Filing Bankruptcy a Second Time | The Law Offices of Thomas J. Orr

What if I Have to File Bankruptcy a Second Time?

What if I Have to File Bankruptcy a Second Time?

second bankruptcies attorney

Having to file for bankruptcy a second time is more common than you might think. Maybe it has been a few years since you filed for bankruptcy and you have again found yourself in a financial situation that is too difficult to manage on your own.

The good news is that you are not limited on the number of bankruptcies you can file in your lifetime. However, there is a restriction on how frequently you can file within a certain time period. I am here to help! Keep reading to learn more about filing for bankruptcy a second time and if it is the right time for you.

When deciding whether a second bankruptcy is right for you, you need to take a look at the following factors:

Filing Too Frequently

Timing is everything. Before you make the decision to file for bankruptcy, you need to consider timing issues to make sure that your second bankruptcy filing will go as smoothly as your first.

An important bankruptcy protection is the automatic stay. This prevents creditors from taking any actions against you to collect a debt. The stay lasts indefinitely when a first case is filed. If the first case is dismissed and another filing is made within a year, the stay lasts thirty days. There is no stay if a second case is filed within a year.

Discharge Timing

Another issue you need to keep in mind is discharge timing. To receive a second discharge of your debts, you must wait for a fixed period of time. The following aspects impact the amount of time that your discharge will take for a second bankruptcy:

  • Type of bankruptcy you previously filed
  • Bankruptcy type you plan to file
  • Whether your previous case was dismissed or discharged
  • The filing date of your last case

The following is a timetable for receiving a discharge in a second bankruptcy case.

  • If you are filing a second Chapter 7, you must wait eight years to file your second Chapter 7 case.
  • If you are filing a second Chapter 13, you must wait at least two years before filing another Chapter 13.
  • If your first bankruptcy was a Chapter 7 and you are filing a Chapter 13, then you will have to wait four years before filing.
  • If you filed a Chapter 13 and want to file a Chapter 7, then you will have to wait six years after the Chapter 13 filing. The waiting period does not apply if you paid back all of your debt in the Chapter 13 case, or if you paid back 70% of your unsecured debt, and you proposed the plan in good faith.

There is life after bankruptcy and it starts here! No matter what stage of the bankruptcy process you are in, I am here to help. Contact my office today to discuss your options for filing a second bankruptcy.

Read the bankruptcy checklist here while filing.


Hundreds of thousands of Americans, including consumers and business owners, file for bankruptcy each year. While many think this situation is the result of overspending, most cases are due to financial hardship such as job loss, costly medical bills, divorce, or a poor economy.


I’ve been practicing bankruptcy law in Burlington, New Jersey for over 33 years. With just one location, I can focus exclusively on helping my clients make their way not only through bankruptcy, but well past it. We will work together to explore all of your options and determine if bankruptcy is the right choice for you. The goal is to get you on the path to a new beginning.


If you’re losing sleep, feeling scared or even embarrassed, let’s talk. There is life after bankruptcy and it starts here. My offices are located in downtown Burlington, near the Riverline train stop. I provide Saturday and evening hours as needed. I offer payment arrangements to fit your budget. Contact my office today at ​​609-386-8700.


Start your path towards a new financial beginning. Contact our offices today!
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