How Many Times Can You File Bankruptcy?

While there are few limits as to how many times you can file bankruptcy, actually receiving a discharge can only happen every so often. This is important to remember because the main goal for most debtors is obtaining a fresh start through bankruptcy discharge. So, that makes the question not really “how many times can you file bankruptcy?”, but more so “how many times can you obtain a discharge of debts through bankruptcy?”

In this article we’ll examine Chapter 7, 11, 12 and 13 discharges and what it means to have your discharge revoked. For more information, speak to an experienced Westfield MA bankruptcy attorney at the Law Office of Eric Kornblum.

How to Obtain a Discharge in the First Place

Besides tax debt and student loans, nearly all other debt in a personal bankruptcy case can receive a discharge. Furthermore, you’re more likely to receive a discharge if you; a) qualify under the bankruptcy chapter that you file, and b) filed your bankruptcy with the help of a bankruptcy attorney. Once you receive your discharge from bankruptcy, you’ll only need to repay that debt for pennies on the dollar.

Below we’ll detail the common reasons people receive a denial on their discharge:

  1. Making an attempt to defraud: never attempt to move, transfer, or conceal property without consulting your bankruptcy attorney first. Doing so could make it seem as if you’re attempting to commit fraudulent acts.
  2. Destroying or concealing information: keep every record concerning your finances in an organized and safe place. Failing to keep information about your financial state can give the judge the perception of wrongdoing.
  3. Lying: it goes without saying that making any false or inaccurate statements under oath can land you either back in court or in jail. The court takes the penalty of perjury very seriously.
  4. Losing any assets: it happens, but sometimes people “lose” or misplace assets. This is when detailed record keeping comes in handy.
  5. Refusing to comply with court orders: disobeying or not properly complying with a court order is a very bad idea.
  6. Failing to take an instructional course: you are required by federal law to take two instructional courses about finances after you file for bankruptcy. These two courses include one about credit counseling, and the other about financial management. Taking these courses is mandatory.

If you avoid the common mistakes above, and if you head the rules of bankruptcy, then you’re more than likely on the path to bankruptcy discharge.

How Many Times Can You File Bankruptcy and Receive a Discharge After the First?

After receiving a bankruptcy discharge for Chapter 7 or 11, you cannot receive another discharge for at least eight years. This eight-year period begins on the date you filed your case.

Likewise, your Chapter 7 discharge will be denied if you have received a discharge through Chapter 12 or 13 in the prior six years. However, a debtor may still qualify for discharge if they met the strict requirements regarding the amount they needed to pay back in their Chapter 13 case. You can receive discharge through Chapter 13 fours after receiving discharge through Chapter 7, 11, or 12, or two years after another Chapter 13 case.

The Court Can Revoke Your Bankruptcy Discharge

The court can revoke your bankruptcy discharge under certain situations. Creditors and trustees can even request the court to revoke your discharge if they suspect you of fraud or any wrongdoing. For instance, they can base their request off any property you attempted to conceal or any records you failed to properly keep.

Typically, a discharge revocation request must be filled within the first year of the discharge, or before the date the case was closed in some cases. The court will examine the allegations within the request and determine if they should revoke your discharge or not.

Contact a Westfield MA Bankruptcy Attorney Today

Looking for more information regarding how many times can you file bankruptcy and still receive a discharge? Fortunately, the knowledgeable bankruptcy attorneys at the Law Office of Eric Kornblum know the ins and outs of bankruptcy discharge. Call us today.