There is actually no limit on the number of times you can file for bankruptcy in Texas. However, there is a limit on the number of times the courts will discharge your debts. Most of the time, the only reason people file for bankruptcy is to have their debts discharged, but that isn’t always the case.
How long do I have to wait in between bankruptcy filings?
Perhaps a better question would be, “How long must I wait in between bankruptcy filings?” The answer is it depends on the type of bankruptcy:
- Multiple Chapter 7 bankruptcies – Under Title 11 Section §727 of the U.S. Code, you must wait eight years from the day a Chapter 7 bankruptcy was filed to file another one and receive a discharge.
- Multiple Chapter 13 bankruptcies – Under Title 11 Section §1328 of the U.S. Code, you have to wait at least two years from the day your last Chapter 13 was filed before you can file and receive a discharge for a another one.
Filing Bankruptcy Cases Under Different Chapters
If you’re filing under a different chapter the second time around, the following rules apply:
- Chapter 7 after Chapter 13 – According to Title 11 Section §727 of the U.S. Code, if your first filing was under Chapter 13, you will not be granted a discharge under a Chapter 7 until at least six years has passed from the date you filed your Chapter 13.
- Chapter 13 after Chapter 7 – According to Title 11 Section §1328 of the U.S. Code, if your first case was a Chapter 7, you only have to wait four years before filing a Chapter 13.
Filing for Bankruptcy for Reasons other than Discharge
Keep in mind that the time limits discussed only pertain to discharges, not to filings. There is no limit to amount of times you can actually file. While seeking a discharge of debts is the most common reason to file for bankruptcy, it’s not the only reason.
Some file for the automatic stay which prevents creditors from collecting on debts. Depending on your circumstances, this could help you stop collection efforts and catch up on your payments.
Running into Difficulties with Repeat Bankruptcy Filings
There may be no legal limit on how many times you can file for bankruptcy in Texas but the courts will take a good look at why the debtor is filing for a subsequent bankruptcy. First, let’s review why bankruptcies were written into American law.
The U.S. Courts explain: “A fundamental goal of the federal bankruptcy laws enacted by Congress is to give debtors a financial ‘fresh start’ from burdensome debts. The Supreme Court made this point about the purpose of the bankruptcy law in a 1934 decision: ‘[I]t gives to the honest but unfortunate debtor … a new opportunity in life and a clear field for future effort, unhampered by the pressure and discouragement of pre-existing debt.’”
If you have filed for bankruptcy multiple times, the courts will have a greater degree of scrutiny when assessing the situation.
Discuss Your Options with a Bankruptcy Attorney
For questions regarding bankruptcy and how the laws pertain to your situation, contact bankruptcy firm Warren & Migliaccio in Dallas today. We serve clients in Dallas and surrounding areas and will be glad to provide you with a free, no obligation legal consultation. Call our team at today (888) 584-9614.