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Filing for Bankruptcy a Second Time

Posted on in Bankruptcy
Filing for Bankruptcy a Second Time

There is no limit to the number of times you can file for bankruptcy. When your personal debt amount reaches a level where it is impossible for you to pay it down yourself, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy are there for you to use to have your debts discharged under court supervision. If you have completed a bankruptcy case before, you know that it can be a difficult process that requires you to cede a significant amount of control to the court. You are also aware of the repercussions that a completed bankruptcy case has for your credit. Even knowing this information, you might still be considering filing for bankruptcy a second time. If you are eligible to do so, consider making this move.

Determining When You Can File for a Second Bankruptcy

Your second bankruptcy cannot immediately follow your first. The chapter of your first and your proposed second bankruptcy determine when you can file your second case.

If your first bankruptcy was a Chapter 7 case, you will need to wait eight years from the filing date of your first case to file your second case. If you plan to file for Chapter 13, you must wait four years to file your second bankruptcy.

If your first bankruptcy was a Chapter 13 case, you must wait two years from the date of your original filing to file a second time. It does not matter if you have completed your first case – two years must pass from the filing date, not the completion date, before you can file for Chapter 13 a second time. If you plan to file for Chapter 7, you typically must wait six years to file your case. But if you paid off 70% or more of your unsecured debts or made and paid your plan in good faith, this limit might not apply.

Issues to Consider Before Filing for a Second Bankruptcy

There is a lot to consider beyond your eligibility to file for bankruptcy a second time. Just because you can file again does not mean you should. Work through the following with your lawyer to determine if a second bankruptcy is the right choice for you:

  • Can I negotiate with my lenders to reach a workable deal?
  • Are there alternatives to bankruptcy, like loan modification, the stop the foreclosure process?
  • Can I simply change my habits and focus on paying down the debt to resolve the issues myself?

Work with an Experienced Itasca Bankruptcy Lawyer

Before you file for bankruptcy a second time, speak with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer to determine whether you are making the most productive choice for your case. You might find that a second bankruptcy is exactly what you need, or that there are other, better options for you. Contact our team of experienced bankruptcy lawyers at Newland & Newland, LLP today to set up your initial consultation in our office to learn more. We serve clients in the Arlington Heights, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Libertyville, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Itasca areas.

(image courtesy of Jimi Filipovski)

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