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Understanding Timing Issues and How They Affect Bankruptcy

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Bankruptcy is something you can use if you qualify for it and need relief from your debts, but it is not something you can use all the time. There are timing issues with it, which means that there are limits to how often you can file. Learn the reasons why these rules exist as well as details to help you understand when you can file again if you filed in the past at some point.

Why there are timing rules

The main reason that timing rules exist is to prevent people from using bankruptcy over and over every time they fall into debt and want to find instant relief. If there were no timing issues, people could just keep using bankruptcy every time they find themselves in debt, and this is not what bankruptcy is for. Bankruptcy is designed to help people who are in debt and teach people how to avoid allowing this to happen again in the future.

When you can file a second time after filing for Chapter 7

If you are in debt now and have used Chapter 7 in the past and received a discharge from it, you will have to wait a certain length of time before filing for bankruptcy again. The exact length of time depends on what branch of bankruptcy you now want to use. If you want to use Chapter 7 again, you would need to wait at least eight years before you can legally file again, and this period starts from the day you filed for Chapter 7 in the past. If you want to now use Chapter 13, you would have to wait at least four years from the date you filed your last bankruptcy case.

When you can file a second time after filing for Chapter 13

If your previous case was a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the rules related to timing are different. After using Chapter 13 in the past, you would need to wait at least two years if you want to use the same branch. If you wanted to use Chapter 7 this time, you would need to wait at least eight years.

If you have questions about filing for bankruptcy a first time or second time, talk to a chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer. They will be able to review your financial situation and your bankruptcy history and will give you advice about your situation and your options.