How Many Bankruptcies Can You File in Nevada
It’s not uncommon for people to struggle with debt after having filed for bankruptcy previously, which may lead to the question, “How many bankruptcies can you file?” There’s no limit on how many times you can file for bankruptcy in Las Vegas. However, depending on several factors, you often have to wait two to eight years before filing for bankruptcy again. If you filed for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy before and are considering filing again, it’s crucial to learn about the time limits between filings and other rules that govern successive filings in Nevada.
Understanding Bankruptcy in Nevada
Bankruptcy allows people in Nevada who can no longer pay their debts to start afresh financially by eliminating their debts or reorganizing them under a repayment plan. A bankruptcy case usually starts when you file a bankruptcy petition with the court. Nevada has two bankruptcy courts. In Clark County, bankruptcy is filed with the bankruptcy court in Las Vegas.
The Different Types of Bankruptcy
There are different bankruptcy types, which are commonly referred to by their U.S. Bankruptcy Code chapter. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are the two main types of bankruptcy for individuals.
Chapter 7, sometimes called liquidation bankruptcy, involves liquidating a debtor’s non-exempt assets to repay the individual’s debts partially. The debtor is allowed to keep exempt property. A bankruptcy trustee may collect and sell non-exempt assets and use the funds generated to repay creditors. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy could lead to you losing your assets, but could clear your debts.
Chapter 13, also referred to as a wage earner’s bankruptcy, helps debtors who can repay some or all of their debts but can’t do so all at once by restructuring the debts into an affordable payment plan. A trustee collects payments from a debtor and pays the creditors. The trustee ensures the debtor abides by the payment plan’s terms. Payment plans usually last three or five years. The benefit of this type of bankruptcy is the debtor can retain his or her property.
Bankruptcy filers receive a discharge when a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy ends successfully. A discharge order releases you from the obligation to pay the debts included in your case.
Criteria for Each Chapter of Bankruptcy
In Nevada, eligibility to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is determined by the state Means test that evaluates your income level and disposable income. You qualify for Chapter 7 if your income falls below the state’s median income level.
If your income is too high for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may be eligible for Chapter 13. To be eligible to file under Chapter 13, you must show that you’ll reasonably make regular payments on a certain amount of your debts. Your combined total unsecured and secured debts shouldn’t exceed $2.75 million on the filing date. Your debts must be less than $465,275 for unsecured debts and $1,395,875 for secured debts (these figures are valid up to March 31, 2025).
How Many Bankruptcies Can You File in Nevada?
You may be surprised to learn that there are no set limits to the number of bankruptcies you can file in your lifetime. People can go through financial hardships several times in their lifetime and require bankruptcy protection more than once. For instance, medical conditions could lead to unexpected bills, or you could face foreclosure or wage garnishment because of unpaid debts. There are many valid reasons and benefits for filing for bankruptcy multiple times.
You can file for as many bankruptcies as you need. Nevertheless, as you’ll come to learn below, there are often waiting periods involved that are determined by the following factors:
- Your previous bankruptcy case outcome
- The bankruptcy chapter you filed before
- The chapter under which you’re now filing
- The time that’s passed since your last case
The Timeline Between Previous Bankruptcies in Las Vegas
There’s no mandatory waiting period for when to refile for bankruptcy if you didn’t receive a bankruptcy discharge after your previous filing. Waiting period time limits between bankruptcy filings apply if your debts were discharged successfully in your last bankruptcy case. The bankruptcy court imposes these time restrictions to prevent people from using multiple filings to amass debts they can’t afford fraudulently and frustrate creditors. The timeline begins on the filing date of your previous successfully discharged bankruptcy case.
Timeline for Bankruptcies Within the Same Chapter
Chapter 7 usually provides the quickest way to get out of debt. You don’t have to complete a repayment plan to receive a bankruptcy discharge. Consequently, it has the longest waiting time for subsequent filings. You’ll have to wait at least eight years from the filing date of your previous Chapter 7 bankruptcy to be eligible to file another Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
If your previous case was a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, and you received a discharge, the waiting period reduces to two years from when you filed that case to file a Chapter 13 again.
Timeline for Bankruptcies Under Different Chapters
If you’ve already filed for bankruptcy under one chapter, your subsequent filing could be under a different chapter. You can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy after filing and being discharged in a Chapter 7 case. You’ll need to wait four years after your Chapter 7 bankruptcy was filed. A repeat filer who doesn’t want to wait eight years to file another Chapter 7 bankruptcy could file under Chapter 13 instead.
If you previously filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and received a discharge, you’ll typically have to wait at least six years from the filing date to file for Chapter 7.
If your bankruptcy case was dismissed in the previous 180 days, you may have to wait up to 180 days after that dismissal to file for bankruptcy again.
Consequences of Filing Multiple Bankruptcies Within a Short Period
If you received a discharge in a previous bankruptcy case, and you decide to file for bankruptcy again before the required time limits, your new filing may be denied a discharge. As a result, you’ll still be held liable for your debts. For example, if you file under Chapter 7, the bankruptcy court can deny your discharge if you had received a discharge in your previous Chapter 7 case filed within eight years of your new case. As a result, you may want to talk to a bankruptcy lawyer to ensure there are no situations that may interfere with your case before filing.
Filing for bankruptcy multiple times within a short period may also lead to the loss of the protection of an automatic stay or limitation on its duration. An automatic stay prevents some creditors from collecting debts from bankruptcy filers.
Multiple bankruptcy filings may also hurt your credit score. As a result, it may affect when you may qualify for loans for purposes like buying a house. You may want to ask, “How long after a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can you buy a house?” Buying a home while in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is possible, but it would be difficult. The court would have to grant you permission to take on additional debt to buy a house.
Strategies for Financial Recovery
When considering filing for bankruptcy again, it’s crucial to do adequate research and planning to make the process smoother. Weigh other debt-relief options to determine if there may be something else that could ease your financial strain. Negotiating with debt collectors, debt consolidation, government assistance programs, and even seeking support from family and friends are some options you could consider when you’re in between bankruptcy filings. As you evaluate your financial health and options, it’s advisable to get professional guidance.
By not filing for bankruptcy, you could risk missed payments and facing lawsuits for your unpaid debts. If bankruptcy is your best option, you should establish the type to file, the waiting period, and potential consequences. These are good questions to ask a bankruptcy lawyer.
Benefits of Employing Legal Counsel to Navigate the Bankruptcy Process
The bankruptcy process tends to be long and challenging, involving demanding deadlines and lots of paperwork. It has long-term legal and financial consequences. As a result, employing legal counsel is strongly recommended, even though you don’t have to file for bankruptcy with an attorney.
A bankruptcy lawyer in Las Vegas understands federal and Nevada bankruptcy laws and is familiar with multiple bankruptcy filings and the potential pitfalls to avoid. Your lawyer will explain all bankruptcy options and work with you to identify whether you should file under Chapter 7 or 13.
A bankruptcy lawyer will ensure all the paperwork is filled properly and on time. He or she will optimize the benefits you’ll get from the process, maximize asset protection, respond to inquiries by creditors, and prevent aggressive creditors from taking more money than they may be entitled to receive.
Your bankruptcy lawyer will guide you and provide any necessary support through the entire bankruptcy process.