter 7 after Chapter 7 bankruptcy: 8 years
  • Chapter 7 after Chapter 13 bankruptcy: 4 years
  • Chapter 13 after Chapter 7 bankruptcy: 6 years
  • Chapter 13 after Chapter 13 bankruptcy: 2 years

Filing for bankruptcy a second time is not always preferable, but it may be necessary. 

What are the penalties for filing again?

Leaving debt unpaid has clear consequences, but so does filing for bankruptcy. Just like a previous filing, filing for bankruptcy again will affect a debtor’s credit score for a while.

If your debts have gotten out of control again, there’s no shame in needing to revisit the idea of bankruptcy.


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