Life is nothing if not unpredictable, and you can’t control much of what happens to you. Even if you’re very prudent with your finances, a job loss, a withering economy, divorce or an illness in the family can all send your debt spiraling out of control.
Years ago, you found yourself in a situation that left you with too many bills, so you took the only legitimate way out you could find: You filed for bankruptcy.
Unfortunately, you didn’t get a “happily ever after” once all that was over. After a period of relative stability, you’re back in another bad situation. The good news is that you can probably file bankruptcy again.
There’s really no limit on the number of bankruptcies you can file
There are time limits that have to be observed between bankruptcy filings, but you can actually file as often as you need over the years.
In general, here are the rules:
- If you previously filed Chapter 7, you have to wait four years to file Chapter 13 or eight years to file again for Chapter 7.
- If you previously filed for Chapter 13, you have to wait two years to file Chapter 13 again, or six years to file Chapter 7.
However, it’s also possible to sometimes convert one type of bankruptcy to another. This is particularly common when people file a Chapter 13 with the intention of paying back their creditors via a repayment plan but their financial situation worsens and the repayment plan becomes untenable – although other situations can also make it wise to switch.
Don’t let the fact that you filed for bankruptcy in the past intimidate you or embarrass you into not filing for bankruptcy again. You’re far from alone in this situation.