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How Many Times Can I File For Bankruptcy?

A person cannot file a subsequent chapter 7 case, within eight years of the filing of the prior chapter 7 case that received a discharge. In other words, if a person received a chapter 7 discharge, the debtor cannot receive another chapter 7 discharge unless the subsequent chapter 7 is filed at least eight years from the date of the filing of the prior chapter 7 case that was discharged.

A debtor that received a prior chapter 13 discharge can obtain a subsequent chapter 7 discharge if the prior chapter 7 case was filed at least six years before the filing of the present chapter 13 bankruptcy case. However, there are exceptions as to when a person may file for a chapter 7 after a chapter 13 discharge. The exceptions are as follows: The debtor paid all unsecured debt through their chapter 13 case, or they paid 70% of the unsecured debt and the plan was proposed in good faith, in addition to applying his best efforts.

A chapter 13 debtor who filed and received a prior chapter 7 discharge within four years of the subsequent chapter 13 filing will not receive a discharge of any debt that is not paid through the present chapter 13 plan. Please note that the debtor can file the chapter 13 case under this scenario, but the debtor will not receive a discharge for debt that is not paid through the subsequent chapter 13 filing.

A chapter 13 debtor who filed and received a prior chapter 13 discharge in connection with the prior case that was filed within two years of the subsequent chapter 13 filing will not receive a discharge of any debt that is not paid through the subsequent chapter 13 plan. Please note that the debtor can file the chapter 13 under this scenario, but the debtor will not receive a discharge for any unpaid debt.

A debtor that files a chapter 13 or chapter 7 case after the dismissal of a prior chapter 7 or chapter 13 case, within one year of the subsequent chapter 13 or chapter 7 filing, may need to meet certain criteria to continue the subsequent case.

The New Jersey Bankruptcy Practitioner, Robert Manchel, can be reached at 1 (866) 503-5655, to discuss whether you can file a subsequent bankruptcy case.

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