The short answer to this question: as long as the bankruptcy court hasn’t barred you from filing again, no limit exists on the number of times you can file for bankruptcy, nor is there a limit on the time frame between filings.
It’s important to remember, however, that if there is not sufficient time between filings, you may not be eligible for “discharge.”
So why would someone want to file for bankruptcy again?
In cases where a debtor has an asset that they want to use to pay off creditors, they may be able to file another chapter 7 for this purpose. Filing chapter 7 allows the trustee to liquidate previously unattainable assets (lawsuits, insurance claims, etc.) to pay off debts. The debtor may not get a good value for their asset(s) as the trustee may only focus on getting enough money for the asset to pay off creditors, but it may be worth it to the debtor to have the debts paid and gain peace of mind.
Another example where someone may want to file for bankruptcy a second time is when the debtor has non-dischargeable taxes or student loans remaining after the first bankruptcy. By filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy the debtor would be protected from wage garnishments, levies, or lawsuits for the next 5 years, even though they would not receive a discharge at the end of the 5 years. It’s also possible that at the 5 year date the debtor might be eligible to eliminate the debt by filing another chapter 13 or chapter 7 bankruptcy.
How long do I have to wait to file bankruptcy again if I want to be eligible for discharge?
If you are hoping to obtain a discharge of debt, the following time frames are required to qualify for discharge eligibility. Note that time between bankruptcies is counted from filing to filing — not from first discharge to second filing.
8 years between two chapter 7 bankruptcy filings.
2 years between two chapter 13 bankruptcy filings.
4 years between a chapter 7 and chapter 13 filing.
6 years between a chapter 13 and chapter 7 filing (if you have paid less than 70% of the claims).
Filing for a second bankruptcy is a complex decision; it’s critical to consult with an expert to be sure you choose the option that is best for your specific financial and life situation. The knowledgeable and professional team at Amanda Todd Daniels will draft a plan, negotiate with your creditors, and handle the legal process so that you can focus on other areas in your life. Read more about their bankruptcy process here.
During your first free consultation with Amanda Daniels, she will go over your financial situation in detail in order to determine if filing bankruptcy is a viable option for you. Contact her today at (662) 678-8009 to request a consultation.