There should be no shame in filing bankruptcy more than once. Bad things happen to good people. It is hard to tell when major financial crises will affect you and your family. However, if you file too soon you may not be eligible to receive another discharge.
There is no harm in filing bankruptcy again.
There is no limit on the number of times you can file for bankruptcy relief. Two things to keep in mind if you are filing bankruptcy again: (1) what was the filing date of your last case and (2) did you receive a discharge? Also, keep in mind under what chapter of bankruptcy you previously filed and what chapter you are now filing under. If you did not receive a discharge in your previous case these time limits do not apply.
Chapter 7 to Chapter 7
You must wait 8 years from the date you filed a Chapter 7 case to file another Chapter 7 case. 11 U.S.C. § 727(a)(8)
Chapter 7 to Chapter 13
You must wait 4 years from the date you filed a Chapter 7 case to file a Chapter 13 case. 11 U.S.C. § 727(a)(9)
Chapter 13 to Chapter 7
You must wait 6 years from the date you filed a Chapter 13 case to file a Chapter 7 case. 11 U.S.C. § 1328(f)(1)
There is an exception to this time limit that allows you to file a successive Chapter 7 case sooner than 6 years if one of the following apply:
- You paid 100% of your unsecured creditors, or
- You paid back at least 70% of the claims made, and your plan was proposed in good faith and was your best effort .
Chapter 13 to Chapter 13
You must wait 2 years from the date you filed a Chapter 13 case to file another Chapter 13 case. 11 U.S.C. § 1328(f)(2)
Other Time Limits
If your first bankruptcy case was dismissed you may have to wait 180 days to file a subsequent case. It is important to know under what set of circumstances your case was dismissed too (i.e. dismissed for failing to follow a court order, voluntarily dismiss after a motion to relief was filed, etc.).