You file bankruptcy when you are in a financial dilemma and it might happen more than once but the bankruptcy law restricts how many times you can file for bankruptcy. Here are some factors on which it is determined.
Your first bankruptcy case – dismissed or discharged?
Your first case might have gotten dismissed by the court due to some reasons like, you might not have been able to provide the documents to the court or your bankruptcy trustee asked you to submit, you were not able to pay for the filing fee, or you did not take the credit counseling course which is mandatory. If your case was dismissed, you will require an order of dismissal by the court. Some people file their cases incorrectly a lot of times then the court prohibits you to file your case again during a specific time, like maybe for a year or two. If that is the case you might want to show your file as well as your order of dismissal to a good bankruptcy attorney and take their help.
If the case was discharged then the court did what they could do with your debts that are whatever dischargeable debt was on your file was discharged and the financial relief was given to you according to the chapter you chose.
- Under which chapter was your case filed?
You will need to know whether you filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy or chapter 13 bankruptcy as it determines whether you can or cannot file again. To find out the chapter you can see it in your Discharge of Debtor document of your previous file, and if you cannot find it you can ask your attorney or determine by the time it took to close. If you filed for chapter 7 it was closed within 6 months and if you filed for chapter 13 then you made payments to a trustee for a period of 3 or 5 years.
If you filed under chapter 7 – If you filed under chapter 7 and your debts were discharged then you will be able to file again under chapter 7 after 8 years from the date of filing the previous one till the date of filing of the new one.
If you filed under chapter 13- If you filed under chapter 13 bankruptcy and your debts were discharged then you will be able to file for chapter 13 bankruptcy again after 6 years from the date of filing the previous one till the date of the new one. There are exceptions to this timing and it depends on how much money you paid the trustee over time, whether it was high or low. You should see an attorney to check if your case is an exception.
How often you can file for bankruptcy. It depends on how your previous case ended and under which chapter was it filed. If you feel the need to file again you need to go to a good attorney as he/she can get you the full benefit of filing for bankruptcy.