How Often Can I File Bankruptcy?

How often can I file for bankruptcy?

The short answer is, it depends. It depends on whether you previously filed for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, when you filed the previous bankruptcy, whether the previous bankruptcy was dismissed or discharged, whether there was a motion for relief from the automatic stay filed, and when you plan to file your new bankruptcy.

Did you receive a discharge in the previous bankruptcy?

If you received a discharge in your previous bankruptcy, you can receive another discharge in a new bankruptcy after waiting some time. Here’s how it works:

Chapter 7 to Chapter 7: You must wait 8 years after the filing date of the previous Chapter 7 bankruptcy before filing a new Chapter 7. For example, if you filed a previous Chapter 7 on November 1, 2020, you will be able to file a new Chapter 7 on or after November 2, 2028 and be able to receive a discharge in the new case.

Chapter 13 to Chapter 13: You must wait 2 years after the filing date of the previous Chapter 13 bankruptcy before filing a new Chapter 13. As most Chapter 13s last from 3 to 5 years, you typically can file another Chapter 13 after receiving a discharge in the prior case. For example, if you filed a previous Chapter 13 on November 1, 2020, and your plan lasted for 36 months, you will be able to file a new Chapter 13 immediately after receiving your discharge.

Chapter 7 to Chapter 13: You must wait 4 years after the filing date of the previous Chapter 7 bankruptcy before filing a new Chapter 13. Filing a Chapter 13 immediately after receiving a discharge in a Chapter 7 is commonly referred to as a “Chapter 20” bankruptcy. For example, if you filed a previous Chapter 7 on November 1, 2020, you will be able to file a new Chapter 13 on or after November 2, 2024 and be able to receive a discharge in the new case. You won’t receive a discharge in the new Chapter 13 when filing “Chapter 20,” since you aren’t waiting the full 4 years between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, but this type of filing could give you the time you need to pay off debt like non-dischargeable taxes or mortgage arrearages.

Chapter 13 to Chapter 7: You must wait 6 years after the filing date of the previous Chapter 13 bankruptcy before filing a new Chapter 7. For example, if you filed a previous Chapter 13 on November 1, 2020, you will be able to file a new Chapter 7 on or after November 2, 2026 and be able to receive a discharge in the new case.

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