How often you can file bankruptcy depends on whether you have filed Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the date of your previous bankruptcy filing, and when you received a discharge or dismissal.
Technically there is no limit to the number of times you can file bankruptcy. However, most people file bankruptcy in order to receive a discharge. The bankruptcy discharge wipes out your debts and provides a fresh start. Nevertheless, some people benefit from bankruptcy without receiving a discharge. One common example of this is when you file Chapter 13 bankruptcy in order to save your home. Although you may not be able to eliminate your debts without a discharge, you will be able to get caught up on your mortgage through your Chapter 13 plan.
The following rules discuss whether you are eligible to receive a discharge in your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
You cannot receive a discharge in a Chapter 7 case if you received a discharge in:
(a) A Chapter 7 bankruptcy filed within the last 8 years, or (11 U.S.C. 727(a)(8)) (b) A Chapter 13 bankruptcy filed within the last 6 years. (11 U.S.C. 727(a)(9))
You cannot obtain a discharge in a Chapter 13 case if you:
(a) Received a discharge in a Chapter 7 case filed within the past 4 years, or (11 U.S.C. 1328(f)(1)) (b) Received a discharge in a Chapter 13 case filed within the last 2 years. (11 U.S.C. 1328(f)(2))