Unless a bankruptcy court has given specific orders, individuals can file bankruptcy an unlimited number of times. When people ask how many times can you file for bankruptcy, they must be aware of a few things. For example, if the courts have discharged debts in another bankruptcy case, you will have to wait before you will be able to discharge the debt again.
The decision of whether you can file again and receive another discharge will be dependent on several factors including:
- The chapter of bankruptcy you previously filed
- The chapter of bankruptcy you want to file
- The outcome of your last bankruptcy (discharged, dismissed with prejudice, dismissed)
- When the last case was filed
When asking how many times can you file for bankruptcy, you will need to keep in mind that there are restrictions. There are regulations in place to determine when you are eligible for another discharge. This will depend on whether you previously filed Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 and which chapter you want to file now.
For example, if you previously filed Chapter 7 and you want to file for Chapter 7 again, you will need to wait 8 years from the date of the last filing.
If you previously filed Chapter 13 and you want to file for Chapter 13 again, you will need to wait at least two years after you filed the last case before you can file and receive another discharge.
If you filed Chapter 7 and now want to file Chapter 13, you can be eligible for a discharge. But, you must wait four years after the filing date of the Chapter 7 case. Finally, if you previously filed Chapter 13 and you want to file for Chapter 7, the new filing must be at least 6 years after the first filing.
Dismissed With Prejudice
There are also limitations if the courts dismissed with prejudice your initial bankruptcy filing. The court can decide to prohibit you from filing for a certain period of time. This time is in addition to the discharge limitations that are in place. A case can be dismissed with prejudice if you fail to comply with court orders, delay creditors by filing multiple cases or attempt to abuse the system.
So, how many times can you file for bankruptcy? You can file an unrestricted number of times. However, there are limitations in place to prevent abuse by extending the time between discharges.
Are you thinking about filing for bankruptcy? Have you filed for bankruptcy in the past? Schedule a free consultation so we can discuss your options.