How Frequently Can I Declare Bankruptcy?

For many people in Ohio, bankruptcy is something to be avoided at all costs, something they would never consider normally. Other Ohioans are risk-takers, often putting it all on the line over and over again in different ventures in hopes to make it big. Sometimes, these risks pay off; other times, they crash and burn. For the risk-takers, and for others as well, it is important to know just how often you can file for bankruptcy.

The answer to this question is dependent on your previous filings. If you successfully filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy in the past eight years, you cannot have your debts eliminated again until after that time period. Additionally, you must wait at least six years after filing for chapter 13 bankruptcy to get a chapter 7 discharge.

Because chapter 13 is a restructuring of debts and not an outright elimination of them, there is a shorter waiting period. If your debts were eliminated in the past four years, you must wait to petition for a chapter 13 bankruptcy. You only need to wait two years between chapter 13 filings, however.

Just because you have waited the appropriate amount of time to file for bankruptcy again does not mean it will automatically be successful. In fact, bankruptcy courts are generally more stringent the second (or third or fourth) time around. As such, it is typically recommended you have a bankruptcy law attorney by your side any time you are considering filing. They may be able to help you more successfully petition the courts for a debt elimination or restructuring.