Often, bankruptcy is a path to an improved financial future. At the conclusion of Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the court discharges the filer’s remaining debt. This clean slate allows the debtor to start new spending habits, begin rebuilding credit, and save wages and other income. Not everyone’s post NY bankruptcy transition is so smooth.
After a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in NY, some debtors find themselves falling back on bad habits and incurring new obligations. If this additional debt goes unpaid then filing for a second bankruptcy might seem like a good idea. The question is: can an individual file for NY bankruptcy more than once?
Filing for a Subsequent NY Bankruptcy
A debtor can file for NY bankruptcy as many times as needed or necessary. There are no restrictions in the federal bankruptcy laws or NY state law that prevent filing for a subsequent bankruptcy. In theory, someone could file for NY bankruptcy seven, eight, or even nine times. However, it is very unlikely that the same person will file for individual bankruptcy more than two times.
While there isn’t any direct or explicit restriction on filing for subsequent bankruptcies, the Bankruptcy Act does place some restrictions on the timing and procedure for filing for a subsequent bankruptcy.
Restrictions on a Second NY Bankruptcy
The main restriction on a second or subsequent NY bankruptcy is a mandatory time limit between the discharge of your initial bankruptcy and any subsequent filing. If your first bankruptcy was discharged by the court, which is the elimination of all your qualified debts at the end of Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Discharge of qualified debts occurs through an official order from the federal bankruptcy court.
You must wait eight years from the date you filed for of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy to file for another NY bankruptcy, whether the subsequent bankruptcy is under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. For example, if you filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in October 2011 and your NY bankruptcy was discharged in March 2012, then you can’t file for a subsequent bankruptcy until October 2019.
On the other hand, you can file for a subsequent NY bankruptcy four years from the date you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In this instance, if you filed for a first Chapter 13 bankruptcy on October 2011 and your debts weren’t discharged until November 2014, you were still eligible to file for a subsequent bankruptcy as of October 2015.
While these timing restrictions are extremely important to your subsequent NY bankruptcy, they aren’t finite. You can actually file for a second or third bankruptcy before these time limitations have expired or you receive a discharge of your first bankruptcy, but the outcome of your subsequent bankruptcy will be different.
No Discharge of Debt in Subsequent Bankruptcy
If you choose to file for a subsequent bankruptcy before the eight or four-year time restrictions are over, you should only do after careful consultation with an NY bankruptcy lawyer. Filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in contradiction of these timing requirements means the outstanding debts from your subsequent bankruptcy aren’t discharged. Even after completing all NY bankruptcy requirements, your debts from the second or third bankruptcy will remain.
Another common question from bankruptcy clients is whether you can file for a second or third bankruptcy if you didn’t receive a discharge in your first case. The answer is yes, you can. If the federal court didn’t discharge your first bankruptcy, you can file for another NY bankruptcy without concern for the timing restrictions.
Denial of NY Bankruptcy Filing
An additional bankruptcy could be denied for other reasons. A bankruptcy court in NY could deny an NY bankruptcy petition if the bankruptcy is an attempt to defraud the federal government or creditors, there are lies or falsities in the bankruptcy petition, or the NY bankruptcy petition is an attempt to hide or destroy certain information.
Do you need more information on a second or third NY bankruptcy? Our NY bankruptcy practice located in Goshen, NY can help. You can reach our legal team by calling (845) 294-3596.
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