How Often Can I File for Bankruptcy?
In our practice we meet all types of people. We meet people that have never previously filed for bankruptcy and people that have filed for bankruptcy multiple times. We want you to know, that no matter the circumstance, you are in good hands and we will help you through every step of the way. Our clients often want to know how often an individual can file for bankruptcy. The truth is that an individual can file for bankruptcy as often as he or she would like. However, there are certain time limitations for receiving a discharge. Basically, there are rules that govern when an individual is eligible for a second discharge, as follows:
? If the individual previously filed a Chapter 7 he or she is not eligible for a subsequent Chapter 7 discharge for eight years after the filing date.
? If the individual previously filed a Chapter 13 he or she is not eligible for a Chapter 7 discharge for six years after the filing date.
? If the individual previously filed a Chapter 7 he or she is not eligible for a Chapter 13 discharge for four years after the filing date.
? If the individual previously filed a Chapter 13 he or she is not eligible for a subsequent Chapter 13 discharge for eight years after the filing date.
It is important to understand a few other issues surrounding these rules. First, the time period is measured from filing date to filing date. This means that it doesn’t matter when the debt was discharged. It only matters when you filed. Rest assured, we will check this before we file your case to ensure there are not any issues. Second, these rules only apply if debt was discharged. There are a number of situations where debt is not discharged. For example, if your bankruptcy was dismissed or if all of your unsecured creditors were paid in full by the conclusion of your bankruptcy through the plan. Now, if your case was dismissed there may be some other issues for us to discuss. There are waiting periods for re-filing in certain situations, which can be up to 180 days, depending on the situation. If your discharge was denied you may not be entitled to a discharge of debts listed in the first case.
If a discharge of debts is your goal we will certainly help you get there. However, there are reasons to consider filing even if you are not eligible for a discharge. For example, you are looking to consolidate debts or you are facing foreclosure. Bankruptcy may still be a viable option for you and is usually less damaging that alternative options.
If you have questions about this, or any other bankruptcy matter, call your St. Louis Bankruptcy Attorney today.