When your financial troubles just never seem to quit, you may need to consider filing for bankruptcy a second time. While you may have hoped to never again be in that particular situation, it can happen. High medical bills, misuse of credit and lack of savings can play havoc with the best laid financial plans. There are no real rules about the number of times you may file for bankruptcy in a lifetime, but there are some time constraints to be aware of, so read on to learn more about the timing of any repeated filings:
Chapter 7 or Chapter 13?
For consumers, you will probably have the choice of filing either a chapter 7 or a chapter 13. It is worth noting that a chapter 7 will take a few months to be complete and final, but a chapter 13 bankruptcy can go on for years before being completed.
Chapter 7: This type is most effective at wiping out most, if not all, of your debt and truly allowing you to make a fresh start. If your last bankruptcy filed was a chapter 7 and you would like to again file a chapter 7, you can do so 8 years after the final discharge date of your most recent chapter 7 filing.
Chapter 13: This type allows filers to reorganize their debts by extending the payment plans and by negotiating with lenders to pay a reduced balance. If your last bankruptcy filing was a chapter 13 and you would file a chapter 13 once again, you can do so 2 years after the final discharge date of your most recent chapter 13 filing.
Switching It Up
If you want to change the type of bankruptcy from your last filing, you should abide by the following guidelines.
- If you last filed a chapter 7, you can file a chapter 13 bankruptcy 4 years from the final discharge date of the most recent chapter 7.
- If you last filed a chapter 13, you can file a chapter 7 bankruptcy 6 years from the final discharge date of the most recent chapter 13.
A Chapter 20 Bankruptcy
This is not an official type of bankruptcy and you won't find it in any bankruptcy code book, but it is rather the nickname of a manner of filing that deals exclusively with tax debts. If you have filed a chapter 7 you would then file a chapter 13 immediately after the final discharge date of the chapter 7. This type of bankruptcy allows you to skip the usual 4 year wait, as long as the debts in the chapter 13 deal only with tax debts.
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