If you’ve filed bankruptcy in the past, you might be wondering if you can file again. The good news: A person is fully entitled and permitted to file bankruptcy more than once. The bad news: There is a lengthy waiting period in between filings. Your waiting period depends on several factors, including whether or not your case was discharged, the type of bankruptcy you filed and how much time has passed.
While there are no legal limitations on how many times you can file bankruptcy, there are still time restrictions. Let’s learn more about multiple bankruptcy filings in New York so that you can be informed of your options.
How Many Times Can I File for Bankruptcy in New York?
In New York, you can file for bankruptcy as many times as you would like. Bankruptcy laws don’t limit how many times you can file bankruptcy. They simply establish a minimum period that you must wait before you can file again. If you file too soon from your old case, you won’t be eligible to file bankruptcy.
So how long do you have to wait in between bankruptcies? If you previously filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New York, and you plan to file Chapter 7 again, you have to wait eight years. If you plan to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy after filing Chapter 7, you have to wait four years.
On the other hand, if you previously filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy in New York, you can file Chapter 13 again in just two years. If you plan on filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy after filing Chapter 13, you’ll need to wait six years or less. As you can see, the wait periods are shorter if you previously filed Chapter 13.
Plan to File Chapter 7
Plan to File Chapter 13
Previously Filed Chapter 7 (Liquidation)
Previously Filed Chapter 13 (Repayment)
6 years or less
My Previous Bankruptcy Case Wasn’t Discharged. Does This Make a Difference?
When a bankruptcy is discharged, it means that you are released from personal liability for specified debts. If the case isn’t discharged, it means that the court denied your request. Therefore, if your bankruptcy case was dismissed, you can typically file again right away.
There are a number of reasons why your case may not have been discharged, such as not filing all documents properly and on time, not showing up for a meeting with the court or not being truthful with the court. These types of things reflect poor judgment and can get your case dismissed.
Sometimes, there are time restrictions for when you can file again after a dismissed bankruptcy case, but they’re not nearly as long as you have to wait after being discharged. For example, if you fail to show up to a required hearing, the court may order a 180-day delay on filing again.
Is it Bad to File Bankruptcy Twice?
While you are allowed to file bankruptcy as many times as you want, it’s not exactly ideal. The purpose of bankruptcy is to help you start fresh after experiencing financial difficulties. But, you should use the experience as an opportunity to make smart financial decisions and avoid past mistakes.
However, there are times when filing bankruptcy again is necessary and important. Life can be challenging at times, and it’s possible that you may have gone through a divroce before, and now you are dealing with a family illness. If you can’t catch up on your payments and the credit card companies are harassing you, bankruptcy will protect you.
Are There Alternatives to Filing Bankruptcy Twice?
Bankruptcy is an effective way to work your way out of debt. But it also has a negative impact on your credit score. If you are facing financial challenges again, it’s important to get ahead of the problem so that you will have more options. You may not have to file bankruptcy again.
Alternatives to bankruptcy could be debt consolidation or debt settlement, both of which can be worked out with a credit counselor. A New York bankruptcy attorney can also walk you through your options. Because they are experienced in NY bankruptcy, they can help you weigh the pros and cons to filing again vs other avenues like debt consolidation.
Need Bankruptcy Help? Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Bankruptcy Lawyers
The Law Office of William Waldner can help you get a fresh start on your future. Book a consultation to discuss your options for bankruptcy, whether it’s your first time filing or your third. We’ll be happy to review your options, the pros and cons of filing bankruptcy and which type of bankruptcy is best for your situation.