Bankruptcy is a great option for Florida residents struggling with unmanageable debt. It provides you with a chance to start over financially with a clean slate and maintain financial stability.
But what happens if an unexpected event occurs that leaves you with debt that you cannot pay? Recent years have shown that many events that are completely out of your control can completely ruin you financially, from an abrupt job loss to out of control inflation.
You may worry that because you have filed for bankruptcy in the past, you are out of luck and used up your once chance to start over. This is not true.
Yes, but you might have to wait
The good news is that, yes, you can file for bankruptcy again, although there are some waiting periods involved. The waiting periods depend on what type of bankruptcy you previously filed.
If you previously filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you could file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy again after 8 years.
You may have previously filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which involves a payment plan to your creditors, rather than discharging your qualified debts entirely. The waiting period to file another Chapter 13 bankruptcy is two years.
The waiting periods change if you are filing a different type of bankruptcy than you filed before.
You must wait six years if you previously filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and now want to file a Chapter 7, and you must wait four years if you previously filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and now want to file a Chapter 13.
When does the waiting period start?
These waiting periods only apply if your last bankruptcy ended in a successful discharge. If your bankruptcy was not completed for some reason, you can file again anytime. The waiting period starts the day your last bankruptcy was filed, not the day of the discharge.
The difference in waiting periods can be confusing. Before filing again, you may want to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to make sure you are filing the correct type of bankruptcy within the proper deadlines.