The technical answer is that you can file bankruptcy as often as you like. However, the reason a person generally files bankruptcy is to have debts discharged (forgiven, canceled or wiped out) and there are strict limits on how often a person can receive a bankruptcy discharge.
One of the changes made by the new bankruptcy law passed in 2005 is that the time that must pass between bankruptcy discharges has been lengthened. Under the current law, a debtor cannot obtain a discharge in a Chapter 7 case if the debtor obtained a discharge in (a) a Chapter 7 case filed within the past 8 years, or (b) a Chapter 13 case filed within the past 6 years. The time periods in either case are measured from the dates the respective cases were filed, not the dates of discharge.
A debtor cannot obtain a discharge in a Chapter 13 case if the debtor obtained a discharge in (a) a Chapter 7 case filed within the past 4 years, or (b) a Chapter 13 case filed within the past 2 years. Again the time periods in either case are measured from the dates the respective cases were filed, not the dates of discharge.
Additionally, you can be barred from filing a new bankruptcy case for 180 days after a previous case is dismissed, if the dismissal (a) was because you willfully failed to abide by an order of the court or to properly prosecute the case, or (b) was at your request after a creditor requested relief from the automatic stay.
If you’re struggling with debt problems and would like to know more about how bankruptcy may be able to help you, contact me today to schedule a FREE initial consultation. Just fill out the Contact Dan form on the far right side of the page and click the Submit button and I’ll get back with you as quickly as I can. I would count it a privilege to be able to visit with you in a relaxed and confidential environment where I’ll answer all of your questions in plain English and give you the straight scoop on the pros and cons of bankruptcy as related to your specific situation.