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Is it Possible to File for Bankruptcy More Than Once?

Dec. 9, 2021

If youBankruptcy Gavel on Wood Surface have filed for bankruptcy before, you might wonder how long you must wait to file again — or if you are even allowed to do so. In fact, many people mistakenly think it is not possible to file for bankruptcy more than once. This is a common misconception about bankruptcy filings.

It is not uncommon for people to deal with immense and crushing debt more than once in their lifetime. When you are having trouble paying your bills, bankruptcy might be your best option to get your financial situation under control.

However, there is a waiting period for bankruptcy filings and certain exceptions to keep in mind if you want to file for bankruptcy more than once. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy after having filed before, you need to understand your rights and options. Consider speaking with our bankruptcy attorneys at Vivona Pandurangi, PLC, to discuss your particular case.

We help people seek relief from their debt throughout Virginia. With offices in Alexandria and Falls Church, we also assist clients with bankruptcy filings in Fairfax, Arlington, Manassas, and elsewhere.

Filing Multiple Times

People who struggle with debt can file for bankruptcy as many times as they need, but there is a limit on how frequently you can file. While the answer to the question, “Can you file for bankruptcy more than once?” is “yes,” you need to consider the waiting period between the filings.

While you can file for bankruptcy even if you already received a discharge of debts through bankruptcy before, you will have to wait a specific number of years between the filings. The time limits depend on the terms of your current and previous bankruptcies.

Filing Under the Same Bankruptcy Chapter

If you plan to file under the same bankruptcy chapter that you filed under the last time, the waiting period is as follows:

  • Chapter 7 — If you wish to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after having filed under the same chapter before, you need to wait eight years between the filings. This is the longest you have to wait when filing for bankruptcies.

  • Chapter 13 — While the bankruptcy code requires debtors to wait at least two years after filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy to file under the same chapter, the minimum length of a repayment plan is three years.

Filing Under Different Chapters

If you plan to file for bankruptcy under a chapter that is different from the one under which you filed before, you will need to comply with the following time limits:

  • Chapter 7 & Chapter 13 — You must wait a minimum of four years after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy before filing for Chapter 13.

  • Chapter 13 & Chapter 7 — Generally, the waiting period between a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing and a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing is six years, but the time limit could be reduced to a year if the debtor repaid all of their debts or at least 70% of the debts under the Chapter 13 repayment plan and demonstrates a good faith effort to repay the debt.

Consult with an attorney if you are considering filing for bankruptcy under the same or different bankruptcy chapter in Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, or elsewhere in Virginia.

Refiling for Bankruptcy After Dismissal

While debtors can refile for bankruptcy after dismissal, the waiting period will depend on the reason for the dismissal. If a court dismissed your previous bankruptcy with prejudice, the court could prohibit you from refiling.

Typically, bankruptcy cases are dismissed with prejudice when the debtor fails to obey the court’s orders or tries to abuse the system.

Contact Skilled Bankruptcy Attorneys for Help

Facing debt can be frustrating and overwhelming. If the bills continue to pile up and you become fed up with creditor harassment, it is time to take action. Consider speaking with a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney to help you understand your options for relief from debt. At Vivona Pandurangi, PLC, our skilled bankruptcy attorneys are prepared to guide you through the process of filing for bankruptcy to help you regain financial stability, even if you filed for bankruptcy before.

With offices in Falls Church and Alexandria, our team of bankruptcy attorneys at Vivona Pandurangi, PLC, also represent clients throughout the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudon, and Prince William.