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What if I filed bankruptcy before? Can I file again?

Bankruptcy can be a great way to get a fresh start in life.  When massive debt has been weighing you down, being free of it can make life much better.  But sometimes staying on the right financial track can be difficult, and circumstances come along that knock you back down again.  You might need to file again, but can you?

Chapter 7 or Chapter 13?

Well, that depends on the type of bankruptcy you filed before and whether you need bankruptcy to wipe out (discharge) new debt. It also depends on the type of bankruptcy you now need to file.

If you have filed a chapter 7 in the past and obtained a discharge (i.e. the case went through and was not dismissed), then you cannot file another chapter 7 for eight (8) years from the date the previous bankruptcy was filed.

If your prior bankruptcy was a chapter 13, and you obtained a discharge, then you cannot file a chapter 7 for six (6) years. However, if you want to file another chapter 13, it is only two (2) years.

Have some new debt you want to wipe out, but you can afford a chapter 13 repayment plan?  Then you have to wait four (4) years from the date you filed the chapter 7.

But what if you need to file in order to obtain the ability to pay back a debt over time, not discharge it? Perhaps you got behind on a mortgage and need to get current.  If you want to do that by filing a chapter 13, you don't have to wait at all! If you just need the automatic stay to allow you to carry out a payment plan, then there is no ineligibility period.

So What Do I Do?

If you live in South Jersey and are considering filing bankruptcy again, please feel free to call my office at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site for a free consultation in my Woodbury office to discuss your case.

If you are just looking for more information about bankruptcy, then download my free book,Top Questions People Ask About Filing Bankruptcy in New Jersey.

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