If you’ve filed for bankruptcy before and wonder if you can file again, the answer is yes. However, when you can file depends on what type of bankruptcy you filed initially and when you filed it.
The length of the waiting period for an additional filing depends on whether you filed Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 initially and which one you plan to file this time.
If your previous filing was a Chapter 7, it means that you probably had to liquidate some assets in exchange for the elimination of most of your debts, excluding student loans and child support. Filing an additional Chapter 7 bankruptcy requires a waiting period of eight years. If you choose to file Chapter 13 instead, you will only have to wait four years from your Chapter 7 filing date.
Rather than extinguishing your debt completely, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy includes a 2-year payment plan that will satisfy your creditors for some or all of your outstanding balance. If your initial filing was a Chapter 13, you could file another Chapter 13 in just 2 years. However, if you choose to file Chapter 7, you’ll have to wait for six.
Rather than filing an additional bankruptcy, you may be able to work with your creditors to reduce your balances, decrease your interest or lower your payments. You may also consider a debt consolidation loan.
Bankruptcy protection can relieve the stress of overwhelming debt. Circumstances may even cause you to file more than once. Fortunately, you can file again after enough time has elapsed. If your debt is not discharged, there is no time limit on how soon you can file again or how many times you can file.