How Often Can You File for Bankruptcy?
The waiting period between bankruptcies is based on the date the previous case was filed, not the discharge date, and whether you received a discharge.
If your previous case was a Chapter 7 and you received a discharge, you must wait eight years from the filing date to file another Chapter 7 or four years from the filing date to file a Chapter 13.
If your previous case was a Chapter 13 and you received a discharge, you must wait six years from the filing date to file a Chapter 7 or two years from the filing date to file another Chapter 13. Considering Chapter 13 Plans generally run for a minimum of three years, it is possible to get a discharge in a Chapter 13 and immediately refile another Chapter 13 case.
As with every rule, there are some exceptions. If, for example, your Chapter 13 paid 100% of the allowed unsecured claims or 70% of the allowed unsecured claims and you can show you gave your best effort in a Plan filed in good faith, you can file a subsequent Chapter 7 without waiting six years.
On occasion, it may be beneficial to file a Chapter 13 even if you are not eligible for a discharge. This may be an effective way to stop the foreclosure of your home and catch up the missed mortgage payments.
If you believe you may benefit from a bankruptcy filing, but you are not sure if you are eligible to file, contact one of our bankruptcy attorneys to discuss your options.