Can I file bankruptcy again?
If you have already filed bankruptcy before you may wonder if you can ever file again. The answer is yes, depending on what chapter you filed before, when you filed, and whether you received a discharge.
Take a look at the rules below for when an individual can refile bankruptcy after receiving a prior discharge. A final important note is that you count file date to new file date rather than counting discharge date to discharge date. You may find that you are eligible to file Chapter 13, but really want to file another Chapter 7. Whether to wait or explore other options such as debt settlement is another common dilemma.
- 8 years between Chapter 7’s.
- 2 years between Chapter 13’s.
- 4 years between a Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
- 6 years between a Chapter 13 and Chapter 7.*
*Rule may be waived if 70% of unsecured creditors were paid in the Chapter 13
The above time periods are to be eligible for multiple discharges. That does not mean a debtor is ineligible to file. Although the goal of filing a bankruptcy usually is to obtain a discharge there are other reasons to file. One example is to file a Chapter 13 to stop a foreclosure. Another would be to file to regain possession of a repossessed vehicle. Ending wage garnishment or dealing with tax debt may be another reason to file when not eligible to receive a discharge.