Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Am I Allowed To File Bankruptcy More Than Once?

ome things in life are not single occurrences, but happen more than once. To prove this point all you have to do is take a look around at how many families have multiple children, or look at your own past to see how many jobs you have had over recent years. Some of the things that come back around are welcome, while others are less desirable. One of the least desirable repeat occurrences a person can deal with is that of falling behind on payments and suffering financial losses. But, in today’s economy it is not uncommon to be laid off from job after job, or to make less now than what you were making a few years ago. If this is your situation, it might be that the first time around you were able to start over by filing bankruptcy, and you could be wondering if that is an option again. There are restrictions on how often you can file bankruptcy, but it is something that does happen.

Filing bankruptcy more than once is permitted as follows:

         If you have received a Chapter 7 discharge, you cannot receive another Chapter 7 discharge for 8 years. This does not mean you cannot refile a Chapter 7, but the benefit of filing is the discharge so if you just got a discharge it is not helpful to file again right away.

         If you have received a Chapter 13 discharge, you cannot receive another Chapter 13 discharge for 2 years. Again, the timing is important here because the goal of filing bankruptcy is to discharge your debt, and if discharge is not permitted for several years you might want to consider other alternatives.

There are also rules about filing a different chapter case after having received a discharge, and those rules are complex. In order to figure out if you can file a Chapter 7 after having received a Chapter 13 discharge, things like whether the unsecured creditors received full payment in your Chapter 13 and whether your cases are filed in good faith are considered. The rules can get tricky, and several technicalities could arise. In order to learn whether you can refile, it is best to seek the advice of a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney. Our office can look at the facts of your case, and let you know your options.

If you have more questions about bankruptcy and how often you can file, contact us at We will help by coming up with solutions that work for you and have multiple locations to meet your needs for office visits.

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