There are a variety of rules that address the question of whether you can file a second (or third) bankruptcy. Further there are special rules that govern a second or third filing within one year.
Rules Regarding Repeat Filings
If you want to file Chapter 13:
and you previously filed a Chapter 13 case, you are permitted to file a second Chapter 13. However, if your previous case resulted in a Chapter 13 discharge, you will not be eligible for a discharge if case #2 is filed within 2 years from the date that case #1 was filed. If your previous Chapter 13 case was dismissed and no discharge issued, you can refile immediately and still be eligible for a discharge.
and you previously filed a Chapter 7 case, you must wait four years before you are eligible to file Chapter 13.
If you want to file Chapter 7
and you previously filed a Chapter 13 that was discharged, you must wait 6 years from the date that the Chapter 13 was filed before you are eligible to file Chapter 7
and you previously filed a Chapter 7 that was discharged, you must wait 8 years from the date case #1 was filed before you can file case #2.
Rules Regarding Recent Filings
if you file Chapter 13 and your case is dismissed, you may want to refile. You can refile but…
- if you refile your Chapter 13 within 1 year from the date that Chapter 13 #1 was filed, the automatic stay will only last 30 days. You will have to file a motion to ask the judge to extend the stay beyond 30 days
- if the current case is your 2nd (or more) case that was pending and dismissed within the past year, the automatic stay does not go into effect at all and creditors are not subject to the stay. If you want a stay, you will have to file a motion to impose the automatic stay.
Seek Legal Advice if You Have Previously Filed Bankruptcy and Want to Refile
As you can see the rules for filing a 2nd, 3rd or additional bankruptcy case are confusing. Rather than guess about your right to refile, please call our office at 770-393-4985 to discuss how these rules apply to you.