Can I File for Bankruptcy Twice?

Helping Clients Pursue Financial Security for Over a Decade

Hard times are often outside of our control, and if you’ve struggled financially before, facing the same difficulties can be devastating. Recent years have taken a toll on millions of people, many of whom have pursued bankruptcy in the past and may need to file again. But can you file for bankruptcy twice? If you do, how does it affect your future?

The Law Office of Seni Popat, P.C. has over a decade of experience helping answer our clients bankruptcy questions. Our attorney works tirelessly to meet the needs of our clients and provide sound legal counsel backed by extensive experience.

Call our Queens secondary bankruptcy filing attorney at (718) 340-3385.

The Short Answer

Can you file for bankruptcy more than once? Yes. However, it is important to understand that bankruptcy and debt discharge are not the same. You can file for bankruptcy to get your debts discharged, but not all debts are dischargeable, and some cases do not result in discharge at all.

It is also important to note that while you can file more than once, you might not be able to right away. Filing for bankruptcy too soon after your first case may not help you discharge any debt. Depending on the type of case you file, you may need to wait several years before you can file again.

  • Chapter 7: you must wait eight years before filing a second case
  • Chapter 13: you must wait at least two years before you can receive a second debt discharge

While you can file twice, does the type of bankruptcy you file matter? Is filing sooner better?

Filing for Bankruptcy Twice: What You Should Know

If you’re thinking of filing for bankruptcy a second time, the order is crucial. What does this mean? Well, if you file for Chapter 13 first, you may not be able to file for Chapter 7 until six years from the filing date. However, if you paid your creditors in full and/or 70% of all claims under Chapter 13, you may not have to wait to file. On the other hand, if you file Chapter 7 first, you must wait four years before filing for Chapter 13.

The main reason why the order matters is related to how debts are discharged under Chapters 7 and 13. Chapter 7, also known as liquidation, relieves debt by selling (liquidating) nonexempt assets to settle creditor claims. This type of bankruptcy is often a quicker debt relief solution. Chapter 13 however gives filers the opportunity to pay off debt through reorganization. A Chapter 13 payment plan takes around three or five years to complete, which explains why the waiting period for a second filing is longer.

It is also important to understand that bankruptcy can help you recover financially without total debt discharge. Chapter 13 allows you to spread out your payments over time instead of wiping them away entirely. If you can pay off your debt with an extension, Chapter 13 may be an option for you.

What If My Debts Were Never Discharged in the First Case?

In many cases, you can file for bankruptcy again and receive a discharge if you did not get one the first time, but there are always exceptions to the rule. If the court dismissed your first case, you could absolutely file for debt discharge again. However, if the court denied your initial filing, you could file again but you are not likely to receive full debt discharge.

How to File a Second Bankruptcy Case

Bankruptcy is a complex legal process, and anyone considering it should proceed carefully. NEVER attempt to file for bankruptcy without a legal representative. While filing the first time is hard enough, filing a second time can often be even more complicated.

You also have a better chance at financial recovery if you pursue bankruptcy with the help of an attorney. Bankruptcy does negatively affect your credit but building up your credit score is not impossible. If you are still in a tough spot after your first case, speak to an attorney before choosing to file again. There may be other options available for you.

Schedule a FREE case consultation with the Law Office of Seni Popat, P.C. Our compassionate legal counselors are here to help!

Reviews from real clients

  • I had the pleasure of working with Seni Popat. He is a Top Professional!

    “I had the pleasure of working with Seni Popat. He is a Top Professional! I recommend him highly hands down. He's very experienced when it comes to bankruptcy and explains everything in detail when it ...”

    - I Gie – via Google
  • Law Office of Seni Popat is the place to get help.

    “I had debt over 100 thousand in credit cards and loans filing Chapter 7 and thank God for helping me this is a excellent dictator and understanding professional attorney telling everyone who needs a ...”

    - Willie Kornegay - via Google
  • He is very knowledgeable, professional, helpful and was readily available to guide me and advise me through the filing process.

    “I lost my job due to health issues and facing serious financial problems. Credit cards and hospital bills kept piling up and I couldn't sleep. MR.Seni Popat listened to me and advised me on the best ...”

    - James Potter - via Google
  • Seni was absolutely fantastic.

    “Seni was absolutely fantastic. I was super anxious and I had googled for someone that was well known. He came up so I gave him a try. Honestly I do not even write reviews. We met. He responded to me ...”

    - Nicole H. - via Google
  • Mr. Seni Popat is THE BEST bankruptcy lawyer there is.

    “Mr. Seni Popat is THE BEST bankruptcy lawyer there is. He cares for his clients. He goes above and beyond. I was at first very stressed out. After meeting with him it all went away. His office staff ...”

    - Yasmeen Smith - via Google
/

Reasons we stand apart

  • Calm, Stress-Free Counsel From Beginning to End
  • Every Case is Handled by Attorney Seni Popat
  • Easily Accessible & Always Available
  • Attention to Detail on Every Case

Awards

& Associations