Thursday, June 4, 2009

Can I File Bankruptcy Again?

By Jay Fleischman

If you have filed bankruptcy in the past, and you've found yourself in financial trouble again, you're probably wondering if you are eligible to file for bankruptcy protection again. Filing for bankruptcy a second time is rarely a pleasant thought - but if you're struggling with debt, you need to know if this is an option for you.

In truth, there are no limits on how many bankruptcy petitions you can file; however, in order to receive a second discharge, you'll have to wait a certain amount of time between filings.
The amount of time depends on the type of bankruptcy you previously filed, and the type that you intend to file now. Here are the guidelines for bankruptcy filing eligibility:

· If you previously received a Chapter 7 discharge (which erased your debts, rather than restructuring them), you will have to wait 8 years before you can receive another Chapter 7 discharge. If your second filing will be for Chapter 13 protection (which reorganizes your debts), the waiting period is 4 years.
· If your previous bankruptcy was a Chapter 13, you'll have to wait 2 years before receiving another Chapter 13 discharge. If you're seeking a Chapter 7 discharge, 6 years must have passed since your Chapter 13 filing.

Keep in mind that the time periods are measured from filing date to filing date, not from discharge date to filing date.
Also, there are exceptions to all of these rules, so you may be able to file before the end of the waiting period in certain cases. If you are considering another bankruptcy, contact a bankruptcy attorney to find out if you qualify for an exception.

New York bankruptcy lawyer Jay S. Fleischman is the Managing Attorney of Fleischman Consumer Law Center. He has helped thousands of New York consumers end their bill problems and get back their good credit. Go to to learn more about your options, ask questions, and get more information.

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