It is not uncommon for an individual to file bankruptcy, and then need to refile at a later date. For instance, your plan payment under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy (a reorganization) may have been too large. Or you may have additional unforeseen circumstances such as reduced income that caused you to become dependent on credit.
By law, there is no minimum amount of time that must pass after filing bankruptcy before you can file again. There is, however, a minimum amount of time that must pass after you have received a discharge of your debts before you can receive a discharge again. If that amount of time has not passed, you will not want to file a second bankruptcy because it will not discharge your debts.
The amount of time that must pass depends on which chapter of bankruptcy you previously filed under. If you first filed a Chapter 7, you cannot receive another discharge in a Chapter 7 case for eight years. If you first filed a Chapter 13, you cannot receive another discharge in a second Chapter 13 case within two years from the date the first case was filed. Chapter 13’s can be tricky. In some cases, you can convert a Chapter 13 to a Chapter 7, meaning that the debts are discharged and you are no longer paying them back, but the time rules apply and can prevent the debts from being discharged.
I Want To File Under A Different Bankruptcy Chapter
If you want to file a different type of bankruptcy the second time around; the time frame allowed depends on the order in which the bankruptcies are filed. For example, if your first discharge was a Chapter 13, and now you want to file a Chapter 7; you cannot receive a discharge for six years from the date that the Chapter 13 was filed. However; there are some exceptions if you paid the unsecured creditors in full in the Chapter 13. Or paid at least 70 percent of the claims.
If on the other hand you first filed a Chapter 7, and now you want to file a Chapter 13; you cannot receive a discharge under a Chapter 13 case that is filed until four years from the date the Chapter 7 was filed. Additionally, if you never received a discharge in the original bankruptcy case, in many instances you can file a second time without any time limits.
Bankruptcy can be stressful, and many people do not want to do it more than once. However, it can be necessary in some cases. If you have questions about bankruptcy, call the Atlanta bankruptcy attorneys at Holston & Huntley at (404) 620-3337. Our attorneys are experienced and can help find the right solution for you! Call us today to schedule a FREE consultation.