How Often Can You File Bankruptcy?
Can You File for Bankruptcy Multiple Times?
There are no limits to how many times you can file for bankruptcy, even if you have received a discharge before. If you want to file for bankruptcy again, you will need to wait a certain amount of time before you are able to discharge your debts again. If you file for bankruptcy before the time limits have passed, then it is likely you will not receive a full discharge.
Your ability to file another bankruptcy and thus receive a discharge are dependent on these things:
- The type of bankruptcy you have previously filed
- The type of bankruptcy you are seeking to file
- How your previous bankruptcy was finalized: either through discharge, dismissal, or dismissal with prejudice
- When you previously filed.
At RHM LAW LLP , we can evaluate your financial situation and advise whether you are eligible to file bankruptcy under any chapter of the Bankruptcy Code. From our offices in Los Angeles and Encino, our attorneys have helped thousands of clients throughout Southern California overcome financial hurdles. We are happy to meet with you in a free consultation and answer all your questions about repeat bankruptcy filings.
How Often Can Someone File for Bankruptcy?
- Previously Filed Chapter 7 and Filing Chapter 7 Again: If you received a discharge in Chapter 7, you must wait 8 years from the date you filed that case before you can file another Chapter 7 and receive a discharge. The law allows you to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy once every eight years, up to a total of three times in your life.
- Previously Filed Chapter 13 and Filing Chapter 13 Again: If you received a discharge in Chapter 13, you must wait 2 years from the date you filed that case before you can file another Chapter 13 and receive a discharge. It typically takes three to five years for a Chapter 13 to be complete. Once your first Chapter 13 is closed, you can be eligible for discharge in another Chapter 13 filing. There is no limit to how many times you can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Even if you are currently ineligible to file Chapter 7, you may be able to find relief through Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
- Previously Filed Chapter 7 and Filing Chapter 13 Now: If you received a discharge in Chapter 7, you must wait 4 years from the date you filed before you proceed with a Chapter 13.This is often called a Chapter 20 bankruptcy, and can be effective for paying off priority debts or catching up on a missed mortgage.
- Previously Filed Chapter 13 and Filing Chapter 7 Now: If you received a discharge in Chapter 13, you must wait 6 years from the date you filed your previous case before you can file Chapter 7. However, the six year limit does not apply if, during the Chapter 13 you: 1) paid back all of your unsecured debts, or 2) paid back at least 70% of unsecured debts and your plan was proposed in good faith and your best effort.
As an example, you could file Chapter 7 bankruptcy to eliminate most of your unsecured debt. At some point down the road, you could file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which would allow you to reduce certain payments, eliminate a second mortgage, removal all junior liens and pay off specific debts more quickly than without filing.
Was Your Bankruptcy Case Dismissed with Prejudice Restrictions?
A bankruptcy court can prohibit you from filing another bankruptcy case if the court dismisses your previous bankruptcy with prejudice. “Dismissed with Prejudice” typically means that you failed to obey the court’s orders or tried to abuse the bankruptcy system.
If this happens, a bankruptcy court can prohibit you from filing for another bankruptcy for a longer period of time than those specified above. A court is also able to forever preclude you from discharging debts that might have been discharged in the case that was dismissed with prejudice.
Experienced California Bankruptcy Lawyers
Have you previously filed for bankruptcy relief and are now wondering if you are eligible to file again? The attorneys at RHM LAW LLP can help. Call (213) 344-0043, or contact our firm online to arrange a free consultation.
Our bankruptcy professionals meet with clients from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Weekend appointments are also available.
Se habla español · Payment Plans Available
M. Jonathan Hayes Senior Counsel
Matt D. Resnik | Managing Partner Certified Bankruptcy Specialist
Roksana D. Moradi-Brovia | Partner Certified Bankruptcy Specialist
W. Sloan Youkstetter | Associate Attorney Certified Bankruptcy Specialist
Russell J. Stong III | Associate Attorney Certified Bankruptcy Specialist
David M. Kritzer Associate Attorney
Committed to making the process as stress-free as possible for our clients, our Los Angeles bankruptcy attorneys and dedicated staff will handle everything for you. From filling out paperwork through getting end results, we will work to help your case run smoothly and efficiently. We serve our clients in English, Spanish and Farsi.