You can file for bankruptcy more than once but the law penalizes you for how close in time you file a subsequent bankruptcy. There is an 8 year and 6 year prohibition on re-filing and receiving a discharge. Here’s a good table to help you determine your eligibility.
|If you got a discharge in a Chapter||Your Filing Date||OK to file?|
|7||8/1/2001 – wait 8 years||Chapter 7 after 8/1/2009|
|13||8/1/2001 – wait 6 years||Chapter 7 after 8/2/2007|
But there are some “work arounds” to the above rules. Some clients can file a Chapter 7, get a discharge, and then immediately file a Chapter 13. Some lawyers call it a “Chapter 20.” There is no such thing in the bankruptcy code – but filing a Chapter 20, wont get you a discharge (you’d have to wait 4 years between filings) but if you have IRS debt or fall behind on your mortgage payments – it is s great way to avoid internet and penalties on your debt and prevent foreclosure and liens for up to 5 years.
Bennett Cunningham is a Bankruptcy Attorney licensed in Texas and is a former Investigative Reporter for the CBS Television Station in Dallas. Mr. Cunningham has garnered 7 Regional Emmy Awards, including the Best Investigative Reporter in Texas 2 years in a row, as well as several National Awards for his exposés into the mismanagement of taxpayer dollars and government waste. Mr. Cunningham is also admitted to practice in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas and the US Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Texas. He is a member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney’s, American Bar Association, American Bankruptcy Institute and the Dallas Bar Association.
This blog is not meant to give you legal advice. If you need to seek legal advice, you should consult a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction.