People suffering under too much debt often choose to file for bankruptcy to get a fresh start. But what happens if you suffer additional setbacks, acquire more debt, and need additional help?
Can you file for bankruptcy more than once in Ohio?
If you have questions about bankruptcy and how often you can file, contact the experienced Cleveland bankruptcy attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates. We will work with you to determine your best options.
Call us today at (216) 586-6600 for a free consultation.
Time Limits Apply to Bankruptcy Discharge – Not Filing
There is no limit to how many times you can file for bankruptcy. However, there are limitations around how often you can receive a bankruptcy discharge. If you seek a discharge prior to the time limit allowed, your additional filing will be a waste of time and money.
Bankruptcy Court Time Limits for Consumer Bankruptcy
- Chapter 7: To receive another Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge, you need to wait eight years to file from the date you filed the previous Chapter 7 case.
- Chapter 13: While it takes three to five years to complete a Chapter 13 repayment plan and discharge your case, you are usually able to file again immediately. However, if you want to file sooner, you need to wait two years after the date you initially filed.
Can I File A Different Chapter of Bankruptcy?
If you filed for one type of bankruptcy and you’re interested in filing for a different type, there are still time limits that affect when you can receive a second discharge.
- If you received a Chapter 7 discharge and you now want to file for Chapter 13:
You must wait four years from the date you filed the Chapter 7 case to be eligible for a discharge in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
- If you received a Chapter 13 discharge and you now want to file for Chapter 7:
Typically, you must wait six years from the date you filed the Chapter 13 case before you can file for Chapter 7. However, if before six years you have paid back all your unsecured debts, or paid at least 70% of your unsecured debts (and your repayment plan was arranged according to your best efforts), you are able to file for Chapter 7 immediately.
What If My Bankruptcy Was Dismissed With Prejudice?
If you did not obey court orders or you abused the bankruptcy system, your case can be dismissed with prejudice. While this does not mean you can never file again, it does mean the court can impose temporary restrictions on when you can file, such as placing a 180-day restriction on when you can file. Once the restriction is lifted, you can file again.
In cases where you committed bankruptcy fraud, the court may impose more than 180 days or permanently deny you the ability to file.
Contact an Ohio Bankruptcy Attorney for Help
If you’re struggling with debt after you’ve been awarded a bankruptcy discharge, you may still benefit from contacting a Cleveland bankruptcy attorney. Luftman, Heck & Associates can go over your options and help determine the right choice for you.