When Can I File for Bankruptcy Again?

Maybe you filed for bankruptcy once and felt the relief of finally being able to get your life back: your credit card bills were gone, you were able to get back on track with your mortgage payments and, with some luck, you were able to hold onto most of those things that were important to you.

Then you lost your job or your hours were cut.

Your car finally died and you needed to replace it.

Or worse yet, you got a divorce or experienced a medical emergency costing thousands of dollars out-of-pocket and you are once again facing the possibility of foreclosure, eviction, vehicle repossession and mounting credit card debt.

Unfortunately, it can happen to even those of us who tried to be responsible with credit after a bankruptcy.

Can you get a second chance?

The short answer is yes, you can, but there are rules about how soon and under what circumstances.

The 2-4-6-8 rule for filing subsequent bankruptcies

In 2005, Congress passed new legislation called the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act that tightened bankruptcy eligibility, required more documentation, reduced automatic stay protections and placed greater emphasis on credit counseling.

However, it did not prohibit a consumer’s ability to file for bankruptcy more than once and in fact, there is no limit on how many times you can file for bankruptcy.

Here are the number of years you would have to wait between bankruptcy filings under what is known as the 2-4-6-8 rule:

      • Two years: The amount of time you must wait after you have to file a Chapter 13 case before filing a new Chapter 13 case.
      • Four years: The period of time between filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
      • Six years:The amount of time between a prior Chapter 13 bankruptcy case and a new Chapter 13 case.
      • Eight years: How long you have to wait between the time you filed a prior Chapter 7 bankruptcy case and filing a new Chapter 7 bankruptcy case.

Get the facts and find out if you may be able to file for a subsequent bankruptcy case

To find out if filing for bankruptcy again can help you, please call us at (718) 863-6000 or contact us online for a no-cost, judgment-free and confidential consultation with experienced bankruptcy attorney Thomas Denaro.

We serve clients throughout the Bronx, Westchester County and surrounding areas.

Thomas M. Denaro
About the Author: Thomas Denaro
Thomas M. Denaro is an experienced bankruptcy attorney serving the Bronx and surrounding areas. He represents Bronx families in bankruptcy court, and has handled thousands of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases from beginning to end.