Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How Often Can I File for Bankruptcy?

How often can I file for Bankruptcy? That's the question I read being discussed this morning. A debtor has paid his lawyer only to find that he is not going to be able to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy due to insufficient time passing between bankruptcy filings.

So how often can you file for bankruptcy? I figured that some of you might like to know the answer to this so I'll give you the nutshell version.

A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy stays on your credit report for 10 years (Chapter 13 for 7 years) but remains on your public record for 20 years. While these are issues that should be taken into consideration when deciding whether or not to file for bankruptcy, they have no bearing on how often you can file bankruptcy and receive a discharge.

The 2005 bankruptcy laws established that a debtor cannot obtain a discharge in a Chapter 7 case if the debtor obtained a discharge in a Chapter 7 case filed within the past 8 years. Or 6 years between Chapter 13 cases. The clock starts ticking at the time of filing, not the time of the discharge.

For the best advice, "How often can I file for bankruptcy?" is a question for your bankruptcy attorney. There are some exceptions (in chapter 13 cases) and there are some additional rules. Also, there may be other circumstances unique to your case that affect your filing. I am not a lawyer.

I wish you the best 2011 possible!


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