So, can you file for bankruptcy more than once? The answer is yes! There is no limit to the number of times you can file for bankruptcy in your lifetime. This is because lawmakers understand that financial crises can happen more than once, and people may need to file for bankruptcy again.
However, there are limits to the number of bankruptcy discharges you can receive within a certain period. This means that while you can file for bankruptcy again, whether or not you qualify for a discharge depends on your previous bankruptcy filing.
If you've received a discharge in a previous bankruptcy case, the time between filings determines if you qualify for another discharge. For example, if your previous discharge was under Chapter 7, you must wait eight years before you can receive another Chapter 7 discharge. If you received a Chapter 13 discharge, you must wait six years before filing for another Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 discharge.
It's important to note that even if you don't qualify for a discharge, filing for bankruptcy can still provide relief from debt collection efforts and give you time to catch up on payments. Speaking with a bankruptcy attorney can help you understand your options and determine the best course of action for your situation.
How Often Can You Receive a Bankruptcy Discharge?
Are you considering filing for bankruptcy but unsure if you're eligible? The rules can be complicated, but we're here to help. One crucial factor is how recently you received a bankruptcy discharge. If it was within a certain time frame, you may not be eligible to file again. But don't worry, we have a free tool that can help you figure out when you may be able to file for bankruptcy again. Simply use our calculator below to estimate your eligibility and which chapter you may be eligible to file. It's quick, easy, and can save you a lot of time and hassle.
What is a Bankruptcy Discharge?
Are you struggling to pay off debts that seem impossible to manage? Filing for bankruptcy may be the solution you need. By filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case, you can eliminate debts that you cannot afford to pay.
When you file for bankruptcy relief, you can receive a court order called a bankruptcy discharge that eliminates your legal liability to repay certain debts. This means that creditors cannot take any actions to collect a debt that is discharged through bankruptcy.
Most debts are eligible for discharge, including medical debts, credit card bills, personal loans, old rent payments, and most personal judgments. However, some debts such as tax debts, alimony, student loans, child support, and debts owed to the government are not dischargeable in bankruptcy.
It's important to note that a bankruptcy discharge does not eliminate a secured lien on property. This means that you cannot discharge a mortgage or car loan through bankruptcy. However, you could forfeit the property and fully satisfy the loan if you do not want to continue loan payments.
Without a bankruptcy discharge, filing for bankruptcy relief can be a waste of time and money. You would still owe all your debts even though you filed for bankruptcy. However, there are instances in which filing another bankruptcy, even without a discharge, could be beneficial. For example, you can stretch out undischarged debts by filing a Chapter 13 immediately after a Chapter 7. Keep in mind that filing bankruptcy again soon can be tricky, so it's best to consult an experienced bankruptcy attorney before attempting back-to-back filings.
Understanding the 2-4-6-8 Rule
So, you're considering filing for bankruptcy again, but you're not sure if there's a waiting period between discharges. The short answer is yes, there is a waiting period, and it depends on a few factors.
The waiting period between bankruptcies is determined by the type of bankruptcy you previously filed and the type you want to file now. This is known as the 2-4-6-8 Rule. If you received a bankruptcy discharge in your previous case, you must wait a certain number of years before you can receive another discharge.
The waiting period between bankruptcy discharges is as follows:
- Two Years — (Chapter 13 to Chapter 13) — The waiting period between two Chapter 13 discharges is two years.
- Four Years — (Chapter 7 to Chapter 13) — The waiting period between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 discharges is four years.
- Six Years — (Chapter 13 to Chapter 7) — The waiting period between Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 discharges is six years.
- Eight Years — (Chapter 7 to Chapter 7) — The waiting period between two Chapter 7 discharges is eight years.
It's important to note that the waiting period is calculated from the filing date of your previous bankruptcy case, not the discharge date. So, if you're considering filing for bankruptcy again, make sure you understand which waiting period applies to your situation.
While filing for bankruptcy multiple times may seem daunting, it's important to remember that bankruptcy can provide a fresh start and relief from overwhelming debt. If you're struggling with debt, consider speaking with a bankruptcy attorney to explore your options.
What About Cases That Did Not Receive a Discharge?
If you didn't receive a discharge in your previous bankruptcy filing, you might be able to file for another bankruptcy case and receive a discharge in a shorter waiting period. For instance, if the court dismissed your previous bankruptcy case, you could be eligible for a bankruptcy discharge in as little as 180 days. However, if the court denied your bankruptcy discharge, you may not be able to discharge the debts listed in your previous bankruptcy case, even if you file another bankruptcy case.
It's always best to consult with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer before filing for bankruptcy again if your case was dismissed or your bankruptcy discharge was denied. These unique circumstances can affect the general time limits between bankruptcy discharges.
Explore Your Debt Relief Options Before Talking to an Attorney
When it comes to filing for bankruptcy, the frequency of filing depends on the chapter you previously filed and when you plan to file for bankruptcy. You can use the calculator below to estimate this information for your specific situation:
We can review your specific financial information and help you understand your options. Don't let debt weigh you down - let us help you find the best solution to get back on track.