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How Many Times Can You File Bankruptcy?

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In 2006, American Bankruptcy Institute found out that about 8% of bankruptcy filers usually file bankruptcy again. Therefore, if you find yourself in a financial situation you cannot resolve, know that you’ll not be the first to file for bankruptcy twice or even thrice.

But how many times can you file bankruptcy? At JPP Law, we know how confusing bankruptcy law can be. That’s why we’ve put together this helpful guide for you.


How Many Times Can You File Bankruptcy?

No laws limit the number of times you can seek bankruptcy protection from a court. However, the Bankruptcy Code specifies how long it should take you to file for bankruptcy again after filing for one previously and receiving a discharge. This helps protect the bankruptcy process from abuse, as people cannot file for bankruptcy as they wish.

The only exception occurs to individuals who never received a discharge. If you’re such a person, you can file for bankruptcy again anytime later because the limits we are about to discuss below don’t affect you.

You can file for bankruptcy several times (ideally 2-3) even after receiving a discharge some time back. As long as you wait for that specified period in between filing and receiving a discharge, you’re good to go. 

If you file before the time limit expires, you won’t be entitled to discharge. What’s more, your existing debts will survive bankruptcy.


What are the Time Limits?

What happens when you go bankrupt is that a time limit begins counting down, starting from when you filed your bankruptcy case with the court. This time limit restricts how soon you can file for bankruptcy again.

All the time limits applying to various bankruptcies are as per the U.S. Code, under Title 11.


Successive Chapter 7 Bankruptcies

If you already have a discharge in a previous Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, it’ll take you eight years before you can file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy again. This is as per Title 11, Section 727 of the U.S. Code.

Of all the time limits between consecutive cases, this is the longest.


Chapter 7 Bankruptcy to Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Under Chapter 11, Section 1328 of the U.S. code, if you had filed for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you must wait four years before filing for a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. 

Remember, you must have received a discharge in that Chapter 7 bankruptcy for this limit to apply.


Successive Chapter 13 Bankruptcies

According to Title 11 Section 1328 of the U.S Code, you must wait for not less than two years from the last time you filed for your last case before you can file for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy again and receive a discharge.


Chapter 13 Bankruptcy to Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

The waiting period between a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is six years. This is what Title 11 Section 727 of the U.S Code requires. 

The only exception to the waiting period is if you paid your unsecured loans in full, or at least 70% of the same, and filed the Chapter 13 plan trying your best and in good faith.


Get Help from a Professional Bankruptcy Lawyer

As long as you stick to the time limits between bankruptcies, feel free to apply again to save yourself from the current financial challenges.

Do you need help filing for bankruptcy in Stroudsburg? JPP Law’s bankruptcy attorneys can help you navigate the filing process and understand the timelines better. 

Get A Free Consultation Today