Federal bankruptcy law includes waiting periods that determine how soon a person can file for bankruptcy again after the initial filing. The length of the waiting period depends on the type of bankruptcy that was previously filed and what type of bankruptcy is being sought:
- After filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you are required to wait eight years before filing for Chapter 7 again, if you want a discharge in bankruptcy;
- You can immediately file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy again after your first Chapter 13 bankruptcy case is completed, but you must wait two years before being able to discharge your debt again;
- You must wait four years after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy; and
- You must wait six years after discharging your debt under Chapter 13 bankruptcy to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy unless you repaid at least 70 percent of the claims.
While some situations allow you to immediately file for a second bankruptcy, you may need to ask the court to extend the automatic stay protections. You may want to take steps to mitigate your chances of needing a second bankruptcy. There are several ways you can increase your financial security after bankruptcy:
- Adhering to a Budget: Closely examine your monthly income compared to your necessary expenses. You should live within the means of your budget and keep any borrowing to a minimum.
- Cautious with Credit: If you need to pay for something with a credit card, keep the expense to a level that you can repay that month. That way, you can rebuild your credit score with less risk.
- Creating Additional Income: A new job, second job or promotion within your current job can all increase your monthly income, which in turn will increase your financial flexibility.
- Selling Assets: We all have stuff. You should explore how valuable your stuff would be if sold. The additional money could be used for a savings account or to pay off debts.
- Building an Emergency Fund: Unexpected expenses can cause financial hardship. Find a portion of your monthly income than you can contribute towards an emergency fund. By having savings, you may not need to borrow money when unexpected expenses occur.
There are situations in which filing for bankruptcy a second time may be your best option for handling your debts. A Frisco, Texas, bankruptcy attorney at The Page Law Firm can tell you whether you qualify for a second bankruptcy and how it may help you. Schedule a free consultation by calling 214-618-2101.