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How Often Can I File for Bankruptcy?

If you are experiencing financial problems, you may be wondering how often you can file for bankruptcy. The short answer is, it depends if you received a discharge in a prior bankruptcy. If your debts were not discharged, you can file as many times as you like. However, if you received a prior discharge, revisions to the bankruptcy code in 2005 set strict limits on when you can reapply. You can file for bankruptcy two or more times if you allow the required time to lapse between filings. The amount of time depends on what chapter you filed in your prior bankruptcies.

To re-file after receiving a Chapter 7 discharge:

  • Wait eight years to file Chapter 7 again.
  • Wait four years to file for Chapter 13. If you file for Chapter 13 before the four years have elapsed since you filed for your original Chapter 7, your unsecured debt is not discharged. 

To re-file after receiving a Chapter 13 discharge:

  • Wait six years to file for Chapter 7 if you received a full discharge.
  • If you have paid at least 70 percent or more of your unsecured debts under Chapter 13, you can still file for Chapter 7 after six years and receive a full discharge for your first filing.
  • If you have paid off less than 70 percent of your unsecured debts under Chapter 13 when you re-file, you cannot receive a full discharge.
  • You may reapply for Chapter 13 two years after your previous filing.

The waiting time is counted starting from the date of your prior filing, not the discharge date.  

The Atlanta, GA bankruptcy attorneys at DebtStoppers help clients evaluate their debt options in order to make informed decisions. Contact their office today at 404-796-7161 to schedule a free initial appointment and take the first step to financial freedom.