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Filing For Bankruptcy Again? Watch Out For These Pitfalls!


By:Michael A. Cibik

If you’re back in debt after a bankruptcy, you’re not alone. With millions of people having gone through the bankruptcy system in the past decade or so, it’s inevitable that at least some will find themselves back in tough times. Add to that the troubles of the past four years or so and you’ve got the makings of a “welcome back” party at the bankruptcy court.


Lots of people walk into their bankruptcy lawyer’s office with erroneous information about the process the second time around. With so much information available online, it’s easy to get tripped up by incorrect bankruptcy information.


In particular, many people think they can’t file for bankruptcy again. This, however, is untrue. Though there are limitations and nuances to consider, you’ll be fine so long as you’re mindful of the pitfalls.


Filing Chapter 7 After A Chapter 7 Discharge. Under the bankruptcy laws, you can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy once every 8 years. The clock begins to run from the date your first case was filed.


If you can’t wait for the clock to run, perhaps you can file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.


Filing Chapter 13 After A Chapter 7 Discharge. I hope you liked that segue. If you’ve already been through Chapter 7 and can’t wait for the sands to run out of the 8-year hourglass, you can look to Chapter 13 a mere 4 years after your initial discharge.


Filing Chapter 7 After A Chapter 13. What if your last go-around was a Chapter 13, and now you’re looking at going back into bankruptcy? Have no fear!  That’s got a 6-year time window to meet.


Filing Chapter 13 After A Chapter 13. This is the simplest time limit. You can file a new Chapter 13 case 2 years after your prior case.


It’s alright if you believed that you couldn’t file for bankruptcy more than once. Now that we’ve cleared the air, I hope you feel more comfortable with your newfound knowledge.

Michael A. Cibik, Esquire

Michael A. Cibik is a partner at the Philadelphia law firm of Cibik & Cataldo, P.C. He is one of the few attorneys in the Philadelphia area certified by the American Bankruptcy Board.

If you or someone you know is having financial problems, stop worrying and call Michael at (215) 735-1060 for a free consultation.


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