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Can You File Chapter 13 More Than Once?

There is generally no limit for the amount of times a person can file personal bankruptcy in his or her life. But that doesn't mean a person can file bankruptcy every time they have a bit of money trouble.

If a personal has already filed bankruptcy, debts may only be eliminated after a certain amount of time. Essentially, this means an individual may have to wait a number of years to discharge his or her debt under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy depending on what he or she has previously filed.

The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act

In 2005 the bankruptcy laws were completely revised in order to stop abuse by creditors and control suspicious filings by consumers. The end result was a new law called the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protect Act or BAPCPA.

This law has measures that also dictate the period of time an individual needs to wait before making a bankruptcy claim after a previous case has been filed.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

When an individual files under Chapter 13, the purpose is to devise a practical payment plan for the accumulated debt. The advantage of this type of bankruptcy claim is that if the court accepts a person's case, current creditors are required to accept this individual's payments in a structured, interest-free plan.

Chapter 13 generally takes three to five years to complete. At the end of this case, the court grants a discharge to the debts that have been paid in full, as well as any remaining unsecured debts.

Filing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Again

According to the bankruptcy laws, individuals who have filed Chapter 13 before can make a second claim as long as enough time has passed. In general, six years must have elapsed before a person can file another Chapter 13 case. There may be exceptions if you voluntarily dismissed your case, or if you had converted your previous case to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

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