how many times can you file for bankruptcyOur bankruptcy attorneys have spent decades helping people in the Dallas area through difficult financial times. It does not take much to cause an uncontrollable downward spiral of debt – job loss, unexpected illness, severe injury, and even divorce can change your financial picture quickly.

Unfortunately, those unforeseen disasters can sometimes happen more than once to the same person. We often hear people ask if it’s allowed to file for bankruptcy more than once, and many people are surprised to hear that it is definitely allowed. There is actually no established limit for how many times you can file for bankruptcy. However, multiple bankruptcy filings can result in different rules and timelines.

There is an established limit on the number of times the court will discharge your accumulated debts. So in reality, the more accurate question is “How long do you have to wait between bankruptcy filings?”

Understanding Multiple Bankruptcy Filings

The ability to file for bankruptcy multiple times is governed by federal laws, applicable uniformly across states, including Texas. These laws are designed to prevent abuse of the bankruptcy system while still providing a safety net for those in genuine need. The type of bankruptcy you previously filed (Chapter 7 or Chapter 13) and the one you intend to file play critical roles in determining eligibility and waiting periods.

How often can you file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Texas?

According to the US Bankruptcy Code, if you have previously received a discharge under Chapter 7, you must wait 8 years from the date you filed the previous case before you can file another Chapter 7 bankruptcy and receive another discharge.

How often can you file Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Texas?

If you are looking to file for Chapter 13 after receiving a discharge under a previous Chapter 13, the waiting period is 2 years from the date of the first filing. This shorter waiting period reflects Chapter 13’s nature as a debt repayment strategy rather than a straight discharge of obligations.

How long do you have to wait to file for a different Chapter of bankruptcy?

Cross-filing, or filing under a different chapter than your previous case, is also subject to specific waiting periods. If you received a discharge under Chapter 7 and wish to file for Chapter 13, you must wait 4 years. This path can be particularly strategic for individuals who have secured debts they wish to catch up on or for protecting property from foreclosure.

If your previous discharge was under Chapter 13 and you’re now considering Chapter 7, the waiting period is 6 years from the date you filed for Chapter 13.

When can you not file for bankruptcy again?

In some situations, you will not be eligible to file for a second bankruptcy. If your bankruptcy case was dismissed because you disobeyed court orders, you didn’t show up for a court appearance, or you had a voluntary dismissal of your case, you will not be eligible to file another case for 180 days.

Our team can help you navigate the complexity of bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy more than once is a complex interplay between federal bankruptcy laws, personal financial circumstances, and strategic legal considerations. It is crucial to work with an experience bankruptcy attorney who can supply accurate information and assist with thoughtful planning. Our lawyers will provide personalized advice tailored to your specific situation, ensuring that you make informed decisions about seeking bankruptcy relief again.

Call us a 214-760-7777 to schedule your free consultation. You’ll talk to one of our experienced bankruptcy lawyers, and our team will help you understand and navigate the complexities of filing multiple bankruptcy cases. Let us help you get a fresh start!