Bankruptcy Attorney
Common Questions About Bankruptcy

Can You File Bankruptcy Twice?

Yes, However, There Are Limits to Discharging Debt

Although many people think filing for bankruptcy is a way to alleviate the burden of overwhelming debt once and for all, this is not always the case. Some debtors may find financial relief once this process has been concluded, while others are left wondering how long they have to wait until they can file again. At the end of the day, the success of a single bankruptcy filing is determined by a variety of factors, so there is no shame in undergoing this process an additional time.

Certain restrictions may apply to your next filing, so discuss your matter with a Chicago bankruptcy lawyer Attorney Joseph P. Doyle before filing a second petition. Call (312) 957-8077 for a free review!  Se habla Español.

Federal Law Restrictions on Discharging Debt

Federal law does not necessarily place restrictions on the time frame for multiple bankruptcy filings, but it does limit how often an individual can obtain a discharge of debt. Although you could spend the time and money to file a second bankruptcy petition almost immediately after your initial discharge was granted, the court generally won't grant a second discharge for several years.

For this reason, it may be necessary to wait for a certain period of time before filing a subsequent petition—the length of which can be determined by the experienced legal team at Joseph P. Doyle. In doing so, you may be able to save yourself from wasting time and money on an unsuccessful bankruptcy.

Can You File Under the Same Chapter More Than Once?

When filing successive Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases, you may need to wait a designated amount of time to obtain a successful discharge of debt. It is important to understand that the restrictions may be different in each case. Our Chicago bankruptcy attorney can supply you with the appropriate information to determine if you are eligible to file under the same chapter twice.

If you are considering this, review the items below with a lawyer:

  • Filing Under Chapter 13 Twice – You may need to wait two years from the date of the original filing if your debt was initially discharged through a Chapter 13. This requirement is needed to receive a second discharge under the same chapter.
  • Filing Under Chapter 7 Twice – If your debt was initially discharged through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you need to wait eight years from the date of the original filing to receive a second discharge under the same chapter.

If you have decided to file for bankruptcy a second time under Chapter 13, it is important to take a few factors into consideration. Normally, a Chapter 13 case would be converted to Chapter 7 when the court refuses to approve your financial plan. If you had decided to file less than six years after the initial bankruptcy was concluded, however, you may be ineligible to pursue a Chapter 7.

Can You File Under a Different Chapter Than Before?

Have you decided to file for bankruptcy a second time, but under a different chapter than the first? If so, it is important to discuss what restrictions could apply with an experienced bankruptcy attorney in Chicago. The time limitations vary in each scenario (Chapter 7 to Chapter 13 and Chapter 13 to Chapter 7).

These are the time limitations to file:

  • Filing Under Chapter 13, Then Chapter 7 – If your debt was initially discharged through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may need to wait six years from the date of the original filing to receive a second discharge under a different chapter.
  • Under Chapter 7, Then Chapter 13 – You may need to wait four years from the date of the original filing if your debt was initially discharged through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This is needed to receive a second discharge under a different chapter.

If you have decided to file under Chapter 13 after initially filing under Chapter 7, it is important that you review the restrictions of successive filings with a Chicago bankruptcy attorney. The court may not approve your financial plan, and cause your case to convert into a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you decided to file less than eight years after the first filing, however, you may be ineligible for a second discharge of debt. Discuss your situation with our Chicago bankruptcy lawyer!

When Restrictions Don't Apply

Under certain circumstances, you would not need to worry about time limitations for a second bankruptcy filing. If your first petition was dismissed because you had failed to appear in court, you would only need to wait 180 days before filing again—regardless of whether or not you would be filing under the same chapter.

In the event that you were not granted a discharge of debt in the original bankruptcy case, you may also choose to re-file without restrictions. It is important to understand that the court may not discharge the debt that was included in the original case, however, so this decision should be carefully considered with a Chicago Bankruptcy lawyer.

Get a Free Review on Your Second Bankruptcy (312) 957-8077

Have you considered filing for bankruptcy a second time in Illinois? If so, the experienced legal team at Joseph P. Doyle encourages you to consult with a bankruptcy lawyer from our firm. In doing so, you can ensure that you are fully prepared for the process ahead. Contact us today to learn more!

Related Reading

Simply pick up the phone and call our office at (312) 957-8077 for a free initial consultation. Services are also available in Spanish.

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