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If you have filed for bankruptcy once can you file a second time?

Bankruptcy is meant as a second chance for Tennesseans who find themselves in a financial struggle, whether because of runaway medical bills, a business venture gone awry or some other cause. But sometimes a second chance is not enough. Sometimes a person gets sick again or tries another promising business that ultimately does not work. In these, and other instances, a person may need a third chance. Does bankruptcy law give hope for those in need of a third chance?

In a word, yes. Bankruptcy law allows people to file for bankruptcy more than once. But there's a catch. While Tennesseans can file for more than one bankruptcy, there's a waiting period between each bankruptcy. Thus, a person cannot file for bankruptcy repeatedly over a short span. They must wait before they can file again.

How long is the waiting period? For Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a person can only file every eight years. By contrast, the waiting period for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is shorter. But whereas a Chapter 7 bankruptcy may wipe out all of a person's debt, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a longer process in which a person will create a debt-repayment plan and then make payments consistent with that plan for three-to-five years before any debt can be discharged.

Disparities in the waiting period between filing again for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy is just one of the many complexities lurking to trip up Tennesseans as they go through the bankruptcy process. To learn how to navigate the bankruptcy without stumbling over these unseen dangers, Tennesseans may benefit from speaking with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.

Source: Bankrate, "Too soon to file for bankruptcy again?" Justin Harelik, Accessed Dec. 20, 2016

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Mark T. Young & Associates
2895 Northpoint Blvd.
Hixson, TN 37343

Toll Free: 888-376-0282
Phone: 423-933-1606
Fax: 423-877-0363
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