Posted on: 6 January 2018
It's helpful to know that there are no limits on how many times you can file for bankruptcy. As long as you are qualified and have waited long enough, you will be allowed to file, whether that's 2 time or 10 times. The time limits listed below are all based on the date that your most recent bankruptcy was final, not the date that you first filed your paperwork. Read on to learn how long you must wait after both chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcies to file again.
Chapters 7 and 13
- If you last filed a chapter 7 and want to file a chapter 7 once again, you will need to wait at least 8 years from the most recent chapter 7 final discharge.
- If you last filed a chapter 7 and now want to switch things up a bit and file for a chapter 13, you can do so just 4 years after your chapter 7 final discharge.
- If you last filed a chapter 13 and want to file a chapter 13 once again, you have to wait at least 2 years before filing another chapter 13.
- If you last filed a chapter 13 and now wish to switch to a chapter 7, you must wait 6 years from the discharge date of the most recent chapter 13. The wait time requirement on this sequence of filing does come with a couple of exceptions that could get you into a chapter 7 faster than those 6 years. If you can comply with the following, the bankruptcy court might give you the go-ahead to file earlier:
- Sometimes your chapter 13 debt reorganization plan results in the satisfaction of any secured debt before other debts are resolved. If that is the case, you may be allowed to file earlier.
- If you have satisfied at least 70% of all of your debt listed on your chapter 13 plan, both secured and unsecured, and you have adhered to all debt repayment plans up to now, you may be allowed to file a chapter 7.
What? You've never heard of a chapter 20 bankruptcy? Don't feel bad, since it is not really an official type of bankruptcy. This is more of a plan to help people with tax debts, and when you owe the IRS you might already know that you cannot use a bankruptcy filing to get rid of tax debts. If a chapter 13 filing left you with tax debts, you may be allowed to get some additional bankruptcy relief a bit faster by allowing you to file for a chapter 7 before the usual wait of 6 years. Speak to a bankruptcy attorney about this form of filing to see if you can be helped by it.