How Many Times Can I File Bankruptcy?

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How Many Times Can I File Bankruptcy?

Life happens.  Oftentimes, financial hardship can hit a person more than once during a lifetime.  If you have filed bankruptcy before, and debt is piling up again, bankruptcy is probably still available to you as an exit strategy.  So, the question is, how many times can you file bankruptcy?  As with many things in the law, the answer is, “It depends.”

Chapter 7 after Chapter 7

If you pass the means test and received a discharge in your previous case, you are permitted to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy once every eight years. 

Chapter 7 after Chapter 13

If you are able to file Chapter 7, and you previously filed Chapter 13, the waiting period is six years.

Chapter 13 after Chapter 7

If you do not pass the means test, or you own non-exempt property, then you may consider filing Chapter 13.  If you previously filed a Chapter 7, then the waiting period to file a Chapter 13 is four years.

Chapter 13 after Chapter 13

You can file a Chapter 13 again with a two-year waiting period.

If you did not receive a discharge in your previous case in any of the above scenarios, then you may not have to wait to file again.  Whether there will be a waiting period depends on the reason you did not receive a discharge in your previous case.

Other Considerations

Although you may be allowed to file some type of bankruptcy several times in your life, you should carefully weight the consequences before filing.  In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, some of your property may be subject to liquidation.  In a Chapter 13, you are locked into a repayment plan for three to five years.  Both bankruptcy types have an impact on your credit, which may affect your ability to get credit in the future.  Before taking any action, consult with one of our bankruptcy attorneys by calling 602-466-9631 or click https://calendly.com/hilltoplawfirm/initial-consultation-web.

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