How Often Can You File for Bankruptcy?

File for Bankruptcy How Often Can You File for Bankruptcy?

How Often Can You File for Bankruptcy?

If you've filed for bankruptcy in the past but have run into financial trouble again, you may be wondering, "How often can you file bankruptcy?" There is no specific limit to the number of times you can file bankruptcy, but there is a required number of years you'll need to wait in between filings.

The waiting period varies depending on both the type of bankruptcy you filed before and the type you're looking to file now.

DoNotPay can help you avoid stress during the filing process. Here's what you should know about the timeline requirements for declaring bankruptcy multiple times.

Types of Bankruptcy

There are three types of bankruptcy available to individuals. They are:

  • Chapter 7
  • Chapter 11
  • Chapter 13

Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are the most common types of personal bankruptcy. Chapter 11 may also be an option for individuals, but this is a much more expensive option, so it is more commonly used by businesses.

About Types of Bankruptcy

Chapter 7In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, some of your property is sold off to cover your unsecured debts. Some types of property are exempt, such as your primary home and most types of federal benefits payments. The court usually issues the bankruptcy discharge, which clears all of your eligible debt, around 3 months after you file.
Chapter 13In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you'll work with the court to create a fixed payment plan based on your income and fixed expenses. Once you complete this payment plan, usually over three to five years, your remaining eligible debt will be discharged. With Chapter 13, you can keep your non-exempt assets, but there are limits in place that restrict the amount of debt you can have discharged.
Chapter 11This option is for businesses, and it’s expensive.

When Can You File for Bankruptcy if You've Filed Before?

There is no limit to the total number of times you can file for bankruptcy.

  • The restrictions that are in place require a certain amount of time to pass between filings.
  • These restrictions are designed to prevent people from abusing the system by taking on significant debt and then declaring bankruptcy every few years to avoid paying them.

However, if you've filed for bankruptcy in the past but are struggling financially again, you can file again if enough time has passed.

If you filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy

  1. You can file for Chapter 7 again in eight years.
  2. You can file for Chapter 13 in four years.

 If you filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy

  1. You can file for Chapter 7 in six years.
  2. You can technically file for Chapter 13 again in as little as two years. However, Chapter 13 payment plans are usually at least three years long, and you'll need to wait until the payment plan is complete to file again.

The different timeframes reflect the fact that Chapter 7 is a faster process, while Chapter 13 involves a longer period of payments that cover some of the debt.

Easily File for Bankruptcy With DoNotPay

If you're considering bankruptcy, whether it's your first time struggling with debt or a repeat, DoNotPay can help. Dealing with debt can be overwhelming, and while bankruptcy can provide relief, filing can be stressful in itself. DoNotPay's fast, easy and successful system helps you avoid stress while going through the bankruptcy process.

How to File for Bankruptcy with DoNotPay

If you want to file for bankruptcy but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered in five easy steps:

  1. Search for File for Bankruptcy on DoNotPay.


  2. Put together a list of your debts, expenses, and assets. If you need help accessing information like your credit report, DoNotPay can help you get your report.


  3. Let DoNotPay walk you through your bankruptcy options and help you determine whether a Chapter 7, Chapter 12, or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is right for you.


  4. DoNotPay will then help find the best credit counseling course near you, which you need to complete before filing your bankruptcy forms.


  5. Lastly, DoNotPay will gather all of the forms you need (including available fee waivers) and help you locate your nearest bankruptcy court. All you have to do is complete the required forms, prepare your filing fee, and file the application with your local court.


And that's it! Once done, the court will give you:

  • Your bankruptcy case number
  • The name of your bankruptcy trustee
  • The date, time, and location of your meeting with your trustee

At this point, your case has been filed, congratulations. The automatic stay now protects you from all debt collectors. Your trustee will then contact you for further financial documents you will need to provide. Make sure to attend your meeting as well as complete the post-filing bankruptcy debtors course.

What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

DoNotPay can help with any aspect of bankruptcy and debt management, so you can easily:

If you're considering filing for bankruptcy, contact DoNotPay today!

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