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How Many Times Can An Individual File Bankruptcy

Can You File For Bankruptcy Multiple Times

How Often Can I File for Bankruptcy?

There are no limits to how many times you canfile for bankruptcy, even if you have received a discharge before. If you want to file for bankruptcy again, you will need to wait a certain amount of time before you are able to discharge your debts again. If you file for bankruptcy before the time limits have passed, then it is likely you will not receive a full discharge.

Your ability to file another bankruptcy and thus receive a discharge are dependent on these things:

  • The type of bankruptcy you have previously filed
  • The type of bankruptcy you are seeking to file
  • How your previous bankruptcy was finalized: either through discharge, dismissal, or dismissal with prejudice
  • When you previously filed.

At Resnik Hayes Moradi LLP , we can evaluate your financial situation and advise whether you are eligible to file bankruptcy under any chapter of the Bankruptcy Code. From our offices in Los Angeles and Sherman Oaks, our attorneys have helped thousands of clients throughout Southern California overcome financial hurdles. We are happy to meet with you in a free consultation and answer all your questions about repeat bankruptcy filings.

How Often Can You File For Bankruptcy

By FindLaw Staff | Reviewed by Bridget Molitor, JD | Last updated June 30, 2021

During your lifetime, you can file for bankruptcy protection as many times as you need it. There is no limit to how many times you can file, but there are time limits between filing dates.

You could file but not receive any debt discharge in some cases, so you need to be careful.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Code determines the time limits based on what Chapter you file under. The clock starts on the day you filed the previous bankruptcy case . These time limits refer only to bankruptcies where you have received a discharge of your debts.

Can I Keep My Car If I File Bankruptcy In Texas

Can I file bankruptcy and keep my car in Texas? Most likely yes.

In the State of Texas, there are several options for filing bankruptcy and keeping your car, motorcycle, SUV, or other personal vehicle. If you take no actions on your vehicle loan when you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may be relieved of your obligation to repay your car loan afterward, and your car also will most likely not be repossessed.

This is due to Texas generous personal vehicle exemption, which protects your much-needed personal vehicle from repossession. You can also reaffirm your car loan or redeem the vehicle, which are recommended actions.

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Where Can You Look For Advice On Filing For Bankruptcy

  • AllLaw: is a free online resource that aims to help users in all their legal needs. They have a large amount of information covering bankruptcy, the types of bankruptcy, and how to file for bankruptcy. They can also help you find an expert attorney in your area who can assist you in filing for bankruptcy in the correct and most beneficial way.
  • Bankruptcy Options Center: This is a free online resource that helps visitors establish what the available bankruptcy options are.
  • An organization that aims to help Americans who are struggling with debt. They provide information on debt consolidation, settlement, student loans, bankruptcy and mortgages.
  • LegalZoom: This is an online legal technology company. They help users create legal documents without the help of an attorney and have some great resources to help you understand the law. LegalZoom has a section of its site dedicated to bankruptcy.

All these sources confirm that you can file for bankruptcy as often as you want. But this doesnt mean that your debt will always be wiped clean. You need a discharge from the court to relieve you from your obligation to pay a debt but receiving this will depend upon the type of bankruptcy you file for.

If your aim is to wipe the slate clean and start again, what you should really be asking is not how often you can file for bankruptcy, but how often you can be discharged.

The Bankruptcy Filing Process

How Many Times Can I File Bankruptcy?

There are a number of legally required steps involved in filing for bankruptcy. Failing to complete them can result in the dismissal of your case.

Before filing for bankruptcy, individuals are required to complete a credit counseling session and obtain a certificate to file with their bankruptcy petition. The counselor should review your personal situation, offer advice on budgeting and debt management, and discuss alternatives to bankruptcy. You can find the names of government-approved credit counseling agencies in your area by calling the federal bankruptcy court closest to you or by visiting its website.

Filing for bankruptcy involves submitting a bankruptcy petition and financial statements showing your income, debts, and assets. You will also be required to submit a means test form, which determines whether your income is low enough for you to qualify for Chapter 7. If it isnt, you will have to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead. You will also need to pay a filing fee, though it is sometimes waived if you can prove you cant afford it.

You can obtain the forms you need from the bankruptcy court. If you engage the services of a bankruptcy lawyer, which is usually a good idea, they should also be able to provide them.

Assuming the court decides in your favor, your debts will be discharged, in the case of Chapter 7. In Chapter 13, a repayment plan will be approved. Having debt discharged means that the creditor can no longer attempt to collect it from you.

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How To Get A Discharge In The First Place

Most debt can be discharged in a personal bankruptcy case, with the exception of student loans and tax debt. So long as you qualify for the bankruptcy chapter under which you file, most consumer bankruptcies filed with the help of an attorney are discharged and youll pay pennies on the dollar for your debt.

Your bankruptcy discharge can be denied, however, if you do any of the following:

1. Attempt to defraud: If you transfer, move, or conceal property, youre in big trouble. Make sure to talk about all transfers before your bankruptcy filing with your bankruptcy attorney.

2. Conceal or destroy information: This also goes along with failing to keep information on your financial situation in the first place. Keep all records on your finances in a safe and organized place.

3. Lie: A no-brainer, but, any sort of false statement made under penalty of perjury may not only land you back in court, but in jail.

4. Lose assets: This is when you cant explain any sort of loss or deficiency in assets.

5. Refuse to comply with a court order: Similar to lying, disobeying the court is a bad idea.

6. Fail to take an instructional course: When you file for bankruptcy, you must take two instructional courses in finances. One is about credit counseling, while the other is about financial management. These courses are mandatory under the federal law that governs bankruptcy.

Can One Spouse File Bankruptcy Alone

Financial hardships may come at some point, and sometimes your only way out is through bankruptcy. Can you file it without your spouse?

Yes, you can file for bankruptcy without your spouse. And it makes the most sense when you and your spouse keep your finances separate, or you dont want to affect your spouses ability to file for bankruptcy in the future.

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After Receiving A Discharge In A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy:

  • Before filing another Chapter 7: You must wait exactly 8 years from the date of your previous filing. If you did try to file before that date, the filing would not receive a discharge and you would receive no protection from collections.
  • Before filing a Chapter 13: You must wait for exactly four years from the date of your previous Chapter 7 filing prior to filing for relief under Chapter 13. Filings made before four years have passed will not result in a discharge.

Are There Any Situations Where You Cannot File For Bankruptcy

How Many Times Can You File Bankruptcy? #shorts

How often can you file bankruptcy in Texas? As many times as you need to, with one very narrow set of exceptions. In very narrow circumstances well call rapid fire bankruptcy, you cannot file a bankruptcy case under any chapter earlier than 180 days after the dismissal of a prior case. Also, you may be barred from filing if ordered by a bankruptcy judge in a motion or order.

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When Your Bankruptcy Will End

You will be freed from bankruptcy after 12 months. This ends the bankruptcy restrictions and releases you from most of the debts you had when the bankruptcy order was made.

Youll normally be discharged automatically, even if:

  • no payments have been made to your creditors
  • youre still paying an IPA or IPO
  • some assets havent been sold yet

Assets you had during bankruptcy can still be used to pay your debts once your bankruptcy has ended.

Your bankruptcy can be extended for longer than 12 months if you dont co-operate with your trustee. Check your discharge date using the Individual Insolvency Register on our website. If your discharge status is suspended indefinitely you need to contact the official receiver for an update.

What Happens To Your Bank Account

When the bankruptcy order is made, you must:

  • make sure you dont use your bank account
  • give your cards and cheque books to the trustee

Your bank account will be frozen. Any money in your account will be an asset and claimed by the trustee. The trustee can ask to release some money:

  • for your daily living needs
  • to the other person in a joint account

The bank is allowed to use money from one of your accounts to pay your debts on another account you hold with them. This is called set off.

Otherwise, money owed to the bank is a bankruptcy debt, so you cant pay this to the bank directly. The exception is if the bank has a charge on your home .

Open a new account

You can open a new bank account after the date of the bankruptcy order but you must tell the bank or building society that youre bankrupt. Some banks will let you use your old account after theyve spoken to the trustee.

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Can A Bankruptcy Attorney Help Me File Bankruptcy Sooner

A bankruptcy attorney canât help you get around the time limits, but they may be able to help you file a different type of bankruptcy than the one you filed before and confirm the earliest date your second case can be filed. This is especially true if you filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy but didnât get a discharge. Only a bankruptcy lawyer can give you legal advice about how soon your second bankruptcy can be filed. They can also help you get a court order to make sure your automatic stay doesnât expire before your discharge is entered.

What Will Happen To My Home And Car If I File Bankruptcy In Indiana


In most cases you will not lose your home or car during your bankruptcy case as long as your equity in the property is fully exempt. Even if your property is not fully exempt, you will be able to keep it, if you pay its non-exempt value to creditors in chapter 13. However, some of your creditors may have a security interest in your home, automobile or other personal property. This means that you gave that creditor a mortgage on the home or put your other property up as collateral for the debt. Bankruptcy does not make these security interests go away. If you dont make your payments on that debt, the creditor may be able to take and sell the home or the property, during or after the bankruptcy case. There are several ways that you can keep collateral or mortgaged property after you file bankruptcy. You can agree to keep making your payments on the debt until it is paid in full. Or you can pay the creditor the amount that the property you want to keep is worth. In some cases involving fraud or other improper conduct by the creditor, you may be able to challenge the debt. If you put up your household goods as collateral for a loan , you can usually keep your property without making any more payments on that debt by requesting the Bankruptcy Court void the liens.

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Your Trustee May Sell Your Assets

You are able to keep:

  • ordinary household goods
  • tools up to a set amount used to earn an income and
  • vehicle with a value up to a set amount.

Your trustee can sell other assets including your house and property. You must not dispose of any property belonging to the trustee. You must declare any assets you have when you apply for bankruptcy and any you receive during bankruptcy.

Waiting Period For Subsequent Chapter 7 Cases

The waiting period between Chapter 7 discharges is longer than the waiting period between Chapter 13 cases involving discharge or between a Chapter 7 case and a Chapter 13 case. The primary reason for the difference is that Chapter 7 is used to wipe out unsecured debt through a fairly quick and easy process, while Chapter 13 debtors typically pay a significant portion of their outstanding debts through the plan.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Code precludes granting a discharge in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case if the debtor has previously received a discharge in either:

  • A prior Chapter 7 case that was filed within the eight years preceding filing of the current case, or
  • A prior Chapter 13 case that was filed within the six years preceding filing of the current case

In other words, while it is the prior discharge that creates the lock-out period, time is counted from commencement of the prior case, not from the date of discharge.

Although this limitation wont affect most consumer debtors, the eight-year period applied to prior Chapter 7 cases also applies when the consumer has previously received a discharge in a Chapter 11 reorganization case.

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Filing Chapter 13 After Chapter 7

You must wait four years if you want to file Chapter 13 after first filing Chapter 7. This timeframe applies if you are hoping to achieve a second discharge. If a secured debt has become burdensome, you may wish to file Chapter 13 merely to catch up on the debt without seeking discharge of the debt. Think of a home loan with a hefty mortgage remaining its not practical to think that this debt can be fully discharged in bankruptcy, but it does make sense to catch up on the payments. Some call this type of approach Chapter 20, though this is not an official term.

Filing For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Without Your Spouse

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Chapter 7 is considered a liquidation filing. In other words, nonexempt assets are sold to pay off as much debt as possible. Debt is discharged, and the filer lives with the hit on the credit report and score for the next 10 years.

A means test is required when filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy it basically determines if you qualify for Chapter 7. Its based on household income from six months before filing the petition. If the couple shares the same house, your spouses income must be included in the means test, even if you filed on you own. Expenses that do not benefit the household can be subtracted from the spouses contribution to the household income. More on that to come.

Once Chapter 7 is filed, an automatic stay is put in place. This legal action stops garnishments, foreclosures, repossessions and any debt collection lawsuit. But the stay only applies to the individual who files. If there is any joint debt shared by the couple, the spouse continues to remain responsible for that debt.

Its important to know if you live in one of the nine community property states. If so, the automatic stay extends to the community property of the couple that was earned or acquired during the marriage. This typically means the non-filers wages cannot be garnished for community debt in those nine states.

Once the Chapter 7 filing is discharged, the only person protected by the discharge is the individual who filed. The non-filing spouse remains liable for any joint or co-signed debts.

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Should I Hire A Bankruptcy Attorney If I Want To File For Bankruptcy More Than Once

While hiring an attorney adds another expense for people who are already strapped financially, it is usually well worth the money to hire a bankruptcy lawyer. An attorney will make sure everything is filled out and filed correctly, and can guide you throughout the entire bankruptcy process.

  • No fee to present your case
  • Choose from lawyers in your area
  • A 100% confidential service

Is Filing Bankruptcy Twice Bad

Filing multiple bankruptcies is certainly not ideal, lets put it that way. Anyone who got into such serious debt problems that bankruptcy was necessary once may have repeated the same mistakes and chose to file a second time.

However, there are times when a second filing is necessary, and important. Those who have worked out a plan and approach with their attorney, financial adviser or credit counselor may find bankruptcy the best option for dealing with a bad financial situation.

Its important to know the consequences of bankruptcy when considering whether you should file bankruptcy a second time. There will be ramifications on your credit score and credit report, but leaving debt unpaid also will hurt the financial status.

If the approach is well thought out, the second filing may turn out to be a good thing because it will allow for a fresh start and the ability to move forward from the crushing burden of debt.

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