There are many hardships one may experience in life and not all of them are equally easy to recover from. Health issues can truly disrupt one’s life, while family and relationship problems come as a close second. However, it is usually financial troubles that can truly cripple individuals as well as organizations like companies, no matter their size and market dominance.
One thing that somebody can do when everything else fails and they are completely out of money is to declare bankruptcy. But how exactly is this done and can you do it more than once? How many times can you actually do it? Make sure to read the article in its entirety to learn more.
If you have filed for bankruptcy before to get out of debt and escape a financial situation that seemed hopeless, you may have had a chance to rebuild your finances from scratch, but that does not mean that you are exempt from suffering a major financial meltdown again down the line. You never know what you can expect and life can take unexpected turns that can cause you to drown in debt again despite smart and strategic business and financial decisions.
For example, you may have to deal with unexpected medical bills, lose your job due to budget cuts of the firm, have unpaid taxes creep up, be at risk of losing your home to foreclosure, or deal with any other type of debt an average person can simply not afford to suddenly have. What can you do in that case? Can you file for bankruptcy again? And if possible, how long do you have to wait to file for bankruptcy a second time?
Not so straightforward
As you may have guessed, the answer is a little more complicated than it may seem at first. In theory, bankruptcy laws allow you to get a second debt discharge after a certain period of time has passed, depending on your specific situation of course and how you managed it the first time around. However, the best way to find out if you can file for bankruptcy one more time and get a second chance at rebuilding your finances is to consult with a bankruptcy attorney in your area.
For example, if you are looking for a bankruptcy attorney in Los Angeles, California, visit kt-bankruptcylawyer.com. This great and successful law firm has helped hundreds of Californians obtain the financial relief they needed, and they can help you achieve it too, even if it is for a second time. If you want to know how they can help you, feel free to contact them for a free consultation right away. Do not wait as there are hardly any more important matters than financial safety of your family or business.
Time limits apply for discharges, not filing
The bankruptcy law does not require you to wait between bankruptcy filings, which means that you could technically file for bankruptcy multiple times in the same year. However, if your debts are discharged through bankruptcy, you will have to wait a certain amount of time before you can get another discharge your way.
As mentioned earlier, everything greatly depends on the severity and other circumstances of your respective case. Therefore, filing for bankruptcy multiple times in a short period could be a waste of time and money, since you will not be able to get rid of your debts through such a process.
Time limits for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
For Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will have to wait approximately eight years from your previous filing to qualify for another discharge through this chapter. This is a very tough situation and it practically renders the possibility of another such bailout useless.
Time limits for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
As far as Chapter 13 bankruptcy is concerned, since the repayment plan usually takes between 3 to 5 years depending on the accumulated debt, you can often file again just after the previous one is finished. In this case, you can file a second bankruptcy filing 2 years after your initial filing. This is a much more beneficial outcome and one that many unfortunate clients aim for with their second time around bankruptcy.
What if I want to file for a different bankruptcy chapter?
If you are interested in filing for bankruptcy under a different chapter than your first filing, something that happens more often that you may initially think, there are still certain time limits to consider.
For example, if you mean to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you would typically have to wait around 6 years from your initial filing. This is less than the original two years but still too long for most people.
On the other hand, if you want to file for Chapter 13 after filing for Chapter 7, you will have to wait 4 years from your initial filing to be eligible for a Chapter 13 discharge. This is also longer but more manageable, since it is only 1 or 2 years more on average.
Can I file again if my case was dismissed with prejudice?
If your bankruptcy filing was initially denied because you wanted to abuse the bankruptcy process, by concealing assets, lying about your financial situation, or some of the other fraudulent methods, the court will impose a temporary restriction that will prevent you from filing again for some time. This, one more time, depends on how much trouble you were in the first time around and how severely you desired to abuse the system. Once the restriction is lifted, you will be able to file for bankruptcy again with a clean slate, but you will probably get a mean look or two here and there.
What should I do to get a second bankruptcy relief?
By now you should already be bored of this but every case is unique. Keeping that in mind, to find out if you qualify for a second debt discharge through bankruptcy, the smartest thing to do is consult with your chosen bankruptcy attorney (for example the one mentioned above if you are located in Los Angeles) who can analyze your situation and advise you on how best to proceed.
They will ask you all about your previous dealings with such matters and establish the best course of action. From then on out you will be in much safer hands than your own. However, you can sleep well knowing that your biggest problem in life right now is being taken care of by a true professional who will make it their mission to get you back on your feet.