Modifications to bankruptcy laws set limits on the number of times people are allowed to declare personal bankruptcy during the 2005 legislative session. These measures also set a standard number of years between each bankruptcy proceeding. The changes may seem overly strict and difficult to understand, but by employing a legal professional, you can guarantee that all bankruptcy proceedings go as planned, even if you've gone through them before. Understanding your debts and your options is important as you embark upon the bankruptcy process.
Did you know that it's still possible to file bankruptcy multiple times? This is particularly important to remember if you filed for bankruptcy once but the debts were never discharged. In that situation, it's as though you never filed at all.
If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, be aware that you cannot file again for eight years, according to the new statutes. Those eight years begin from the date on which you filed the original Chapter 7 bankruptcy documents. If you file prior to the eight-year deadline, the bankruptcy courts will deny you.
You can also use Chapter 13 bankruptcy to discharge some of the leftover debt from the Chapter 7 proceedings. This process also has restrictions. If a payer files before four years have elapsed from the time of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the request will be denied. The time limit only applies if you received a discharge during the Chapter 7 proceedings.
Furthermore, those who choose to use Chapter 7 bankruptcy after they have already filed for Chapter 13 should be aware that additional time restrictions exist. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy may not be used until six years have passed since the Chapter 13 proceedings. Also, a discharge may only be granted if the debtor has paid back at least 70 percent of the Chapter 13 requirements to the creditors.
Chapter 13 bankruptcies are the easiest to repeat, with only two years' wait between filing dates. If you file within those two years, though, you will not be granted a discharge in the new bankruptcy case.
Source: Jornal.US, "Can you file bankruptcy twice?" Moises Apsan, April 25, 2012