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How Often Can You File Bankruptcy?


Have you already been through the process of bankruptcy but are still struggling to get out of debt? You may want to consider filing for bankruptcy, again.

While the bankruptcy process is relatively straight forward, things may become a little more complicated if circumstances in your life have changed and you need to file another bankruptcy case. Working with an attorney who will help you navigate the process makes things much easier. One of the most common questions when dealing with Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy is, "When can I file another bankruptcy case?"

We're going to address that question in this post and help you figure out what your options are. Let's get started.

How Often Can You File Bankruptcy?

In short, you can file for bankruptcy as often as you need to, with few restrictions. There are, however, certain time constraints that apply to how often you can receive a bankruptcy discharge. If you file too soon, you may not be eligible to discharge your debts.

There are several possible scenarios when considering a second bankruptcy and in determining how long you must wait in between cases for a discharge. The main questions you need to ask to get the right answer are:

  • What type of bankruptcy did you file first, Chapter 7 or Chapter 13?

  • Are you planning on filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy this time?

  • What is the status of your previous bankruptcy? Has it been discharged?

Prior Bankruptcy Status

Successfully Discharged Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

If you're looking to file another Chapter 7 bankruptcy, then you need to wait 8 years from the date you filed your previously discharged Chapter 7.

If you want to file Chapter 13, you need to wait 4 years from the date that you filed your previous Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

You can file for either type sooner than the stated waiting period. However, you may not be eligible to receive a discharge (cancellation) your debts. It’s best to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to get a full understanding of the pros and cons to this.

Successfully Discharged Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

If you’re planning to file another Chapter 13 bankruptcy, then you only need to wait 2 years from the date that you filed the initial discharged Chapter 13.

When looking to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy after a Chapter 13 you need to wait 6 years from the date that you filed the Chapter 13. There are exceptions to this rule as well that may allow you to file even sooner, so if this situation applies to you, seek consultation from a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney.

No Discharge, No Problem

When you file for a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy and do not get a discharge, then you can file another case under either type of bankruptcy. Depending on the circumstances of your case, there may be a 180 day waiting period. Additionally, debts that were included in your previous bankruptcy might not be eligible for discharge under your new bankruptcy.

Talk To a Bankruptcy Lawyer

If you need further clarification on this or any other bankruptcy related questions call the Law Office of Marilyn D. Garner today at (817) 381-9292 for a FREE consultation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. We can help you assess your options and move forward with a plan that will get you back on your feet.

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