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How often can you file for bankruptcy?

On Behalf of | Oct 22, 2021 | bankruptcy |

Dealing with fiscal emergencies and immense debts can happen more than once in someone’s lifetime. Like most states, Maryland, allows residents to file bankruptcy more than once. While there isn’t a limit on how many bankruptcies a person can have, there are waiting periods.

When do bankruptcy filings end?

There’s a limit to filing for bankruptcy after the court discharges the debt. Once the court discharges a person’s debts, they are no longer obligated to repay those debts. However, unfortunate circumstances could lead to a pileup of new debts or falling behind on payments.

There are a few different concerns to keep in mind when filing another bankruptcy. Answering these questions helps to determine when you are eligible to file:

• Did your last bankruptcy end in a discharge?
• When was your bankruptcy filing date?
• Did you last file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13?
• Are you trying to file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13?

Filing another Chapter 7 bankruptcy

Chapter 7 is the quickest form of debt relief but has the longest waiting period. When filing another Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there’s an eight-year wait. There’s a six-year waiting period when filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy after a Chapter 13. If a person pays their unsecured debts in full or makes at least 70% of the payments in good faith, the federal court can waive the six-year wait.

Filing another Chapter 13 bankruptcy

There’s a two-year wait when filing for Chapter 13 after a previous Chapter 13 bankruptcy. While this is the shortest wait period, it’s rare to happen. A Chapter 13 restructuring takes about three to five years to pay back. There’s a four-year wait when filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy after Chapter 7. A person avoids the four-year wait by having the court not discharge Chapter 13 debt. A person can set up a payment plan to pay off debt not covered in Chapter 7.

The wait periods of a bankruptcy filing have many variables. Following a Chapter 7 with a Chapter 13 is sometimes referred to as a Chapter 20. Every wait period depends on if the court discharges the bankruptcy. If the court dismisses bankruptcy for any reason, a person needs to wait 180 days before refiling.



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