When can you file bankruptcy again if you already filed?
If you filed a bankruptcy case before and are worried that you may need to use bankruptcy again, you are probably concerned about whether you can file a bankruptcy case again and discharge the debt.
The primary stumbling block for those who have previously filed, is whether or not they are barred from filing again and receiving a discharge of the debt because they filed a bankruptcy and received a discharge in the past.
There are other rules that pertain to your ability to file that have nothing to do with dates and I suggest that you speak to an experienced bankruptcy lawyer about those rules and those that follow here…but,
Here are the basic date rules:
If you want to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy now:
a. You can’t have filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy within the last 8 years and received a discharge.
b. You can’t have filed a chapter 13 bankruptcy within the last 6 years and received a discharge.
If you want to file a chapter 13 bankruptcy now:
a. You can’t have filed a chapter 7 case within the last 4 years and received a discharge.
b. You can’t have filed a chapter 13 case within the last 2 years and received a discharge.
If you file a case before these time frames have run, you may be able to file again, but you won’t receive a discharge of debt. The key to understanding whether you will be eligible will be whether you actually received a discharge in the previous case. If the case was dismissed prior to the entrance of a discharge order, than the list above shouldn’t apply to you.
The “Discharge” is a permanent Order of the Bankruptcy Court that prohibits certain creditors from taking any collection action including communication.
Determining whether and when you should file for bankruptcy can be a complex undertaking. Nuances like the one above add to the complexity. Make sure and have a qualified bankruptcy attorney fully analyze your situation before deciding to file…again.