Filing For Bankruptcy Multiple Times

filing bankruptcy multiple timesIf you have filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or under Chapter 13 in the past and are wondering how long you have to wait to file bankruptcy again, there are a few things to keep in mind. The wait period is based off of discharges, not filing. Although there is technically no set time limit for filing bankruptcy a second time, you must be sure you’ve received a discharge from your previous bankruptcy. The waiting time between discharges will differ based on specific information from the previous filing.

If you try to file a second bankruptcy too soon after receiving your first discharge, you will not be able to receive another discharge. This can be very frustrating which is why it is important to know the time frames allotted to receiving the second discharge.

Successive Waiting Periods

The waiting periods for re-filing will depend on whether you are filing for successive Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.

Chapter 7: 
If you filed for Chapter 7 (and received a discharge) you must wait for at least eight years from the date of filing your first claim to apply for bankruptcy again, and receive a second discharge.

Chapter 13: 
If you filed for Chapter 13 (and received a discharge) you have to wait at least two years in order to be eligible to receive a discharge again. If you file for Chapter 13 a second time between 2 and 6 years the court may deny your bankruptcy plan. In this case, you would have to wait eight years from the last filing in order for the application to be reviewed. If your plan is initially denied you can typically change to a Chapter 7, case but there are some unique rules that apply to this situation (see below). 

Filing Under a Different Chapter

If you are filing a different chapter of bankruptcy then you previously filed there are some additional waiting periods that you need to know about. When filing Chapter 13 after previously filing Chapter 7 you must wait six years to file again. However, there are exceptions that can be made under certain conditions, such as when you’ve paid off 70% of your debt. If you filed Chapter 7 previously and are looking to file Chapter 13 then you must wait four years to file again.

Please note that the wait period may be different under complex situations so it is best that you consult with a local bankruptcy attorney.

Your First Step

Under the current state of the economy it is not uncommon for someone to file for bankruptcy multiple times. We recommend that your first step be to seek the assistance of an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. A bankruptcy lawyer will explain the different options that are available to you, and help prepare the paperwork. If there are any exceptions or special requirements, your attorney will inform you, and help you make an educated decision.