While many people work hard to avoid the need for bankruptcy, there are cases in which unfortunate life circumstances bring few other options. Bankruptcy can be a valuable tool for those facing financial hardships and unmanageable debt. In some cases, the need for bankruptcy may arise more than once and this is not always due to financial matters. If a prior case was dismissed or voluntarily terminated, a person may need to file again in order to resolve their debts.
There are many misconceptions about the bankruptcy process, most of which arise from a lack of knowledge about how the process works. Most people have heard that you can only file for bankruptcy once every seven years. This is absolutely false and many people have successfully re-filed a case even months after a previous filing. Depending on the outcome of your previous case, you may only be required to wait a few months. For example, if you filed for bankruptcy and had your case dismissed due to nonpayment or failure to complete a step, you may be able to file again after 180 days. However, if you filed for bankruptcy and had your debts discharged, you will have to adhere to the following guidelines:
- You must wait 2 years to file for Chapter 13 after a previous Chapter 13 discharge
- You must wait 4 years to file for Chapter 13 after a previous Chapter 7,11 or 12 discharge
- You must wait 6 years to file for Chapter 7 or 11 after a previous Chapter 13 or 12 discharge
- You must wait 8 years to file for Chapter 7 or 11 after a previous Chapter 7 or 11 discharge