In short, the answer to this question is that a person may file bankruptcy as many times as they wish throughout their lifetime. The only stipulation to this statement would be that any bankruptcy filing will depend on eligibility for filing under a given chapter. For example, under the United States Bankruptcy Code, an individual is ineligible to file under Chapter 13 if they have unsecured debt that exceeds a total of $394,725 or secured debt that exceeds a total of $1,184,200. In these cases, a party would need to file under a different Chapter.
Now that we have determined how many times a party can file bankruptcy, lets discuss how often. The answer to this question is a little more complicated and would probably be better worded as “how often can I receive a bankruptcy discharge?”
Under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, an individual who files and receives a final discharge in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is ineligible for another discharge under Chapter 13 for two years from the original discharge date. This does not mean that a party cannot file another case in order to prevent a foreclosure, stop a repossession, etc. It does, however, mean that a discharge will not be entered at the end of that plan, and any collection activity can resume for any debts that are not brought current, paid in full or otherwise agreed upon during the active case period.
Bankruptcy is a federal court matter, which is an entirely different ballgame than state court. For this reason, it is highly advisable that a party retain the services of an experienced bankruptcy attorney prior to any filing. He or she can review your bankruptcy petition with you line-by-line, thereby ensuring that no asset has been left off and no long forgotten debt has gone unlisted.
Bad financial situations are stressful enough on their own. The last thing anyone needs in the midst of such a situation is to find themselves all alone, confronted by a creditor in bankruptcy court, or, even worse, confronted by a federal judge advising that they are not eligible to file. Don’t make life any harder on yourself while going through a financial crisis. Contact a bankruptcy attorney who can help.
Source: Findlaw.com, “Chapter 13 Reorganization Bankruptcy,” accessed Dec. 29, 2017