Bankruptcy The Second Time
If you have already filed for bankruptcy and you find yourself struggling with debt again, you may be eligible to file for bankruptcy the second time — if certain criteria are met.
There are two main types of bankruptcy, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. You are able to file more than once under each type of bankruptcy, however federal laws set into place in 2005 have made it more difficult. While there is no limit to how often you can refile, filing too closely together can be a waste of time if you would like your debt discharged.
If you initially filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy (which eliminates most debt) in 2005 you will be eligible to file Chapter 7 again in 2013. Part of the criteria is that you wait at least 8 years between filing. However, if your second filing is for Chapter 13 (which restructures debt), you only have to wait 4 years rather than 8. The time periods between filings are measured from filing date to filing date and not the date your debt was discharged.
If your first filing was Chapter 13, you only have to wait 2 years before filing for Chapter 13 again. If you plan on your second filing being Chapter 7 this time, then 6 years must pass between filings.
There are exceptions to these time periods.