Can You File Bankruptcy Twice?

Most people who file bankruptcy only need to do so once for a fresh financial start. Yet, you may still find yourself in dire straits after your initial case. You may have experienced another unexpected financial hardship. Or, considering your necessary expenses, your means may prove difficult to live within. If you find yourself unable to pay off bills and debt after filing bankruptcy once, it’s important to know how – and when – you can file again.

Chapter 20 bankruptcy

You can file for bankruptcy twice – or multiple times, if need be. But you must wait to do so in most cases. The exception to this rule is Chapter 20 bankruptcy. This is not a unique type of bankruptcy. Rather, it refers to filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy right after Chapter 7 proceedings. You may want to pursue this arrangement if you need more time to pay off debt that did not qualify for discharge. If you do so, you will work to eliminate your remaining debt through a repayment plan. You will need to pay it off within three to five years of filing Chapter 13. But if you wait at least four years to file Chapter 13 after Chapter 7, you may qualify for low monthly debt payments that could make the process easier.

Other ways of filing

If you filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy and cannot pay back any of your debt whatsoever, you will have to wait eight years after your previous case to do so again. Yet, you may have filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy and need to discharge further debt through Chapter 7. In this case, you must wait six years to file. The exception to this rule is if you repaid at least 70% of your unsecured claims. And if you filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy and must do so again, you only need to wait two years after the original filing date.

Filing bankruptcy twice or more may seem unappealing. But if you have insurmountable debt, doing so may give you peace of mind that trying to pay it all off cannot. An attorney with bankruptcy experience can help you understand the process.