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How Many Times Can You File Bankruptcy in Illinois?

How Many Times Can You File Bankruptcy in Illinois?

Filing for bankruptcy isn’t something that anyone ever expects to have to do. But when hard times arise, it may be the best option for you and your family. If your financial obligations are piling up, and it feels like there’s no way out, bankruptcy can be the light at the end of the tunnel.

A common question is how many times you’re able to file in Illinois, and how often. It’s important to understand Illinois laws if you decide that filing is the best choice for you. While it’s possible to file on your own, it’s strongly recommended that you use an experienced lawyer to assist you.

How Often Can You File Bankruptcy In Illinois?

Many people don’t know that there is actually no limit on the number of times you can file for bankruptcy. This doesn’t mean it should be the solution every time you’re in financial trouble, but if you find yourself in a situation multiple times where the bankruptcy process seems to be the best option, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Just keep in mind that there are other conditions and requirements that must be met when determining how many times and how often you can file.

Conditions And Requirements

While there are no rules restricting the number of times you can file in Illinois, there are other qualifications that must be met before you can declare bankruptcy for a second time.

For instance, you must receive credit counseling from an approved agency within 180 days before filing.

Additionally, to file Chapter 7 in Illinois, your income cannot exceed a certain level. To qualify, you must pass what the “means test,” which evaluates your income records and your expenses. If your household and disposable incomes are too high, you won’t qualify for Chapter 7.

Waiting Period

While there is no limit on how many times you can file for bankruptcy in Illinois, there are required waiting periods. These waiting periods will vary depending on the type you filed last and which type you want to file now.

In most cases, the following waiting periods apply:

  • 7 to 7: 8 years
  • 7 to 13: 4 years
  • 13 to 13: 2 years
  • 13 to 7: 6 years

What Are The Consequences?

It’s important to note that filing for bankruptcy will initially lower your credit score. And while the filing will stay on your credit report for up to 10 years, many people actually improve their credit long-term by filing.

Many people who file for bankruptcy in Illinois have been paying their debts late for a while and often have severely delinquent accounts. In other words, their credit scores are already low. That’s why our clients often see their scores dramatically increase after they discharge their debts.

While there are some negative consequences to filing, the positives usually outweigh the initial hit to your credit. It can take time for your credit score to recover, but bankruptcy is often the best way to get back on your feet.

The skilled Illinois lawyers at DebtStoppers are ready to answer your questions. Even if you are unsure if you qualify or still deciding if it’s right for you, schedule your free no-risk consultation today to discuss your options with a member of our team.