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How Long Before You Can Claim Bankruptcy Again

Should I File Now Or Wait

How long before I can file bankruptcy again?

A lot of people wonder how long they must wait before they can get another discharge. If you did not receive a discharge in your prior bankruptcy case and your case was not dismissed for the reasons stated above then you have no waiting period and can file immediately. Otherwise, your waiting period depends on what Chapter you want to file now and what Chapter you filed in the past.

You will see the different bankruptcy chapter combinations and remember the number of years means the minimum time that must transpire between filing dates of the two cases in order for your new case to be eligible for a discharge.

Is Filing Bankruptcy Twice Bad

Filing multiple bankruptcies is certainly not ideal, lets put it that way. Anyone who got into such serious debt problems that bankruptcy was necessary once may have repeated the same mistakes and chose to file a second time.

However, there are times when a second filing is necessary, and important. Those who have worked out a plan and approach with their attorney, financial adviser or credit counselor may find bankruptcy the best option for dealing with a bad financial situation.

Its important to know the consequences of bankruptcy when considering whether you should file bankruptcy a second time. There will be ramifications on your credit score and credit report, but leaving debt unpaid also will hurt the financial status.

If the approach is well thought out, the second filing may turn out to be a good thing because it will allow for a fresh start and the ability to move forward from the crushing burden of debt.

Chapter To Chapter Options

Chapter 7 to another Chapter 7 bankruptcy 8 years Chapter 7 now filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy 4 years Chapter 13 now filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy 6 years Chapter 13 to another Chapter 13 bankruptcy 2 years

The wait times help prevent abuse of the system and high credit card debt that cannot be repaid. You are expected to make your best effort to pay off bankruptcy in between filings.

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How To Fix A Bankruptcy

First, understand that just because a bankruptcy appears on your record, it doesnt mean you have to sit there and take it.

Each year, roughly 500,000 people file for bankruptcy and its possible that the credit bureaus assign a bankruptcy to you in error.

Sometimes they simply misapply the filing or fail to remove the bankruptcy after the 7 to 10 years as they are required to do.

Other times the bureaus associate newer accounts to an old bankruptcy filing and thats not OK.

In all these cases, you have legal standing to get these mistakes taken off your record.

In fact, one major law firm that specializes in credit repair removed hundreds of thousands of bankruptcy-related errors from consumers credit reports in 2014 alone. To me, thats proof that mistakes happen and people can do something about it.

Even if you have a bonafide bankruptcy on your file all is not lost. Remember that time is your friend. As the years pass your situation will continue to improve.

For example, banks may be more willing to make loans to you five years after your bankruptcy, then they would be after six months.

As well, landlords will be more willing to rent to you, you may be eligible for a home mortgage, and employers will be more forgiving of your bankruptcy.

Thats the good news. But this doesnt change the fact that its probably going to be tough going for at least two or three years after you declare bankruptcy unless there is a mistake involved and you get it cleaned up.

Dealing With Your Vehicle


One of the forms you will file with the bankruptcy court is called the Statement of Intention. In this form, you tell the court what you plan to do with property that is securing a debt you owe, like real estate or a vehicle.

If you own your vehicle but are still paying on the loan, you have a few options on how to deal with it in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.


You can reaffirm the debt, keep your vehicle, and continue making payments. This means the debt will not be discharged and you will continue making monthly payments during and after bankruptcy. If you miss future payments the lender will have the right to repossess the vehicle and possibly try to collect on any deficiency between the balance you owe and the amount they get when selling the vehicle.

If you select this option in your Statement of Intention, your car lender will send you a reaffirmation agreement for you to complete and return. In some bankruptcy cases a reaffirmation hearing will be scheduled.


If you choose to surrender your vehicle, then it will be repossessed and the debt will be discharged in your bankruptcy. Filers with high car payments they can’t afford often choose to surrender their car to get out of the debt.


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What Happens To Your Bank Account

When the bankruptcy order is made, you must:

  • make sure you dont use your bank account
  • give your cards and cheque books to the trustee

Your bank account will be frozen. Any money in your account will be an asset and claimed by the trustee. The trustee can ask to release some money:

  • for your daily living needs
  • to the other person in a joint account

The bank is allowed to use money from one of your accounts to pay your debts on another account you hold with them. This is called set off.

Otherwise, money owed to the bank is a bankruptcy debt, so you cant pay this to the bank directly. The exception is if the bank has a charge on your home .

Open a new account

You can open a new bank account after the date of the bankruptcy order but you must tell the bank or building society that youre bankrupt. Some banks will let you use your old account after theyve spoken to the trustee.

The Time Between Chapter Filings

The exact amount of time between discharges depends on which type of bankruptcy you use for the first and second filing.

First Filing
Chapter 7 6 years from the first filing date*

*There is an important exception to this rule that you should not. If you paid off all your unsecured debt in full or at least paid off 70 percent of the claims made on a plan entered into in good faith, then you can file for Chapter 7 sooner than this date.

Need help starting the filing process? Were here so you can get the fresh start you need.

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Receiving Another Bankruptcy Discharge

You’ll qualify for another discharge if you meet the waiting period rules. Here’s how it works.

Chapter 7 to Chapter 7. If you received a Chapter 7 discharge previously, eight years must elapse between the old and new filing dates.

Chapter 13 to Chapter 13. Two years must elapse between the two filing dates to receive a discharge in Chapter 13. Because a Chapter 13 repayment plan usually takes three to five years to complete, you’ll likely be eligible for a second discharge after finishing the first case.

Chapter 7 to Chapter 13. Four years must elapse between the Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 filing dates. Chapter 13 has its benefits even if you don’t receive a discharge, however. For instance, you can pay off priority debts, such as newly-incurred taxes or domestic support arrearages. Or, you can catch up on missed mortgage or vehicle loan payments and keep a house or car. Filing for Chapter 13 immediately after receiving a Chapter 7 discharge is commonly referred to as a Chapter 20 bankruptcy.

Chapter 13 to Chapter 7. If you received a Chapter 13 discharge and you’d like to receive a Chapter 7 discharge, you’ll have to wait six years between filing dates. But there is an exception to this rule. The six-year rule won’t apply if, in the previous Chapter 13, you paid back:

  • all of your unsecured debts, or
  • at least 70% of your unsecured debts in a plan proposed in good faith and implemented through your best efforts.

Florida Bankruptcy Exemption Rules

Can I Keep my Tax Refund if I File Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Some states allow debtors to choose between the state exemption system and a set of federal bankruptcy exemptions but Florida is not one of them. In Florida, you must use the state exemptions below. In addition to this list, you can also use the federal nonbankruptcy exemptions.

Unless noted otherwise, if a couple is married and filing jointly in Florida, each spouse may claim the full amount of each exemption .

To learn more about bankruptcy exemptions, including how they work, which state exemption system you should use, and special rules for the homestead exemption, see Bankruptcy Exemptions What Can I Keep When I File for Bankruptcy?

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What Happens To Your Credit Rating After Discharge

The official receiver wont tell the credit agencies when your bankruptcy ends. You may need to ask the credit agencies to update their records to include details of your discharge.

The bankruptcy can stay on your record for 6 years after the date of the bankruptcy order.

Read more on this in the Information Commissioners Office Credit explained document.

Time Limits Apply To Discharges Not Bankruptcy Filings

Bankruptcy law doesn’t set a minimum period that you must wait before filing for bankruptcy a second time. However, there’s a catch. If you file too soon after wiping out debt in a previous case, you won’t be eligible for another debt discharge .

Although there are times that it makes sense to file for bankruptcy even though you won’t receive a discharge, these situations are rare . Because a bankruptcy filed too soon will end up being a waste of time and money in most cases, it’s essential to know how to time your bankruptcy filing.

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How Long Do I Have To Wait To File Bankruptcy Again

Have you filed for bankruptcy before? Do you need to file for bankruptcy relief again? The good news is that it is possible to file for bankruptcy more than once in your lifetime.

Bryan Penland, bankruptcy attorney in Columbia, TN with Flexer Law, explains when you can file bankruptcy again if you have filed in the past.

If you have more bankruptcy questions, you can set up a free bankruptcy consultation with one of Flexer Laws experienced attorneys. We will gladly go over your options for how to best proceed.

Chapter 7 Vs Chapter 13 Bankrutpcy In Florida

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Before we jump into state-specific information, I would like to provide a little information about Chapter 13 bankruptcy and a few of the key differences to Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Florida.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Chapter 13 bankruptcy is also known as the wage earners bankruptcy. It is a voluntary reorganization of debts by the individuals according to the IRS. In this chapter, debtors propose an installment repayment plan over three to five years. Many people do a Chapter 13 because they make too much money to file a Chapter 7, they have assets that are valuable, or they just prefer to do a Chapter 13. In Chapter 13, you will have a plan payment every month. To be eligible, you need to have regular income and not have over a certain amount of debt according to the bankruptcy code.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: A chapter 7 bankruptcy is also known as a liquidation bankruptcy. In this chapter, a debtor is often unable to pay his/her debts, so they enter this bankruptcy to attempt to discharge the debts. You must qualify for a Chapter 7 as it can be completed in as little as 120 days and its also generally less expensive. To qualify, you often have to be under the income limit for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Our calculator below can help you estimate your Chapter 13 plan payment and also estimate whether you qualify for a Chapter 7.

Now that you have an understanding of the differences, lets get into Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Florida.

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Can I File A Michigan Bankruptcy Again

Can I file a Michigan Bankruptcy again is a question we get a lot. Even if you have received a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 discharge in the past, you may be able to file bankruptcy in Michigan again. However, there are certain requirements that must be met in order to receive a discharge. An experienced Detroit bankruptcy attorney can evaluate your situation to verify if you are qualified.

What Is Chapter 20 Bankruptcy

Chapter 20 bankruptcy is not officially a chapter. A chapter 20 bankruptcy is the practice of filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy promptly after filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy and receiving discharge. It is a strategy to resolve financial problems that could not otherwise be solved with Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 alone. Filing a Chapter 7 case will relieve you of your dischargeable unsecured debts, which will bring you under the Chapter 13 debt limit, effectively giving you the ability to file a subsequent Chapter 13 and deal with, for example, mortgage arrears, or perhaps strip off a second mortgage from your home.

In some isolated cases, it might makes sense to file what is more commonly known as a Chapter 20. This occurs when you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy immediately after receiving a Chapter 7 discharge. Although the Chapter 13 bankruptcy cannot be discharged, you might be eligible for bankruptcy protection while you work to pay off debts that are not dischargeable in a Chapter 7, such as certain back taxes. This is an extremely tricky area of the law. Whether you receive any benefits from this filing depends on your specific circumstances. Qualified and experienced legal representation is absolutely critical if you plan to try this unusual type of filing.

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How To Get A Discharge In The First Place

Most debt can be discharged in a personal bankruptcy case, with the exception of student loans and tax debt. So long as you qualify for the bankruptcy chapter under which you file, most consumer bankruptcies filed with the help of an attorney are discharged and youll pay pennies on the dollar for your debt.

Your bankruptcy discharge can be denied, however, if you do any of the following:

1. Attempt to defraud: If you transfer, move, or conceal property, youre in big trouble. Make sure to talk about all transfers before your bankruptcy filing with your bankruptcy attorney.

2. Conceal or destroy information: This also goes along with failing to keep information on your financial situation in the first place. Keep all records on your finances in a safe and organized place.

3. Lie: A no-brainer, but, any sort of false statement made under penalty of perjury may not only land you back in court, but in jail.

4. Lose assets: This is when you cant explain any sort of loss or deficiency in assets.

5. Refuse to comply with a court order: Similar to lying, disobeying the court is a bad idea.

6. Fail to take an instructional course: When you file for bankruptcy, you must take two instructional courses in finances. One is about credit counseling, while the other is about financial management. These courses are mandatory under the federal law that governs bankruptcy.

What Happens To Your Business

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If youre self-employed, your business will be closed. Any business assets will be claimed by the trustee.

Your employees may make a claim for unpaid wages and holiday pay, payment in place of notice, and redundancy. Theyll make this claim to the National Insurance Fund, or the money may be claimed in the bankruptcy process.

You can start trading again, but youll have to follow certain rules.

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Find Out How Much Time Must Pass Between Bankruptcy Filings To Qualify For Debt Discharge Again

Nothing in the bankruptcy laws restricts you from filing for bankruptcy whenever you’d like. But, if you want the court to wipe out qualifying debt by issuing a discharge which most people dotiming requirements exist. How long you’ll have to wait will depend on the type of bankruptcy you intend to file, as well as the type you filed previously, when you filed it, and the outcome.

Making Changes To Your Bankruptcy Forms

Your bankruptcy forms are signed under penalty of perjury. When you file, you’re declaring that the information in your bankruptcy forms is true and correct to the best of your knowledge. If you accidently leave something out or make a mistake, you’ll need to make changes to your forms.

This is done by filing an amendment with the court. You might need to file an amendment because you forgot to list an asset or a , you need to add information that was originally missed, you change your mind about signing a reaffirmation agreement, or the trustee requests that forms be amended.

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Repeat Bankruptcy Filings: Can I File Bankruptcy Again

Reading time: 5 minutes

One breath summary: If you have filed bankruptcy in the past, you may wonder if and when you can file for bankruptcy protection again. The answer depends on what type of bankruptcy you filed before, what type of bankruptcy you want to file now, how much time has passed since the last bankruptcy was filed, and whether your debts were discharged in your prior bankruptcy.

It is important to recognize that there is a distinction between your eligibility to file a bankruptcy case and your eligibility to have your debts discharged in bankruptcy. Strictly speaking, there are very few restrictions against repeat bankruptcy filings you can generally file bankruptcy as often as you want. But, in most bankruptcy cases, the Bankruptcy Code imposes time limits, or waiting periods, on having your debts discharged.

Eligibility to File Bankruptcy

First, you have to be eligible to file bankruptcy. Each type of bankruptcy proceeding has different eligibility requirements. Also, there are a few rare circumstances when you cannot file a bankruptcy case. For example, you have to wait at least 180 days to file a new bankruptcy case if your last bankruptcy case was dismissed because you willfully disobeyed an order of the Bankruptcy Court or because you requested dismissal of your case after a creditor obtained relief from the automatic stay. For more information about your eligibility to file bankruptcy, please see our article on Bankruptcy Eligibility.


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