Being compelled to file for bankruptcy is one of the most severe challenges a person may face in the course of her or his business and personal life. Nobody looks forward to the day when they are unable to fulfill financial obligations. Life being what it is, you may find yourself having to go through the unenviable experience more than once. 

The question now is, how often can a person file for bankruptcy? Simply put, you can file for bankruptcy as many times as you need to. However, there are a few limiting factors that come to bear regarding their frequency over time. 

Let us take a look. 

Circumstances influencing bankruptcy filing possibilities 

Your ability to file for bankruptcy more than once will be subject to certain regulations, which are mostly defined according to the type of bankruptcy application you made previously. 

These include: 

  • Chapter 7 with a previous Chapter 7: With a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing in your record, you will not be able to file Chapter 7 before eight years have elapsed. 
  • Chapter 13 with a previous Chapter 13: Two years must elapse before this becomes possible. 
  • Chapter 13 with a previous Chapter 7: Four years must go by before you can file a Chapter 13 with a Chapter 7 on your record. 
  • Chapter 7 with a previous Chapter 13: Six years must go by before you can file a Chapter 7. However, a person who clears 70% of her or his outstanding debt under a Chapter 13 application may have his or her debts written off by the court. 

Cases dismissed with prejudice 

Take note that you will be completely barred from filing for bankruptcy if your previous bankruptcy application received a dismissal due to prejudice. Dismissal with prejudice comes about as a punishment for disobeying a court order, attempts to delay the court process through multiple filings and any other applicable offense in the eyes of the court.