Can I File for Bankruptcy More Than Once?
April 27, 2023
In Tennessee, many individuals, families, and businesses going through financial hardship often decide to file for bankruptcy to achieve debt relief or seek a clean financial slate. Even after getting your financial relief, an economic setback, job loss, or medical emergency can put you in another difficult financial situation. When experiencing financial hardship again, you may want to explore the possibility of refiling for bankruptcy.
At Steven C. Frazier, Attorney At Law, I have focused my career to giving detailed legal counsel and advocacy to clients in bankruptcy-related matters, including refiling. As a practiced Tennessee bankruptcy attorney, I can analyze your situation and help you understand your possible options to file for bankruptcy more than once. My firm proudly serves clients across Kingsport, Church Hill, Johnson City, Bristol, or anywhere in Northeastern Tennessee.
Can I File More Than Once?
Yes. Consumers are allowed to file for bankruptcy more than once. In fact, there are no laws that limit the number of times a person or entity may file for bankruptcy. However, there are specific rules and considerations which may limit or complicate your ability to file for bankruptcy multiple times.
For instance, if you’re filing for bankruptcy to prevent creditors from collecting the debts you owe, the judge may deny your bankruptcy petition. In addition, there is a required waiting time after every petition – depending on the bankruptcy chapter – before you may be able to file for another bankruptcy.
Furthermore, you may be unable to file for bankruptcy if your discharge was previously denied due to reasons such as violating a court order, attempting to defraud, or failing to take mandatory financial courses. A skilled attorney can review every aspect of your unique situation and educate you about your eligibility for relief under the same or different bankruptcy chapters.
Filing Under the Same Bankruptcy Chapter
The most significant factor for filing bankruptcy more than once is the waiting period or elapsed time. Here’s how long you need to wait before you are eligible to refile under the same chapter:
Chapter 7 to Chapter 7 — If you first filed under Chapter 7, you must wait for at least eight years to refile under Chapter 7.
Chapter 13 to Chapter 13 — If you first filed under Chapter 13, you only need to wait for two years to refile under Chapter 13.
Filing Under Different Chapters
Here’s the waiting period to refile under different chapters:
Chapter 7 to Chapter 13 — If you first filed under Chapter 7, you must wait for four years to file for another bankruptcy under Chapter 13.
Chapter 13 to Chapter 7 — If you first filed under Chapter 13, you will need to wait six years to file for another bankruptcy under Chapter 7. However, if you have fully paid all your unsecured creditors or at least 70% of unsecured claims, you may file Chapter 7 after one year.
Refiling Bankruptcy After a Dismissal
However, various issues often arise when you need to refile for bankruptcy after a prior dismissal. If your bankruptcy case was dismissed without prejudice, you may be eligible to refile bankruptcy almost immediately. You only need to fix any mistake or complete the steps you missed in your initial filing.
Conversely, if your initial bankruptcy filing was dismissed with prejudice, your may face various challenges when refiling. For instance, the judge may dismiss your bankruptcy case if you deliberately delayed creditors, violated court orders, or failed to maintain good financial standing.
In a situation like this, you should reach out to a skilled bankruptcy lawyer for proper direction and to help determine the best course of action.
Speak With a Knowledgeable Attorney
Filing for bankruptcy in Tennessee often involves a lot of complexities, especially if you have filed previously. Regardless, it is important that you understand the implications of multiple bankruptcy filings and your eligibility to refile. Therefore, consulting with an experienced bankruptcy attorney is crucial for clear guidance and to help you navigate tough decisions.
Here at my firm, I have the expertise and resources to guide clients through the complex procedures involved in multiple bankruptcy filings. In addition, I will help file your bankruptcy petition, represent you diligently in court, and help you seek the clean financial slate you deserve.
Contact me at Steven C. Frazier, Attorney At Law, today to speak with a trusted bankruptcy lawyer. Attorney Steven C. Frazier has the resources and reliable advocacy you need to refile for bankruptcy. My firm proudly serves clients across Kingsport, Church Hill, Johnson City, Bristol, or anywhere in Northeastern Tennessee.