Filing Bankruptcy Again

Are you thinking about filing bankruptcy again? You may be wondering how soon you can file if you have filed for bankruptcy in the past. In today’s article, our bankruptcy experts at discuss time limitations for receiving a bankruptcy discharge after you have previously filed for, and have been granted a discharge.

Filing Bankruptcy Again: Time limit is applicable to the discharge, not the filing.

Bankruptcy law does not set a limit on the number of times you may file bankruptcy, but the number of time may be granted a bankruptcy discharge. However, filing too soon after you have been granted a discharge of your debts in a previous bankruptcy will prohibit you from receiving a discharge. In essence, this will be a waste of time and money, so it is important to understand the various time restrictions pertaining to multiple bankruptcy filings.

Filing Bankruptcy Again:  Filing under the same Chapter

The timeframes for successive bankruptcy filings vary according to the chapter.

Filing bankruptcy again: Chapter 7

If you were granted a bankruptcy in a previous Chapter 7 case and you wish to file for another Chapter 7, you have to wait eight years from the date the case was filed.

Filing bankruptcy again: Chapter 13

In the case of a Chapter 13, bankruptcy law requires the debtor to wait 2 years from the date the case was filed to file another Chapter 13. This may get complicated if you second was filed between two and six years from the first Chapter 13 and the court does not approve your Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan in the second Chapter 13 case. In some cases, you may be able to convert to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, if you decide to convert, you will be subject to conversion rules which may prevent you from getting a discharge in the converted case.

Filing bankruptcy again: Different Chapters

The order determines the time frame when you file successive bankruptcies under different Chapters.

Filing bankruptcy again: Chapter 13, Then Chapter 7

If you received a bankruptcy discharge in a previous Chapter 13 case, you will not be eligible to receive a discharge in a Chapter before six years from the date the case was filed. However, exceptions to the six-year waiting period include:

  • All unsecured creditors have been paid in full in the Chapter 13 case, or
  • At least 70% of the claims of the Chapter 13 have been paid and the plan was proposed in good faith.

If you have already received a bankruptcy in a previous case and wish to file once again, it is recommended to consult with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer in order to avoid complications that may ultimately jeopardize a favorable outcome of your case.