How often can I file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
At times, bankruptcy filers will find themselves back in a negative financial position. Perhaps the initial Chapter 7 discharge did not resolve ongoing job issues, health problems, or spending habits, which allowed the filer to end up back in debt. Regardless of what has brought you to consider bankruptcy the second time around, the good news is that many people can file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy again and receive the same beneficial discharge of their debts as they did the first time. Bankruptcy laws do put time limits on how often you can file. Our Ohio Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers explore factors you should consider if you may wish to file for bankruptcy a second time.
Filing for Chapter 7 Again
Bankruptcy laws state that if you have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and received a discharge of your debts, then you must wait a period of eight years from the date that you filed for the initial bankruptcy. If you file sooner than that, your discharge will be denied. The eight-year clock will start to run on the date of the previous filing, meaning that if you first filed in 2008, you could be eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy again in 2018.
Filing for Chapter 13 Again
Individuals who have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and find themselves in financial trouble before eight years have passed should consider the option of Chapter 13 bankruptcy. After filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and receiving a discharge, you will be eligible to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in just four years from the date of your initial filing. Chapter 13 bankruptcy could allow you to restructure your debts so that you can avoid losing your home and other major assets.
These time limits apply only to filers who successfully received a discharge of their debts. If you filed for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy but did not complete the process, you may be able to file a second time far sooner. Your bankruptcy attorney will review your bankruptcy past and provide you with a better understanding of what steps you can take if you find yourself in debt.