Are you considering bankruptcy but worry that if you choose this route you will not be able to again in the future, causing you hesitation to do so now? Have you already filed for bankruptcy before, are facing financial trouble again and do not know if bankruptcy is available to you?

Whatever your situation, you can go through bankruptcy more than once. In fact, there is no limit on how many times you can file, though doing so repeatedly will undoubtedly bring many challenges. What does matter, though, is the timing. The law regulates how soon you can file for bankruptcy again depending on the type you previously used and the type you are choosing now.

Chapter 7

If you filed for Chapter 7 in the past, you cannot do so a subsequent time until eight years have passed. (You can easily remember this because the number eight follows seven.) The good news is that the clock starts at the filing date, not upon the discharge of your debts. However, you can file for Chapter 13, which involves a reduced repayment plan, sooner. The waiting period is only half as long: four years.

Chapter 13

Because you repay some of the money to creditors in Chapter 13 as opposed to eliminating debt in Chapter 7, you can file again after only two years from the previous date of filing. If you decide to go through Chapter 7 instead, you have to wait for six years to pass from the time you filed for Chapter 13.

Other options

What if you do not fit into these time frames and need an immediate solution? You may have other debt relief options available to you, which you can discuss with an attorney. You may also want to talk about steps you can take to avoid the need for any more bankruptcies. For example, you can go over how to create a budget, build up savings and choose the right credit cards and loans.