Can You File For Chapter 7 More Than Once? What are the Rules?
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Can You File For Chapter 7 More Than Once?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be a very effective way to get out from under a significant amount of debt. However, debt relief can sometimes be only temporary – many people have found themselves with financial troubles again after filing for bankruptcy protection. You may be able to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy more than once – but only after meeting certain requirements.

Whether you are eligible to file Chapter 7 or not, you may have multiple options for dealing with financial problems even if you filed for bankruptcy in the past. However, you may wish to speak with somebody familiar with the laws at play. Fill out the following form to get in touch with a nearby bankruptcy lawyer for a free, no-obligation consultation.

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Eligibility Requirements For Filing Chapter 7 Again

Because it’s not uncommon that people can have debt troubles more than once, individuals can file Chapter 7 more than once if they meet specific requirements, including:

  • You usually must wait 8 years after your previous Chapter 7 filing.
  • You must pass a means test, as in your earlier Chapter 7 filing. Since your financial situation may not be the same as it was in your previous filing, you will have to pass a means test. Plus, means test requirements typically change at least once per year. If your income is different than when you first filed Chapter 7 your eligibility to file may be different.

Because of the comprehensive nature of the debt relief provided by Chapter 7, both of these requirements are typically upheld regardless of your previous experience. Even if you don’t qualify for Chapter 7, though, there may be an option available to you.

Filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy After Filing Chapter 7

Filing under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be a helpful option if you are ineligible to file Chapter 7 more than once. Because Chapter 13 sets up a monthly payment plan to reduce debts rather than dismissing them outright.

There is a catch, however. If you file Chapter 13 within 4 years of filing Chapter 7, you won’t be able to discharge debts through filing. In other words, though a payment plan is set, none of your debts will be dismissed for adhering to the plan. In many Chapter 13 cases credit card debt and medical bills are often reduced or cleared entirely at the conclusion of the process without being fully paid back. For this reason, many people wait 4 years before they consider filing Chapter 13 after they've filed a Chapter 7.

Depending on your personal situation, you may have multiple options to ease your financial difficulties. To better understand what your options mean to you, speak to a bankruptcy attorney. Connect with an attorney near you by completing the form on this page.

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