You can make multiple bankruptcy filings; however, there may be time limits related to when you can file and obtain a debt discharge. The timelines for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 differ, so you should consult with a bankruptcy attorney before making any decisions about filing. Call Gregory J. Wald Attorney at Law today at (952) 921-5802.
How Many Times Can I File Bankruptcy?
There is actually no limit on how many times you can file bankruptcy. You can file an unlimited number of times.
However, there are time limits on when you can receive a debt discharge. Thus, if you file bankruptcy too soon after receiving a discharge, you may not be eligible for discharge again.
What Is Debt Discharge?
Debt discharge is the elimination or forgiveness of all or most of your debt. This is often the goal of Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, you may also discharge some of your debt through Chapter 13 after your payment plan.
Time Limits for Debt Discharge
If you previously filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and you are again filing Chapter 7, then you must wait eight years from the filing date of the first case before filing the second case. If you do not wait, then you will not be eligible to discharge your debt again.
If you previously filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and you are again filing Chapter 13, then you must wait two years before filing your next bankruptcy in order to be eligible for another discharge.
If you filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and you are now seeking to file a Chapter 7, then you must wait six years from the date you filed the Chapter 13 before you can get a discharge through a new Chapter 7. However, if you paid all of your unsecured debts in full through the Chapter 13 or if you paid at least 70% of them in good faith and made your best effort, you may be able to file earlier.
If you previously filed a Chapter 7 and now you want to file a Chapter 13, you must wait four years from the date you filed the Chapter 7.
You Might Want to File Bankruptcy Without Obtaining a Discharge
Although there are timelines for debt discharge, there are situations when you might want to file bankruptcy before the time limits. For example, if you are trying to stop an eviction, repossession, or other legal action, then you might need to file bankruptcy right away.
Bankruptcy stops all legal actions against you and forces the creditors to work within the bankruptcy structure to obtain repayment.
If you file a Chapter 7 and obtain a discharge, then file a Chapter 13 soon thereafter, you may be able to set up a repayment plan with fewer debts. This strategy can be beneficial for people who have nondischargeable debts, such as child support and alimony arrears, tax debt, student loans, and more.
Contact a Bankruptcy Attorney For Help
If you have questions about multiple bankruptcy filings and when you can file again, contact Gregory J. Wald Attorney at Law at (952) 921-5802.