When you file for bankruptcy and eliminate your debts, you get a fresh financial start. But what if you get into serious money troubles down the road? Is a second bankruptcy possible?
The good news is that, yes, you can file for Utah bankruptcy a second time. In fact, the law does not limit the number of cases you file. However, depending upon the date of your initial filing, you may have to wait for a specified amount of time.
Timing Matters for Repeat Bankruptcy Filings
The U.S. Bankruptcy Code allows for multiple filings, but you cannot pursue a claim whenever you like. A set amount of time must pass before you can legally discharge your debts again.
You will need to carefully plan the timing of your second bankruptcy. The waiting period between filings depends upon the type of case you initially filed and whether you plan to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 the second time around.
How Soon Can You File for Bankruptcy Again?
The date you filed your first case will dictate when you’re eligible to file for bankruptcy a second time. To determine how long you’ll have to wait, check this guide to the mandatory time limits between filings:
- Chapter 7 for both bankruptcies – 8 years
- Chapter 13 for both bankruptcies – 2 years
- Chapter 7, then Chapter 13 – 4 years
- Chapter 13, then Chapter 7 – 6 years, or sooner if you paid back all or most of your unsecured debts in the first case
What if Your Previous Bankruptcy Case Was Dismissed?
If the court dismissed your first case, you can file for bankruptcy again now – unless the court says otherwise.
The court may prohibit you from filing a second claim for a specific period of time if your first bankruptcy case was dismissed with prejudice. If you did not obey court orders or voluntarily ended your initial case after a creditor pursued relief from the automatic stay, you can expect a waiting period of 180 days.
If the court dismissed your first case due to fraudulent activity – such as hiding assets or being deceitful on the bankruptcy paperwork – the amount of time you must wait may be much longer. In fact, the court has the ability to permanently bar anyone who commits bankruptcy fraud from filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
Are you considering filing for bankruptcy in Utah? Whether you plan on filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 – and whether it’s your first case or not – it is important to consult a local bankruptcy lawyer. If you live in northern Utah, turn to the Law Office of Davis & Jones, P. C. for expert guidance on your best approach to debt relief.
Our bankruptcy lawyers have a combined 40 years of legal experience, and we’ve helped over 20,000 Utah residents become debt-free. If you’re in a financial bind, and want to file for bankruptcy, contact the Law Office of Davis & Jones, P.C. today to schedule a complimentary consultation.