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How Many Times Can I File for Chapter 7?

For many facing financial hardship, Chapter 7 bankruptcy provides a fresh start by liquidating non-exempt assets to pay off creditors. However, what happens if someone finds themselves in dire financial straits again after successfully filing for Chapter 7 in the past? How many times can one file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

If you’ve asked yourself questions like these recently, keep reading to learn more about this topic.

Limitations on Multiple Chapter 7 Filings

Technically, there is no limit to the number of times you can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy during your lifetime. That said, there are other rules that limit how soon you can file for Chapter 7 again after receiving a discharge.

The Waiting Period Between Chapter 7 Filings

Under the current bankruptcy laws in the United States, you can’t receive a Chapter 7 discharge if you received one within the past eight years. This waiting period is calculated from the date of the previous Chapter 7 filing, not the date of discharge.

Exceptions to the Eight-Year Rule

While the eight-year waiting period is the general rule, certain exceptions exist that may allow you to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy sooner.

An important exception to keep in mind is that there may be no waiting period for filing a new Chapter 7 petition if your previous case resulted in a dismissal. Additionally, if you previously filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and wish to file for Chapter 7, you may do so after six years from the Chapter 13 filing date if you make all payments under the Chapter 13 plan in good faith.

Ultimately, it’s up to the court to interpret whether you qualify for an exception to the eight-year waiting period between Chapter 7 cases.

Alternatives to Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

For those who have already filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and find themselves in financial turmoil soon after, there are alternative debt relief options to consider. Chapter 13 bankruptcy, for instance, allows people to restructure their debts through a court-approved repayment plan, providing an opportunity to catch up on missed payments while retaining assets such as a home or car.

Outside of bankruptcy, debt consolidation, debt settlement, and credit counseling are other avenues you can explore to manage your debt and avoid bankruptcy altogether. These options may offer varying degrees of relief depending on individual circumstances, so it's essential to seek guidance from financial professionals to determine the best course of action.

Do You Need Help with Bankruptcy?

When you’re struggling with debt, bankruptcy might be the right option for you. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer, such as ours at Nguyen Law, can provide the legal advice you need to understand your situation and the options available to you. With our assistance, you can also take action to deal with your debt problems head-on and work toward a meaningful resolution.

Get started with Nguyen Law Group today by contacting us online.