Are You A Serial Filer? What To Know About Multiple Bankruptcy Filings

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When financial bad luck hits, it may come in multiples. The fresh start that a bankruptcy offers can be accomplished more than once; in fact, there is no limit to the number of times you can file and have a bankruptcy finalized. The sticking point, if there is one, is the timing of those filings and the type of bankruptcy you last used. Read on to learn more.

The Two Main Types of Bankruptcy

You may have heard about several different types of bankruptcy, but many are reserved for businesses. When it comes to consumers with personal debt issues, there are really just two main types of bankruptcy: chapter 7 and chapter 13. There is a third, albeit unofficial type, but more about that one later. Here are the two types of bankruptcy with information about the timing of the next filing.

Chapter 7

If there was ever an all-purpose and powerful tool to completely eliminate the bulk of most people's debts, it's the chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you did it once, you can do it again; as long as it's been at least eight years from the date of your final chapter 7 disposition.

Chapter 13

If you want to try and make good on most of your debts by reorganizing them by stretching the payments out more, chapter 13 is for you. You only have to wait two years after your last chapter 13 discharge date to once again take advantage of this debt reorganization plan.

Switching Chapters

If your last bankruptcy was a chapter 7, but you now wish to file a chapter 13, you can do so once you are four years past your most recent chapter 7 final discharge.

If you last bankruptcy was chapter 13, you can file a chapter 7 once six years have passed from the date of the chapter 13's final discharge.

Chapter 20

The numbers on the various types of bankruptcies are linked to the bankruptcy code, but not so with this unofficial type of bankruptcy. Chapter 20 refers to a combination of chapter 7 followed by a chapter 13 (7+13=20) and is used mostly for tax debt purposes. For this very specific type of filing, you don't need to wait the usual four years; you can file for tax debts right after the chapter 7 discharge.

Speak with a bankruptcy attorney to learn more about the frequency of filing and how to get your fresh financial start. Click here to read more about filing for bankruptcy.