How Many Times Can I File Bankruptcy?

File BankruptcyIf you are contemplating filing bankruptcy then hopefully after receiving your discharge you will never need to file another case.  However, if you are in need of debt relief a second time you will be happy to learn that there is no limit on how many times a person can file bankruptcy and receive a discharge.  There are limits on how often a debtor can receive a discharge.

Debtors who file Chapter 7 bankruptcy and receive a discharge cannot file another Chapter 7 case for 8 years from the date of filing of the first case.  The time is calculated from filing date to filing date.  It doesn’t matter when you receive a discharge in the first case.  Debtors with a prior Chapter 7 discharge cannot receive a discharge in Chapter 13 bankruptcy for four years, but they can file the case immediately in order to receive automatic stay protection and protect property.  Debtors sometimes receive a Chapter 7 discharge to wipe out credit card debt and then immediately file Chapter 13 bankruptcy to protect a house from foreclosure and cure mortgage arrears.  They won’t receive a discharge in the second case but they can use it to protect their property and get current on their payments.

Debtors who file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case and receive a discharge cannot file another Chapter 13 case for 2 years.  If a debtor has a prior Chapter 13 discharge then they have to wait six years to file a subsequent Chapter 7 case, unless they paid at least 70% of the unsecured creditors listed in the prior case.

The reason behind these time limitations is to prevent serial filers from abusing the Bankruptcy Code.  The Code requires debtors to not be in bankruptcy for a certain amount of time in between cases.  To find out how these rules affect your ability to file bankruptcy, contact a Richardson TX bankruptcy lawyer.