Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Can I file Bankruptcy Twice or Thrice?

Legally speaking, their is no limit on how many times you can file bankruptcy. The only limitation imposed is a time restriction.

Bankruptcy can be filed every two (2) years to eight (8) years depending on the circumstances of the case, which means the answer depends upon which bankruptcy the client filed in the past.

Allow me to explain with a helpful little graph:

Chapter 7 to Chapter 7 = 8 years
Chapter 7 to Chapter 13 = 4 years
Chapter 13 to Chapter 7 = 6 years
Chapter 13 to Chapter 13 = 2 years

A common mistake in counting the 8 years between the first Chapter 7 and the second Chapter 7 is when to start counting. The following example pertains anybody that has filed bankruptcy in the past and illustrates when to start the clock to determine if you can file today.

Allow me to provide an example so you can figure out for yourself whether you are eligible to file bankruptcy today.

A hypothetical client filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy on October 22, 2002. The client received a bankruptcy discharge on January 5, 2003. This client can file Chapter 7 bankruptcy again on October 23, 2010. The time to start counting is the date the case was filed with the court.

Please let me know if I can be of any help.

Stephen M. Dunne, Esq.
Dunne Law Offices, P.C.
1500 JFK Boulevard, 
Two Penn Center, Suite 200
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 854 – 6342 office
(215) 205 – 6367 cell
(215) 569 – 0216 fax