How Often Can You File Bankruptcy in Montgomery County, PA?

Facing dire financial straits due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but think you can’t file bankruptcy because you’ve been in bankruptcy court before?

We’ve got good news: you may be eligible to file again. It depends on when your last bankruptcy case was, and when you filed.

If you filed Chapter 7…

You can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy again if eight years have passed since you last filed your previous case. You can file for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy six years after you last filed your previous case.

Good news: this clock started when you filed, not when you got your discharge

If you don’t remember your filing date then your discharge date is a safe date to choose as a rough guide for whether or not you can file again.

If you filed Chapter 13…

You can apply for a new Chapter 7 bankruptcy four years after filing your Chapter 13 case. If you plan to file a new Chapter 13 case, you can file again in two years, but you have to have finished your first Chapter 13 case first. This would be unusual, as most people take three to five years to finish making payments on their Chapter 13 case.

If you filed another form of bankruptcy…

Filing a Chapter 11 bankruptcy means having to wait eight years before filing a Chapter 7 case or four years before filing a Chapter 13 case.

Filing a Chapter 12 bankruptcy means having to wait four years before you can file any kind of bankruptcy case.

If your case was dismissed…

Case dismissal is a special situation. The numbers above assume you filed your case and you got your discharge. If instead your case was dismissed, you can refile immediately, but doing so may not be as beneficial as it was the first time.

This is because the automatic stay is often cut down to 30 days in a case that’s filed directly after a dismissal. This usually doesn’t afford borrowers enough protection and can result in creditors moving to seize assets as fast as you can before your discharge. In addition, one dismissed case could easily lead to another, as dismissal often happens when the court suspects fraud or hidden assets, or in cases where the borrower wasn’t eligible to file in the first place. Dismissal can also happen if you fail to fulfill court requirements, such as taking a financial education course. 

Number of Cases

There are no limits on the number of bankruptcy cases you can file within these guidelines.

Timing is everything, though, as is having the guidance of a qualified bankruptcy attorney. Many dismissals happen because borrowers attempted to file bankruptcy on their own, assuming it was a simple matter of filling out a few forms when the process is anything but simple.

Need help? Contact our office today to set up a free consultation.

See also:

How Much Money Do You Have to Repay in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Can I File Bankruptcy in Pennsylvania Because of Covid-19?

What is the Worst Age to File for Bankruptcy in Pennsylvania?