Can you file bankruptcy twice in North Carolina?

Businesses and individuals alike file bankruptcy when debt starts to pile up. Doing so gives you a chance to have a fresh start, reorganize debts, and pay back outstanding balances. Sometimes businesses or individuals may opt to file for bankruptcy again if debt continues to be out of control. Some people may need to file bankruptcy to immediately stop creditor harassment.

While it’s possible to file for bankruptcy more than once, there are time limitations based on when your last discharge was. This post covers the different types of bankruptcy, and how long you need to wait between discharges.

Planning to File Bankruptcy Twice

Schedule a Consultation Today!

It’s important to note that the information below is not a substitute for legal advice from an attorney. If you, your family, or your business is considering filing for bankruptcy, contact the offices of Ivey McClellan, conveniently located in Greensboro, North Carolina. We offer confidential consultations and can help you make the best decision for your financial situation.

Filing Bankruptcy Twice in Greensboro, North Carolina

When people file for bankruptcy, they’re looking to better manage their debts. Each type of bankruptcy is meant to provide those struggling with debt a chance to get everything under control. The circumstances of your financial obligations will determine the type of bankruptcy you are eligible to file. This will determine how your debt can be restructured or discharged. Here’s a quick summary of the different types of bankruptcy to get you started.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

  • For individuals
  • Can be for businesses in some cases
  • Consumer debt liquidation (i.e. debt is eliminated)

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

  • For businesses and corporations
  • Can be for individuals in some cases
  • Requires a reorganization plan to repay debts

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

  • For individuals and married couples
  • Restructures debts
  • Payments are made over 3 - 5 years

If you’ve already filed for bankruptcy in North Carolina and you find yourself in a complicated financial situation, bankruptcy may be the right choice for you. Work with an attorney to decide whether or not it’s the best decision before moving forward with a second filing.

Although individuals and businesses can file bankruptcy more than once, there are limitations on debt discharge within a certain number of years. These guidelines were set forth by the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act in 2005. The guidelines are as follows:

  • First Bankruptcy Filing: Chapter 7
  • Second Bankruptcy Filing: Chapter 7

You must wait 8 years from the first filing, to file the second application

  • First Bankruptcy Filing: Chapter 7
  • Second Bankruptcy Filing: Chapter 13

You must wait 4 years from the first filing, to file the second application

  • First Bankruptcy Filing: Chapter 13
  • Second Bankruptcy Filing: Chapter 13

You must wait 2 years from the first filing, to file the second application

  • First Bankruptcy Filing: Chapter 13
  • Second Bankruptcy Filing: Chapter 7

You must wait 6 years from the first filing, to file the second application

Schedule a Consultation Today!

Filing Bankruptcy Before The Legal Limit in North Carolina

Although the guidelines above are the legal limits, you may be eligible to file a second time even earlier. If you’ve paid back a high percentage of unsecured debts owed (like credit card debts), you might be able to work with a Greensboro, North Carolina bankruptcy attorney to file sooner. However, it’s important to note that bankruptcy is a complicated process and your experience may vary.

In most cases, you’ll only need to wait to file a second time if your debts from the first filing were discharged. For example, if you decided not to follow through with the bankruptcy filing or your case was rejected, you probably won’t need to wait the full 2 - 6 years to attempt a second filing. Make an appointment with your attorney to go over the details of your particular case and determine if you can file sooner.