If you’ve filed bankruptcy before, can you file again? How often can you file bankruptcy? The answer depends on a variety of factors, including what type of bankruptcy you filed in the past and whether or not it was dismissed.
What Are the Limitations on Filing Bankruptcy?
Although there are no limits on how many times you can file bankruptcy during your lifetime, there is a limit on how often you can get a discharge. That limit depends on the type of bankruptcy you previously filed and the type you hope to file this time.
Also, if you file bankruptcy more than once in a 12-month period and then dismiss it, the benefits you get from bankruptcy may be limited. For example, the automatic stay that stops or delays legal actions against you during bankruptcy may be eliminated or reduced in length. Creditors may not want to negotiate with you to establish a new payment plan if you have filed bankruptcy and dismissed it frequently.
What Is a Bankruptcy Discharge?
When your debts are wiped out at the end of your bankruptcy case, this is called a discharge. In most personal bankruptcies, almost all debt is discharged after some has been repaid to creditors.
Bankruptcy discharge does appear on your credit; however, it does not show that you still owe the creditor money. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge remains on your report for 10 years and a Chapter 13 discharge remains for seven years. The discharge will eventually be removed from your credit report and you will owe nothing.
How Often Can You File Bankruptcy and Get a Discharge?
The frequency with which you can get a bankruptcy discharge depends on what type you filed in the past and what type you want to file now.
If you previously filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and you want to file:
- Chapter 7: You must wait at least eight years.
- Chapter 13: You must wait at least four years.
If you previously filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and you want to file:
- Chapter 7: You must wait six years. However, there are exceptions if you have paid all or some of your unsecured debts through the Chapter 13 payment plan.
- Chapter 13: You must wait two years.
The length of time for your discharge is measured between the date on which you originally filed bankruptcy and the new date on which you are filing a new case.
Filing a New Bankruptcy Petition If Your Previous Case Was Dismissed
If your previous case was dismissed instead of discharged, you may still have to adhere to time limitations.
If your case was dismissed with prejudice, you must wait at least 180 days to file a new bankruptcy case. A dismissal with prejudice indicates that court orders were disobeyed, there was a delay in the case, or multiple filings were submitted. The system may have been abused in some way and the court is dismissing the case because of it.
If it was dismissed without prejudice, you can file a new bankruptcy case immediately.
Speak to a Middletown OH Bankruptcy Lawyer to Learn More
If you are considering filing bankruptcy again, contact Andrade Law Office LLC today. We can help you understand your options and determine the best path moving foward.