If you have previously filed for bankruptcy and you have found yourself in financial trouble for a second time, you may wonder if you are allowed to file for bankruptcy again. The following is some information you should know if you need help with your debt again.
Can You File for Bankruptcy Again?
If you need to deal with financial difficulties a second time through bankruptcy, it may be possible to file again. According to the bankruptcy code, you can file for bankruptcy again after a certain amount of time if your prior bankruptcy resulted in a discharge of your debt. If you file before your time limit is passed, you will not receive a discharge again.
By law, if you did not receive a discharge of your debt on your prior bankruptcy, you can file again without a waiting period.
There are a few reasons why you might not have received a discharge on your first bankruptcy. The court may dismiss the case or deny your discharge.
If your case was dismissed because you did not appear for the case or you did not abide by a court order, the court has the right to impose a short waiting period. However, you are allowed to file a second time as long as the court states you are allowed to do so.
If a discharge of your debt was denied, you may be able to file again, but you will not be allowed to include the same debts from your first bankruptcy filing. You need to discuss your options for discharge with your bankruptcy attorney.
How Long Will You Need to Wait Before You Can File Bankruptcy Again?
As you determine whether you can file for bankruptcy again, you must understand that the outcome depends on a few factors. First, which form of bankruptcy do you want to file? Do you want to go forward with the same form of bankruptcy? The bankruptcy type you previously filed and the type of filing you wish to move forward with will determine the length of time you will have between filings.
If you want to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy and you want to file for the same discharge, you must wait eight years before you can file again. If you want to instead file Chapter 13 bankruptcy after filing for Chapter 7 the previous time, you have to wait four years.
When you previously filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and you wish to file another discharge, you have to wait two years between filings. If you choose to file for Chapter 7 after a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you have to wait six years to file again.
Do You Have Any Other Options Than Bankruptcy?
If you decide that you do not wish to file for bankruptcy for a second time, or if you do not want to wait out the time limits for a second bankruptcy, you have some options outside of filing again.
You can opt to contact your creditors yourself to make arrangements to pay back your debts in a negotiated payment agreement. However, the creditors may or may not be willing to work with you on your repayments. You can ask to settle your debts if you have the cash on hand to pay the negotiated balance.
You may also wish to enter a debt consolidation plan or debt repayment plan with an independent organization that offers those services. Keep in mind, however, that these services are not free. You will be required to pay a fee to use them. Be sure to speak to your attorney about your options.
If you have any questions about bankruptcy, please contact us at Wiesner and Frackowiak, LC today.